The Classroom
Level aa

About the Book 

Text Type: Nonfiction/Factual Description
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 20 

Book Summary
The Classroom provides an overview of several familiar classroom objects. Photographs establish one-to-one correspondence and support readers who are learning to look at print.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect to prior knowledge


  • Use the reading strategy of connecting to prior knowledge to understand text
  • Classify information
  • Discriminate initial sound /b/
  • Identify initial consonant (b)
  • Recognize and understand that nouns are naming words
  • Recognize and write the high-frequency word the


  • Book -- The Classroom (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Index cards
  • Picture cards, classify information, initial consonant b, nouns 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 word: the
  • Content words: backpack, book, classroom, chair, desk, eraser, paper, pencil

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Write the words the classroom on the board and point to each word as you
    read it aloud to students. Repeat the process and have students say the words aloud.
  • Ask students to share what they think of when they hear the words the classroom. Discuss their responses.

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 The Classroom. (Accept any answer students can justify.)
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name).

Introduce the Reading Strategy: Connect to prior knowledge

  • Explain that good readers think about what they already know about a topic as
    they read.
  • Model connecting to prior knowledge using information found on the covers.
    I see a teacher reading to her students on the front cover. I know this is something that happens in my classroom. I also know that my classroom has books in it for students and teachers to read.
  • Show students the title page. Encourage them to use their prior knowledge of a classroom to discuss the objects on the page. Ask open-ended questions to facilitate the discussion: What objects are on the page? Why are these objects in a book about a classroom? What are the objects used for?
  • 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: Classify information

  • Place the classification picture cards worksheet in a pocket chart or along the chalkboard ledge. Explain that sorting information into groups helps readers think about and remember what they read.
  • Model how to classify information.
    Think-aloud: As I thought about how to group these objects, I started by asking myself what they have in common. When I looked at the pictures, I noticed that the airplane and bike are both things people use for transportation. I will group these pictures on the board under the heading Transportation.
  • Ask students what other objects can be sorted into the group labeled Transportation. Have them explain why each object belongs in that group.
  • Have volunteers suggest ways to sort the remaining pictures into groups and explain why each object belongs in that group.

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • Show students the following objects: chair, desk, book, paper, pencil, eraser, and backpack. As students name objects, write the words on large index cards (pencil, desk, and so on). Encourage a student to write the initial sound of each word on the card. Have volunteers place each card on its corresponding object. When finished, have the class read the words aloud as you point to each word and object.
  • Remind students to use the first letter and the pictures to figure out words when they read. For example, show the picture on page 4 and model pointing under the d in desk. Say: I am going to look at the picture and think about what we use in the classroom that starts like /d/. Does desk make sense? Yes. The word is desk.
  • For tips on teaching word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read to find out about the objects used in the classroom. Remind them to think about what they know about things they use in the classroom as they read the book.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Show students the book. Point out the words on the pages in the book. Explain that the words on the pages are read from left to right. Ask a student to come up and point to where students should start reading and which direction they go as they read.
  • Give students their books. Turn to page 3. Point out the word the and have them point to it in their books and say it aloud. Explain that this word repeats throughout the book. Ask students what word comes after the. Remind them to use letter and picture clues to identify words.
  • Point to the numbers at the bottom of the page. Have students read to the end of page 6. Invite students to share how they connected with what they already knew about a classroom as they read.
  • Model connecting to prior knowledge.
    Think-aloud: I know that some of the things students use every day in the classroom are books, paper, chairs, and desks. When I looked at the pictures and thought about what I know, reading the book was easier for me.
  • Encourage students to continue connecting to what they already know about objects in a classroom as they read. Have students read the remainder of
    the book.
  • Check for understanding: Check for student understanding of the strategy and the skill by asking questions such as: What do you know about a chair? How is a chair used? How is it used in this book? How would you group or classify the items you have read about?

    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.

After Reading 

Reflect on the Reading Strategy

  • Ask students what words they marked in their book. Model how they can read these words.
  • Have students share examples of how they connected with one of the classroom objects in the book.
  • Think-aloud: When I read page 9, I thought about the backpack I use to carry my own schoolwork. I also thought about how a backpack makes carrying things to school and to my house easier. Connecting to something I know made reading that page easy for me. It helped me think about all the objects in the classroom I use every day.

Reflect on the Comprehension Skill

  • Discussion: Ask students to close their eyes and picture four things they use in the classroom. Have them open their eyes and draw each item on an index card. Have a volunteer name his or her pictures and discuss how those classroom items might be sorted into groups. Invite students to generate other ways the items might be sorted.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the classify information worksheet.

