Yoga Class

By Uma Krishnaswami
Illustrations by Stephanie Roth

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • reading a simple, patterned sentence
  • using an exclamation point

Supportive Text Features

  • familiar words and concept
  • patterned sentence
  • strong picture/text match
  • new word on each page illustrated with an inset picture

High-frequency Words: I, am, a, me

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • What do people do to stretch and warm up their bodies?
    • How could you show what an animal looks like using your own body?
    • Tell me how you might look if you imitated an animal.
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the book vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Yoga Class.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see children doing in the class.
    • Have children suggest some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what they see children doing.
  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:
    • The book contains familiar words: cat, frog, tree, snake, lion, bee
    •  There is a patterned sentence: “I am a cat.”
    • Only one word changes on each page.
    • The last sentence changes: “I am just me!”

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to read about the yoga class.

  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 /f/ - /r/ - /o/ - /g/ 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 or use the beginning letter sound.

  5. 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.
    • Call attention to the high-frequency words children have learned and used.

After the First Reading

  1. Have children confirm their predictions about the class.

  2. Discuss how children in the story changed positions and have children try to imitate the positions with their own bodies.

  3. Reflect on why the children are stretching.

  4. Call children’s attention to the boy in the green shorts. Have them look at what he is doing on each page. Discuss what they notice about him and compare his behavior with that of the other children. Ask: “If you were in the class, how might you help this boy?” For cause and effect, discuss why he might not be following the other children. Remind children that the illustrations offer additional details and ideas to the story.

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

Cross-Curricular Activities
Music: Introduce children to classical music by playing a selection from Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart. Choose something slow or meditative. Tell children to listen to the music and be aware of how the music makes them feel.         

Art: Help children make paper plate animal masks. When finished, have them put on the mask and pretend that they are the animals. Ask: “How would your bodies move? What sounds would you make?”    

Math: Have children do jumping jacks or other exercises. Count how many they can do. Have children hold a position such as standing on one foot. Count how many seconds they can hold it. Keep track of the daily count for a week. Notice any changes.

Science: Explore the benefits of good health and exercise. Talk about how yoga may help people become healthier.

Social Studies: Have a Yoga teacher or someone who practices yoga visit the class and talk about what they do. Encourage children to ask questions about how the person became involved with yoga and how they learned to do yoga.    

Writing: Encourage children to think about being the leader of the yoga class like the child in the story. Have them create a new yoga position and write: I am a _________. Children may illustrate their writings.


Guided Reading™: B        DRA: 2        Reading Recovery®: 2

The Spanish edition also uses a patterned sentence and familiar words: gato, rana, árbol, serpiente, león, abeja. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English, it will be important to address the words used for the animals during the introduction. Help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day.

Call children’s attention to the use of the exclamation points at the beginning and end of the last sentence. Explain what the marks mean.

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.

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About This Title

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 1

Reading Level:

Grades 1 - 1


Comparing/Classifying/Measuring, Five Senses / Body Parts, Sports, Similarities and Differences, Friendship, Dance, Cultural Diversity, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Asian/Asian American Interest, Realistic Fiction, Self Control/Self Regulation, Classroom Activities, How To, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Multiethnic interest, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Pride


Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Realistic Fiction Collection Grades PreK-2, Bebop Asian American English Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Asian American Collection English 6PK, Diverse Backgrounds Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Fiction, Infant Toddler Emotional Interactions

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