Lesson Plans for BREEDS OF DOGS level P

Text Type:
Fact / Informational Text

Reading Level:

Word Count:


Text Summary
Breeds of Dogs introduces the reader to eight different dog breeds. These include working and sporting breeds and companion dogs. Even the beloved family mutt is included. Special features of various dogs are highlighted, and photos show the range of size, shape, and hair quality.

Lesson Objectives
Reading Strategies
Children should use a variety of strategies to determine word meaning and comprehend text. The targeted strategy for this lesson is: Rereading and reading ahead to compare and contrast information about different breeds of dogs.

By using anticipatory questions, children can search for specific information, such as features and qualities for each breed. Then, by rereading and reading ahead, they can compare and contrast the similarities and differences in different breeds of dogs.

Word and Print Skills
long e digraph ee
breed, feeding, see, feet, freezes, keep, sheep, needs, weeks

Word Work
Superlatives and comparatives
Children will write sentences to demonstrate comparison.

You will likely address a number of comprehension skills as children work to understand the text. The targeted comprehension strategy for this lesson is: Comparing and contrasting.

Using the two decoding skills of reading ahead and rereading, children can compare and contrast sets of information about dogs, such as size, appearance, skills, and abilities. Children and teacher should develop a set of questions prior to reading a section. How will A compare to B? What does B have in common with C? Reading ahead encourages children to make certain assumptions. A is _____ and therefore B is _____. Rereading encourages them to self-validate.

Group work is useful in extending the comparing and contrasting skill. Children can compare their own ideas to those of peers.

Visual Learning
Use the pictures in the text and on the bulletin display to encourage the comparison of breeds and special features. Children should be encouraged to look back and forth to make a visual comparison of images.

Targeted Vocabulary Words
Content Words
breed, bred, purebred, mixed breed, sporting dogs, hounds, working dogs, herding dogs, terriers, toy dogs, non-sporting dogs

Word Work Words
tall, small, big, long, short, fast, smart

Before Reading

Building Background
Ask children to bring pictures of dogs, such as family pets, pets of friends, or pictures from magazines. Use the pictures to create a bulletin board. Ask children to suggest ways to arrange the pictures that allow them to compare features (e.g., shorter dogs, older dogs, hairy dogs, bigger dogs).

Have children collect more pictures of dogs during the reading period. Suggest that they may add new categories (e.g., breeds of dogs from the book) and rearrange the pictures according to the new categories and different opinions. Stress the idea that moving pictures is allowed, and all opinions are equally valid. To encourage participation in this project, consider giving small prizes for the picture of the fattest dog, funniest looking, longest ears, shortest tail, etc.

A pre-reading activity that will prime children for comparing sets of information is the "Find the Differences" cartoons found in the Sunday paper. Or check this website for samples: http://www.gospelcom.net/cartoonworks/puzzle.html

Introducing the Book
Show the front and back covers, and the title page.

Ask: What do you see on the covers? What do you think the book will be about? What does breeds mean? What kind of information can we get from the title page?

Book Walk
  • Table of contents. Ask: What kind of information can we get from the table of contents?
  • Section heads. Ask: How do the section headings or chapters help us when we read the book?
  • Pictures. Ask: How do the pictures help us when we read the book?
  • Index. Ask: What is an index? How do we use the index?
  • For Information box. Ask: What is in the For Information box? How can we use the information box?

Reading Strategies
Have children look at the table of contents and section headings. Brainstorm for a set of general questions that children should be using while they read the book. For example;
  • Introduction
  • Ask: What kinds of dogs will be in the introduction? Why are there so many different kinds of dogs? What does the word breed mean?
  • Other sections
  • Ask: What is a sporting dog? Hound? Working dog? Herding dog? Terrier? Toy? Non-sporting?

The following questions can be asked about the different kinds of dogs listed above. Modify the questions as necessary.
What do sporting dogs do?
What is an example of a sporting dog?
How are sporting dogs and hounds similar?
How are herding dogs different from toy dogs?
What could we do to help us remember and keep track of information about different kinds of dogs?

Suggest that children use Post-it notes or a small notebook.

Think Aloud
When we are comparing things, for—example, two pictures—we might have to look back and forth to make sure that we see similarities and differences. Today, while we read this book, we may have to read a section and then go back and reread a section that we have already read to compare information. We can also look ahead to see if we can find similarities or differences.

During Reading

Student Reading
This book is long and may require several reading sessions.
Have children read pages 5–7.
Ask: What do you see in the picture on page 4? Why are there so many different kinds of dogs? What is the difference between a purebred and a mixed breed? Why does the book mention wolves?
Have children read pages 8–9.
Ask: What do sporting dogs do? What are two examples of sporting dogs?
Have children read pages 10–11.
Ask: What kind of dog is in the picture on page 11? What did we learn about this dog?
Have children read pages 12–13.
Ask: What do working dogs do?
Have children read pages 14–15.
Ask: How do working dogs compare to herding dogs?

