How Do They Move?
Level F

About the Book

Text Type: Nonfiction/Informational
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 179

Book Summary
How Do They Move? is an informational book that explains the ways in which a variety of animals move. Readers are presented with word and picture clues that help them identify the animals illustrated on each page. The repetitive word pattern, simple sentence structure, and use of high-frequency vocabulary make this an enjoyable book for early readers.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect to prior knowledge


  • Use the strategy of connecting to prior knowledge to understand the text
  • Classify information
  • Segment phonemes
  • Read words with s-family blends
  • Identify and use pronouns
  • Place words in alphabetical order


  • Book -- How Do They Move? (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Classify information, alphabetical order worksheets
  • Word journal (optional)

 Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if you choose not to have students mark the books.)


  • High-frequency words: how, they, these, have, for, name, them, many
  • Content words: animals, strong, legs, wings, fins, flippers, arms

Before Reading

Build Background

  • Have students name some familiar animals while you record them on the board. Ask them to demonstrate how these different animals move. Have students name the movement and record their ideas next to each animal's name.

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 How Do They Move? (Accept any answers students can justify.) Ask if the picture on the back cover looks anything like the picture they made in their mind during the Build Background discussion.
  • 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, I see a frog. I know that frogs use their legs to jump from place to place. I also see a picture of a bug with wings. This reminds me of other living things I've seen with wings, such as birds. I know that these animals use their wings to fly from place to place. I will think about animals and how they move as I read. Thinking about what I know might help me read new words.
  • Have students preview the pictures on the covers and title page in the book. Have them share how they connected with prior knowledge.
  • As students read, they should 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
  • As you preview the book with students, introduce any vocabulary that might be difficult for students.
  • Model reading strategies. Point to the word hopping on page 3 and say: This is kind of a big word, but I recognize that the word has the ending -ing. I also recognize the little word hop in this word. This makes it easy for me to read the word: hopping. I will read the sentence using the word hopping to see if it makes sense. Looking for endings and parts I know in words is a good strategy to figure out unfamiliar words. Then I use the word in the sentence to check whether or not it makes sense.
  • 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 how animals move. Remind them to think about what they already know to help them understand what they are reading.

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 (Animals). 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 page 5, I thought about spiders I have seen. Spiders have eight legs. They use their legs to move around on the ground. They can also move up walls.
  • 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 animals and how they move 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: As I read page 8, I thought about fish I've seen swimming under the water. They have fins on the side of their body. They move their fins back and forth to help them move through the water. Using what I already know helped me understand this part of the book.
  • Discuss with students how using what they already knew about animals and how they move 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 explain the similarities and differences between the animals in the book.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Tell students that the book was about different animals, where they move, and how they move there. Explain that sorting information into groups helps readers think about and remember what they read. Ask students to tell where animals move (land, water, air). Write these headings on the board. Model how to classify information.
  • Think-aloud: As I thought about how to group the animals in the book, I started by asking myself what they have in common. Some of these animals move on land, some move in the air, and some move in the water. I know that the zebra, lion, and giraffe have legs that allow them to move on land. However, a bat and a seagull have wings that allow them to move through the air. Write the animals from the discussion under the appropriate headings on the board.
  • Check for understanding: Ask students to identify other animals from the book and tell in which of the above groups they belong. Write the names on the board under the correct headings.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the classify information worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Instruct students to color their favorite animal on each page.

Build Skills

Phonological Awareness: Segment phonemes

  • Say the word land by segmenting it into its individual sounds: /l/ /a/ /n/ /d/. Tell students that the word has four sounds. Have students say the word land and segment it into its individual sounds.
  • Say the following words to students: move (3), name (3), fins (4). Pause after saying each word. Have students say each word and then segment it into its individual sounds.

Phonics: S-family blends

  • Write the word swimming on the board and read it with students. Underline the sw blend and explain that the sounds of these two letters are blended together to stand for the /sw/ sound. Have students blend the sounds of the letters together to say the sw blend. Tell students that the letters s and w are part of the s-family blends. Write the following s-family blends on the board: sc, sk, sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw. Have students say each blend with you. Under each blend, write a word that begins with that blend: scar, skate, slip, small, snap, spill, star, swim. Have students blend the sounds together in each word with you as you run your finger under the letters. Then have volunteers circle the blends in the words.
  • Have students point to a word on page 9 with an s-family blend (swinging).

Grammar and Mechanics: Pronouns

  • Have students reread page 3. Have them put their finger on the word they. Ask them to whom the word they refers (the animals). Have students tell how many animals the word refers to (more than one).
  • Write the following phrases on the board: the birds, the boy and I, the girl, the land. Ask students to think of a pronoun to take the place of each group of words. Write the pronouns under the corresponding group of words (they, we, he, she, it).
  • Have students use the pronouns in oral sentences.

Word Work: Alphabetical order

  • Write the words fins and wings on the board. Underline the first letter in each word. Ask students what letter comes first in the alphabet: f 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 fins would come first in an alphabetical list.
  • Write the words legs and arms on the board. Underline the first letter in each word. Ask students which letter comes first in the alphabet: l or a. Explain that arms would come first in an alphabetical list.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the alphabetical order worksheet. If time allows, 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 and Art Connection
Provide drawing paper. Tell students to copy the following sentences on the paper to use as a model for writing: My favorite animal is a ________________. It moves by ____________. Model writing for students using the sentence prompts: My favorite animal is a whale. It moves by swimming. Have students write their sentences. Encourage them to illustrate a picture about their sentences. Display the students' work on a bulletin board titled How Do They Move?

Physical Education Connection
Discuss with students how they use their body to move. Discuss different kinds of movements (gross: large movements; fine: small movements). Allow students to practice different types of gross motor movements (hopping, walking, running, jumping, and so on) and fine motor movements (finger snapping, writing, and so on).


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • make relevant predictions and know when to revise or confirm them
  • correctly classify information from the book on a worksheet
  • tell how many sounds they hear in words during discussion
  • recognize and read words with s-family blends during discussion
  • correctly identify words that pronouns refer to during discussion
  • accurately place words in alphabetical order during discussion and on a separate piece of paper

Comprehension Checks

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