Increase Independence with Activities that Extend Guided Reading

There are several ways in which activities that extend guided reading increase the powerful learning that comes through guided reading instruction.

First, the very best activity to extend guided reading into independent work is to make the book available to students to read after the small group instruction has concluded.  As students revisit the book on their own or with a partner, they solidify the learning that was coached in guided reading. With this kind of guided reading extension, they orchestrate things they might not have had quite under control during the lesson.  For example, when an early emergent student reading at Levels A-B rereads a text, they practice the important integration of cueing systems as they look from the illustrations to the words, match their fingers to the words being read aloud and then consider each word for how it matches what they know the pattern to say.

Other follow-up extensions for guided reading can be to write or draw (or even dramatize) a response to the book.  As students transfer their understandings and thinking about the book into another medium, they deepen inferential and critical thinking about the ideas in the book. Emergent and early readers might use a sentence or story pattern to create extensions to the book; more fluent readers might use the text to support more advanced opinion pieces about the content of the text. As they read across connected texts, writing and drawing about the ideas means student thinking is expanding.

One or two follow-up activities built on the most important concept in any guided reading lesson create a pathway for students to read and revisit the text.  As a model for thinking and writing, as a source of information or ideas to consider with their own ideas, or as an opportunity to think more deeply about a text by rereading and talking with others, activities that extend guided reading have countless benefits

Complement and enhance instruction with thoughtful activities that extend guided reading.