Needs and Wants
Level F

About the Book 

Text Type: Nonfiction
Page Count: 12
Word Count: 138 

Text Summary
What do we want? What do we really need? Students will learn the difference between requirements and desires in this helpful leveled reader. The text uses familiar situations that students easily connect to, and the illustrations cleverly show how we often wish for what we want even as we get what we need. 

About the Lesson 

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect life experience and use prior knowledge


  • Classify and categorize text information
  • Identify final n-blends /nd/, /nk/, and /nt/
  • Associate the letters nd, nk, and nt with the phonetic elements /nd/, /nk/, and /nt/
  • Recognize adjectives as words that describe
  • Use content vocabulary


  • Book - Needs and Wants (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Classification, N-blend Endings, Content Vocabulary worksheets
  • Set of nd, nk, and nt ending blend cards for each student

     Indicates an opportunity to use the book interactively (all activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are not consumable)


  • High-frequency words: home, need, some, things, want
  • Content words: breathe, clothing, coat, dinner, drink, kite, lemonade, pasta, storm, winter

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Ask students to think of what they need to stay alive. Make a list on the board. Then ask students to think of things they would like to have. Make another list. Have students tell which list is longer, and ask for their ideas on why people want more things than they need.

Book Walk

Introduce the Strategy: Connect life experience and use prior knowledge

  • Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title. Ask students what they think this book will be about based on the cover information. Model how to use prior knowledge.
  • Think aloud: When I read a new book, I try to think about what I already know about the topic in the book. When I look at the title of this book, I can think of lots of things I want. I know from things that have happened in my life that I don't need as many things as I want. I predict that there may be things in the book that the kids want but don't need.
  • Show students the title page and ask them what they see in the picture. Explain that the picture in the thought bubble shows what the boy thinks he wants and the other picture shows what he needs. Ask them if they have ever had a thought like this one, maybe while eating lunch at school. Turn the pages in the book so students can see the pictures. If necessary, model once more for the students how you draw on your personal knowledge to make predictions about the book

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • Go through pages 3– through 9 of the book with the students. Ask them to talk about what they see in the illustrations, and encourage them to use the vocabulary they will encounter in the text. Model how to use their knowledge of, and experience with, personal needs and wants as they preview the illustrations.
  • Reinforce new vocabulary by incorporating it into the discussion of the pictures. For example, on page 5 you might ask: What does it look like the girl wants to drink? It is lemonade, isn't it?
  • Stop previewing the book at page 9. Have students predict what other things the children in the book might need and want. Refer to the list made earlier if students need help.
  • Model the strategies students can use to work out words they don't know. Have students find the word red on page 7. Ask students how they could read this word if they didn't know it. Suggest that they could look at how it starts and say /r/. They might recognize the sound for the letter e in the middle of the word or the sound for the letter d at the end of the word. Read the sentence to them and ask if the word red makes sense in the sentence.
  • For additional teaching tips on word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have the students read the book to find out what other needs and wants the children in the book have. Remind them to think about what they already know about their own needs and wants as they read.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their books and have them put a sticky note on page 7. Direct them to read to the end of this page. Tell students to reread the pages if they finish before everyone else.
  • When they have finished, ask students whether the text confirms any predictions they made about the book. Have students point out the things they need and want that are like those in the book, and have them tell how this helped them understand what they read.
  • Model making connections to prior knowledge. For example, say: I saw a lot of things in the book that made me think of things I'd wanted but didn't really need. Just last night I wanted chocolate cake for dinner. Instead I ate my vegetables, which I need to stay healthy and strong. Connecting to my own experience helps me understand what I am reading.
  • Tell students to read the remainder of the story.

     Tell the students to make a small question mark in their books 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 Strategies

  • Ask students what words they marked in their books. Use this opportunity to model how they could read these words using word-attack strategies and context clues.
  • Ask if the things the characters in the book needed and wanted were things they listed before reading. Reinforce how making connections helped them be active readers.

