Block Party - Bebop

By Anastasia Suen
Illustrations by Kurt Nagahori


  • reading and following conversation
  • drawing conclusions

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concepts
  • repeated sentences

High-frequency Words: one, and, said, go, in, out, the, I, see, people

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Tell me what friends might say to each other as they are riding their bikes outside.
    • What might you see as you ride a bike through your neighborhood?
    • What might friends say to each other as they play together?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Call children’s attention to the title. Read: “Block Party.”
    • Elicit children’s ideas about what a block party is. If necessary, provide some background information.
    • Have children predict what they think the two girls will do in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children why they think there is a picture of bicycles on the back cover?
    • Have children suggest some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them to notice what the girls are doing.
  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 say the beginning sound of an unknown word and read on, returning to the word after completing the sentence.
  4. Be aware of the following book and text features:
    • The book contains several high-frequency words and many familiar words that children may know by sight.
    • Many sentences are repeated a second time, but by a different character.
    • Every page, except page 11, contains quotation marks to designate conversation. Exclamation points are also used.
    • All capital letters are used to designate the sounds on page 11.
    • Children must use the pictures and text to understand the story.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read and find out what the girls saw as they rode their bikes through town.

  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 children’s first reading:
    • Do they identify more words by sight?
    • Do they rely on the print and not just the pictures when reading?
    • Do they read with increased confidence?
    • Are they self-correcting to get meaning from the story?
    • Have they begun to cross-check by using language patterns and letter sounds?
    • Do they reread to check accuracy and meaning?
    • Are they using chunks of words rather than individual letters when sounding out?
    • Do they expect to get meaning from the text?
    • Do they make connections between the story and previous experiences?
    • Are they asking questions about the story?
  4. As children read, suggest reading strategies if they are struggling: “Try saying the beginning of the word. Try looking at the picture for help.” Encourage children to take a guess or read past the unknown word.

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Call attention to all the high-frequency words children have used.
    • Review how to find a known part in an unknown word.
    • Show children how to use analogies to move from the known to the unknown when encountering new words.
    • Work with suffixes and prefixes.
    • Review using grammar (syntax) to unlock words by considering the sentence structure or parts of speech in the sentence.
    • Explore the story grammar—characters, setting, problem, and so on.
    • Review how to determine what is important in a picture or sentence.
    • Model asking questions or making “I wonder . . .” statements to extend comprehension.
    • Review using punctuation marks to guide the meaning-making process. Call attention to the use of quotation marks and commas in dialogue, apostrophe in contractions, and the exclamation point on pages 11 and 16.
    • Model how to revisit the text to find specific examples or ideas in the story.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children confirm their predictions about what the two girls did.

  2. Ask children to retell the story to show how they knew there was a party.

  3. Discuss the significance of the things the girls saw as they rode to the party.

  4. Reflect on what the girls said to one another and how their conversation indicates they are friends.

  5. Brainstorm ideas about what the people will do at the party.

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

Art: Read the story TAR BEACH by Faith Ringgold. Have children notice the colors and shapes used by the illustrator to make the picture of the city come alive. Compare the pictures and colors used in TAR BEACH to those in BLOCK PARTY.

Music: Teach children the song “A Bicycle Built for Two.” Put children in pairs and have them act out the song as they ride along together.

Science: Investigate a bicycle and how the pushing of the pedal makes the wheels go around. Turn the bike upside down and have children push the pedals with their hands and watch the transfer of energy from the pedals to the wheels. Ask children to observe all the moving parts. Explore ideas about why so many parts of the bike move.

Math: Have children set up a bike-decorating booth for a block party. Have them choose items to sell people who want to decorate their bikes. Label each item with a price. Play store by having each child choose two items and tell how much each will cost. Then have children add the prices together to get the total cost.

Social Studies: Explore how bicycles are used by adults to do their work. For example, people may ride their bikes to work, messengers ride bikes to deliver packages, restaurant workers ride bikes to deliver food, and so on.

Writing: Encourage children to write stories about riding a bike or some other experiences they have had with bikes.

Fiesta de barrio

Guided Reading™: F        DRA: 10        Reading Recovery®: 9
16 pages, 78 words

The directions given for the introduction, first reading, and second reading of the English edition can be used with the Spanish edition of the book. To read the book successfully, children need the same kinds of support as their English-speaking classmates. Second language learners often benefit from acting out new words, seeing pictures, and talking about them using concrete examples.

The Spanish edition has repeated sentences and many familiar words. Children may be unfamiliar with the way dialogue is indicated and how exclamation points are used in written Spanish. Dashes are used instead of quotation marks to indicate dialogue. Exclamation points are used at both the beginning and end of a sentence. The marks appear upside down at the beginning of the sentence and right side up at the end.

The book language used may differ from children’s oral language. Comparing any differences will help children read and understand the story. Also help children understand that we often speak differently than we write, and that both ways of using language are important.

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About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades K - 2

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Vehicles In Motion, Sports, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Friendship, Cultural Diversity, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Realistic Fiction, Respect/Citizenship, Pride


Emergent Dual Language, Bebop English Guided Reading Level E, Bebop Latin American English Grades PreK-2, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels D-I Collection, Emergent English, African American Collection English 6PK, Latin American Collection English 6PK, Diverse Backgrounds Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Fiction, PreK Instructional Interactions

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