Hello Mr Hulot – welcome to guided reading


Hello Mr Hulot by David Meveille is a wonderful wordless book that made me laugh out loud and I don’t often do that.


The book is strongly patterned in terms of the way that the pictures are framed – 4 to 6 frames on the first page followed by a one page frame when you turn over.  It is this that lends the book to being used in guided reading.    It would be very good to use a reciprocal reading type session where the children predict from the first page and then draw what they think the last image would be after having studied The Heart of Paris and Hulot the Plumber.  The children could then generate questions that can be answered by the text and summarise it.

See  a YouTube version here.  This book is going on our guided reading list for level 4 readers.

Update on titles suitable for guided reading

Our most visited post on this blog is our list of guided reading books for levels 3 – 5.  Over the summer we took the opportunity to update the list and have added many new titles.  So here they are!


Below level 3

Smile! Starring Sunny McCloud – Leigh Hodgkinson

That’s Not Funny – Adrian Johnson

Level 3

I want to be Famous by Laura Adkins and Sam Hearn

Three by the Sea by Mini Grey

Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch by Julia Jarman (higher level 3)

The Sprog Owner’s Manual by Babette Cole

A Child’s Garden a story of hope by Michael Foreman

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie

Something Else by Catherine Cave and Chris Riddell

The Pirate Lord by Terry Deary (higher level 3)

Major Glad, Major Dizzy by Jan Oke

Six Men by David McKee

The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

Crazy Hair by Neil Gamon

Refugees by David Miller

Level 4

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

The Rumblewick Letters by Hiawyn Oram and Sarah Warburton – read alongside one of the Rumblewick Diaries

Lord of the Animals by Fiona French and The King of the Birds by Helen Ward – use both books to explore the theme

Spooky Devon by Helen Greathead – short stories located in Devon.  Entertaining end papers,  interesting index and short stories to dip in to

Highway Robbbery by Kate Thompson

Short Too! By Kevin Crossley Holland – short stories

Little Wolf’s Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett

Ghostly Beasts – Joan Aiken – short stories

The Monster Diaries by Luciano Saracino

The Shadow-Cage and other supernatural tales – Phillippa Pearce

The Viewer by Gary Crew


Level 5

Farther by Graheme Baker-Smith

Me and You by Anthony Browne – explore the 2 stories, why the illustrative style is used with each story, the cultural context of the setting for Goldilocks and stereotypes

The Heart and The Bottle by Oliver Jeffers – also available as an ipad app for those schools with ipads.  The level 5ness of this book can be found, amongst other things, in the use of the bottle as a metaphor and the idea of an empty chair and what it symbolises

Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories – would be a good book for each child to take one story, prepare it and then tell the rest of group about it so that common themes can be explored.  Also interesting to explore the style of illustration in relation to the story.

The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Black and White by David Macaulay – an end of year  KS2 book

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman

The Paradise Garden by Colin Thompson

The Boy Who Climbed Into The Moon by David Almond

George and the Dragon and a world of other stories by Geraldine McCaughrean – also in the series, Robin Hood and a world of other stories and King Arthur and a world of other stories

What we do intend doing is linking the books on this list to cards from our resource Think Reading.  This will mean that you have suggested texts and ideas .

What are your favourite texts for guided reading?

6 of the best persuasive text resources

Most teachers who look at persuasive texts use adverts for at least one of the units so here are some of my favourite places to look for texts that are rich enough to base a unit of work around.

no gut no glory

  1. www.tellyAds.com is one of the best places for ads seen on televsion.  The quality is often better than those found on YouTube and there is an enormous range.  The Yeo Valley farmers rapping is one of my favourites but there is so much on here.  We use the Corsa Hide and Seek advert for our persuasive teaching sequence.  Although expensive, there is an option to buy the adverts on DVD and for those schools where gaining access to these sorts of resources is tricky, this might be an option.
  2. www.advertolog.com is a very rich source of adverts having television, radio and print adverts.  This is a subscription service so you can’t access the film adverts but you can search and find out titles.  I use this site for print adverts.  There are lots of ways of seraching – by media, by content, by advertising agency etc.  I have several favourites on here but some include the Golf R series,  the Mercedes Benz left and right side series and the Honda Jazz Grandmother advert.  These would make great texts for guided reading.
  3. http://www.impawards.com type a movie into the search box and 1991-beauty-and-the-beast-poster1find a movie poster.  These are fantastic and suitable for guided reading focusing in on the text and its position, colour, light and framing.  Many of the posters I looked at have a blue to black colour scheme.  That would make an interesting literacy investigation.  Which is the most commonly used colour in children’s movie posters and why?
  4. Be Adwise from smart media is a great online resource for teachers.  Module 1 is an introduction to advertising for 6 – 11 yr olds.  It focuses on the language of tv advertising, creating your own tv advert, how an ad is made, selling celebrities and what happens when ads get it wrong.  This is an excellent resource.  The site requires a login but is free to use and download resources.
  5. Film Education has to have the most comprehensive range of generic activities and those linked to specific films for children.  It is a real treasure trove.  One of the resources available is a booklet about Teaching Trailers. This site is a must for all teachers interested in teaching about and creating film.
  6. http://www.visit4info.com is a rich source of tv adverts easily searchable by alphabet or type of advert.  One of the best things about this site is the ease with which you can download the ads.

golfDo you have any favourite places to find persuasive texts?  Do let us know.

Dual Voiced Texts

eelAs part of our Talk for Writing training we have been focusing on non-fiction using the wonderful book Think of an Eel by Karen Wallace and Mike Bostock.  The two voices in this book are very different; one a literary non-fiction with the most poetic language possible and the other a more formal report tone almost as captions.

There is so much to talk about in this book which makes it without question a text that teaches.  When we started to create our non-fiction texts that teach, several of the books were dual-voiced.  The power of this is that it makes it so much easier to introduce children to the idea of different voices when writing.

seahorseI recently came across Seahorse The Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth and John Lawrence which is another dual-voiced text.  The book is beautifully illustrated with what look like prints and just like Think of an Eel tell the story of a life cycle.  I love the way that it refers to the seahorse as Seahorse making it feel personal and the swaying of the more formal report voice to show us the movement of the waves.

This book would make a fantastic guided reading book for level 3 readers (UK National Curriculum) to be used during a unit of work based on Think of an Eel.

Have you used Think of an Eel in literacy?  Let us know how it went. And do you know of any other powerful dual voiced texts?