If your third grader is having difficulty sequencing events in a story, try creating this book square. It's a fun way to highlight important story details and put them in a logical order. She can even use the Book Square as a bookmark, and add information to it as she reads!
What You Do:
- Cut an 8 1/2” square out of construction or printer paper. Fold the paper in fourths and open it. Then fold in each corner toward the center. Write the numbers 1 through 4 on the outside of the flaps. Open the square. In the center, write the title of the book and a sentence describing the main idea of the book.
- During reading, ask your child to stop at the end of a chapter or an appropriate place where a main idea is shared. One way to sequence is to have her think about the “beginning, middle, and end.” Under flap #1 of the book square, she should write an important event that happens in the beginning of the story. Under flaps #2 and #3, have her write important events that happen in the middle of the story. Under flap #4, have her write important events that happen at the end of the story.
- Your child did a lot of work creating the Book Square and filling in all the details! Have her share it with someone such as a friend, grandparent, or teacher.
What's going on? This year, students make an important leap from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." As their books become tougher, they can also have a hard time following key information. The Book Square is a way for your child to keep track of it all, and to get past initial frustrations with difficult text.
Jeanne Lowe is an elementary school teacher from Virginia.