The first grade students at St. Patrick School are being immersed in Early Literature Behaviors. The students are building comprehension skills, by using background knowledge, making simple comparison and inferring information using what schema they have about animals and vehicles.

Before reading several new LLI Orange Level B stories, such as At the Farm, The Hat, The Pet Store, Wheels and Hiding, they picture-walk the books to identify characters and setting of each story. This process helps the students to focus their attention on what the story could be about and what words they may need to identify to allow them to read with fluency.

Building comprehension can be done by using students’ schema while scaffolding new information.  The students have strong background knowledge of animals and wheel apparatuses. Students are motivated to read the stories and enjoy reading about familiar subjects.

We discussed the differences and similarities between forest animals, pets found in a pet store, along with animals on a farm. The students learned animals can live in different habitats and that relationships can be made between species, for example the dog and a fox or that duck are birds. Pupils also made connection about the number wheels on different moving vehicles and how much easier the one with more wheels can be easy to drive, for example a bike with or without training wheels.

The book, Hiding, is the story of a cat, named Puff, that is hiding in many different places around the house. Before reading the story, the students began discussing why animals might want to hide and where those animals might hide in their habitat.

After reading the book, each student then drew pictures of the cat’s Hiding places and came up with one place that was not in the story. The students used what they knew about the animals a related it so what they learned about animals in all the stories to build on their understanding.