Fishing Fun

By Francis McCall, Paul Richardson
Illustrations by Francis McCall


  • understanding the author’s message
  • connecting personal experiences with a story
  • reading and following conversation
  • reading labeled diagrams
  • understanding feelings in a story
  • drawing conclusions and making inferences

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concepts
  • narrative sentence and text form
  • variety of sentence structures
  • sequential events

Essential Components of Reading Instruction:

Phonics: initial /w/ consonant sound
Vocabulary: fishing tackle, bait, wiggly, hook, sinker, bobber, jerks, suddenly, straightens, reel(s), line(s), bucket; comparative words
Fluency: reread the story independently or with a partner
Comprehension: determine what is important, make connections, ask questions

High-frequency Words: to, the, we, this, is, now, get, some, I, my, do, for, up, a, of, way, like, them, in, with, and, on, each, time, your, no, not, go(es, ing), into, have, one, look, out, from, was, this, as, that, than, you, what, get(s), an, there, all, have, then, he, it, be, like(s), who

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Tell me what you know about fishing.
    • What do people take with them when they go fishing?
    • What do people do with the fish they catch?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the story:
    • Call children’s attention to the title. Read: “Fishing Fun.”
    • Ask children to use the title and photograph on the cover to predict what they would expect to read about in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children to think about what Brandon and his family might catch.
    • Have children suggest some words they might read in the book.
    • Give children the book and have them look through it. Ask them to tell what happens as they turn each page.
    • Call children’s attention to the last page of the book and point out the labeled pictures of fishing gear.
  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 use known sound chunks to decode unknown words, and to read on, returning to the word after completing the sentence.
    • Tell children also to think about what they know about fishing. Then encourage them to choose a word that makes sense in the sentence.
  4. Be aware of the following book and text features:
    • The book contains numerous high-frequency words and many other familiar words.
    • The story is written in narrative form. Quotation marks indicate what the characters say in conversation.
    • Two different text-picture layouts alternate throughout the book.
    • The story events are sequential and real, and extend over several pages.
    • The photographs support and extend the text, but most of the meaning is contained in the text.
    • The last page contains labeled pictures of fishing equipment.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about the day Brandon and his family went fishing.

  2. Have children read the story silently. Each child should be reading at his or her own pace. After the group has read a few pages, check for understanding with simple comments such as: “Tell me how the story begins.” Then direct children to continue reading. As they read, watch for indications of comprehension: changes in facial expressions, giggles, audible comments, rereading, turning back to a page.

  3. Look for these reading behaviors during children’s first reading:
    • Do they have a strong sight vocabulary?
    • Do they use known sound chunks to read unknown words?
    • Are they showing signs of understanding the story?
    • Are they monitoring meaning and rereading when they lose meaning?
    • Do they easily move from page to page? Are they reading fluently?
    • Are they using punctuation to gain meaning?
    • How are they dealing with the conversations in the text?
    • Do they make accurate predictions?
    • Are they connecting the text to their own experiences?
    • Do they react to the text even though they are reading silently? Do they laugh? smile? frown?
  4. As children read, note what they are doing. Help them build independence by being available, but not intervening too quickly. Watch for changes in children’s facial expressions and use these as signals to ask questions such as: “What made you smile?” or “Do you need some help?” Also encourage children’s attempts by making comments such as: “I like how you are reading,” or “That was a good strategy.”

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review how to find a known part or sound chunk in an unknown word.
    • Show children how to use analogies to move from the known to the unknown when encountering new words.
    • Review using grammar (syntax) to unlock words by considering the sentence structure or parts of speech in the sentence.
    • Model asking questions or making “I wonder . . .” statements to extend comprehension.
    • Review how to determine what is important in a story.
    • Determine whether or not children used the labeled pictures on page
  6. Explore how this information helps readers understand the story.
    • Talk with children about the feelings the author was trying to convey. What part of the story was sad? What part was funny?
    • Review using punctuation marks to guide the meaning-making process. Talk about the use of quotation marks to indicate dialogue, and the role commas, question marks, and exclamation points as clues to reading with expression.
    • Work with words from the story with initial /w/consonant sound: wait, watch, water, way, we, wiggly; word, worm, work, world, worse, worth. Note that several of these words begin with the letters “wor.” Explore other words with this sound.
    • Call attention to the comparative words on pages 14 through 16: big, bigger, biggest. Review the word endings and how they indicate the number of items being compared.
    • Model how to revisit the text to find specific examples or ideas in the story. Revisit FISHING FUN to make inferences about how Brandon and Arian felt at different points in the story.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children confirm their predictions about what happened in the story.

