Bedtime Fun

By Barbara J. Newkirk
Illustrations by Laura Freeman

Focus: Concepts of Print and Reading Strategies

  • using the picture clues and beginning sounds
  • applying prior knowledge about going to bed (semantic knowledge)
  • sequencing
  • following a story line to a conclusion

Supportive Text Features

  • familiar words and concepts
  • patterned sentence
  • strong picture/text match

High-frequency Words: I, go, to, on, my

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • How do children try to avoid going to bed?
    • Tell me about a time you didn’t want to go to bed.
    • What do you do to stall or delay bedtime?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Hold the book. Call children’s attention to the title. Read: “Bedtime Fun.”
    • Have them predict what might happen in the story and suggest some story words.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what they see happening.
  3. 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.
  4. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The sentence pattern is not as obvious, but it is supportive: “I want to stand on my head. I want to jump on my bed.”
    • The book relies on the knowledge of postponing going to bed.
    • There is a cause and effect relationship, which brings the story to its conclusion.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about the boy’s bedtime.

  2. 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.

  3. 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/ or blending the sounds?
    • Do they reread if they come to an unfamiliar or unknown word?
    • Have they self-corrected any mistakes?
    • Do they use the question mark to affect how they read the sentences?
    • 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?
  4. As children read, suggest a reading strategy if they are struggling: “Try rereading the sentence.” Encourage children to take a guess based on the subject of the story or to use the beginning sounds or known parts of the word.

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Focus on the sentence as something that is being said. Ask: “How would you alter your voice to make it sound pleading, begging, or whining?”
    • Explore the phrases “on my bed,” “on my head, “ and “with my bear.” Review the words “on” and “with,” reminding children that these words are special because they help us tell where. Generate some other prepositional phrases that might be appropriate to this story.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children retell the story in their own words. They will be making inferences and drawing conclusions based on the pictures and the words read.

  2. Look at each page and brainstorm some other things the boy might do to avoid bedtime.

  3. Make connections between this boy’s bedtime and children’s experiences.

  4. Review the sequence of events and discuss the way the events changed the boy’s mind. First, he said he didn’t want to go to bed and at the end of the story he said he wanted to. Ask: “What happened to change his mind?” Explain or discuss cause and effect relationships with children.

Second Reading

  1. Have children reread the book in a whisper voice or to a partner.

  2. This is a time for assessment. While they are reading, watch what children do and what they use from the teaching time. Alternatively, you might take a running record on one student as an assessment of the student’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities

Music: Sing some lullabies and talk about what makes something appropriate for singing when you are going to sleep.

Art: Read I HATE TO GO TO BED by Katie Davis or HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOODNIGHT? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. Then have children make a paper plate clock. Each student sets the hands for their own bedtime. Underneath the clock each child writes: “It is _____ o’clock. Time to go to bed.”    

Math: Give each student three 4” X 4” paper squares. Have children draw on each square a picture of something they do to get ready for bed, for instance, brush their teeth, hear a story, kiss people good night, etc. When the pictures are finished, each student will glue the pictures in the order in which they are done. Have children label the pictures in sequence—first, second, third.

Science: Have children keep a bedtime journal for a week. Ask them to look out the window just before bedtime and record what can be seen. Encourage children to look for the moon, stars, and animal activity. Share the journals after a week.    

Social Studies: Use the story as a stimulus for a discussion of bedtime routines. Ask: “Why might a family have rules or routines for getting ready for bed?” Make a chart or a poster that lists the routine for getting ready for bed.

Writing: Give children an opportunity to write about what they would do if they could stay up late one night. Have them draw a picture that shows the activity and write about it.

Guided Reading™: D        DRA: 4        Reading Recovery®: 6

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.

Be aware that many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English. During the introduction, help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day. In this story, the verb forms may need to be reviewed during the introduction: pararme, saltar, jugar, darle.

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


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 1

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Five Senses / Body Parts, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Beginning Concepts, How To, Self Control/Self Regulation, Games/Toys, Protest, Realistic Fiction


Emergent Dual Language, Emergent English, Bebop English Guided Reading Level D, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Reading Partners ER Lee & Low Kit , Dual Language Levels D-I Collection, African American Collection English 6PK, At Home Learning Collection for Grades PreK-2, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Fiction, Infant Toddler Emotional Interactions

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