From Years 2 – 6, children continue to develop their reading through a whole class text-based approach, which primarily focuses on further developing fluency, intonation, expression, comprehension and inference. Whole class texts have been chosen that are age appropriate and cover a range of genres. They have also been chosen to cover the Five Plagues of Reading identified by Doug Lemov which are essential in helping children successfully navigate reading with confidence. Reading lessons occur daily and last up to 30 minutes following this weekly structure outlined below:
Lesson 1: Vocabulary
Children are exposed to a handful of words (no more than 6) they will come across in the next chapter/section of the whole class text they are reading in the next lesson. These are mostly Tier 2 words (sometimes Tier 3) and are selected by the class teacher who will have already read the next part of the book prior to teaching this first lesson. The words chosen are likely to have been picked because the children may be unfamiliar with these words and need clarification of their meaning before reading these in the text. Definition activities are set for the class to familiarise themselves with this potentially new vocabulary. The children are encouraged to record this new vocabulary in their Magpie books to build up a bank of words they can use and apply in their own writing.
Lesson 2: Whole class reading
The teacher reads the next chapter/section of the whole class text with the children following this with their own copy of the text. This way, the teacher models prosodic, fluent and expressive reading, allowing the children to follow and enjoy the text, regardless of their reading ability or attainment. The teacher will stop at relevant parts throughout the text to ask the class questions, checking for comprehension, inference, background knowledge and engagement with the text.
Lesson 3: Comprehension (Look, Clue, Think Questions)
All of the pupils in the class will be given three questions to answer about the chapter/section of the whole class text they heard in the previous lesson. We call these questions, ‘Look, Clue, Think’ questions as they focus primarily on retrieval, comprehension and inference, as well as connecting the text to oneself. This approach is taken from the book, Understanding Reading Comprehension Processes and Practices, by author Wayne Tennent.
Lessons 4 and 5: Teacher Focus Groups and Independent Activities
Children in their reading groups will get the opportunity to work more closely with the teacher during these lessons. Each reading group takes it in turns to work with the teacher for around 15 minutes, developing their fluency, prosody, intonation and expression. To allow children to become more confident in these areas, the teacher chooses part of a selected text and uses strategies such as echo reading, choral reading and peer performance reading.
While groups take it in turns to work with the teacher, the rest of the class work independently on three different activities (usually linked to the current whole class text) that allow them to develop their vocabulary knowledge, their background knowledge and their application of language knowledge.