Going to the Art Museum
Level J

About the Book 

Text Type: Nonfiction recount
Page Count: 16
Word Count: 399 

Text Summary
A young boy and his sister have fun visiting the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and learning about art. They also visit other parts of the museum where they have lunch, look at books, and dress up in costumes. This book is sure to encourage your young readers to visit an art museum for themselves. 

About the Lesson 

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Make text-to-self connections


  • Summarize information
  • Orally manipulate medial sounds
  • Identify words with soft c
  • Identify verb tenses
  • Understand content vocabulary


  • Book - Going to the Art Museum (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry-erase board
  • Summarization, Soft C, Verb Tense, Content Vocabulary worksheets
  • Word journal (optional)

    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: many, about, where
  • Content vocabulary: museum, painting, computer, still life, sculpture, artist, costumes 

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Involve students in a discussion about any experiences they have had visiting a museum. Ask them to describe how they went there and what they saw at the museum.

Book Walk

Introduce the Strategy: Make text-to-self connections

  • Show students the front and back covers of the book and read the title. Ask students what kind of book they think this might be. Ask what they think they will find out when they read this book. Model how to make connections to personal experience.
  • Think aloud: This picture on the back reminds me of when I took a shuttle to get to the airport. Because I have this experience with being on a shuttle, I can understand what it must be like for the children to ride on a shuttle.
  • Ask students whether the illustrations remind them of anything, or specifically, if they remind them of their trip to a museum.
  • Show students the title page and ask them what the children are doing here. Ask them if this reminds them of when they visited the museum. Have students explain how.
  • Students should use other strategies in addition to the targeted strategy taught here. For an overview of other reading strategies, click here.

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • Preview the book with the students, talking about the illustrations and using any difficult vocabulary they will encounter in the text. Ask them to predict what is happening in the book from what they see in the pictures. Have them relate any pictures they can to personal experiences.
  • Remind students of strategies they might use to work out unfamiliar words. Point out the word buried on page 6 without telling students the word. Model how they might recognize the beginning sound and r-controlled vowel in the word. Point out the -ed ending in the word. Then read the word. Read the sentence to students and ask them if the word buried makes sense in the context of the sentence.
  • For additional teaching tips on word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have students read the book to find out how the children's trip to the art museum was like their own trip to the museum.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Give students their books and have them put a sticky note on page 8. 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 if the text reminds them of any experiences they have had.
  • Think aloud: When I was on a trip to Greece, I saw many sculptures like this. The sculptures had been around for many hundreds of years, so many had pieces broken off just like this one.
  • Tell students to read the remainder of the book.

    Tell 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 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.
  • Reinforce how using personal experiences helped them become more involved with the text and helped them better understand what they read.

Comprehension: Summarize information

  • Introduce and model: Explain to students that it can help them remember important information from the book if they can list the main facts on a diagram such as the one on the worksheet. Model for students how to identify the main things the children saw and did, and help them record details for each thing. For example: This tree diagram allows us to write four different things that the children saw or did. I know one thing they saw was the artwork itself: the paintings and sculpture. I will write painting and sculpture in the first circle. Now I need to write some details about the paintings. The text tells me that the painting is big, the light makes the woman look real, and that a note tells people about the painting. I can write these key words in the larger box to help me remember what I read. I can’t write much, so I will summarize the details into a few words. I’ll write: big, light on the woman’s dress, and note on the wall.
  • Check for understanding: Give students the Summarization worksheet. Have students summarize the information about the sculptures and write it in the box along with the details about the paintings (old, parts broken off). Then ask them what the children saw next and what should go in the second circle.
  • Independent practice: Have students complete the rest of the worksheet independently. Monitor student progress and intervene as necessary. When students are finished, discuss their completed worksheets.
  • Extend the discussion:

    Instruct students to use the last page of their book to draw what they would most like to do at a museum.

Build Skills 

Phonemic Awareness: Orally manipulate medial sounds

  • Say the word brush and have students repeat the word. Ask them what sound they hear in the middle. Ask students what word you would have if you changed the /u/ sound in brush to /a/ (brash). Have students say the word and repeat the new middle sound.
  • Have students change the medial sounds in the following words to create new words: paint, change long /a/ to long /i/ (pint); fun, change /u/ to /i/ (fin); big, change /i/ to /e/ (beg); work, change /ûr/ to long /e/ (week); light, change long /i/ to long /a/ (late); bet, change /e/ to long /e/ (beat).

Phonics: Identify words with soft c

  • Write the words collar and cities on the board. Have students read each word. Ask what sound the letter c stands for in each word.
  • Explain that when the letter c is followed by the vowels i or e, the c stands for the /s/ sound they hear in the word cities.
  • Write the following words on the board and have students decide whether the c is hard or soft in each: circle, force, brace, cell, call, volcano, grace, since.
  • Have students complete the Soft C worksheet.

Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage: Identify verb tenses

  • Have students re-read page 4 and identify the verbs (will take, can see, is). Point out that the verb will take is the future form of the verb. This is because the children have not yet arrived at the museum, but they will in the future. As they are traveling, they can see things out the window. This is happening while they are on the bus, in the present. Have students look at page 5. Ask them whether the verbs tell what’s happening now, what will happen, or what has happened already.
  • Have students practice identifying verb tenses using the Verb Tense worksheet.

Vocabulary: Understand content vocabulary

  • Have students work in pairs to find words associated with the museum. Have the students share the words they find.
  • Ask students if they can think of other words associated with an art museum. Make a list on the board.
  • Give students the Content Vocabulary worksheet. Have them find the words from the worksheet in the book and read the sentences in which they are found to make sure they understand the word meanings.
  • Have students illustrate each word in order to demonstrate its meaning.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

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

Home Connection

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

Expand the Reading 


  • Have students think of somewhere they have been recently, either with their family or on a school trip. Have them write how they got there and what they saw and did while they were there.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • summarize text information on a tree diagram.
  • orally manipulate medial sounds in words to create new words.
  • identify words that have soft c.
  • identify verb tenses.
  • understand content vocabulary.

Comprehension Checks

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