What is a book introduction?

Every Reading Recovery lesson ends with the teacher introducing a new book to the student. There is a purpose to leaving the new book until the end of the lesson. The student has been practising and learning ways of solving text (using the meaning, rereading, matching letters and sounds, and taking words apart) throughout the lesson. The student now has the opportunity to apply all of this learning to a new book.

The teacher carefully chooses a book that will provide just a few challenges for the child, and he / she should be able to manage these challenges after a book introduction, with a few prompts along the way.

I talk about the book first because I want the student to be able to predict what is likely to come next in the story as he /she is reading. The student will need to understand what is happening, so we look at the cover of the book and talk about what we can see. I check that the student can relate to the theme / experiences by asking questions, e.g. where do you think they are? Have you ever been to the beach? What did you see / do?

I might give a statement about the book- In this story Sally and her mum go to the beach but they are not watching the waves come closer and closer to their things.

Then l ask the student to open the book and turn the pages. I will ask more questions to check if the student understands the words that will be read later, e.g. Do you have a towel like that? What is that next to the bucket? Can you find the word spade?  Have you ever made a sandcastle? Why doesn’t Mum see the waves getting closer?

In a natural way, l use the words that may be unfamiliar to the student so that they are already in his / her head before reading them, especially names, e.g. Here comes her friend Chris. I wonder what he is going to ask her.

There may also be some phrases or sentences that have not been heard before. The way we talk to each other, and the language used in books can be very different, e.g. ‘off they went’, ‘swept away’. I read unusual phrases / groups of words to the student, explain what it means, and have the student repeat it after me, rehearsing it for later.

We might look at every page this way or l might leave the ending to be discovered during the first reading of the book, e.g.  Do you think they’ll get the bucket back? Read the book now to find out.

The student now has a good chance of being able to read the book independently. Because the meaning is already understood, and many of the words have just been heard, the student is able to pay attention to the look of the words. Spoken and written words can be matched, and words can be solved through predicting what is likely to come next. When a word needs some reading work to solve it, the student can look at the picture and then partially search through the word, e.g. s-and and solve it by using the prior knowledge of the meaningsandcastle.

This book will be the running record for the next day and it is likely to be easily read.

When your child is going to read an unfamiliar book to you, e.g. a library book, you might like to introduce the book first by looking at the cover and the pictures and talking about what the book is likely to be about.

Click on this picture if you wish to view a YouTube video of a parent introducing a book.

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