Mom is a Painter

By Laura E. Williams
Illustrations by Laura E. Williams

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • 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
: is, a, she

Concept Words: red, yellow, green. blue, purple

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

  • Tell me your favorite colors.
  • What colors might a painter use to decorate things around the house?
  • Tell me things a painter might make to decorate things in her house?
  1. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Mom Is a Painter.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see happening in the story.
    • Read the back cover copy. Ask children what they think the mom in the story paints.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the photographs.
    • Ask them what the photographs 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 color words.
    • The book contains familiar words: Mom, bug, sun, leaf, balloon, dragon, face.
    • There is a patterned sentence: “She paints a red bug.”
    • Two words change on each page, the color word and the object.
    • The first sentence is different: “Mom is a painter.”

Reading the Book
Set a purpose by telling children to find out what the mother paints.

  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 /p/ - /a/ - /i/ - /n/ /t/ /e/ - /r/ 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 photograph 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 how the first sentence tells us who “she” is in the other sentences.
    • Call attention to the exclamation point on the last page.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children confirm their predictions.

  2. Ask children to talk about the relationship between the mom and the boy.

  3. Discuss how the painter used different colors to decorate things in her home, including her son!

  4. Generate a list of some things in the classroom that a painter could decorate.

  5. Generate some conversation that might occur between the mom and the boy as she paints.

  6. Have children talk about times when they have had their faces painted.

  7. Model how the last sentence should be read differently because of the exclamation mark.

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 child as an assessment of the child’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities
Language: Play “I Spy.” Say to children: “I spy something green.” Let children respond by looking around the classroom and saying: “Is it Jaime’s shirt?” or “Is it the cup on your desk?” Model the question you want children to use. After a while, have a child generate the “I spy . . .” sentence and join children in asking the questions. The activity encourages children to use full sentences and match colors.

Art: Let children use paint, crayons, or markers to decorate white paper plates with multiple objects, such as ten green leaves or three pink flowers..

Math: Have children describe and count what they see on the plates they decorated.

Science: Give children red, yellow, and blue paint. Ask them to mix the colors and make as many different colors as they can. Talk about the “recipe” for each new color. Give children pieces of red, yellow, and blue acetate and have them look through them. Ask children to describe how the colors of objects change when they look through the colored films.

Social Studies: Investigate the kinds of jobs available for people who enjoy painting. As an alternative, read a short biography of a famous artist and compare what the mom in the story does with what the person in the book does.

Writing: Tell a story about watching a relative decorating your home or something in it.

Mi mamá es pintora

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

The Spanish edition also uses a patterned sentence and familiar words: mamá, insecto, sol, hoja, globo, dragón, cara. The color words rojo, amarillo, verde, azul, morado are also used. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English they may use other words or variations for the objects mom paints. 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


Colors, Photographic Illustrations, Nonfiction, Classroom Activities, Occupations, Mothers, Imagination, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Art, Asian/Asian American Interest, Pride, Optimism/Enthusiasm


Teachers College Reading Assessment Kit for Grades K-2: Add-On Pack, Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Bebop Asian American English Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Asian American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Teachers College Reading Assessment Kit for Grades K-2: Library, Bebop English Nonfiction

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