Books for kids are full of enjoyment and teaching points. In this post, we are digging in to learn how to use a single book for multiple lessons.
Recently one of the Growing Book by Book readers, Jamie, asked this question,
“I have to teach large group literacy daily. My biggest struggle is to figure a way to use a book for more than one day and keep it engaging for my kiddos.”
First, why do we want to use a read-aloud book multiple times?
The first time we read a book aloud to children it should be for the pure enjoyment of listening to a story.
Though it is great to do a little predicting about the story from the front cover by saying something like, “Let’s look at the cover of this book. Describe what you see. What do you think this story might be about based on the illustration on the front and the title of the story?”
It’s also fine to stop occasionally and allow kids to predict, but we don’t want to stop too often and interrupt the flow of the story on the first read.
But, there is so much teaching that can occur with a great read-aloud that we want to use it over and over again. Let’s see how to do just that.
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
What can be taught through multiple readings of a book?
There are so many skills, concepts, and strategies that can be taught through multiple readings of a book.
- writing (art and craft)
- word work
- phonological awareness
Plus, there are always ways to extend a story with related activities that piggyback off the theme or content of the story.
What would using one book for multiple readings look like?
I need examples to really make an idea stick with me. So, let’s take a look at what this would look like in action.
We’ll use the familiar story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, for our example. And, we’ll imagine we are using it with a group of preschoolers mid-way through the school year.
Read the story and enjoy it with the kids. If the book is new to the kids, predict what the story might be about by observing the cover of the book.
After reading, ask the kids to generate as many words as they can think of that rhyme with goat. The words can be real or nonsense words. (Skill Covered: phonological awareness -rhyming)
Read the story again and this time let the kids join in on the trip trap lines as the goats cross the bridge and when the troll wants to know who is crossing.
After reading, name a word related to the story and have the kids isolate and say the beginning sound of each word. Try using the following words: goat, troll, bridge, grass, over, meadow, eat, and wait. (Skill Covered: phonological awareness-beginning sounds)
As you read the story today, have one child pretend to be the troll and the rest of the class be the goats. The “goats” can stomp during the appropriate parts and the troll can ask who is crossing the bridge.
After reading, provide props related to the story (3 goats of different sizes, a troll, and a bridge). We made ours out of wood slices. Set the props out and invite the kids to use the manipulatives to retell the story.
We also did this retelling activity with Lego creation props. This is great because the kids get to help in designing the props. (Skill Covered: retelling)
Study one of the illustrations in the book. Identify the characters and the setting of the story. (Skill Covered: identifying story elements)
Read the story again and then read a variation of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Compare and contrast each version of the story with the original. Enjoy comparing the stories orally or create a chart to draw or write your comparisons. (Skill covered: comparing and contrasting)
Curious how you can use this book for math, science, and other subjects? I have a whole unit waiting for you to use.—>SEE THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF UNIT
Do you see how one book can provide multiple lessons? Chances are this book will now be a class favorite. When you place it in your reading area, the kids will return to it again and again to practice “reading” it.
What are your favorite books to use for multiple lessons? Leave a comment below.