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Guided Reading Mini-Lesson Ideas

If your focus is high frequency words


Select 1-6 high frequency words to focus on in a mini-lesson. These words should be ones that the students will incur as they read the current book. Introduce the words one at a time using word cards. Depending on the level, you might use each word in a sentence and then ask the students to generate their own sentences. As you introduce each new word, be sure to go back and ask students to identify all the other words you have just introduced to keep them fresh in their minds. Once all words have been introduced, students should be given the opportunity to practice identifying words before diving into the story. Here are some easy and quick ways to practice other than flipping through the flashcards: 1. Roll -N- Read: You will need a die and the current word cards. Each student rolls the die and determines how many words he/she will have to read. For example, if the student rolls a 5, the teacher will show them 5 word cards for them to read. If the student rolls a number that is more than the number of words, the students can read some words more than once. Students can have multiple rolls of the die if necessary. 2. Magic Hat- You will need a magic hat (cheap top hats can be purchased at party stores but any hat will do), a magic wand (a dowel with one end dipped in glue and glitter, or a wand purchased from a party store), current word cards. Put all the words in the hat. Explain that reading high frequency words is like magic in that we just know what they are when we look at them. Students become reading magicians by using the magic wand and saying magic words such as : Abracadabra, Zim, Zam, Zord I can read a magic word.

Have the reader tap the magic wand on the rim of the hat and pull out a word card. The magic works if the student can read the word. If the students is unable to read the word, place the word back in the hat and ask the magician to try his magic again. Give every student the opportunity to be the magician at least once. 3. Wheres Wags or Secret Word- You will need a pocket chart or create a gameboard by using poster board and library pockets (cute, decorative ones are available at teacher supply stores) that looks like this:
1 2 3 4 5

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You will also need word cards with current words to fit in the pockets and one card that has a dog sticker or picture for Wheres Wags or put a special sticker on the back of one of the word cards for Secret Word. Place a word card in each pocket including the Wags or Secret Word card away from students view. Each student calls out a number and pulls out the card from the corresponding pocket. If it is a word card, the student must read the word in order to keep it. If unable to read correctly, the card is placed back in the pocket and the next student gets a turn. If the Wags or Secret Word card is picked, that student gets to hide it for the next round while the other students close their eyes or turn their backs. Play as many times as desired. 4. Shake, Spill, Spell, and Read- You will need a small plastic cup, letter tiles (or letters written on color tiles, lima beans, round counters, etc), and current word cards. Prior to the lesson, gather the letter tiles for each of the current words and keep them separated. Display word cards for all students to see. When ready, put one set of letter tiles into the plastic cup. Have a student shake the cup and spill the letters on the table. All students look at the letters and try to

determine which of the current words is made up of those letters. The first students to correctly identify the word gets to put the letter tiles together to make the word. Do the same for all the remaining words.

If your focus is reading strategies


Beginning readers do not automatically learn the different strategies for determining unknown words- they must be taught and practiced. Here are some ideas for practicing some reading strategies: 1. Look at the Picture- You will need sentence strips and pictures. Write a simple sentence on a sentence strip using words students will be able to read except for one challenging word (using a different color marker will help students identify which word is the challenging word). You will need a picture to match the challenging word and some extra unrelated pictures to make it more challenging. Begin by discussing how readers get stuck on some words and need to figure out what those words are. One way to do that is by looking at the picture. Explain how they are going to practice that strategy. Display the sentence and the picture(s). Have a student read the sentence and when he gets to the colored word, instruct him to look at the picture(s) to determine what the word might be. Once he has determined the word, have the student reread the sentence, putting in the correct word. If using more than one picture, have student explain how he determined the correct picture to use (it made sense, it started with the same sounds, etc.). Do this several times with other sentences and pictures so all students have an opportunity to practice using this strategy. 2. Look at the First Sound(s)- You will need sentence strips and pictures. Write a simple sentence on a sentence strip using words students will be able to read except for one challenging word (using a different color marker will help students identify which word is the challenging word). You will need a picture to match the challenging word and some extra unrelated pictures. For the extra pictures, select one that begins with the same sound(s) as the unknown word in the sentence but

