This Is My Home

By Jan Reynolds
Illustrations by Jan Reynolds

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • using the picture clues
  • reading patterned sentences
  • noticing a change at the end of a patterned sentence

Supportive Text Features

  • familiar words and concept
  • patterned sentences
  • two alternating sentence patterns
  • strong picture/text match

Essential Components of Reading Instruction:

  • Phonemic Awareness: concept of word
  • Phonics: initial consonant blends /cl/, /sn/, /st/, /gr/, /dr/; long /o/vowel sound spelled “o-consonant-e” and “ow”; long /e/ vowel sound spelled “ea”; long /i/ vowel sound spelled “y”
  • Vocabulary: home, cloth, snow, stones, poles, mud, grass, dry, leaves
  • Fluency: reread the story independently or with a partner
  • Comprehension: determine what is important, make connections, ask questions

High-frequency Words: this, is, my, we, it, with

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

  • Tell me about some different kinds of homes you’ve seen.
  • What kinds of materials can people use to build homes?
  • What are some things you might tell a new friend about your home?

2. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:

  • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: "This Is My Home."
  • Ask children to predict what the boy might say about his home.
  • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children to describe how the homes shown in the photograph are different from their own.
  • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
  • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
  • Ask them to look carefully at all the different types of homes.

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 photographs and the beginning sound of the word.

4. Be aware of the following book/text features:

  • The book contains familiar words: home, cloth, snow, stones, poles, mud, grass, dry, leaves.
  • The text is on the page facing the main photograph. There is also a small photograph above the text of the child who is speaking.
  • There are two patterned sentences: “This is my home.” “We made it with ___.”
  • Only one word changes in the second sentence on each page. The exception is page 14, where two words are added at the end of the sentence pattern.
  • The last page is a visual chart that tells the name of each child and where he or she lives.

Reading the Book
1. Set a purpose by telling children to read the book to find out about homes in different lands and what they are made of.

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 children say match the printed words in the book? (voice-to-print match)
  • Do children look at the photographs 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 over to the photograph 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
    /c/-/l/-/o/-/t/-/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 photograph 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 photograph to help with each new word.
  • Review using initial consonant blends and long-vowel sounds to read new words.
  • Model how to reread the sentence if it does not sound right or make sense.
  • Model how to make a return sweep to the second line of text.
  • Call attention to all the high-frequency words children have learned and used.
  • Point out that the child above the text is the one “speaking” on each page and that the word We at the beginning of the second sentence refers to the child and her or his family.
  • Note that it is important to look carefully at each photograph for clues to finding out the main material each family used to build its home.

After the First Reading

1.Have children confirm their predictions and talk about homes in different lands and what they are made of.

2.Discuss the differences among the homes and people’s clothing.

3.Ask children which homes are located in places where the weather is cold and which are located where the weather is warm. Which things in the photos are clues to the weather where the homes are located?

4.Talk about how the chart on the last page provides the reader with additional information. Read the children’s names and where they live. See the Social Studies activity below to expand on the information in the chart.

5.Look at the photograph of each house and have children generate questions they would like to ask the child who lives there.

6.Ask children what other materials they think could be used to build a home.

Second Reading

1.Have children reread the book in a whisper voice or to a partner.

2.This is a time for assessment. While children are reading, watch what they 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
Ask children to look closely at each photo and describe it with details about its color, shape, size, and so on. Then have the class vote to choose one house about which to write a full description. Have children dictate their descriptions to you and record their sentences on chart paper. Stop occasionally and read aloud what you have written, and have children confirm that you are getting down their ideas accurately. When the story is complete, read back the entire story, pointing to the words and encouraging children to follow along.

Have each child write “This is my home.” at the top of a sheet of drawing paper and then draw a picture of her or his home. Children may also wish to include family members and/or friends.

Give each child a small, empty milk carton and provide a collection of art supplies children can use to decorate their cartons as homes. Children may wish to make realistic-looking homes or imaginary ones. When children are finished, let volunteers tell the rest of the group about their homes.

Have children revisit the photograph on page 5. Explain that this home is called an igloo. It is a temporary home used by hunters in the far north during winter. It is made from blocks of snow stacked together in a special way to form a shape called a dome. If a computer with Internet access is available in the classroom or school library, let children watch this video in which a young boy learns how to build an igloo:

Ask children if they think it is cold or warm inside an igloo. In fact, it can be quite warm inside (due to trapped body heat), and the snow blocks protect the people inside from the cold wind.

Review the properties of a rectangle with children (a shape with four corners at right angles, two longer sides of equal length opposite each other, and two other shorter sides of equal length opposite each other). Have children look at each photograph and count the number of rectangles they see. Remind them to look for rectangles within rectangles, as on the door of the home on page 3. Use children’s results to create a bar graph that compares the number of rectangles in each home.

Social Studies
Using the chart on page 16 as a guide, show children the location of each home on a large world map. On sticky notes, write each child’s name and the information about where the child lives, and place the notes on the appropriate places on the map. For each child and home featured in the book, help children make connections among the location, landscape, type of home, materials used to build the home, and clothing worn. Provide additional information as necessary.

Have children write a few sentences naming materials that have been used to build homes in their neighborhood. Let children complete the sentence “It is made with ___.” More than one sentence may be written about each home.

Esta es mi casa

Guided Reading: B
Intervention: 2

16 Pages
57 Words + chart

The Spanish edition also uses two patterned sentences and familiar words: casa, tela, nieve, piedras, postes, barro, hierba, hojas, secas. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, you may need to 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 concepts or words in the story, see the article "Guided Reading with Emergent Readers" for suggestions.


About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades PreK - 1

Reading Level:

Grades PreK - K


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Photographic Illustrations, Animal/Biodiversity/Plant Adaptations, Nature/Science, Nonfiction, Weather/Seasons/Clothing, Similarities and Differences, Multiethnic interest, Home, Environment/Nature, Cultural Diversity, Exploring Ecosystems, Human Impact On Environment/Environmental Sustainability , Respect/Citizenship


Early Emergent Dual Language, English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level B, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Reading Partners ER Lee & Low Kit , Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Early Emergent English , Diverse Backgrounds Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Nonfiction

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