Have children read pages 16–17.
Ask: How do hounds compare to terriers? What kind of dog is in the picture on page 17? What did we learn about this dog?
Have children read pages 18–20.
Ask: What is special about toy dogs? Why do people like toy dogs?
Have children read pages 20–21.
Ask: What is a Shar-pei? Why does a Shar-pei have so many wrinkles?
Have children read pages 22–23.
Ask: What advice can we give to people who want to choose a dog?

After Reading

Comprehending the Text
Ask children to give opinions about the book. Ask: Did the book include your favorite kind of dog? After reading the book, what do you think about sporting dogs? Herding dogs? etc. Did the reading make you think of other questions?

Think Aloud
Reading should make us think about many questions. Some of the answers will be in the book, and some won’t.
What can we do with those questions? Sometimes we will stop and try to find the answer. Sometimes we can write the question down and look for the answer later. Ask: How do we make the decision to stop or look later?

If time allows, go around the classroom and have everyone say one new thing that they learned. Model the following statement. Say: One thing I learned is that Welsh corgis have short legs. (You may have to remind children to limit themselves to one or two sentences.)

Have them complete worksheet 1.

Visual Learning
Compare and contrast several of the pictures of dogs (compare front cover to back cover, and pages 17 to 18). Ask: Do these dogs have any similarities? What is different about these dogs? What do you think makes each dog special?

Encourage children to update the class bulletin board about dogs. Have them identify the breeds of dogs among the pictures as they progress through the book.

Building Skills

long e digraph ee
Review digraph ee words from the text: breed (pages 5, 7, 18, 20), feeding (page 6), see (page 8), freezes (page 8), feet (pages 9, 10, 19), keep (pages 9, 12, 13, 14, 22), sheep (pages 14, 15), needs (pages 17, 19), weeks (page 21). Read several of these sentences out loud.

Have the class brainstorm for other ee words.

Play EE Scrabble. Divide the class into teams with 4 or 5 people on each team. You will need a set of block letters that are large enough to be seen from a distance. Give each team a set of EE and then have them randomly draw 8 other letters from the bone pile. Each team takes a turn attempting to spell out an ee word. Teams must display their word by holding up the letters so that the rest of the class can easily read the word. If a team is unable to spell a word, they pass their turn and discard one of their letters and draw a new one from the bone pile.

Word Work
Use common examples of superlatives and comparatives from the text (tall, small, big, long, short, fast, smart, strong) for writing sentences to demonstrate comparison.

Model the example for each form of tall, taller, tallest. Then, have children identify the forms for other words from the text. Ask them to give additional examples (e.g., old, fat, good).

A fundamental way to write comparisons is to use the superlative form. For example: She is the tallest (amongst her peers). On the blackboard, write: She is the tallest. Think aloud: This sentence is okay, but it could be better. More information is needed. She is tallest compared to whom? Ask: How can we improve this sentence? Write several examples on the board. She is the tallest girl in the class. She is the tallest person in the school. She is the tallest person in the world! Use another simple sentence, and ask children to complete the sentence. (Bob is the fastest runner.)

To use the comparative form, introduce children to than. She is taller (than the other girls in her class). She is taller than any person in the school. She is taller than any person in the world! Have children complete this sentence: Bob is faster than ______.

Use several samples from the text. For example: A Welsh corgi is shorter than a ________.
An Irish wolfhound is faster than _________.

Have them complete worksheet 2.

Expand the Reading

Writing Connection
Have children think about a person that they know (a parent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, friend) and ask them to choose the breed of dog that would be most suitable for that personality. They can write several paragraphs about why the selected dog is the best match for that person.

Social Studies Connection
Select a country or have children choose a country, and see what role dogs play in that society and if there are breeds specific to that area.

Reading Independently
Have children read the book independently or with a partner. You can also encourage them to read other books of their choice at the appropriate level. Have children bring a favorite book about a dog and share it with several partners.

Home Connection
Send the book home to be read to or with family members. Families may watch any of the various classics, such as Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Dog of Flanders, or All Dogs Go to Heaven. They can then discuss the film and identify the breed and the characteristics. Families may attend a dog show to see different breeds of dogs. These occur several times a year in larger cities.

  • Monitor children’s responses in the Comprehending the Text section to assess how well they understand the text or story.
  • Monitor reading to see if children are using the effective reading strategies.
  • Assess children’s knowledge of and ability to make comparisons about breeds of dogs by checking the worksheets and their written work for accuracy and application.

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