Pop Pop and Grandpa

By Mary Dixon Lake
Illustrations by Christiane Krömer


  • understanding the author’s message
  • connecting personal experiences with a story
  • making comparisons; looking for similarities and differences

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concepts
  • narrative sentence and text form
  • alternating but related text passages

Essential Components of Reading Instruction:

Phonics: /al/, /ay/ vowel sounds
Vocabulary: tractor, stalls, checkers, dominoes, champ, jazz, salsa; compound words; plural nouns: adding “–es”
Fluency: reread the story independently or with a partner
Comprehension: determine what is important, make connections, ask questions

High-frequency Words: when, I, go, to, see, the, in, on, way, his, an, find, and, we, at, he, a, likes, with, them, have, make, one, for, are, but, them, they

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • What do you do when you visit your grandparents or other older adults?
    • What might you be able to do on a farm?
    • What might you be able to do in a city?
    • What might you be able to do on an island where it is always warm?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Call children’s attention to the title. Read: “Pop Pop and Grandpa.” Talk about the names children use for their grandfathers.
    • Ask children to use the title and picture on the cover to predict what might happen in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children what the boy might do during his visits.
    • 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 happens in the story as they turn the pages.
  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 for chunks of words they know and to blend the sounds quickly.
    • Suggest that children read on past an unfamiliar word in order to use the context of the story to unlock the word.
    • Tell children also to think about the story and words that would go with visiting a grandfather. Then encourage them to choose a word that makes sense in the sentence.
  4. Be aware of the following book and text features:
    • The book contains numerous high-frequency words and many other familiar words.
    • The story is written in narrative form.
    • Some phrases are repeated to show similarities and differences between the boy’s experiences with his two grandfathers.
    • Several compound words are used.
    • Ellipses are used on page 8 to indicate a pause.
    • The pictures support the text, but much of the story is contained in the text.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about what the boy does while he is visiting his grandfathers.

  2. Have children read the first few pages silently. Each child should read at his or her own pace. Check comprehension with a simple comment such as: “Tell me how the story begins.” Then direct children to continue reading. As they read, watch for indications of comprehension: changes in facial expressions, giggles, audible comments, rereading, turning back to a page.

  3. Look for these reading behaviors during children’s first reading:
    • Do they rely on the print while reading?
    • Do they have a strong sight vocabulary?
    • Do they use known sound chunks to read unknown words?
    • Are they monitoring meaning and rereading when they lose meaning?
    • Do they easily move from page to page?
    • Are they using punctuation to gain meaning?
    • Do they make accurate predictions?
    • Can they connect the text to their own experiences?
    • Do they react to the text even though they are reading silently?
  4. As children read, note what they are doing. Help them build independence by being available, but not intervening too quickly. Watch for changes in children’s facial expressions and use these as signals to ask questions such as: “What made you smile?” or “Do you need some help?” Also encourage children’s attempts by making comments such as: “I like how you are reading,” or “That was a good strategy.”

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review how to find a known part or sound chunk 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 sentence or story.
    • Model asking questions or making “I wonder . . .” statements to extend comprehension.
    • Review using punctuation marks to guide the meaning-making process. Point out the ellipses and exclamation point on page 8 and the exclamation point on page 16.
    • Point out the following compound words: airplane, sometimes, bedtime, basketball, baseball, homerun. Review how compound words are formed and how this is sometimes a clue to their meanings.
    • Work with words from the story with /al/ and /ay/ vowel sounds: stall, basketball, baseball; way, play. Explore additional words with these sounds in other positions.
    • Work with the plural noun ending “-es,” as in domino/dominoes, and with words in which the final “y” is changed to “i” before adding “-es,” as in story/stories and party/parties.
    • Model how to revisit the text to find specific examples or ideas in the story. Revisit POP POP AND GRANDPA to compare their lives.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children confirm their predictions about what happened in the story.

  2. Elicit children’s ideas about how the boy felt when he visited each grandfather.

  3. Talk about why the boy enjoyed both visits.

  4. Explore the similarities and differences between life on a farm and life in a small island city.

  5. Discuss the role grandparents play in children’s lives. Connect the story to children’s experiences with their own grandparents.

  6. Brainstorm with children what might happen after the end of the story.

Second Reading

  1. Have children reread the book silently 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

Art: Point out the “snapshots” the boy is holding on the front cover of POP POP AND GRANDPA. Then give children a sheet of paper on which to draw a frame (a rectangle with four triangles in the corners) around the edges. In the center of the paper, let children make their own pictures of a time they spent with a grandparent or other older adult. Children might create their snapshots using crayons, colored pencils, markers, collage, paint, or any other materials available in the classroom. Display the snapshots around the room or let children take them home to their grandparents.

Music: Play some recordings of salsa music for children. Ask them to clap along with the beat or use rhythm instruments to accompany the music. Have children share their ideas about why the boy and Grandpa enjoyed the salsa dancing.
Next play some jazz recordings and have children talk about why Pop Pop might have liked jazz so much. Finally, challenge children to compare the sounds of jazz and salsa.

Science: Display pictures of airplanes and trains. Brainstorm ideas about what it is like to travel on planes and trains, and encourage children to share their experiences. Then explore how trains and airplanes move. How are they the same? What are the differences? Why do they both have wheels? What do they use for power? What other sources of power are used to move things?

Math: Have children look at dominoes and show them how to play if they are not already familiar with the game. Then talk about how math plays a role in the game. Do the same with checkers and a checkerboard. As an extension, read children THE KING’S CHESSBOARD by David Birch and talk about the way math is used in the story.

Social Studies: Read children some other stories and/or books that feature relationships between children and their grandfathers. If possible, try to select stories with characters from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. (Many such stories are available in libraries and bookstores.) After reading a few stories, have children talk about what the children in the stories did with or learned from their grandfathers. Also discuss the similarities and differences among the grandchild-grandfather relationships depicted.

Writing: Have children write letters to their own grandparents (or other older adults) asking if they could visit their grandparents and suggesting some activities they might share.

Guided Reading with

Guided Reading™: H        DRA: 14        Intervention: 14
12 pages, 104 words

Children reading at guided reading level H are moving into an early fluent stage of reading. All 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. The focus of the teacher’s support should be on building comprehension, fluency, confidence, and independence. 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. In Spanish, the grammatical construction to show something is pleasant or that it is liked is an idiom. Call children’s attention to the phrase: “A Abu le gusta jugar . . .” on page 8. Show them how the same construction is used on page 12 in the phrase, “A Tata le encantan . . .” Also point out the use of an exclamation point at both the beginning and end of the exclamatory phrase on pages 8 and sentence on page 16. The marks appear “upside down” at the beginning and “right side up” at the end.

Discuss with children the difference between the inclusive word “abuelo” and the more personal, endearing words “Abu” and “Tata.” Ask children to share the special words or names they have for their own grandparents. Explore the origins of the names.

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 1 - 1

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Similarities and Differences, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Multiethnic interest, Mentors, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Immigration, Home, Grandparents, Families, Cultural Diversity, Childhood Experiences and Memories, African/African American Interest, Biracial/Multiracial Interest, Empathy/Compassion, Gratitude, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Realistic Fiction, Pride


Emergent English, Emergent Dual Language, Bebop English Guided Reading Level H, Bebop Latin American English Grades PreK-2, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels D-I Collection, African American Collection English 6PK, Latin American Collection English 6PK, Diverse Backgrounds Collection English 6PK, Multicultural Collection 10, Multicultural Collection 12, Multicultural Collection 13, Multicultural Collection 14, Multicultural Collection 15, Multicultural Collection 11, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Fiction

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

Please write us!


Terms of Use