Police Officers
Level H

About the Book

Text Type: Nonfiction/Informational
Page Count: 12
Word Count: 343

Book Summary
A police officer has many different jobs -- keeping people safe, enforcing laws, patrolling the streets, solving crimes, and more. Readers learn about what it takes to become a police officer and about the many aspects of a police officer's job.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Connect to prior knowledge


  • Use the reading strategy of connecting to prior knowledge to understand and learn information
  • Identify main ideas and details in text
  • Blend phonemes
  • Identify and read r-controlled words
  • Understand the use of commas
  • Identify and understand compound words


  • Book -- Police Officers (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard, dry erase board, or chart paper
  • Main idea and details, compound words worksheets

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: you, have, to, they, and, in, many
  • Content words: officer, people, enforce, laws, patrol, crime, academy, uniform, traffic

Before Reading

Build Background

  • Ask students to share what they know about police officers. Ask them to discuss what someone may need to do to become a police officer, what kind of gear or uniforms police officers use, how police officers get from one place to another while they are working, and how police officers help people.

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 Police Officers. (Accept any answers students can justify.)
  • 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 front cover, I see people in uniforms. Since the title of the book is Police Officers, the people might be police officers. I know that police officers help people in our community. I see police officers driving in cars on the road. They pull people over who are speeding to help keep roads safe. I know that good readers think about what they already know about the topic of the book. I will think about what I know about police officers 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 share how they connected with prior knowledge based on the pictures.
  • Tell students that the book is broken into major sections: becoming a police officer, police uniforms, how police officers get around, and how police officers help people. Point to each section in the book.
  • 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
  • Reinforce new vocabulary by incorporating it into the discussion of the pictures. For example, on page 4, you might say: This police officer looks like she needs to help the people who had the car accident.
  • Model strategies students can use to work out words they don't know. Point to the word academy on page 5.
    Think-aloud: When I come to a difficult word, one strategy to figure out the word is to break the word into smaller parts. But, when I got to the end, it reminded me of the word my. When I tried this, the word did not sound right to me. So, I tried saying the end sound another way: academy.
  • Read the sentence to students and ask if the word academy makes sense. If the word is unfamiliar, explain that an academy is a school that teaches someone special skills.
  • 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 police officers. Remind them to think about what they already know about police officers as they read.

During Reading

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their copy of the book. Ask them to place a finger on the page number at 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 connecting to prior knowledge.
    Think-aloud: When I read page 6, it reminded me of the police officers I see in my community. They wear a special uniform and a badge on their shirt. The uniforms help identify people as a police officer.
  • 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 that they already know about police officers 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 9, I read about the different ways police officers get from one place to another. One way they travel is by car. I have seen police cars. They often say Police on the side of the car and have flashing lights on the top of the car. When a police officer is chasing someone, the lights flash. Using what I already know about police officers made it easier for me to read the book.
  • Discuss with students how using what they already know about police officers helped them understand what they read. Invite them 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: Main idea and details

  • Discussion: Ask students to share new information they learned while reading Police Officers.
  • Introduce and model the skill: Explain to students that in this nonfiction book, the author divides the information into sections to help organize the details. Each section contains a main idea. Discuss the main idea of each section. (There are steps to becoming a police officer. Police officers often wear uniforms. Police officers travel in different ways. Police officers help people.) Explain to students that there are details in the book that tell about the main idea. Model identifying details for the first section of the book.
  • Think-aloud: The first section of the book is about the steps someone takes to become a police officer. On page 4, I read that you need to care about people, want to help people, solve problems, and stay calm. These are all details that tell about the main idea.
  • Check for understanding: On the board, draw a web. Write the main idea of the second section in the center. Have students point to a detail in their book that tells about the main idea. Observe and discuss their responses. Write the details in the web on the board.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the main idea and details worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Extend the discussion: Have students use the last page of their book to draw a picture and write a sentence that tells why police officers are important people in the community.

Build Skills

Phonological Awareness: Blend syllables

  • Say the word police by segmenting it into its individual syllables: po/lice. Then blend the sounds together to say the whole word: police. Explain to students that the sounds of individual syllables can be joined together to form words.
  • Say the following words to students, segmenting the words into syllables: pro/tect (protect), con/trol (control). Pause after saying each word and have students blend the sounds of the syllables together to say each word.
  • Use the following 3-syllable words for additional oral blending practice: pro/per/ty (property), of/fi/cers (officers), u/ni/form (uniform).

Phonics: R-controlled vowel er

  • Write the words officer and her on the board. Underline the er spelling at the end of each word. Explain that when a vowel is combined with r, the two letters represent a new sound. Point to the er letter combination at the end of the words officer and her. Have students say the sound the letter combination represents.

Have students turn to page 6 and 7 to locate examples of r-controlled vowels with the er letter combination (officers, different, troopers, rangers, others). Have them circle the r-controlled vowel in the examples.

  • Write the following words on the board, leaving off the er letter combination: brother, mother, reader, shower. Have volunteers come to the board and add the er letter combination to complete the words.

Grammar and Mechanics: Commas

  • Review or explain that commas are a type of punctuation used to add pauses in a sentence. Review with students that readers pause slightly when reading commas.
  • Have students turn to page 4. Read the first sentence to students without pausing at the commas. Then reread the sentence, pausing at the commas. Invite students to tell how using (or not using) commas affects the meaning of the text.
  • Continue reading pages 5 and 6 with and without commas, inviting students to comment on the effect.

Word Work: Compound words

  • Write the word motorcycle on the board. Ask students to identify two smaller words within the word motorcycle. Review or explain that a word made up of two smaller words is called a compound word.
  • Have students locate compound words on page 10 (bicycles, waterways). Discuss the meanings of each word.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain and have students complete the compound words 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 Connection
Have students write questions they would like to ask a local police officer. Have them write their questions on a separate piece of paper. After the interview, have students write the answers to each question.

Social Studies Connection
Discuss with students other important community helpers (firefighters, ambulance drivers, nurses, and so on). Write each helper on a chart. Ask students to tell the important job of each helper. Write this information on the chart.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • consistently use the reading strategy of connecting to prior knowledge to understand and learn information
  • correctly identify details that support a main idea in text during discussion and on a worksheet
  • accurately blend syllables to say words
  • accurately identify the er spelling pattern in r-controlled vowel examples during discussion
  • correctly recognize and use commas during discussion
  • accurately understand and identify compound words

Comprehension Checks

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