Margin Notes



We love the practice of introducing texts, topics, authors, and genres to students by reading the first chapter aloud. First Chapter Fridays are a wonderful opportunity to end the week with reading joy. It’s also a strategy that, when planned with intention, can support most aspects of the curriculum. This post is part of a series that will introduce ideas for leveling up your First Chapter Fridays without diminishing its central purpose of engaging readers. Read the previous posts here and here.

Word study instruction focuses on close investigation of words. Students explore patterns in words and learn how to apply word analysis strategies to read unfamiliar words. Word study supports both reading and spelling.

Here are some suggestions for supporting word study with First Chapter Fridays:

  • Preteach some vocabulary words that are essential to students’ comprehension of the chapter by identify their word parts or patterns.
  • While reading, stop and model your use of word-solving strategies when you encounter unknown and complex words.
  • Identify a word from the chapter with a specific affix. Discuss its meaning and invite students to brainstorm other words they know with the same affix. Discuss the similarities and differences in meanings.
  • Revisit portions of the text in a targeted word study mini-lesson. Possible areas of focus include word-solving strategies (dividing into syllables, root words and origins, background knowledge, context clues), using syllable patterns to decode longer words, and recognizing morphemes and how they affect word meaning.
  • Invite students to select a word from the text to add to their Language Field Guides.

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