Comprehension: Classify and categorize information

  • Introduce and model: Explain to students that organizing what they find out when they read will help them understand the book and remember what they read. Give students a copy of the Classification worksheet. Model how to go to the picture to find the character's need and the character's want. Then model reading the text. For example, say: This picture shows Erin drinking something. But she is thinking that she wants something else to drink. I read the text to find out that she needs water to drink. I write water in the square under Needs. Then I read that she wants a glass of lemonade. I write lemonade in the square under Wants.
  • Check for understanding: Have students name the next things that one of the characters needed and wanted, and write the words in the appropriate squares on the worksheet.
  • Independent practice: Tell students to complete the worksheet. They should find each thing the children needed and wanted and write it on the worksheet. Discuss students’ responses.
  • Extend the discussion:

     Instruct students to use the last page of their book to draw a picture of something they need and something they want. Have students share their pictures with the group.

Build Skills 

Phonemic Awareness: Final n blends

  • Show students the tent picture card and have them say the word tent. Have them repeat the word and listen for the sound at the end. Tell students that the /nt/ sound at the end of tent is made by blending together the sounds /n/ and /t/. Have students repeat these sounds and blend them together.
  • Show students the hand and skunk picture cards and repeat the procedure for each card.
  • Display the tent, hand, and skunk picture cards on a table or place them in a pocket chart. Show students the following picture cards: paint, cent, trunk, sink, wand. Ask them to say the word and tell which picture card on the table or chart has the same ending sound. Have them place the cards under the pictures with the corresponding final sound.

Phonics: N-blends

  • Write the words tent, skunk, and hand on the board. Underline the ending blend in each word. Explain that these letters stand for the /nt/, /nk/, and /nd/ sounds. Segment and blend the sounds. Ask students to repeat the sounds and the words.
  • Give each student a set of ending blend cards and write the following blends on the board: nd, nk, nt. Below the blends, write the following portions of words: sa__, wa__, bu__. Provide the following clues and ask the students to hold up the ending blend for each word: something that is found at the beach (sand); something you don't need, but you would like to have (want); a kind of bed where one bed is above the other (bunk). If desired, provide the following additional examples: what a magician waves (wand), what happens to a car when it is in an accident (dent), the penny in the pool (sunk) to the bottom.
  • Give students the N-blend Ending worksheet, make sure they understand what to do, and have them complete the worksheet. When completed, discuss their answers.
  • Extend the activity:

     Tell students to circle each word in the story that has an ending blend (wants, wind, kind, drink).

Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage: Describing words

  • Have the students turn to page 7 and read the first sentence to find out what kind of coat Erin needs for the winter. When students have identified the word warm, explain that this is a word that describes the coat Erin needs. Have them read the next sentence to find out more about the kind of coat Erin wants (long, red).
  • Explain that these words are describing words, and that good writers use them to help readers get a picture in their minds or imagine what is happening in the story. The describing words provide details about the story.
  • Have students find what kind of bike Jacob wants, and what kind of book Erin wants to read. Discuss their responses.

Vocabulary: Content Vocabulary

  • Tell students that many of the words they read in the book are used to tell about things people want or need every day. Provide opportunities for the students to talk about difficult words such as pasta or lemonade. Provide opportunities for the students to say the new vocabulary words, talk about their meanings, and use the words in sentences.
  • Click here for a Content Vocabulary worksheet.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

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

Home Connection

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

Expand the Reading 


  • Ask students to think about what they need most. Have them choose one thing and tell why they think it is the most important thing. Provide the following sentence: I think I need _____ the most because_______. Ask students to think about what they want most. Have them choose one thing and tell why. Provide the following sentence: The thing I want most is________, because __________. Display their wants and needs on a bulletin board titled "Our Wants and Needs."

Social Studies Connection

  • Discuss what happens when people do not have their needs met. Ask a volunteer from a community food bank or other service organization to speak to the class about people who don’t always get what they need. As a class, choose a way to help others such as adopting a family or donating canned goods or clothing. Have the students work in groups to report what they learned about the wants and needs of others, and how people can help each other.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • classify items in the book according to needs and wants.
  • recognize the sounds of final blends /nd/, /nk/, and /nt/.
  • associate nt, nk, and nd with the phonetic elements /nd/, /nk/, and /nt/.
  • recognize adjectives as words that describe.
  • use content vocabulary.

Comprehension Checks

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