would not make sense and one that would make sense but does not begin with the same sound(s) as the unknown word. For example, if the sentence is: I see a turtle on a rock. choose a picture of a turtle, a snake and a table. Snake would make sense but does not begin with a /t/. Table begins with a /t/ but doesnt make sense. Begin by discussing how readers get stuck on some words and need to figure out what those words are. One way to do that is by looking at the picture and the first sound(s) in the unknown word. Explain how they are going to practice that strategy. Display the sentence and the picture(s). Have a student read the sentence and when he gets to the colored word, instruct him to look at the picture(s) and the initial sound(s) to determine what the word might be. Once he has determined the word, have the student reread the sentence, putting in the correct word. Then have the student explain how he determined the correct picture to use (it made sense, it started with the same sounds, etc.). Do this several times with other sentences and pictures so all students have an opportunity to practice using this strategy. 3. Using Context Clues: You will need sentence strips and markers. Write a sentence on a sentence strip using mostly words students would be able to read except for one challenging word. Design the sentences so the challenge word is one they would be able to determine by using clues from the rest of the sentence. Here are some examples: My mom put the milk in the refrigerator so it would stay cold. Jon was punished when he broke the window so he couldnt play videos games for a week. Last night I put on my pajamas and then hopped into bed. Kim predicts she will get a new bike for her birthday because she told her mom that is what she wanted. My dog scampered after the cat and I had to chase her. Use some nonsense words instead of challenging words so those high-readers that might know all the challenging words above will be able to practice using this reading strategy. Here are some examples: For breakfast, the girl put some ligerbits in a bowl and poured milk on it.

I slept too late and missed the hornbuck so my dad had to take me to school. The Spurs scored more points and fleeped game. Begin by discussing how readers get stuck on some words and need to figure out what those words are. One way to do that is by skipping the unknown word and reading to the end of the sentence. By using clues from the sentence, a reader may be able to determine what the word is and/or what it means. Explain how they are going to practice that strategy. Display a sentence strip and ask a student volunteer to read it out loud. When the reader comes to the challenge or nonsense word, he/she skips it and reads the rest of the sentence. Next, ask students if they know what the skipped word is. Once students have identified what the word is, ask a volunteer to circle or underline the clue that helped to determine the word or meaning. Do this several times with other sentences so all students have an opportunity to practice using this strategy. 4. Chunking- You will need sentence strips or index cards. Write different words on the sentence strips or index cards that students would be able to identify by chunking sounds. Here is a list of possible words to use: shouting finish picnic struck cupcake pumpkin dimple transfer scamper hamburger blanket together investment sunshine interesting element different cheerleader

Using nonsense words that can be chunked is helpful for those high readers that can already identify the challenge words. For example, blanding, freatment, shobbick, strump, etc. Begin by discussing how readers get stuck on some words and need to figure out what those words are. One way to do that is by chunking words into smaller parts that you know. Hold up one of the word cards and ask students to look for

chunks they know (NOTE: it is important that students do not blurt out the word if they know it so you might want to discuss this prior to holding up the card). Next, ask a student to name the chunk he/she was able to identify. Literally tear the chunk out of the word and allow the student to hold the chunk in front of the group. Show the remaining chunks and ask the rest of the group if anyone sees another chunk they know. Follow the same procedure of tearing off the chunk and letting the student join the first student in the corresponding position. Continue until all chunks have been identified and the students are standing in the corresponding position with the chunks at the front of the group. Now have each student say their chunk as they hold it up for all to see. Finally push the chunks together while saying each chunk to make the word. Do this several times with other words so all students have an opportunity to practice using this strategy.