Wendy's Writing Project Blog

Taking the Plunge With Chapter Books June 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — uiwpwendy @ 11:18 pm


This week’s posts are dedicated to summing up my experiences at All Write 2012.

My second graders really like to read chapter books. Some can do so successfully, others can’t. They want to. They’d like for me to believe that they can. They do a good job of pretending, but they can’t. I am committed to be more intentional about keeping my kids in texts they can read, and to get stronger readers to think deeper about the texts they are in– not just ‘level up’. Both will involve further educating students and parents. Kristen Horrell, Literacy Coach with the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, presented ways to support all readers, mini lesson ideas for those ready to move into chapter books, and a short list of suggested titles to transition kids from decodable books. Recommended titles include:

Zigzag Kids series by Patricia Reilly Giff
Katie Woo series by Fran Manushkin
“I Can Read” series 1-4 by various authors
Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series by Erica Silverman
Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant
Alien and Possum series by Tony Johnston
Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel
Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein

Thanks to strong kindergarten, first grade, and literacy intervention teachers, I had stronger readers than ever last year. Data indicates that the majority of those entering second grade will be at or above benchmark this fall. If that is the case, the majority of the class will be ready to “plunge” into chapter books this year. I want to explore the idea of crafting lessons around HOW to read a chapter book. Topics for lessons include previewing, the loss of picture support/visualization, more complex or unfamiliar text structures, ongoing decoding and comprehension strategies, reading dialogue, following story elements across several pages, sequencing events, using background knowledge, and genres. Can you think of any other lessons specific to transitioning kids into chapter books that I should consider?


2 Responses to “Taking the Plunge With Chapter Books”

  1. Jill Says:

    From the lens of teaching struggling readers, I am wondering if building and maintaining stamina might be a topic to model/practice when beginning to read chapter books.

  2. uiwpwendy Says:

    Absolutely! Let me know if you think of any more, please.

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