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.

image

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?

I am truly Wonderstruck!

I just loved Brain Selznick’s latest book Wonderstruck.  I love the way the text and the images tell two stories that cross, link and move backwards and forwards through time until finally coming together.

I love the way the images start by zooming into the wolf’s eye and out again when we see Lillian May, the actress.  Very filmic, which of course is so true of Selznick’s work.

I hate the way that the girl, Rose,  has to reach out to her mother the actress Lillian May and the way in which she rejects her.  The facial expressions tell the story of a mother who does not want to be reminded of anything less than perfect in her life.  The end of silent movies here reflects the end of the mother and daugheter’s relationship.  It can’t be a coincidence that Rose, the daughter who is deaf, has her story told through images rather than words.

This is definitely a book for guided reading – so much to discus and puzzle over.  One for children reading securely in NC level 4.

And to top it all I see the The Invention of Hugo Cabret has been made into a film which is due out in November (in America).

Other books that would be suitable for guided reading can be seen here and here.

Inference – the Jam in the Doughnut: Reciprocal Reading – Part 1

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with reciprocal reading but it is a well-researched method of teaching reading comprehension.  The researchers Palincsar and Brown developed the idea and their work is very accessible on the internet, including long term studies.

Reciprocal reading focuses on four key strageies that are predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising but which need to be taught within the context of a rich reading curriculum.

We use our  doughnut of reading to try and explain this.

jammy donutIn this diagram we acknowledge that whatever we do in  reading we must allow children time for personal response and time to develop their own reading habits.

The next layer is the dough and this is generally the knowledge or content that we teach in shared and guided reading when we focus on the elements of character, organisational features etc.

But we are still not quite at the jammy heart!  In fact we need to focus on some key skills or strategies and they are the ones that reciprocal reading identifies as being core skills: predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising.  These can help direct us to the jam.

The next few posts will consider what we can do to teach these four key skills and how we can develop them in our teaching contexts.

For an overview of strategies that can be used to develop reciprocal reading see the blog post  Reading with Meaning

Have you tried reciprocal reading?  How do you organise it?

If you would like to experience reciprocal reading and find out more about the key skills come and join us on the 24th November.

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?

Updated Guided Reading Books

One of the most read posts on this blog is the list of books that were suggested for guided reading. However, it was brought to my attention that some of the books  are out of print or no longer available.  It therefore seemed like a good time to update the list and to add some of the new books that I have come across.  I am including those books that were on the previous list but are still available.  Where possible I have also tried to repeat authors at each level.  This means that children can experience an author more than once and can start to make links between their texts.

Books that might be suitable for level 3 (National Curriculum UK) readers:

  1. Spells by Emily Gravett
  2. The Cat Who got Carried Away by Allan Ahlberg
  3. Finding Fizz by J Alexander
  4. Dinner Ladies Don’t Count by Bernard Ashley
  5. Marvin Redpost – Why pick on me? by Louis Sachar
  6. The Boat by Helen Ward and Ian Andrew
  7. The Wolf’s Story by Toby Forward and Izhar Cohen
  8. War and Peas by Michael Foreman
  9. Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett
  10. I am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Christina Buntin
  11. P is for Pakistan by Shazia Razzak and Prodeepta Das (non-fiction)
  12. Traction Man is Here by Mini Grey
  13. Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  14. Shortcut by David Macaulay
  15. The Tunnel by Anthony Browne (level 3 to 5)
  16. Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne (level 3 to 5)
  17. Fair’s Fair by Leon Garfield
  18. Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine
  19. Thomas and the Tinners by Jill Paton Walsh

See the bookshere

Books that might be suitable for Level 4 (National Curriculum UK) Readers)

  1. Short by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  2. Smile by Geraldine McCaughrean
  3. Dust ‘n’ Bones – 10 Ghost Stories by Chris Mould
  4. Flotsam by David Wiesner
  5. The Emperor’s New Clothes by Naomi Lewis
  6. Acie Lacewing Bug Detective by David Biedrzycki
  7. Memorial by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan
  8. The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy
  9. Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
  10. Beowulf by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  11. Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocento
  12. Way Home by Libby Hathorne and Gregory Rogers
  13. Tower to the Sun by Colin Thompson
  14. Until I met Dudley: How everyday things really work by Roger McGough and Chris Riddell
  15. Outsiders by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  16. The Highway Man by Alfred Noyes and Charles Keeping
  17. Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstein (non-fiction)
  18. The Owl Tree by Jenny Nimmo
  19. The Fib and Other Stories by George Layton
  20. Secret Freinds by Elizabeth Laird
  21. Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
  22. Varjak Paw by SF Said
  23. Wicked World by Benjamin Zephiniah (poetry)
  24. The 18th Emergency by Betsy Byars
  25. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Selina Hastings
  26. Iron Man by Ted Hughes
  27. Eye of the Wolf by Baniel Pennac
  28. Mufarao’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

See the books here

Books that might be suitable for level 5 (National Curriculum UK) readers

  1. Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  2. There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar
  3. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  4. Clockwork by Philip Pullman
  5. The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan
  6. Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection selected by Michael Rosen
  7. Holes by Louis Sacher
  8. Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman
  9. Skellig by David Almond
  10. The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (I’ve put it here for children to really understand this book)

Varmints (part one) by Helen Ward and Marc Craste

This is a fairly dark story about what happens when we destroy nature.  As the buildings and ‘others’ take over the text becomes harder and harder to read – just as it becomes harder to hear in the story.  This is an interesting book telling a story that is occurring more and more frequently in children’s fiction.  The trailer for the film of the book that Marc Craste has made with STUDIOaka is excellent.

