TEACHER TUESDAY: How to Read a Story by Kate Messner

This week’s Teacher Tuesday post is all about How to Read a Story by accomplished storytellers Kate Messner (author) and Mark Siegel (illustrator) chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and-finally-coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning.

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“Step One: Find a story (A good one). Step Two: Find a reading buddy. (Someone nice). Step Three: Find a reading spot (Couches are cozy).”

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SUMMARY: Accomplished storytellers Kate Messner (author) and Mark Siegel (illustrator) chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and-finally-coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning, while also telling a story within a story that students will love – about a princess, a dragon, and a robot, who overcome their differences to be friends in The End.

RECOMMENDED AGES: 4 – 8 year olds (Grades K – 2).

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MY THOUGHTS: How to Read a Book by Messner and illustrated by Siegel is an engaging, funny, and beautiful book that children will love (trust me – my students absolutely adored this book!). It is fun, simple, and the illustrations perfectly suit the tone of the writing, supporting the text and adding rich details to this unique picture book. This book has the potential to serve as a mentor text for younger students, whether its used to support the development of good reading practices in the classroom, or as a mentor text for a Procedural Writing Unit.

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POTENTIAL CLASSROOM APPLICATIONS:

  • A Mentor Text to support the development of good reading practices in the classroom (read this with your students, then have them create their own list of what they should do while reading independently, with a partner, etc.).
  • Sequencing How to Read a Story (Grades 1-2): Show students each page they will be sequencing from the book How to Read a Story (sith the step numbers covered, and preferably out of order!), so that all students have seen all the pages of the book prior to sequencing their given page. Then, give pairs (or trios) students one of the  pages from the book How to Read a Story and provide students with a couple minutes to think about where their page might fit in the story (Think-Pair-Share), then ask groups to add their books to the sequence one at a time, based on where they think they may belong in the story. Consolidate by reading the book aloud and making corrections as needed!
  • Reading Connection (Grades 1-2): After reading the story How to Read a Story have students pick 4 steps they think a critical to success when reading a story, and write a short Procedural Text using these four steps. Each sentence should begin with a procedural transition word (for example, first, next, then, last/finally).

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  1. Kate Messner’s Website
  2. Liquid Literacy How to Read a Story Lesson
  3. Perfect Picture Book Friday
  4. Teaching Books 
  5. Teach Mentor Texts
  6. How to Read a Story Read Aloud

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