Using a Predictable Text to Teach High-Frequency Words
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As a little boy searches for his cat in Eric Carle's Have You Seen My Cat? he repeatedly asks the titular question only to have to answer "This is not my cat!" when he's met with tigers, lions, and other felines that clearly aren't the boy's cat. This lesson uses Carle's predictable text and a repetitive format to help students learn high-frequency words. Students develop fluency as they participate in a choral reading of the predictable text. After reading the story, students construct sentences using the words found in the predictable text. At the conclusion of the lesson, students have the opportunity to write and illustrate their own stories by creating a stapleless book.
Stapleless Book: This interactive tool allows students to create their own stories using high-frequency words.
From Theory to Practice
- The focus of any reading program should be on finding meaning in delightful stories. Children will not be able to construct meaning, however, unless they are able to read the words effortlessly.
- Word learning can be enhanced by the manner in which a predictable text is used and by the follow-up activities that are employed. In addition to studying words in context, students should also study words in isolation. Words could be placed in a word bank to use for games and frequent review. Sentences from the predictable text could be written on sentence strips and cut apart. Students could then be asked to use those words to rebuild the sentence in sequence.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
|1.||This lesson uses the predictable text Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle. To prepare for the lesson, you may wish to visit the following pages on The Official Eric Carle Website.
||Make copies of the Word Cards for each student.
|3.||Write the sentences, "Have you seen my cat?" and "This is not my cat." on sentence strips.
|4.||Bookmark the interactive Stapleless Book on students' computers.|
- Recognize high-frequency words through the reading of a predictable text
- Compose sentences using high-frequency words from a predictable text
- Write their own stories using the format and high-frequency words from a predictable text
|1.||Initiate a discussion of pets with your students by asking questions such as:
|2.||Have You Seen My Cat? to the class. After reading, discuss the story with your students.
Have You Seen My Cat? is a predictable text that lends itself well to choral reading activities. Using a Big Book version of the text, invite the class to read the story with you. Point to each word as the students are reading. Two sentences are repeated throughout the book: "Have you seen my cat?" and "This is not my cat." If you are not able to obtain either a Big Book version or multiple copies for students to read from individually, have students read along with you by writing these two sentences on the chalkboard.
|4.||Present two sentence strips to the class. One strip contains the sentence, "Have you seen my cat?" The second strip contains the sentence, "This is not my cat." Ask students to read the two sentences with you.
|5.||Cut the sentence strips apart into individual words, keeping each sentence's words together.
|6.||Shuffle the two groups of words from the sentence strips and display each sentence's words in random order.
|7.||Ask a student to assemble one set of sentence strip words to form the sentence, "Have you seen my cat?" (Make certain that there is a slip containing the question mark.) Then ask another student to assemble the other set of sentence strip words to form the sentence, "This is not my cat." (Include a slip containing the period.)|
|1.||To review the story, read aloud Have You Seen My Cat? to the class. Discuss the story with the students.
|2.||Give each student a copy of the Word Cards. Ask students to cut the words apart then assemble the cards to form the two sentences: "Have you seen my cat?" and "This is not my cat." Students can use the blank cards to write alternate endings to the sentences.
|3.||Invite the class to share their alternate endings of the two sentences. Write students' responses on the chalkboard.
|4.||Have students write their own story using a similar format. Students can expand upon the predictable text and write similarly themed sentences in a variety of formats. For example, students might write, "Has anyone seen my rabbit?" and "I have not seen your rabbit." After writing their story, students can input their text into the interactive Stapleless Book. This interactive enables students to type the text for their story, then fold the 8½"x11" printout into a book. Room can also be left in the book for students to draw pictures and illustrate their story.|
- Invite students to work in pairs writing sentences using a format similar to Have You Seen My Cat?. Students can work at the chalkboard or use small dry-erase boards at their seats. For example, one student might write the sentence, "Have you seen my turtle?" His partner would then write the response, "No, I have not seen your turtle."
- Working in pairs, students can create rhyming words by accessing the interactive Construct-a-Word. This interactive enables students to create words by combining onsets and rimes. Help students select the at ending to begin making words that rhyme with cat.
- Copy the blank Bingo Game worksheet to create a customized review game for the class. Write the words have, you, seen, my, cat, this, is, and not on the chalkboard. Distribute the blank Bingo Game worksheets and tell students to write the words in the blanks. Students can write the words randomly in any blanks they choose. There are 25 blanks and only 8 words. Consequently, the words will appear more than once on each card. This repetition will be beneficial and will assist students in learning the words. When the class has finished writing the words on their cards, you can use them to play a bingo game.
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Use the Student Evaluation Sheet to measure the effectiveness of this lesson for each student.
- Observe each student's participation in the choral reading of a predictable text.
- Keep anecdotal notes on each student's enthusiasm and comfort with the activity.
- Evaluate each student's ability to read the high-frequency words contained on the Word Cards.
- Evaluate each student's ability to form sentences using the high-frequency words contained in a predictable text.