EL Support Lesson

Where Do I Begin?

Use this lesson plan to introduce or review beginning literacy concepts with your ELs. This can be used as a stand-alone lesson or as support to the lesson Learning to Read from Left to Right.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Learning to Read from Left to Right lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Learning to Read from Left to Right lesson plan.

Students will be able to follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page when reading text.


Students will be able to recall and utilize concepts of print with grade level texts using visual supports.

(3 minutes)
  • Welcome the class and make note of how they all know how to sit so respectfully and are such great listeners.
  • Model thinking aloud as to how the class knows to behave, "Wow, I can't believe that everyone is sitting so still and ready to learn! How did they know to come to the rug and listen?"
  • Explain that in the classroom, you have expectations and rules to follow. This way everyone knows how to behave in the group to have the best learning environment.
  • Tell the class that reading is just the same way! There are special rules to follow in order to know how to read a book, and today you will be learning about those rules.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the read aloud text and pretend to be confused about how to read it (e.g.,hold it upside down, look at the spine for the first words).
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to finish the sentence starter, "I should hold the book like ____."
  • Have students share out their thinking and model their responses until you are holding the book correctly.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that when we read, we always open the book at the front and read from top to bottom and left to right.
  • Play a quick direction game with the class to assess their understanding and provide them with additional practice.
  • Have the class practice identifying left/right by standing up and going to the left or right side of the room (using the labels as a guide) when you say each word.
  • Invite the class to stretch up and down as you say the words.
  • Read aloud the text while modeling how to identify the front/back covers, top/bottom of the page, and reading from left to right.
  • Model reading by going slowly and utilizing a pointer as you read.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the My Reading Checklist Bookmark worksheet and go over how to use it while reading.
  • Pair students up and provide each pair with one copy of a familiar text, a pointer (or popsicle stick) and a bookmark each.
  • Have students work together to practice using the bookmark while reading the text.


  • Play an additional round of the directions game in a Simon Says fashion, utilizing pre-written cards that include visual images.
  • Provide students with individual copies of the read-aloud and their own pointer to follow along.


  • Have students practice the direction game using books and a partner.
(10 minutes)
  • Provide students with their own leveled reader to practice reading while using the bookmark and pointer (or popsicle stick).
  • As students read, assess whether they are following the reading checklist: reading left to right, top to bottom, etc.
(2 minutes)
  • Close by reminding students that just like at home or in the classroom, rules are important for reading.

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