On Our Farm

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
  • picture-text match
    High-frequency Word: we

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Tell me what you might see a farmer and his child doing on the farm.
    • Tell me what you might do on a farm.
    • How might a child help her father on their farm?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “On Our Farm.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see happening in the story.
    • Read the back cover copy. Ask children what they think this girl and her father do on their farm.
    • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the photographs.
    • Ask them what the photographs tell about 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 look at the pictures and the beginning sound of the word.
  4. Be aware of the following text features:
    • There is a patterned sentence: “We ride.”
    • Only one word changes on each page.
    • Many of the words are familiar in oral language but may be unfamiliar “reading” words in this context: ride, fix, hold, lift, feed.
    • The pictures are good examples but some inference is required.
    • The sentences contain just a subject and a verb and may be added to in order to expand the meaning of the text.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to find out what the farmer and his daughter did.

  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 /r/ - /i/ - /d/ - /e/ 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 after looking at the pictures.

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review using the picture and the beginning sound together to help figure out each new word.
    • Model how to make good guesses. What word begins with /r/ and goes with a story about working on a farm?

After the First Reading

  1. Discuss what the farmer and his daughter did together.

  2. Brainstorm some words that might be added to each sentence. For example, “We ride.” might become “We ride on a red tractor.

  3. Review how the pictures and the words in the story work together to tell about the day the farmer and his child spent together.

  4. Make some connections between children’s own lives and the story. How are they the same? How are they different?

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: Use a big book that tells a story about a farm. Cover the text. Have children look at the pictures and generate a two- or three-word action sentence for each picture. Then read the text and compare the sentences children made with the actual story.

Art: Make a farm collage using pictures from magazines. Paste the pictures on construction paper. Encourage children to include animals, buildings, people, and food.

Science: Investigate the tools a farmer uses. Talk about what each tool does or what it is used for and generate a list of action words (verbs) related to the tools: pull, push, swing, and so on. Sort the tools using the generated words.

Math: Show children pictures of farms. Ask: “What do you see?” Model for children an answer: “I see three pigs.” How many different things can children count and name?
Social Studies**: Make a list of the “rules” a farmer would have for his children. How would the rules keep children safe?

Writing: Write about visiting or working on a farm.

En nuestra granja

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

The Spanish edition uses short sentences with some familiar words: manejamos, plantamos, arreglamos, sujetamos, levantamos, alimentamos, abrazamos. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English they may use other words or variations for farm activities. They may also need help with the verb forms. Children may need help understanding 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.

Phonics Supplement


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 1

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Photographic Illustrations, Animal/Biodiversity/Plant Adaptations, Nature/Science, Nonfiction, Responsibility, Occupations, Mentors, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Fathers, Farming, Families, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Animals, Pride, Collaboration, Environment/Nature, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Informational Text, Optimism/Enthusiasm


Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Latin American English Grades PreK-2, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Latin American Collection English 6PK, Bebop English Nonfiction

Want to know more about us or have specific questions regarding our Teacher's Guides?

Please write us!


Phonics Supplement

Terms of Use