Level D

About the Book

Text Type: Nonfiction/Descriptive
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 113

Book Summary
A girl uses every sense to enjoy the beauty of a garden. Lovely illustrations bring the sensory details to life. Readers learn to observe and experience the world around them as fully as possible.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect to prior knowledge


  • Use the strategy of connecting to prior knowledge to understand the text
  • Classify information
  • Blend sounds in words heard orally
  • Associate the letter Bb with the sound /b/
  • Identify words that describe
  • Identify synonyms


  • Book -- Senses (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Counters
  • Classify information, initial consonant Bb, adjectives worksheets
  • Word journal (optional)

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: I, use, to, my
  • Content words: senses, eyes, see, ears, hear, nose, smell, fingers, touch, tongue, taste, bees, birds, flowers, caterpillar, berries, garden

Before Reading

Build Background

  • Tell students to close their eyes as you tap a pencil on the desk. Ask them to guess what you are doing without opening their eyes. Ask students how they know what you are doing (they are hearing). Ask them what part of the body they use to hear (ears).
  • Tell students to keep their eyes closed as you spray a room freshener. Ask them to guess what you are doing without opening their eyes. Ask students how they know what you are doing (they are hearing and smelling). Ask them what parts of the body they used to hear and smell (ears, nose).
  • Ask students to identify the five senses. Have them share how our senses allow us to learn about the world in which we live.

Book Walk

Introduce the Book
  • Show students the front cover of the book and read the title with them. Ask them what they might read about in a book called Senses. (Accept any answers students can justify.) Ask students what the girl in the picture might be doing and which of the five senses she might be using.
  • Show students the back cover. Ask them what the girl is doing and which sense she is using. Ask students what other senses the girl might use in the book and for what purpose she might use them.
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name, illustrator's name).
Introduce the Reading Strategy: Connect to prior knowledge
  • Explain to students that good readers make connections between what they already know and new information they read. Remind them that thinking about what they already know about the topic of the book will help them understand what they read.
  • Model connecting to prior knowledge using the information on the covers.
  • Think-aloud: When I look at the covers, I see a girl using her ears to hear a bird sing and her finger to touch a caterpillar. She appears to be outside. I know that our senses help us to understand the world around us. This reminds me of when I see flowers outside. I stop to smell them. I look at all their beautiful colors. Sometimes I touch their soft petals. Using my senses helps me remember the flowers. I know about how I use my own five senses, so this will help me understand what the little girl in the book is doing and how she might be feeling. Thinking about what I know might also help me read some new words.
  • Have students preview the pictures on the covers and title page in the book. Have them tell about their experiences with the helpers they see in the pictures.
  • Have students read the remainder of the book. Remind them to think about what they already know about senses as they read.
  • 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
  • Use the book walk as an opportunity to introduce unfamiliar vocabulary to students and to model any difficult language patterns. For example, on page 3, ask: How might the little girl learn about things? What do you think she might be telling us on this page? On page 4, ask: How does she use her eyes? What does she see?
  • As vocabulary words are mentioned, have students point to the corresponding word to help them make the picture/word connection. For example, on page 4, ask: Which word says birds and which word says bees? Reinforce that both words start with /b/ but that they can tell by looking at the middle sounds. Point out that they can hear the /d/ sound in the word birds.
  • Encourage students to add the new vocabulary words to their word journals.
  • For additional tips on teaching high-frequency words or word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read to find out more about using the five senses. Remind them to think about what they already know about their senses as they read.

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 (I). 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 5, using their finger to point to each word as they read. Encourage students who finish before others to reread the text.
  • Model using prior knowledge to make connections to the text.
    Think-aloud: When I read about bees, I thought about the buzzing noise they make as they fly around me. Whenever I hear this sound, I know that bees are nearby. Knowing about the sounds bees make helped me recognize the word buzzing on page 5, and I knew that word made sense in the sentence.
  • Invite students to share how they connected with what they already know as they read.
  • Have students read the remainder of the book. Remind them to use what they already know about their five senses to help them 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.

After Reading

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 8, I thought about other foods I've eaten that are sweet. It reminded me of the sweet taste of raspberries and apples. I also thought about foods that are not sweet. I thought about the sour taste of lemons and limes and how my lips pucker when I eat them. Using what I already know about our senses helped me understand what the book was about. I was also interested in reading the book because I already knew something about the topic.
  • Discuss with students how using what they already knew about the five senses helped them understand what they read. Invite students to share how they connected to prior knowledge as they read.
  • Discuss additional strategies students used to gain meaning from the book.  