    Extend the discussion: Invite students to discuss how the objects they use in the classroom are similar to or different from those in the book. Ask: If you were the author of The Classroom, what would you have included in the book? Have students use the front inside cover of their book to draw a picture of a classroom object they would have included in the book. Have them write the item below the picture using the high-frequency word: The ________.

Build Skills 

Phonemic Awareness: Discriminate initial /b/

  • Explain that you are going to say a word from the book. Say book and emphasize the initial /b/ sound.
  • Choose a variety of classroom objects, such as crayons, tape, glue, bin, bell, desk, ball, and scissors. Group the objects in sets of two: crayons, bell; tape, ball; glue, bin; and so on. Point to each object one at a time and have a volunteer say the name of the object. Have volunteers identify the word in each pair that begins with the same initial sound as in book.
  • Check for understanding: Say the following words one at a time: clock, bus, duck, box, fan, hat, bee, soap, bat, top, bin. Have students show a thumbs-up sign for each word that begins with the /b/ sound.

Phonics: Identify initial consonant (b)

  • Write the word book on the board. Underline the initial consonant (b). Ask students to think of other words that start like book. Write the word bus on the board. Have students say the word aloud with you. Ask a volunteer to identify the first sound in the word. Write the letter b on the board. Explain that the letter b stands for the first sound they hear in the word bus.
  • Explain that you are going to write some new words on the board. Choose decodable words that begin with the letter b, such as bat and bag. Have volunteers trace the initial consonant in each word with their finger as they say the sound the letter makes.
  • Check for understanding: Point out names of people or things in the classroom that begin with the letter b (for example, ball, bell, bin, boy, Bob). After each word is said, have a volunteer write the letter on the board that stands for the first sound. Have the remaining students trace the letter on their hand with their pointer finger.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the initial consonant b worksheet.

Grammar and Mechanics: Identify naming words (nouns)

  • Show students pictures of a person, a place, and a thing. Write the headings person, place, and thing on the board. Explain that some words they read name a person, a place, or a thing. These words are called nouns. Ask volunteers to identify the pictures and decide which heading they go under.
  • Have students turn to page 9 in their book. Invite them to read the sentence together, pointing to the words. Ask them to point to the naming word in the sentence (backpack). Have a volunteer explain whether a backpack names a person, a place, or a thing. Write backpack under the heading thing.
  • Check for understanding: Have students identify people that could have been written into the book. Ask for examples of places and things found in a school. Have students explain whether the word is a person, a place, or a thing. Write each word under the appropriate heading on the board.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the nouns worksheet.

Vocabulary: High-frequency word the

  • Explain that some words are in many of the books we read. Write the word the on the board and have students say the word aloud. Model fluent writing on the board or chart paper. Say: When I know how to write a word well, I can write it big (write the using large but readable letters), I can write it small, I can write it here (one corner of the board) and there (another portion of the board). When I point to the words, I can read them easily. Let's read the words together (point to each word and have students repeat them).
  • Show students classroom objects of the same type (for example, pencils, books). Hold up and identify each object using the word the (the pencil, the book). Explain to students that the word the tells which object someone is identifying.
  • Check for understanding: Ask volunteers to point to and identify objects in the classroom using the word the (the flag, the door, and so on). Have students use individual dry erase boards or paper to write or draw the name of the object, preceding the name with the word the. For students needing additional support, use magnetic letters to have them build the word, trace the word with their pointer finger, and then write the word.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their books independently or with a partner. Encourage repeated timed readings of a specific section in 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. Encourage students to sort objects in their home with someone at home.

Extend the Reading 

Writing and Art Connection
Have students choose a place familiar to them to write a class book based on The Classroom (The Grocery Store, The Post Office, The Park, and so on). Have each student draw an item found at the place chosen on piece of 9 x 13 construction paper and write a sentence at the bottom of the page using the pattern The _______. Compile the pages as a big book and use the book for shared reading. Use the big book to review naming words and reinforce the high-frequency word the.

Math Connection
Create a graph based on the question: What do you like using most in the classroom? Have students draw their item on a 3 x 3 piece of paper. Have them place their pictures on the floor or on a chart paper graph. Count each column to figure out and discuss which object has the most, least, and same number of drawings. Identify the number in each column.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • accurately and consistently connect to prior knowledge to understand text
  • accurately classify information during discussion and on a worksheet
  • accurately discriminate the initial /b/ sound during discussion
  • identify and write the letter b on a worksheet
  • identify nouns and discriminate between words that name a person, a place, and a thing during discussion; identify and write nouns on a worksheet
  • read, write, and understand the use of the high-frequency word the

Comprehension Check

Go to "The Classroom" main page