Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Library Lesson: Don't Be Sluggish, Read!

Graphic from My Cute Graphics

Don't Be Sluggish, Read!

After a summer break, many first graders come to school with a decline in reading (sadly we know this can happen at any age for those who don't keep reading over the summer). This may frustrate or sadden our young emergent readers. I do this lesson at the beginning of the year to help them to not be down and to just keep on reading!

Recommended grade:  1st grade

·   YouTube video "Don't Feel Like Dancin' Slugs"
·   snail or slug hand puppet (mine is a Folkmanis Garden Snail puppet)
·   Book How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson


I always try to incorporate wiggling into a lesson. The kids always need it to listen to an important topic (especially at this age). With the release of the movie Turbo this past year, this library lesson was a big hit!

    YouTube video "Don't Feel Like Dancin' Slugs"
  1. Have the boys and girls stand up and dance (if they choose) to the You Tube video “Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ Slugs.” It is a really short 22 second video. But, it is just enough to "wake them up," smile, and be ready to listen to my lesson.
  2. After dancing, I will have the kids sit down and then I will bring out my snail puppet. My snail puppet is really sad and dos not feel like dancing. After we ask him why, we learn it is because he cannot read. I will tell him I have a perfect book on how we can teach him to read. 
  3. Read the book How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Peterson. Discuss afterwards ways in which the students learned how they could become readers if reading is hard for them or someone they know. My snail puppet will be "all revved up to read" afterwards!
My Garden Snail hand puppet from Folkmanis.
I do not think this particular one is for sale anymore.
But, there are plenty of other great ones out there!

Library Lesson: Reading in Your Own Time

Graphic by My Cute Graphics

Reading in Your Own Time

I love doing this lesson with my kindergarteners! I start out by explaining to them that when I came home from my first day of kindergarten, I was in tears because I expected to come home a fluent reader. Many of the students nodded in agreement as I shared this. Keep reading to see the results of this lesson...

Recommended grade:  Kindergarten

·   Graph: “Can you read? Yes/No”
·   Book Ruby in Her Own Time by Jonathan Emmett
·   Poem “Big News About Me” by Mandy Watson
·   Word "me" to display
·   Environmental print pictures to go with poem


  1. As students come in and sit down, let them answer the following question/graph: “Can you read? Yes/No.”
  2. Read story Ruby in Her Own Time by Jonathan Emmett. Have the students chime in to the reoccurring phrase "in her own time."
  3. Discuss results of the graph. Share how difficult reading is and assure them that it will come in their own time just like things did for Ruby in the story. Tell them that they may not know it, but they knew how to read since they were little, and I will prove it in just a few minutes. Introduce or review the sight word “me."
  4. Read aloud poem “Big News about Me” (written by me), and display environmental print signs for students to call out as I read the poem.
  5. Have students that graphed they could not read change their response because now they know without a doubt they can read!
The last step in my lesson wasn't originally in my plans. But after the students figured out they could read, one little kindergartner gasped, stood up, and marched to the graph at the front of the room and changed his response from a "no" to a "yes." That afternoon as I watched him get into his mom's car to go home, he screamed, "Mom, guess what? I was wrong, I CAN read!" It almost brought tears to my eyes and I still can't stop grinning when I think about it. Share with me if you have ever experienced the same feeling. It's very rewarding isn't it?

Fun freebie:
Here is the poem I wrote called "Big News About Me." All of the colored words are the ones to hold up the environmental print and let the students read versus you saying it.
Click boy for poem
Graphic by My Cute Graphics

Today is a day to blog and catch up (hopefully)!

Graphic from My Cute Graphics

Well, we have yet another day of no school due to icy conditions here in the Houston area. So, after being ashamed at how long it has been since my last blog post, I am going to work on posting lots today (hopefully). Kuddos to all you daily or even weekly bloggers out there who are able to blog all the time! :)