Definitely one to listen to without the images first to see what sort of story it suggests.  The camera angles are interesting  and worth exploring.

What I find most disturbing is that although nature seems to win through at the end it doesn’t really because the wild area is created in a glass dome rather than being a true ‘outside’ space.  The book reminds me of The Paradise Garden by Colin Thompson where the boy escapes the noise by visiting and staying in the park – or that is one reading of the story.  It also has some links with The Rabbits by john Marsden, illustrated by Shaun Tan who by the way would make a great author/illustrator study.

Other things worth exploring in the book are the use of light and dark and the use of  anthropomorphism.

Reviews of the book can be read here and here.

Let me know what you think.

Nearly 100 books for guided reading – NC levels 3 to 5

People often ask us for recommendations for books to use for guided reading so here is my top 100 list. This is a personal list and may well not contain your favourites.  Please add yours by leaving a comment.  The levels come from my experience of using the books with children and talking to teachers – you may feel differently about them.  Please let us know.

Level 3

  1. Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett
  2. The Jolly Postman by the Ahlbergs
  3. I am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Christina Bunting
  4. I is for India by Prodeepta Das (non-fiction)
  5. P is for Pakistan by Shazia Razzak and Prodeepta Das (non-fiction)
  6. Traction Man is Here by Mini Grey
  7. The Big Red Trouble by Carmen Harris
  8. Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
  9. Little Wolf’s Postbag by Ian Whybrow
  10. Mind Your Own Business by Michael Rosen (poetry)
  11. Amazon Diary: The Jungle Adventures of Alex Winters
  12. Shortcut by David Macaulay
  13. The Tunnel by Anthony Browne
  14. Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne
  15. Fair’s Fair by Leon Garfield
  16. Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine
  17. Thomas and the Tinners by Jill Paton Walsh
  18. Who’s Been Sleeping in my Porridge by Colin McNaughton

Level 4

  1. Seasons Songs by Ted Hughes (poetry)
  2. Beowulf by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  3. Beauty and the Beast by Geraldine McCaughrean
  4. Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocento
  5. Way Home by Libby Hathorne and Gregory rogers
  6. Black and White by David Macaulay
  7. The Paradise Garden by Colin Thompson
  8. Anno’s Aesop by Mitsuma Anno
  9. Until I met Dudley: How everyday things really work by Roger McGough and Chris Riddell
  10. Outsiders by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  11. Watertower by Gary Crew
  12. Prowlpuss by Gina Wilson
  13. The Highway Man by Alfred Noyes and Charles Keeping
  14. Crack Another Yolk by John Foster (poetry)
  15. Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstein (non-fiction)
  16. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
  17. the Owl Tree by Jenny Nimmo
  18. The Fib and Other Stories by George Layton
  19. Secret Freinds by Elizabeth Laird
  20. Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
  21. George – Don’t Do That by Joyce Grenfell
  22. Varjak Paw by SF Said
  23. Heard it in the Playground by Allan Ahlberg (poetry)
  24. Wicked World by Benjamin Zephiniah (poetry)
  25. Blue John by Berlie Doherty
  26. The 18th Emergency by Betsy Byars
  27. Blabbermouth by Morris Gleitzman
  28. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Selina Hastings
  29. The Knight and the Loathly Lady by Selina Hastings
  30. Iron Man by Ted Hughes
  31. Eye of the Wolf by Baniel Pennac
  32. Mufarao’s Beautiful Daughters by Johhn Steptoe

Level 5

  1. Clockwork by Philip Pullman
  2. Zinder Zunder by Philip Ridley
  3. Safe From Harm by Rollo Armstrong
  4. Beware Beware by Susan Hill
  5. The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan
  6. Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection selected by Michael Rosen
  7. What is the Truth? by Ted Hughes
  8. The Cantebury Tales retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
  9. Holes by Louis Sacher
  10. Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman
  11. Skellig by David Almond
  12. The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (I’ve put it here for children to really understand this book)


No Two People Read The Same Book

Book talk is one of the most important things that we can do with our children, be it at home as parents or in school as teachers.  It is the personal response to texts, how they make us feel, what we are puzzled by, the clues to the text that we are picking up on and the questions that we have.  If it is to be a ‘collaborative meaning for reaching’ then time and space must be given for all to share their thoughts and opinions.  What do you do to encourage book talk?