Hot and Cold
Level A

About the Book 

Text Type: Nonfiction/Factual Description
Page Count:
Word Count:

Book Summary
What types of things are hot? What types of things are cold? This repetitive text introduces the concepts of hot and cold while providing an opportunity for readers to visualize hot and cold, and use high-frequency words.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Visualize


  • Use the reading strategy of visualizing to understand text
  • Classify things that are hot and cold
  • Discriminate initial sounds
  • Identify initial consonants
  • Recognize and understand capitalization
  • Read and use letters to make high-frequency words


  • Book -- Hot and Cold (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Classify information, initial consonants, high-frequency words 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: can, be, or, A
  • Content words: things, hot, cold, place, food, people

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Invite students to close their eyes and think about something that is hot. Have them give a thumbs-up signal when they have the image or picture in their mind. When everyone has thought of something, have them quietly tell their neighbor what they thought of. Ask students to share what they pictured. Record their responses on the board.
  • Repeat the process for things that are cold. Record their responses on the board.
  • Help students sort the items on the hot and cold lists into things, places, or foods.

Book Walk

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 Hot and Cold. Have students predict what hot and cold items might be included in the book.
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name).

Introduce the Strategy: Visualize

  • Tell students that good readers often visualize, or picture in their mind, what a book might be about before they start reading. Explain that visualizing is based on what a person already knows about a topic. Ask students how visualizing about hot and cold might help readers understand and remember what they read.
  • Model how to visualize.
    Think-aloud: Whenever I read a book, I stop often to create a picture in my mind of what the author is describing. This helps me keep track of the important information, and it also helps me make sure I understand the ideas in the book. I know that good readers do this when they read, so I am going to visualize as I read this book.
  • Invite students to preview the rest of the book by looking at the pictures. Encourage students to share any questions they may have about hot and cold based on the pictures previewed.
  • 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 Vocabulary

  • While previewing the book, reinforce the vocabulary words students will encounter in the text. For example, while looking at the picture on page 4, you might say: A place can be hot; on page 7, you might say: A food can be cold.
  • Remind students that they can help themselves when they come to a tricky word by looking at the first letter and checking the picture to see what word might start like that sound or what word might make sense. For example, on page 6, model pointing under the F in Food. Say: I am going to help myself by looking at the picture and thinking about what the boy is eating that starts like /f/ (make /f/ sound). Does food make sense? Yes. The word is food.
  • For additional tips on teaching high-frequency words or word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read the book to find out more about hot and cold. Remind them to stop and visualize, or picture in their mind, different things that are hot and cold.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their books. Have them put a sticky note on page 7 and ask them to read to the end of that page. Encourage students who finish before everyone else to reread the text. When students are ready, discuss what types of things they have read about that are hot or cold (things, places, foods).
  • Use the text to model visualizing.
    Think-aloud: After I read page 4, I paused to visualize, or picture in my mind, different places that are hot. I pictured a sweltering desert and a steaming parking lot. Making pictures in my mind helped me make sure I understood what the author meant.
  • Have students share different hot and cold places they pictured while they were reading.
  • Ask students to read the remainder of the book. Remind them to stop after each page to visualize different types of hot and cold.

Have students make a question mark in their books beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. Encourage them to use the strategies they have learned to read and understand the word.

After Reading 

Reflect on the Reading Strategies

  • Ask students what words, if any, they marked in their books. Model how they can read these words.
  • Invite students to share examples of different things, places, foods, and people they visualized to help them understand the information in the book.

Teach the Comprehension Skill: Classify information

  • Discussion: Ask students to compare some of the examples of hot and cold in the book. Invite them to name things that are hot and things that are cold. Discuss how things that are hot might look, sound, feel, and smell. Discuss how things that are cold might look, sound, feel, and smell.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Tell students that one way to understand and remember new information is to organize the information in a chart. Draw a two-column flow chart on the board labeled Hot and Cold. Invite students to provide examples of different hot and cold things (the desert, a popsicle, a cup of hot chocolate, and so on).
  • Check for understanding: Use one or two examples from the discussion and have students determine whether the items belong in the Hot or the Cold column.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the classify information worksheet.

Build Skills 

Phonemic Awareness: Discriminate initial sound

  • Tell students you are going to say a group of words. Explain that you want them to listen and then tell which two words start with the same sound. Say: can, cold, food. Which two words begin with the same sound? (can, cold)
  • Continue with the following groups of words: car, fan, cab (car, cab); feet, hot, ham (hot, ham); fish, food, sun (fish, food); bat, gas, bed (bat, bed).

Phonics: Identify initial consonants

  • Write the words hot and cold on the board and underline the initial consonant of each word. Ask students to name each letter and to identify the first letter in each word.
  • Ask students to think of other words that start like hot and record them under hot. Have volunteers underline the first letter of each word. Repeat the process for cold, using examples of words that start like cold.
  • Introduce, explain, and have students complete the initial consonants worksheet.

Grammar and Mechanics: Capitalization

  • Review or explain that writers use a capital letter at the beginning of a new sentence.
  • Have students read pages 3 and 4 together as a group, identifying the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence.

Vocabulary: High-frequency words

  • Explain that several of the words in the book are used often in reading and writing. It is important to be able to read these words in order to concentrate on other tricky parts of reading and writing.
  • Ask students to identify some of the words in the book that are used often (can, be, or, A).
  • Introduce, explain, and have students complete the high-frequency words worksheet.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their books independently or with a partner. Encourage repeated timed readings of the book. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book to each other.

Home Connection

  • Give students their books to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends.

Extend the Reading 

Writing and Art Connection

  • Have each student draw a picture of something that is hot and a picture of something that is cold. Have them write a sentence to accompany each picture using the high-frequency pattern in the book: _____ can be hot/cold. Display the pictures and sentences on a class bulletin board.

Science Connection

  • Use a large, educational thermometer to discuss temperatures that are hot and cold. Guide students in a discussion about where they might place a thermometer to measure a hot temperature (in a sunny window, outside on a hot day, or near a radiator) and a cold temperature (outside on a cold day or in a refrigerator). Place the thermometers, check the temperatures at determined intervals (minutes or hours), and compare and discuss the temperature readings. As an extension, record temperatures on thermometer diagrams or on a graph.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • confidently use the reading strategy of visualizing to remember information in text
  • accurately classify information
  • distinguish words that start with the same sound
  • accurately identify initial consonants of words
  • understand and identify capital letters at the beginnings of sentences
  • understand that words used often in books and writing should be learned well so they can be read or written quickly

Comprehension Check

Go to Hot and Cold main page