Shared Reading Routines, But With Science of Reading Aligned Decodable Poems

Before the days of the Science of Reading, I loved me some Shared Reading.  And after learning more about how our brains learn to read, I had to be honest with myself... the poems I was using for shared reading were themed and repetitive text.  And while they were cute songs and had some oral language benefits, they were not good for learning to decode words.  But I didn't want to let go of our shared reading time.

Here's a look at how I combine an old routine, shared reading, with updated SoR aligned decodable poems for a silly and rigorous part of our literacy block.

Highlight the Focus Sound

On Monday or Tuesday, I introduce the new poem.  Most of the time it's Tuesday, because, let's be honest, Mondays are crazy.  In my Super Phonics curriculum, I don't even have it built in until Tuesday, because... IYKYK, right?? :)

Anyways, let's use this poem, The Family of Bears. It goes to the tune of, The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

On our first poem day, I read through the poem while the students follow along and then we look for our focus sound.  I pull up the digital poem on our white board and call students up to highlight the sound on our board.

When a kid highlights a word, we all read it together. We make up a motion to go with our sound to add some movement too.  For /air/ it usually ends of being some kind of finger-wiggling movement to mimic air moving. :)  You can also just have them jump or clap on the sound.  So as we read the word, we do the motion.

After all sounds are highlighted, we stand up to get our blood flowing and read the poem together.  We do our sound motion each time we get to the sound. 

And that's it for the first read!  If that seems short, it's because it is.  I try to keep it to 5 minutes or less.  Just a quick reinforcement of our phonics skill for the week.

High Frequency Word Hunt

During the 2nd read, usually on Wednesdays, we look for high frequency words, or heart words. 

Similar to the first read, I introduce the sight word and then call on students to come circle the word.  The sight word for this phonics unit are different, family, letter, watch, really.  But only two words are used in this poem.  I still go through each word and have them look for it and tell me it's not there.

After we circle the sight words on the digital poem on our white board, we stand up and choral read the poem.  We do our focus sound motion when we read the focus sound and we do another motion like clap or make a heart with our fingers for our heart words.

Comprehension Work

On the 3rd read, usually Thursdays, we stand and reread our poem together, doing our focus sound and high frequency word motions as we read.  Then the kids sit and we focus on some comprehension.  

This looks different for every poem.  When I'm planning out our comprehension focuses, I might focus on...
1) Tier 2 vocab words: we call them SPARKLE words because they make the writing sparkle with interest.

2) Who? What? Where? questions: Who is the poem about? What are the characters doing?  Where does the poem take place?

3) Higher order comprehension: This is more poem to poem specific. But it's pushing kids to creative or critical thinking where they might need to imagine something that's not explicitly in the poem.   These would include Why? and How? questions or inferring or telling the author's purpose for writing the poem.  Not all of the decodable poems will include all of these.

In this poem, we talk about the word, "pair" and what that means.  We also discuss the phrase, "fair and square."  I add sparkles around theses words to show that they are tier 2 vocab words.  

Then, we go over the Who? What? and Where? questions by turning and answering each question with our carpet partners.  Then, I call on students to answer the questions for the group.  

Finally, I choose one higher-order question to ask.  With this poem, I ask, "Why did the family of bears stop sharing?  Do you agree or disagree with this decision?

Fluency Practice

Fluency day!  My kiddos LOVE this day!  This is usually on Friday.  We reread of poem with our motions for review.  Then, we play read in 4 voices....using this anchor chart to help us.

We all read together in each voice.  The fourth voice, the star voice, is for kids to make up a voice they'd like to read the poem in.  My all time favorite voice they've come up with is a chipmunk voice (with your nose pinched!)  #cracksmeupeverytime

We also talk about any punctuation marks that may affect our expression or pacing in the poem as well on this day.

Then, I pass out the decodable  poems and the kids highlight the focus sounds, circle their sight words, and then reread their poem 3 times to practice their fluency.  

Once they've read it 3 times, they put it in their poetry folder and color the illustrations.

I love that there's SO much we can do for just 5 minutes a day with these poems.  You can find all 36 decodable poems for first grade here!

1 comment

  1. I just bought the whole pack and am so excited to use them with my first graders! This blog post was very helpful to getting started :)


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