Family Picnic

By Gaylia Taylor
Illustrations by Aaron Boyd

Guided Reading: A
DRA: 1
Intervention: 1

Genre: Realistic Fiction
8 Pages
18 Words
Overview: An African American boy and his extended family have a fun-filled reunion in the park.

Focus: Concepts of Print and Reading Strategies:
* 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: this, is, my, we

National Standards
Social Studies: Families

ELL/ESL: Picnic en familia

Getting Ready to Read
1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary through demonstration and by asking open-ended questions: * Tell me what families do when they go on a picnic. * Tell me some things you see people doing at a picnic. * What does your family do on a picnic?

  1. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: "Family Picnic"
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see the family doing.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children why they think it’s time for a big family picnic.
    • Have children predict 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 family is doing.
  1. 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.
  1. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book contains familiar words: laugh, eat, play, dance, smile.
    • The word "laugh" requires children to draw a conclusion from the picture.
    • There is a patterned sentence: "We laugh."
    • Only one word changes on each page.
    • The first and last sentences are different: "This is my family." and "I love my family!"

Reading the Book
1. Set a purpose by telling children to read the book and find out what the family did at their picnic.

  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
      /l/ - /a/ - /u/ - /g/ - /h/ 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?
  1. 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.

  2. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:

    • Review using the picture to help with each new word.
    • Talk about the pictures for laugh and smile. Sometimes we have to look carefully.
    • 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.
    • Call attention to the exclamation point on the last page.

After the First Reading
1. Have children confirm their predictions about the picnic.

  1. Discuss the feelings the family members have about the picnic.

  2. Focus children’s attention on the last page and have them discuss why the child says “I love my family!” Encourage children to connect the feeling with what happened on the picnic.

  3. Reflect on why the family had a good time at the picnic.

  4. Discuss other times when a family might have a good time together. What makes a family laugh and smile? At what other times do families get their picture taken together?

Second Reading
1. 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
Brainstorm a set of picnic words. Write them on cards. Sort the cards into groups. For example: foods, activities, places, and so on.

On a paper plate, paste pictures of foods that would be good to take on a picnic. As an extension of the language activity, give children a picture of a basket and a cooler. Have them paste the foods in the basket or in the cooler by deciding which foods need to be kept cool and which can be carried in a basket.

Investigate ants, where they live and what they eat. Talk about why ants seem to love picnics. Design a way to keep ants out of your picnic basket.

Review basic geometric shapes (square, circle, triangle) and then have children sort pictures of picnic foods by their shape. For example, a sandwich could be square and a cookie could be a circle.

Social Studies
Make a list of the rules that a family might have for children who will be attending a picnic. Talk about safety and how the rules will keep children safe.

Have children write about a picnic activity they have experienced.

# Picnic en familia

Guided Reading: B
DRA: 2
Intervention: 2

The Spanish edition also uses a patterned sentence and familiar words: comer, jugar. The verb forms may cause some children difficulty, but help them notice that all the verbs end in “-mos.” Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, it will be important to address the names for the clothing during the introduction. 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 concepts or words in the story, see the article "Guided Reading with Emergent Readers" for suggestions.

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About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - K

Reading Level:

Grades PreK - K


Sharing & Giving, Food, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Gratitude, Realistic Fiction, Pride, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence


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

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