I Need To Ask You Something

By Miriam Marx
Illustrations by Patricia A. Keeler, Francis McCall


  • reading and following conversation
  • asking and answering questions

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concepts
  • repetitive, patterned sentences

High-frequency Words: I, to, you, said, will, my, find, the

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Tell me how a mom helps her child get ready to go to school.
    • What might an adult do to help a child get ready to go outside?
    • What clothes do you put on when you go outside in summer? in winter?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Call children’s attention to the title. Read: “I Need to Ask You Something.”
    • Ask them to predict what the girl and her mom will do in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children how they think the girl’s mom will help her.
    • 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 tell what they see happening in the story.
  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 as well as many familiar words.
    • Familiar clothing words are used: shoes, coat, hat, glove.
    • There are three alternating patterned sentences.
    • There are quotation marks on every page to designate conversation; two people are talking back and forth.
    • Question marks are also used on every page; the last page also has an exclamation point.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read and find out how the girl got ready to go outside.

  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, commas, and question marks in dialogue, and the exclamation point on page 12.
    • 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 girl and her mom did in the story.

  2. Ask children to retell the story of how the girl got ready to go outside.

  3. Talk about the significance of each of the clothing items.

  4. Brainstorm ideas about other questions the girl could have asked her mom.

  5. Reflect on how the girl’s mother helped her get ready. Then discuss how the girl and her mom feel about each other. Have children look for evidence in the book to support their ideas.

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: Give children two identical paper dolls shapes. Have them dress one for inside play and the other for outside play. When the paper dolls are completed have children compare the two dolls and generate sentences that indicate the similarities and differences in clothing.

Music: Talk about how people “whistle while they work” or hum while they are doing things. Have children brainstorm a song, whistle tune, or humming pattern that the girl and her mother use while the girl puts on her warm clothes.

Science: For several months, keep track of the temperature and the kinds of clothing children wear. Help them draw conclusions about the relationship between temperature and the amount/kind of clothing they wear.

Math: Have children manipulate a plastic or paper clock to show the time a child starts getting dressed for school in the morning, leaves for school, eats lunch, gets home from school, and so on. Give children additional practice with clocks by saying a time and having them move the hands into the correct positions.

Social Studies: Discuss other helpers in the community, neighborhood, or school the girl might encounter during her day. Make a display of pictures in which adults are helping children. Also talk about ways children help adults.

Writing: Make a list of all the things a child does to get ready to go out in cold weather, rainy weather, snowy weather, warm weather, and so on.


Guided Reading™: E        DRA: 6        Reading Recovery®: 7
12 pages, 102 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 many familiar words and patterned, repeated sentences. Children may be unfamiliar with the way dialogue is indicated and how question marks and exclamation points are used in written Spanish. Dashes are used instead of quotation marks to indicate dialogue. Question marks and 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.


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades K - 2

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Photographic Illustrations, Nonfiction, Weather/Seasons/Clothing, Sharing & Giving, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Beginning Concepts, Gratitude, Informational Text


Emergent Dual Language, Emergent English, English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level E, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels D-I Collection, African American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Nonfiction

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