About the Book
Text Type: Nonfiction/Informational
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 128
This book informs students about many animals that live in the mountains. Students will learn that both small and big animals live in the mountains. Repetitive text and supportive illustrations make this book great for early readers.
About the Lesson
Targeted Reading Strategy
- Use the reading strategy of visualizing to understand text
- Identify main idea and details
- Discriminate final consonant /s/ sound
- Identify final consonant Ss
- Recognize and use adjectives
- List words in alphabetical order
- Book -- In the Mountains (copy for each student)
- Chalkboard or dry erase board
- Main idea and details, adjectives, alphabetical order worksheets
Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)
- High-frequency words: big, does, yes
- Content words: animals, anything, chipmunk, furry, gray, hungry, live(s), many, mountains, proud, sly, small, squirrel, striped, strong
- Write the word mountains on the board and point to the word as you read it aloud to students. Repeat the process and have students say the word aloud.
- Ask students to tell what they know about mountains. Explain that a mountain is a tall mass of land that rises above the ground and that many animals live in the mountains.
- Encourage students to tell the kinds of animals they think might live in the mountains. Invite them to name an animal that they think does not live in the mountains.
Introduce the Book
- Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title with them. Ask what they think they might read about in a book called In the Mountains. (Accept all answers that students can justify.)
- Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author 's name, illustrator's name).
Introduce the Reading Strategy: Visualize
- Explain to students that good readers often visualize, or make pictures in their mind, as they read. Readers often use what they already know about a topic to make the pictures in their mind.
- Read page 3 aloud to students. Model how to visualize.
Think-aloud: When I read a book, I pause after a few pages or after reading a description of something to create a picture in my mind of the information I have just read. This helps me understand the book. For example, when I read the description of the chipmunk, I pictured a small animal the size of a large pinecone. I pictured black stripes running all the way down its back.
- Read page 4 aloud to students. Invite them to share what they visualized when they heard the page read aloud.
- As students read, encourage them to use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.
Introduce the Comprehension Skill: Main idea and details
- Explain to students that every book has a big, or main, idea, which is what the book is mostly about. Read the title to students. Explain that the title often provides clues about the book 's main idea. Invite students to share predictions about the main idea of this book.
- Explain to students that the main idea of this book is: Many animals live in the mountains. Write the following sentence on the board: Many animals live in the mountains. Point to each word as you read the sentence aloud with students.
- Model how to identify details.
Think-aloud: I know that every book has details that help explain the main idea. I know that this book is about animals that live in the mountains. On page 3, I read about a chipmunk. A chipmunk is an animal, and it lives in the mountains. So, it is a detail that supports the main idea. It is an animal that lives in the mountains.
- Review page 4 with students. Ask students to identify an animal on the page that supports the main idea.
Introduce the Vocabulary
- While previewing the book, reinforce the vocabulary words students will encounter in the book. For example, while looking at the picture on page 6, you might say: A small sly fox lives in the mountains. Does anything else live in the mountains?
- Remind students to look at the picture and the letters with which a word begins or ends to figure out a difficult word. For example, point to the word eagle on page 7 and say: I am going to check the picture and think about what would make sense to figure out this word. The picture shows a large bird standing next to a nest high up on a cliff. When I look at the first part of the word, I see that it has the vowels e and a next to each other. I know that two vowels next to each other often stand for a long vowel sound. This word might begin with the long /e/ sound. When I think about names of birds that begin with the long /e/ sound, the word eagle comes to mind. The sentence makes sense with this word. The word must be eagle.
- For additional tips on teaching high-frequency words and word-attack strategies, click here.
Set the Purpose
- Have students read to find out what kinds of animals live in the mountains. Remind them to visualize and think about the details that support the main idea as they read.
- Guide the reading: Give students their copy of the book. Ask them to place a finger on the number in the bottom corner of a page. Have them read to the end of page 6, using their finger to point to each word as they read. Encourage students who finish before others to reread the text.
- Model visualizing.
Think-aloud: When I read the description of the rabbit on page 5, I pictured a small furry animal with long ears sticking straight up in the air. I pictured it hiding under bushes from bigger mountain animals.
- Invite students to share what they visualized as they read.
- Review the main idea of the book: Many animals live in the mountains. Ask students to explain whether or not rabbit is a detail that supports the main idea of the book and why (yes, a rabbit is a kind of animal that lives in the mountains).
- Introduce and explain the main idea and details worksheet. Write the word rabbit on the board. Have students write the word and draw a picture that represents the word rabbit in one of the spaces on their worksheet. Invite students to tell another animal from their reading that supports the main idea. Have students write and draw a picture of that animal on their worksheet.
