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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Picture Walks and Eagle Eye Strategy

Our students had a 4 day weekend. 
 I thought, hey, let me just wing it this week and get back on track next.  

Why do I even think I can wing it?
I  now have TEN--TEN groups to plan for during my week.
I am doing more planning as a Title teacher than I was as a classroom teacher.  
It's a bit cumbersome, and I do get a bit overwhelmed.
It's not like I'm truly winging it--
I have a purpose for my lessons.
 However, I will admit that I sometimes go off from one topic to another.
and then I just hope that whatever little mini-lesson 
I just gave is interpreted by my group.
But in all seriousness, today's lesson was on the Eagle Eye Strategy.
I will be honest and say that I used this lesson for both my first and second grade groups.
It is a valuable strategy, and it is one that my second grade friends quit using and needed to review,
 and one that my first grade friends are being introduced.  I may have tweaked a few things here and there between the groups, but I know my students can now tell me how to use this strategy.

The lesson:

I always ask my kiddos to do a picture walk through the story. 
 Often, it is a guided picture walk as I like to "feed" some background vocabulary to them.
Today, I just asked them to do a picture walk for me, and I observed and took mental notes.
This was just a random book that I pulled off the shelf. 
I hadn't read this particular story with any of the groups.

I watched how several of them flipped through the pages, then looking up at the ceiling, around the room.
Some didn't even look at the pictures, they just tried to start reading the book.

I, then, asked them:
When you go to the library, how do you choose your books?

I was hoping that many of them would say they look at the pictures to see if they are interested in it. 
Most did--THOUGH--interesting fact: 
My first graders said that during their library special, they aren't to open the book
 until they get it checked out.  I was really surprised.

I collected the books, and I did a model of looking at pictures through this story.
First I looked quickly through the images, and flipped through the book.
They laughed and said that I didn't do a very good job.
I said, do you think that maybe some of you did the same thing?
It got quiet quick! ;)
 I did a second model of the book, taking my time, stating what I saw happening aloud and talking about the pictures with the kids.  We did this for a few pages until I knew they were understanding
what I meant about picture walks. 
I will say that I knew that this story had interesting images and it would help prove my point
that it's important to look at the details in images as well. 

I then explained that I like to look at the pictures for a reason.
1) It helps me understand what the book is about--that I can use it to make predictions.
2) The pictures can help me read the story---like in D5 when then are reading the pictures, OR when I come to a word that I can't read.
I gave my students all a paper that looked like this and asked them to read it.

They tried their best.  Then you hear the "I can't read this"

I told them...Okay, just turn it over and read the other side.

Some kiddos said, "But there is nothing to read."

I just said, "Okay--what do you see?"
*Note I had the above images in a sheet protector back to back. 
One sheet protector for each student in my group. 

At this point, some students were beginning to catch on and tried to turn the paper over--
but I collected them and presented a mini lesson with this book.
I had gone through this story, and covered over the words that I thought 
would be the best use of the eagle eye strategy, and maybe pull in some lips the fish.

 I read the story aloud and then they students were trying to help me figure out the word.
Some said blanket (word was sheet) so I was unable to uncover the word and I snuck in some lips the fish.
 Here they wanted to say "I am a ghost" as that is how the story started.
I reminded them to look at the picture.  He is no longer in a white sheet.  
Look at the mask.  So they ended up saying monster.
They were excited that their answer was right. :)
This page was good for lips the fish as well.
The missing word was boots.
They enjoyed the story--but even more exciting for me...
After we finished this story, I passed out this page.
It was in a separate sheet protector.
We looked at each picture before we read.
Then they READ the sentences.
Oh they were so excited.
I explained to them that pictures and words go hand in hand with many of the books 
they are reading right now.  The pictures help us with our unknown words.
We talked about an eagle, and how he flies down and swoops up his prey that he spots from way high in the air.  I told them that if a person has an eagle eye, they see everything...just like teachers! :)  
That we, as readers, also need to see and pay attention to all details in the pictures because it helps us 
with those words we don't always recognize.  My students could explain this strategy today.
And just for fun, they got to color their own eagle eye strategy page
 We will also be putting a colored image of this strategy on our reading strategy anchor chart.
Pictures to come in another blog post or on FB.

If my mini-lesson looks like something you can use, click the eagle below to grab your copy. :)

Eagle Eye



  1. Love these ideas for teaching this strategy!! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely use these activities with my guided reading groups. :)

    First Grade Garden

  2. Thanks for sharing these ideas and the resource. This will be a big help for my beginning readers.


First Grade and Fabulous

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