What Boo and I Do

By Laura E. Williams
Illustrations by Laura E. Williams


  • understanding the author’s message
  • connecting personal experiences with a story
  • reading with expression
  • understanding verb endings

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concepts
  • narrative sentence and text form
  • variety of sentence structures

Essential Components of Reading Instruction:

Phonics: initial /s/ consonant blends and digraphs
Vocabulary: camera, trained, fetch, catch, gentle, volunteer, elderly, shakes, paw; verb endings: “-s,” “-ed,” “-ing”
Fluency: reread the story independently or with a partner
Comprehension: determine what is important, make connections, ask questions

High-frequency Words: this, is, my, her, is, had, she, was, a, like(s), to, for, the, I, have, do, many, can, when, in, so, and, that, make(s, ing), we, each, who, have, they, are, see, gets, people, with, what, it

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Does anyone have a dog as a pet? How do you teach your dog to behave? How do you teach it to do tricks?
    • Dogs can be more than just pets. What kind of work might dogs be trained to do?
    • How could a dog help an elderly (older) person?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Call children’s attention to the title. Read: “What Boo and I Do.” Make sure they understand that Boo is the name of the dog in the picture.
    • Ask children to use the title and picture on the cover to predict what they would expect to see happen in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children to think about what the girl and her dog like to do.
    • 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 as they turn each page.
  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 what they know about dogs. 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.
    • The sentences vary but use simple constructions.
    • Several different verb endings are contained in the story.
    • Ellipses are used on pages 15 and 16 to designate a continuation in the text.
    • The photographs support and extend the text, but most of the meaning is contained in the text.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about the activities of the girl and her dog, Boo.

  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 on page 15 and how it indicates that the sentence continues on the next page. Also call attention to the exclamation points and review that they are clues to reading the text with expression.
    • Work with words from the story with initial /s/consonant blends and digraphs: smart, smile, special, sweet; shakes, she. Explore other words with these sounds.
    • Work with the verb endings “-s,” “-ed,” “-ing” and explore how each ending gives information about when an action occurred.
    • Model how to revisit the text to find specific examples or ideas in the story. Revisit WHAT BOO AND I DO to review the ways in which Boo and her owner work together and help others.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children compare their predictions with what actually happened in the story.

  2. Elicit children’s ideas about how the girl felt as she and her dog visited with the elderly woman and man. How did the woman and man feel?

  3. Talk about why the girl and Boo enjoyed their visits.

  4. Connect children’s own experiences with dogs with those of the girl in the story.

  5. Tell children that Boo is called a “therapy dog.” Talk about what this means and then brainstorm other tasks the girl and Boo might do. (More information about therapy dogs is available at

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: Review with children the tasks therapy dogs perform and elicit children’s ideas about desirable personality traits for therapy dogs. (Many of these are mentioned in the story.) Then have children make signs or posters advertising the services Boo has to offer. Encourage them to include some of the information discussed.

Music: Teach children the chorus and first verse of the song “How Much is That Doggie in the Window.” The tune can be found on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website.
How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale   

I must take a trip to California,
And leave my poor sweetheart alone.
If he has a dog, he won't be lonesome,
And the doggie will have a good home.
Once children have learned the basic tune and words, innovate on the verse to honor or call attention to how dogs help people. For example:

I must take a trip to my neighbor
And leave my baseball at home
If he sees my dog, he won’t be lonesome
And my doggie will give him a kiss

Science: Have children investigate the characteristics and traits of a few different breeds of dogs and then discuss whether or not those breeds might make good therapy dogs. Some characteristics to focus on include eyesight, hearing, smell, temperament, and size.

Math: Have children make lists of the things they have trained their dogs to do. Children who do not have dogs should interview friends or neighbors who own dogs. Make a tally list of the information children gather. Then create a simple bar graph of the most commonly listed items. Draw some conclusions from the graph and generate questions to explore further.

Social Studies: Reread page 10 and discuss what it means to “volunteer.” Talk about ways children might volunteer in their homes, schools, or community. Discuss how or why each activity is helpful or important to others.

Writing: Have children come up with a list of questions or comments for the girl in the story. Record children’s ideas on chart paper or the chalkboard. Then have children write letters to the girl using ideas from the class list or other thoughts they may have.

Guided Reading with

Guided Reading™: H        DRA: 14        Intervention: 13
16 pages, 182 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.

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About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades K - 2

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Photographic Illustrations, Nonfiction, Sharing & Giving, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Responsibility, Occupations, Mentors, Games/Toys, Friendship, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Asian/Asian American Interest, Animals, Empathy/Compassion, Gratitude, Informational Text, Leadership, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Respect/Citizenship, Self Control/Self Regulation, Collaboration, Kindness/Caring


Emergent English, Emergent Dual Language, English Informational Text Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level H, Bebop Nonfiction Grades PreK-2, Bebop Asian American English Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels D-I Collection, Asian American Collection English 6PK, Multicultural Collection 10, Multicultural Collection 12, Multicultural Collection 14, Multicultural Collection 15, Multicultural Collection 11, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Nonfiction

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