Teach the Comprehension Skill: Classify information

  • Discussion: Ask students to identify additional things the girl could see, hear, touch, taste, and/or smell outside.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Remind students that the book is about different kinds of senses. Write the word Senses on the board. Tell students that there are five senses that belong to the group called Senses. Have students list the senses and write them on the board.
  • Explain that sorting information into groups helps readers think about and remember what they read. Draw pictures of a lemon on the board. Model how to classify information.
    Think-aloud: As I thought about how to group these things, I started by asking myself what they have in common. More than one sense is often used to describe an object. For example, I can see a lemon, smell a lemon, touch a lemon, and taste a lemon. But, I cannot hear a lemon. The most common thing we do with a lemon is taste it. Write the word lemon under the heading Taste on the board.
  • Check for understanding: Ask students under which heading they would place a clock. Have them support their decision.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the classify information worksheet. If time allows, discuss their responses.

  Extend the discussion: Instruct students to use the last page of the book to draw a picture of themselves using one of the five senses. Have students share their pictures with the group and have them guess which of the five senses has been illustrated.

Build Skills

Phonological Awareness: Blend sounds

  • Give each student four counters and have them place them in a pile in front of them. Model pushing up a counter into a line for each of the three sounds in the word. Repeat the word. Have students push up their counters for each sound and have them blend the sounds together to say the word.
  • Repeat the above process with the following words: five, go, sweet, see, bird, smell, touch.

Phonics: Initial consonant Bb

  • Write the letter Bb on the board and ask students to tell you the name of the letter and what sound it stands for.
  • Have them turn to page 4 and reread the page. Ask them which words on the page start with the /b/ sound (birds, bees). Have them put their finger on the letter that stands for the /b/ sound in each word.
  • Repeat the process on page 5 (birds, bees, buzzing).
  • Write the following words on the board, leaving off the initial consonant: bet, bin, bat, bop, but. Say each word aloud to students. Have volunteers come to the board and add the initial consonants to the word. Have students to say each completed word.
  • Have students practice writing the letter Bb on a separate piece of paper while saying the sound the letter represents.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the initial consonant Bb worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Grammar and Mechanics: Adjectives

  • Have students turn to page 6 and reread the page. Ask them what the flowers are like and which word tells them this. Explain to students that the word pretty is a word that describes what the flowers look like.
  • Repeat with the word fuzzy on page 7 and sweet on page 8.
  • Have students give examples of other words that could be used to describe what things look, feel, smell, sound, and taste like.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the adjectives worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Word Work: Synonyms

  • Explain or review that there are words that mean the same or almost the same as other words. Ask students what other words might mean the same thing as pretty and be used to describe the flowers (lovely, beautiful, gorgeous, and so on). Explain that these words are synonyms for the word pretty.
  • Write the words small and large on the board. One at a time, point to each word as you use it in an oral sentence. Ask students to think of synonyms for each word. Have them use each synonym in an oral sentence.

Build Fluency

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their book independently. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book to each other.

Home Connection

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

Extend the Reading

Writing and Art Connection
Write the following sentences on the board: I am at the ___; I see ____; I hear_____; I smell _____; I touch_____; I taste____. Brainstorm a list of places where students use their senses (circus, sporting event, birthday party, swimming pool, holiday, zoo). Give each student three pieces of paper folded and stapled. On the front cover, help students write the place as the title, such as At the Zoo. Tell students to copy one sentence from the board on each page of the book and to fill in the blank. Have them use invented spelling or dictate their ideas. Ask students to illustrate each page in their book. Invite them to read their book aloud.

Science Connection
Prepare a center with objects that students can examine using their five senses. The center might include a "feely" box, canisters with different smells, instruments for making noise, a kaleidoscope or other interesting items to observe, and dried fruits to taste. Create a log for students to record their findings.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • use what they know about their senses as they discuss and read the book
  • organize information from the book on a graphic organizer
  • correctly blend sounds in words during discussion
  • read simple CVC words with the /b/ sound; associate the letter Bb with the /b/ sound during discussion and on a worksheet
  • locate adjectives in the book and suggest other words that can be used to describe things; identify adjectives on a worksheet
  • name words that are synonyms for words during discussion

Comprehension Checks

Go to "Senses" main page