- Check for understanding: Have students read to the end of page 8. Encourage them to share what they visualized as they read. (Accept all answers that show students understand how to visualize.)
- Ask students to think about other details they read that support the main idea that Many animals live in the mountains. Have them choose one of the details to draw on their worksheet. Ask them to label their drawing using the word from the book. Have students share the detail they drew and wrote about.
- Have students read the remainder of the book. Remind them to use what they already know about animals that live in the mountains to help them visualize and understand new information as they read.
Have students make a small question mark in their book beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.
Reflect on the Reading Strategy
- Ask students what words, if any, they marked in their book. Use this opportunity to model how they can read these words using decoding strategies and context clues.
- Think-aloud: When I read page 9, I thought about the mountains and the animals that live there. I pictured a large, round bear pushing its way through the bushes as it looks for food. I also pictured the other small animals that I read about in the book. I learned that both small and big animals live in the mountains.
- Have students share what they visualized as they read about the small and big animals that live in the mountains.
- Ask students to explain how visualizing helped them to understand and remember the information in the book.
Reflect on the Comprehension Skill
- Discussion: Read the main idea on the board with students. Review the details students drew on their worksheet. Invite them to explain why each of the details on their worksheet matches the main idea of the story.
- Independent practice: Have students complete the main idea and details worksheet. If time allows, discuss their responses.
- Enduring understanding: In this book, you learned that both small and big animals live in the mountains. Now that you know this information, what kinds of animals might live on the forest or the desert?
Phonological Awareness: Discriminate final consonant /s/ sound
- Say the word mountains aloud to students, emphasizing the final /s/ sound. Have students say the word aloud and then say the /s/ sound.
- Read page 10 aloud to students. Have them raise their hand when they hear a word that ends with the /s/ sound.
- Check for understanding: Say the following words one at a time and have students give the thumbs-up signal if the word ends with the /s/ sound: animals, many, small, yes, lives.
Phonics: Final consonant Ss
- Write the word mountains on the board and say it aloud with students. Have students say the /s/ sound aloud. Then run your finger under the letters in the word as students say the whole word aloud. Ask students which letter represents the /s/ sound at the end of the word mountains.
- Check for understanding: Write the following words that end with the /s/ sound on the board, leaving off the final consonant s: trees, rabbits, eagles. Say each word, one at a time, and have volunteers come to the board and add the final s to each word.
Grammar and Mechanics: Adjectives
- Have students turn to page 3, and read the first sentence aloud to them. Ask them which words describe the chipmunk (small and striped). Review or explain that there are special words that describe people, places, or things. These words are called adjectives.
- Have students turn to page 4, and read the first sentence aloud to them. Ask students which words describe the squirrel (small and gray).
Check for understanding: Have students reread the book, find the adjectives that describe each animal, and underline them.
- Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the adjectives worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.
Word Work: Alphabetical order
- Review or explain to students that words are sometimes placed in a list by alphabetical order. Words are placed in alphabetical order by first looking at the beginning letter in each word and then deciding which letter comes first in the alphabet.
- Write the words hungry and big on the board. Underline the first letter in each word. Ask students which letter comes first in the alphabet, h or b. Explain that the word big would come first in an alphabetical list.
- Write the words hungry and proud on the board. Have students identify the initial letter in each word (h and p).
- Ask students to identify which letter comes first in the alphabet (h). Explain that the word hungry would come first in an alphabetical list.
- Check for understanding: List the following words on the board: big, small, hungry, proud, gray. Have students write the words in alphabetical order on a separate piece of paper. When they have finished, discuss their answers.
- Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the alphabetical order worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.
- Allow students to read their book independently or with a partner. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book to each other.
- Give students their book to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends. Have them identify the main idea and details of the book to someone at home.
Extend the Reading
Expository Writing and Art Connection
Have students draw a picture of an animal that lives near them. Have them write a description of the animal and where it lives. Reinforce adjectives and high-frequency words. Collect the pictures and create a class book titled In Our Neighborhood.
For detailed lessons on teaching types of writing, click here.
Make a two-column chart on the board or on chart paper. Discuss with students the sizes of the animals in the book. Write the animal names under the heading Small or Big. Continue the discussion with students and list other small and big animals.
Monitor students to determine if they can:
- consistently visualize to understand text
- accurately identify the main idea and details during discussion and on a worksheet
- correctly discriminate between words that end with the /s/ sound during discussion
- accurately identify and write the letter symbol that represents the /s/ sound during discussion
- correctly identify and use adjectives during discussion and on a worksheet
- correctly place words in alphabetical order during discussion and on a worksheet
Go to "In the Mountains" main page