The Storm
Level E

About the Book

Text Type: Fiction/Realistic
Page Count: 12
Word Count: 104

Book Summary
The Storm takes the reader through the sights and sounds of a coming thunderstorm. The pictures and narrative text heightens the suspense.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect to prior knowledge


  • Use prior knowledge to make meaning from text
  • Sequence story events
  • Blend phonemes
  • Identify and read words with l-family blends
  • Recognize and understand the use of capital letters at the beginning of a sentence and in proper nouns
  • Place words in alphabetical order


  • Book -- The Storm (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Sequence events, l-family blends 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: around, stop, come
  • Content words: winds, blow, sky, clouds, lightning, thunder, rain, sun, darker, flashes, crashes, loudly, wildly, blowing

Before Reading

Build Background

  • Ask students to describe what happens during a thunderstorm. Ask them to tell what it was like before, during, and after the storm. Make a word web on the board and record adjectives they use to describe the storm.

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 The Storm. (Accept any answers students can justify.) Ask students to tell whether the pictures take place before, during, or after the storm.
  • 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 that good readers make connections between what they already know and new information they read. Remind students 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 front cover of The Storm, I see lots of clouds. The clouds appear dark in color. I've seen dark clouds in the sky. These clouds usually appear before a storm. Sometimes it seems as though the whole sky turns dark. I know that good readers think about what they already know about the topic of the book. This helps them read new words and understand what is happening in the story. I will think about what I know about storms and stormy weather as I read this book. This will help me understand the book and it 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 how they connected with prior knowledge.
  • 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: What do you see gathering in the sky? Point to the word gather on the page and read it. Then read the sentence. Ask students what the word gather means and if they can think of a synonym for the word.
  • As vocabulary words are mentioned, have students point to the corresponding word on the page. Remind them to look at the letters at the beginning and ending of the word, as well as familiar word parts, to say new words. For example, on page 5, say: I know this word says strong. The letters -ong appear in the word long. I know what sound this letter combination makes. The letters st appear at the beginning of the word storm. I know what sound this letter combination makes, too. I see that there is an r after the t in the word. When I blend all these sound together, I can say the word.
  • 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 think about what they know about storms as they read the book.

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 (Dark). 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 connecting to prior knowledge.
    Think-aloud: On page 4, I read how Tim and Pam run into the house. This reminds of rain storms I've seen. During these storms, heavy rain comes down. If you are outside, you get very wet. When I see dark clouds coming, I also move indoors.
  • 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 storms and stormy weather 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: On page 8, I read about the thunder. When I see lightning, I know that thunder usually follows. Sometimes the thunder is so powerful that it feels like the house is shaking. It reminds me of a very loud rumble of a hungry stomach. Using what I already know about storms and stormy weather made it easier for me to read the book. I could recognize the people in the pictures and this helped me to read the words.
  • Discuss how using what they already know about storms and stormy weather 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: Sequence events

  • Discussion: Ask students to share how this storm was similar to and different from a storm that they have experienced.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Tell students that a story is a series of events that happen in a particular order. First one thing happens, then something else, and so on. Explain that the order in which the events happen is called the sequence. Point out the sequence in this story.
  • Think-aloud: In this story, the storm happened in a certain way. The first thing that happened was that the dark clouds came. Next, strong winds began to blow. I don't include all the details of the story as I would in a retelling, such as Tim and Pam running into the house. I only tell the most important events in order to tell how the storm happened.
  • Check for understanding: Have students share the sequence of events through the end of the story. If necessary, use the pictures in the book as a guide.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the sequence events worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Instruct students to use the last page of their book to write about or draw a picture of something that happens during a rainstorm. Ask students to share their picture with the group.

Build Skills

Phonological Awareness: Blend sounds

  • Say the word cloud by segmenting it into its individual sounds: /k/ /l/ /ou/ /d/. Tell students that you can tell what the word is by blending the sounds together to say the whole word: cloud.
  • Say the following words to students: wind, storm, sky, house. Pause after saying each word so that students can blend the sounds together to say each word.

Phonics: L-family blends

  • Write the word cloud on the board and read it with students. Underline the cl and explain that the sounds of these letters blend together to stand for the /kl/ sound. Ask students to say the blend. Explain to them that cl is one of the blends in the group of l-family blends.
  • Have students look on page 5 to see if they can find another word with an l-family blend (blow).
  • Repeat with the word flashes on page 7.
  • Write the following blends on the board: bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl. Say each blend with students. Have students brainstorm words that begin with each blend. Write each word under the appropriate blend.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the l-family blends worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Grammar and Mechanics: Capitalization

  • Write the sentences from page 4 of the book on the board. Read them aloud with students.
  • Circle the letter at the beginning of each sentence. Ask students what they notice about these letters. Explain that all sentences begin with a capital letter. It is a signal that lets readers know a new sentence is beginning.
  • Underline the T in the word Tim. Explain to students that writers also use a capital letter at the beginning of a name. Review or explain that these special naming words are called proper nouns.
  • Write the following sentence on the board: we saw pat. Ask volunteers to identify the words that need a capital letter and why (we is at the beginning of the sentence; Pat is the name of a person).

Check for understanding: Have students circle all the proper nouns in their book and underline the capital letter at the beginning of each sentence.

Word Work: Alphabetical order

  • Write the words sky and wind on the board. Underline the first letter in each word. Ask students what letter comes first in the alphabet: s or w.
  • Review or explain that words are sometimes placed in a list by ABC, or alphabetical, order. Words are placed in alphabetical order by looking first at the initial letter in each word and deciding which letter comes first in the alphabet. Explain that sky would come first in an alphabetical list.
  • List the following content vocabulary words out of order on the board: winds, blow, sky, clouds, lightning, thunder, rain. Have students write the words in alphabetical order on a separate piece of paper. When they have finished, discuss their answers.

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 Connection
Have students observe the weather outside. As a group, write a descriptive passage about the weather. You may want to use the cumulative pattern of the story. For example: White fluffy clouds move across the sun. White fluffy clouds move across the sun, and a shadow covers the playground.

Science Connection
Provide newspapers and magazines students can use to cut out pictures of different types of weather, paste on construction paper, and label. Discuss weather-related vocabulary and provide a list on the board: rainstorm, tornado, hurricane, blizzard, drought, snowstorm, flood, and tropical storm. Talk about current weather events such as hurricanes, drought, or tornadoes.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • apply what they know about rainstorms as they read the text
  • consistently connect prior knowledge to text during discussion
  • correctly sequence the events in the book
  • correctly blend together sounds in words
  • accurately identify words with l-family blends during discussion and on a worksheet
  • correctly capitalize proper nouns and words at the beginning of a sentence during discussion
  • correctly place words in alphabetical order on a separate piece of paper

Comprehension Checks

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