A Day at the Fair

By Lesléa Newman
Illustrations by Loretta Lopez

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • repetitive sentences
  • knowing where to begin reading
  • speech balloons

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concept
  • patterned sentences
  • strong picture-text match

High-frequency Words: who, to, I, do

Getting Ready to Read
Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:

  • Tell me what you know about going to a fair.
  • What kinds of rides might you be able to go on at a fair?
  • What might we see people doing at a fair?
  1. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “A Day at the Fair.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see happening in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children who they think wants to ride.
    • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and ask them to look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what the pictures tell about the story.
  2. Remind children of the strategies they know and can use with unfamiliar words:
    • Ask them, “What will you do if you come to a word you don’t know?”
    • Encourage children to look at the pictures and the beginning sound of the word.
  3. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book has two different patterned sentences: “Who wants to ride?” and “I do!”
    • There are two sentences on each page. The question is at the top of each page.
    • The answer “I do!” is in a speech balloon in the picture.
    • The pictures tell most of the story.

Reading the Book
Set a purpose by telling children to look at each picture and then read what the people are saying as they attend the fair.

  1. Have children read quietly, but out loud. Each child should be reading at his or her own pace. Children should not read in chorus. Listen to children as they read by leaning close or bending down beside each child.

  2. Look for these reading behaviors during the first reading:
    • Do the words they say match the printed words in the book? (voice to print match)
    • Do they look at the pictures before they read the text or after they read?
    • What do they do if they encounter an unfamiliar word? (appeal to you, try a strategy)
    • Do their eyes go up to the picture before reading the new word in the pattern?
    • Are they saying the initial sounds of words before saying the whole word?
    • Are they saying the individual letter sounds /w/ - /a/ - /n/ - /t/
      • /s/ or blending the sounds?
    • Do they reread if they come to an unfamiliar or unknown word?
    • Have they self-corrected any mistakes?
    • Is there any inflection or speech-like sound to their reading?
    • Have they responded with a laugh or other sound as they read the text?
    • Do they make comments as they read?
  3. As children read, encourage children to look at the pictures so they can see why the people are saying the words on each page.

  4. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review how the picture helps us understand the story.
    • Model how to read sentences that are speech—people talking in a conversation.
    • Call attention to the question marks and exclamation points. Discuss the difference between a question mark and an exclamation point.

After the First Reading
Discuss what the family did at the fair.

  1. Talk about who is asking each question and how children know who is answering.

  2. Read the story as if people are really talking. What would the conversation sound like?

  3. Generate some other words the parents and boy might say as they go around the fair.

  4. Review how we read left to right and top to bottom so we read the question at the top of the page first and then the answer in the speech balloon.

Second Reading
Have children reread the book as a play. Half children can be the parents, reading the question “Who wants to ride?” with appropriate inflection. The other half of the group reads the answer “I do!” using an expressive voice.

  1. This is a time for assessment. While they are reading, watch what children do and what they use from the teaching time. Assess whether or not children have grasped the concept of reading conversation. Do they follow along and read with expression?

Cross-Curricular Activities
Language: Discuss experiences with fairs and carnivals. Make a list of things children saw, heard, and tasted. Have children use the list to answer oral questions: What did you see at the fair? What did you hear at the fair? What do you eat at the fair? Encourage children to answer in complete sentences.

Art: Make a poster that advertises an upcoming fair.

Science: Use paper cups, string, blocks, and other materials to create a model of a ride someone could go on at a fair. Discuss what makes a ride fun and encourage children to consider those ideas as they build.    

Math: Conduct a survey that asks: Which ride would you go on first at a fair? Have children ask each other and collect the data. Then have children graph the results and discuss what they learned from interviewing their classmates.

Social Studies: Investigate why towns and community organizations have fairs. Why are there rules and regulations about having a fair?

Writing: Make an invitation to a fair. Invite someone to come and ride the rides.

Un día en la feria

Guided Reading™: C        DRA: 3        Reading Recovery®: 3

The Spanish edition also uses two patterned sentences: “¿Quién quiere subir?” and “¡Yo quiero!” Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, they may use other versions of the sentences. Help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day.

The book introduction and guided reading lesson follow the outline for the English edition. Children need exactly the same support and strategy instruction as their English-speaking classmates.

If children have difficulty with the concepts or words in the story, see the article “Guided Reading with Emergent Readers” for suggestions.


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - 1

Reading Level:

Grades K - 1


Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Games/Toys, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Realistic Fiction


Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Latin American English Grades PreK-2, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Latin American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Fiction, Infant Toddler Emotional Interactions

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