  2. Discuss the story and the process of catching a fish. Connect the story with children’s experiences.

  3. Point out words in the story that are used as both nouns and verbs: bait, reel; and familiar words that are used in a new way: cast, line, tackle, jerk. Talk about the words and make sure children understand them in the context of fishing.

  4. Encourage children to read the story aloud with appropriate expression, feeling, and emphasis.
  5. Elicit children’s ideas about what happened when Brandon, Arian, and Dad arrived home after their day of fishing?

  6. Compare the fishing experience in FISHING FUN to the fishing illustration in SUMMER SUN RISIN’.

Second Reading

  1. Have children reread the book silently 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 child as an assessment of the child’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities

Art: Refer to the Bebop Books’ title FISH PRINT, and have children make their own fish prints. Instructions and templates for many other fish crafts can be found at:

Let children make their own drawings of the fish and other things Brandon and Arian might have caught as their day of fishing continued. Children may wish to research kinds of fish and draw specific species, or just use their imaginations to create their own fish.

Music: Teach children the song “Fishy in the Brook.” Words and music can be found at: Talk about what the song says people do when they catch fish. Let children act out the song as it is sung.

Science: Show children a fish poster or pictures of a variety of fish, and if possible, take a trip to a local fish store or supermarket fish department. Lead the discussion, helping children describe what they see, and introduce some basic terms such as “fins” and “gills.” Children may wish to record what they learn by labeling a diagram or picture of a fish. IT COULD STILL BE A FISH by Allan Fowler describes the basic characteristics of fish.

Math: Have children use fish-shaped crackers to solve word problems. For example, “There were seven fish swimming in a pond. A girl caught four fish. How many fish were left in the pond?” (Adjust the problems to your children’s level of math expertise.) Let volunteers record the problems by writing the number sentence: 7 – 4 = 3. Have children save their crackers for snack time.

Social Studies: Many people enjoy fishing. In most states, a fishing license is required before one can fish legally. Help children research what a person needs to do to obtain a fishing license in your state, and review the regulations and rules with children. Discuss why licenses and rules are needed. How does a community protect the environment and help its citizens by having rules?

Writing: Have children rewrite the procedure for getting ready to fish as a list of numbered steps. They might start with digging the worms and end with putting the catch in a bucket.

Guided Reading with

Guided Reading™: J        EDL/DRA: 18        Intervention: 17
24 pages, 438 words, plus Informational Note

Level J is the benchmark for the beginning of second grade. Children at this level are becoming fluent readers. All of 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. The focus of the teacher’s support should be on building confidence, fluency, and comprehension. This is a time for growing independence. 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 many familiar words. The text is written in narrative style. If children do not know some of the words, present them with synonyms to help deepen their comprehension of the new words and the story. You may also use real objects to support their learning of new vocabulary.

Review with children the way dialogue is indicated and how question marks and exclamation points are used in written Spanish. Dashes are used to indicate dialogue and question marks and exclamation points are used at both the beginning and end of sentences. The marks appear “upside down” at the beginning of each sentence and “right side up” at the end. Have children practice reading the conversations. Encourage them to read the words so they sound like talking.

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.


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 2 - 2

Reading Level:

Grades 2 - 2


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Photographic Illustrations, Animal/Biodiversity/Plant Adaptations, Nature/Science, Nonfiction, Counting Money/Everyday Math, Sports, Similarities and Differences, Siblings, Games/Toys, Friendship, Fathers, Families, Environment/Nature, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Beginning Concepts, Animals, Exploring Ecosystems, Human Impact On Environment/Environmental Sustainability , Optimism/Enthusiasm, Persistence/Grit, Self Control/Self Regulation, Water, Pride


Early Fluent Dual Language, English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Early Fluent English, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels J-M Collection, African American Collection English 6PK, English Guided Reading Level J, Multicultural Collection 10, Multicultural Collection 13, Multicultural Collection 14, Multicultural Collection 15, Multicultural Collection 11, Multicultural Collection 16, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Nonfiction

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