Juicy Peach

By Mary Dixon Lake
Illustrations by Aaron Boyd

Focus: Concepts of Print and Reading Strategies

  • one-to-one matching
  • using picture clues
  • sequencing ideas
  • using exclamation points

Supportive Text Features

  • familiar words and concept
  • strong picture/text match

High-frequency Words: see, a, what

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Describe what you might do before eating a peach.
    • How do people get ready to eat a peach?
    • What might children do who are helping pick peaches?    
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Juicy Peach.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see children doing.
    • Have children suggest some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what they see children doing in the orchard.
  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 look at the pictures and the beginning sound of the word.
  4. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book contains familiar words: see, pick, smell, feel, eat.
    •  There is a patterned sentence: “See a peach.”
    • Only one word changes on each page, but it is the first word of the sentence.
    • The last two sentences are different: “Squirt!” and “Juicy peach!”

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about what children did in the orchard.

  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 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 /p/ - /e/ - /a/ - /c/ - /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?
  4. 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.

  5. 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 the verb, or action word, at the beginning of each sentence. If children are having difficulty with the word, prompt them: “What are the children doing?”

After the First Reading

  1. Have children confirm their predictions about picking peaches.

  2. Review the sequence of events. Would there be any events that could be switched in their order? Why not?

  3. Connect children’s experiences eating fruit with those of children in the book.

  4. Brainstorm other action words or verbs that could be added to the story.

  5. Look at the word “squirt” on page 7 and talk about how the sound of the word is similar to the sound that the peach makes when the juice squirts out. Ask: “What other words are like this one?” (clap, thump, crash, etc.)

  6. Call children’s attention to the exclamation points at the end of the last two sentences. Review what the mark tells us to do when we are reading.

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

Music: Brainstorm songs to sing together while picking the peaches.

Art: Paint a giant tree and cut out construction leaves and attach them to the tree. Cut a peach in half and use it to make “peach prints” using tempera paint. Let the prints dry, cut them out, and paste them on the tree.

Math: Collect a variety of kinds of real fruit. Show children each fruit and have them make predictions as to which of the fruits is the heaviest and lightest. Use a balance scale and have children check their predictions. Put the fruits in order according to their weight, heaviest to lightest or lightest to heaviest.

Science: In pairs, have children examine a peach. Examine the peach using the five senses. Have children use a hand lens or magnifying glass. Open the peach and continue the examination. Record children’ observations and make a list of the attributes of a peach.

Social Studies: Set up a Farmer’s Market dramatic play center in the classroom. Have children pretend to set up and sell the plastic fruits and vegetables.

Writing: Have children make a shopping list for the class Farmer’s Market.

Guided Reading™: C        DRA: 3        Reading Recovery®: 4

The Spanish edition also uses a patterned sentence and familiar words: veo, agarro, huelo, toco, como. Call children’s attention to the form of the verb and the ending. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, it will be important to address the words used for the verbs during the introduction. Help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day.

Call children’s attention to the use of the exclamation points at the beginning and end of the last two sentences. Explain what the marks mean.

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.

Phonics Supplement


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - 1

Reading Level:

Grades K - 1


Nature/Science, Five Senses / Body Parts, Sharing & Giving, Friendship, Food, Farming, Environment/Nature, African/African American Interest, Beginning Concepts, Exploring Ecosystems, Gratitude, How To, Human Impact On Environment/Environmental Sustainability , Optimism/Enthusiasm, Realistic Fiction


Bebop African American English Grades PreK-2, Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, 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, PreK Instructional Interactions

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