Best Friends

By Tina Athaide
Illustrations by Maria Victoria Torrey

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • using the picture clues
  • reading a patterned sentence

Supportive Text Features:

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

High-frequency Words: we, like, to, are

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

  • Tell me what friends do when they play together.
  • Tell me some things children might do on a warm, sunny day.
  • What might you see two friends doing on a play date?
  1. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Best Friends.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see the girl and boy doing.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children what they think the girl and boy do together.
    • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the photographs.
    • Ask them why the girl and boy might like to be outside.
  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 photographs and the beginning sound of the word.
  3. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book contains familiar words: ride, swing, slide, swim, run, climb.
    • There is a patterned sentence: “We like to ride.”
    • Only one word changes on each page.
    • The last sentence is different: “We are best friends.”

Reading the Book
Set a purpose by telling children to read the book and find out what the girl and boy like to do when they play together.

  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 /r/ - /i/ - /d/ - /e/ 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, suggest a reading strategy if they are struggling: “Try looking at the picture to make sense of the print.” Encourage children to take a guess or use the beginning letter sound.

  4. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review using the picture to help with each new word.
    • Review using the beginning sound.
    • Model how to reread the sentence if it doesn’t sound right or make sense.
    • Call attention to all the high-frequency words children have learned and used.

After the First Reading
Have children confirm their predictions about the girl and boy who were playing.

  1. Ask children to explain what it means to be “best friends” and why they think the girl and boy are best friends.

  2. Discuss how the girl and boy might help each other as the play.

  3. Have children suggest what each child might say as they play together.

  4. Discuss other activities best friends like these children might like to do.

  5. Make a list of the characteristics that make someone a best friend.

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

  1. 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 child as an assessment of the child’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities
Language: Give children puppets and have them develop a dialog that might occur while the puppet friends are playing together.

Art: Give children paper dolls and have them cut out play clothes for the doll. When the doll is finished it will be dressed for going out to play on a summer day. Children can design and cut out their own clothes or use templates for tracing.

Science: Have children feel their pulse after they have been sitting for a while. Then engage children in some exercise. Again have them feel their pulse. Discuss what has happened. Look at the photographs in the book and identify the activities that would make the children’s heart rates go up. Share with children how exercise helps keep us healthy. Children can then choose a play activity which raises their heart rate and draw pictures of themselves exercising. Finally, have children reflect on which activities would be the most fun to do with a friend.

Math: Make a graph that shows the activities children enjoy doing with their own best friends. Draw some conclusions based on the finished graph.

Writing: Have children write stories about a time they played with a best friend. Encourage children to write about a recent and real event.

Guided Reading with Buenos Amigos

Guided Reading™: B        DRA: 2        Reading Recovery®: 2

The Spanish edition also uses a patterned sentence and familiar words: nadar. deslizar, correr, trepar. However, two different verb forms are used. Some of the words have “-nos” added to the end of the verb. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, you may need to 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.

Phonics Supplement


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - 1

Reading Level:

Grades PreK - K


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Photographic Illustrations, Sports, Similarities and Differences, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Neighbors, Games/Toys, Friendship, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Asian/Asian American Interest, Empathy/Compassion, Self Control/Self Regulation, Collaboration, Informational Text, Nonfiction


Teachers College Reading Assessment Kit for Grades K-2: Add-On Pack, Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level B, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Reading Partners ER Lee & Low Kit , Bebop Asian American English Grades PreK-2, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Asian American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Teachers College Reading Assessment Kit for Grades K-2: Library, Bebop English Nonfiction, Infant Toddler Emotional Interactions

Want to know more about us or have specific questions regarding our Teacher's Guides?

Please write us!


Phonics Supplement

Terms of Use