Laundry Day

By Karen Hjemboe
Illustrations by Shelly Hehenberger

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • using the picture clues
  • reading a patterned phrase

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concept
  • patterned sentence
  • strong picture-text match

High-frequency Words: in, go, the, out, come

Concept Words: in, out

Getting Ready to Read
Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:

  • Tell me where people do the laundry.
  • How might you help an adult with the laundry?
  • What clothes go in the washing machine and dryer?
  1. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Laundry Day.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see happening in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children how they think the children might get ready to help their mother.
    • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what the pictures tell about the story.
  2. 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.
  3. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book contains familiar words: socks, pants, shirts.
    • There are two patterned sentences: “In go the socks.” and “Out come the socks.”
    • The word order of the sentences is inverted. The first three sentences start with “In” and the next four sentences begin with “Out.”
    • Only one word changes in among the first three sentences and the next four sentences.
    • The pictures add a lot of the story details and explain the sentences.

Reading the Book
Set a purpose by telling children to read about doing laundry.

  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 /s/ - /h/ - /i/ - /r/
      • /t/ 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?
  3. 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 after looking at the pictures.

  4. 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
    • Discuss the difference between “in” and “out.” Generate other opposites.

After the First Reading
Have children confirm their predictions.

  1. Ask children to report what the family did as they washed the clothes.

  2. Discuss how the children helped their mother.

  3. Reflect on why the chore was easier and/or more fun because they worked together.

  4. Generate some sounds or words for the mother and children to say on each page.

Second Reading
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
Language: Look at some laundry detergent boxes or bottles. Compare the labels and find words or pictures that are the same. Have children find words they can read. Talk about the information contained on the labels.

Art: Cut out some paper clothes. Paste them on a clothesline in a pattern.

Science: Give children a piece of cloth with a stain on it (ketchup, grass, chocolate, ink, and so on). Let them decide how to remove the stain. Let children try scrubbing, rubbing, and soaking. Which is the most effective way of removing each stain?

Math: Fill a small laundry basket with clothes. Estimate how many articles (items) are in the basket. Count the items. Next, make a list of all the clothes each child is wearing. Estimate how many baskets all the clothes in the classroom would fill.

Social Studies: Interview someone who owns or runs a laundromat. Have children ask the person questions about the rules and regulations customers must follow.

Writing: Write about helping someone do the laundry.

En la lavandería

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

The Spanish edition also uses two patterned sentences and familiar words: medias, pantalones, camisas, casa. The last sentence is different and does not follow the pattern: “Nos vamos a casa.” Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English they may use other words or variations for the clothing names. 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 the 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 - 1

Reading Level:

Grades K - 1


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Weather/Seasons/Clothing, Responsibility, Native American Interest, Home, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Realistic Fiction, Collaboration, Mothers


Teachers College Reading Assessment Kit for Grades K-2: Add-On Pack, Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Native American English Grades PreK-2, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Reading Partners ER Lee & Low Kit , Native American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Teachers College Reading Assessment Kit for Grades K-2: Library, Native American and Indigenous Booklist , Bebop English Fiction, PreK Instructional Interactions

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