Effective Guided Reading Lessons

guided-reading-groupI believe effective guided reading lessons are the most powerful way to increase reading enjoyment and achievement. I’m super excited to present at the National Guided Reading Train-the-Trainers Institute this summer.

Click here for a Guided Reading Lesson Plan frame and Response Guides for literature and informational text to greatly enhance guided reading lessons and discussions.

A guided reading group consists of 2-6 students with similar reading skills or needs. The teacher decides what concepts or skills to focus on during a guided reading lesson. Each student has a copy of the instructional-level text to read with the support and coaching of the guided reading teacher.

There are three basic components of an effective guided reading lesson:

Before Reading – The teacher introduces the focus skill and the text. Here are some ideas:

  • Build background knowledge about the topic
  • Talk about the title and front cover of the text
  • Generate predictions or questions about what will be in the text
  • Word study: phonics, sight or vocabulary
  • Talk about a reading strategy
  • Picture or text feature walk through the book

During Reading – Students all read a section of the text either out loud or silently depending on the reading level of the students. During the lesson the teacher listens and coaches each individual child as they read aloud, while the rest of the students are reading at their own pace.

After Reading  – Return to the focus skill and encourage deeper level thinking and discussion about the text. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask and answer questions about the text
  • Reread parts of text to confirm thoughts and ideas
  • Discuss use of reading strategies
  • Share favorite passages
  • Discuss the author’s purpose
  • Reread sections that caused confusion
  • Review words: phonics, sight, vocabulary


2 thoughts on “Effective Guided Reading Lessons

  1. Ms Bianchi says:

    Good morning,

    I’m not able to open your PDF that included the lesson plan frame & response guides.

    I wonder if other teachers will have the same issue?

    I look forward to seeing you in Elk Grove Village, IL next week!


    Jen Bianchi

    Jen Bianchi EL Resource Teacher 2nd & 3rd grade G. Stanley Hall School 630-469-7720 ext. 3221

    “Kindness is like snow – it beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran


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