After building the background and preparing the students to read, it is time to introduce the book. It is most advantageous to take a “Picture Walk.” The picture walk is a time for students to discuss pictures, make predictions, front-load vocabulary, and fill conceptual gaps.
During the picture walk the teacher should implant vocabulary that is found in the book. For example, if a page contains the word brown, the teacher might say on that particular page, “Yes. It is a bear. He looks like a brown bear to me.” If the word snout is found on the page, the teacher might say, “I think the bear on this page has a huge snout!” “Do you know what a snout is?”
Following the picture walk, the teacher passes each student a copy of the guided reading book and invites students to point at each word as she reads the story. During this reading, the teacher models good reading behaviors such as tracking print, phrasing, inflection, etc. as students follow or read along.
Next, the group turns back to the cover and reads together as a group (choral reading). During this time, the teacher guides, observes and supports the students. Following this reading, the students re-read independently as the teacher focuses on one student at a time. Next, the students should re-read the book at least one more time. One way to accomplish this is to have a basket of book-buddies (stuffed animal pets) available for the students to read the story to in the classroom library, at another table, or other location in the room, and then return back to the reading table when that task is completed. This will allow the teacher to keep one or two students at the table that may need additional scaffolding.