Near and Far Away
Level B 

About the Book 

Text Type: Nonfiction
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 36

Text Summary
This simple leveled reader uses students' favorite subject—animals—to illustrate a crucial spatial relationship. Each animal is shown close-up and then farther away in its natural habitat. The simple, patterned text and beautiful photographs ensure that this book educates while it entertains. 

About the Lesson 

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Make, revise, and confirm predictions


  • Categorize information
  • Discriminate initial sounds
  • Identify words that start with f
  • Recognize and use antonyms/opposites


  • Book -- Near and Far Away (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Chart paper
  • Comprehension, phonics, vocabulary worksheets
  • Word journal (optional)

    Indicates an opportunity to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)


  • High-frequency words: is, this, that
  • Content words: lion, near, far, away, owl, wolf, deer

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Ask students to look around for things that are near to them. Provide an example, if necessary: Tammy is near to me.
  • Have students look around the room, or out the window, for things that are far away. Provide an example, if necessary: That tree is far away.

Book Walk

Introduce the Book

  • Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title with them. Ask what they might read about in a book called Near and Far Away. (Accept any answers students can justify.)
  • Show the students the title page. Discuss information on the page (title of book, author's name).
Introduce the Reading Strategy: Make, revise, and confirm predictions
  • Explain that good readers make predictions, or guesses, about what will happen in a story. Explain that making predictions can help people make decisions, solve problems, and learn new information. Emphasize that making predictions is more important than whether the prediction is right, or confirmed.
  • Model making a prediction about the book.
    Think-aloud: So far we have seen a horse, a cow, and a calf. I think this book is going to show me animals that are near and far away. I wonder if the book will show me wild animals or farm animals. I think it might show me both kinds of animals

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • Go through each page of the book with students, talking about the illustrations and using the vocabulary they will encounter in the text. For example, say: Which lion is near? Which lion is far away? Is this owl near? Is that owl far away?
  • Model for students the strategies they might use to work out words they don't know. Ask: Can someone find the word lion in the sentence on this page? How do you know the word is lion? Can you tell by looking at the first sound in the word and checking the picture? Let's read the sentence and see if the word lion makes sense.
  • For additional teaching tips on high-frequency words or word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read the book to confirm their predictions about the things that are near and that are far away.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their copy of the book. Have a volunteer point to the first word on page 3. Read the word together (This). Point out where to begin reading on each page. Remind students to read words from left to right. Point to each word as you read it aloud while students follow along in their own book.
  • Ask students to place a finger on the page number in the bottom corner of the 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 confirming your prediction.
    Think-aloud: I predicted that the book would tell me about animals that are near and far away. I also predicted that the animals would be both wild animals and farm animals. I now think all the animals, except the cow and horse, are going to be wild animals.
  • Have students share the prediction they made before reading the book and the outcome of that prediction. Then have them revise or make a new prediction about what might happen next in the book.
  • Have students read the remainder of the story.

    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 Reading Strategy

  • Ask students what words, if any, they marked in their books. Use this opportunity to model how they could read these words using word-attack strategies and context clues.
  • Ask students how making predictions helped them understand what was going on in the book.

Teach the Comprehension Skill: Categorize information

  • Discussion: Before students begin the worksheet, ask a volunteer to read a sentence from the book that tells something that is near. Then have another student read a sentence that tells something that is far away.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Show students the comprehension worksheet. Tell students that it can help them understand and remember the information in the book if they organize things on the chart.
  • Think-aloud: I can list things around me that are near in one column, and things that are far away in the other column. For example, right now the door to the classroom is near to me. But the door to my car is far from me.
  • Check for understanding: Guide students to find something that is near to them. Have them draw it or write the word, if they are able, in the first column. Then have them find something that is far away and draw or write this in the second column.
  • Independent practice: Give students the worksheet and have them complete it by drawing and/or writing things in the appropriate column that are near and far away. Have students share their worksheets.

    Extend the discussion: Instruct students to use the last page of their book to draw a picture showing an animal from the book or another animal that they would like to have near to them and the animal they would like to have far away from them. Have them write near and far away under the pictures.

Build Skills 

Phonological Awareness: Discriminate initial sounds

  • Say the following sentence, emphasizing the /f/ sound: This fish has fat funny fins. Then repeat the sentence and ask students to count the number of times they hear /f/. Repeat with the following sentence, emphasizing the /p/ sound: Polly and Pat put the purple and pink pan on the park bench.
  • Say the following words: pig, dot, dog. Have students repeat the words and tell you which of the words start with the same sound.
  • Have students listen to the following word groups as you say each group one at a time. Have them tell you which words start with the same sound: jam/juice/bug; rat/cat/run; big/ball/tan; sun/man/mouse; cat/kiss/fit; fig/feather/dog.

Phonics: Identify initial consonant Ff

  • Ask students to find a word on page 4 that starts with f. Have them read the word.
  • Have students count how many times they can find the word far in the book.
  • Ask students to brainstorm words that start with f while you record them on the board.
  • Have students complete the phonics worksheet.

Grammar and Mechanics: Initial capitalization

  • Write the following sentence on the board: This lion is near. Read the sentence aloud with students.
  • Underline the first word in the sentence. Write the lowercase t above the capital letter T in the word The on the board. Ask students to explain the difference between the letters.
  • Point to the first word in the sentence. Explain that it is a capital letter and that every sentence begins with a capital letter.
  • Ask volunteers to describe one of the animals in the book. Write the sentence(s) on the board, but do not capitalize the first letter. Have volunteers come to the board and change the first letter in each sentence to a capital letter. Have an alphabet chart with uppercase and lowercase letters available for students reference.

Vocabulary: Antonyms/Opposites

  • Explain to students that the word near means the opposite of far away. Then say the words up high and ask students what word means the opposite of up high.
  • Have students think of opposite pairs and take turns naming one word in the pair while the rest of the group thinks of its opposite.
  • Give students the vocabulary worksheet. Read the sentences with students and discuss what things could be up high, little, and so on. Then have them draw a picture for each sentence. Help them write the words in the blanks, and have each student read his/her sentences.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their book independently or with a partner. Partners can take turns reading in the book.

Home Connection

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

Extend the Reading 

Writing Connection

  • Write the following pattern on the board: This __________ is near. That _______ is far away.
  • Have students take turns reading the sentences and filling in words for the blanks.
  • Instruct students to select two things from their completed worksheet and write two sentences, using the pattern on the board. If they can't spell the things that are near and far away, have them draw pictures in place of the words.
  • Have students read their sentences to the group when they are finished.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • categorize words appropriately on the worksheet
  • differentiate initial sounds
  • brainstorm words that start with f
  • understand the concept of opposite and can supply antonym pairs

Comprehension Check

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