CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 28 . . . . March 23, 2012
The content in Health is engaging and fits with community based outcomes. It is also consistent throughout in terms of information (all about community workers) and text patterning. Clues of a profession are listed on the left-hand side of the page, and the ‘answer’ is printed on the right: left-hand page - “I check your health. I weigh and measure you. I may give you a shot”; right-hand page - “I am a nurse” (p.10/11).
This pattern is consistent throughout the text, except for the last two pages which end with a question for a student or class to engage in a reflective response, “How do you stay healthy?”(p.21). The way this book is printed – where the print is located, the patterning of the language and the size of the font – are all excellent support features for beginning readers. However, some students will need additional support to manage multiple lines of print and longer words on the page. Once again, direct instruction will be needed to guide students through the process a proficient reader uses, not only to decode, but to also make meaning while reading.
The online links connected with this text were similar to the ones for the Rainbow book (printable mazes, unscrambling sentences activities, and word searchers). There were more video clips linked to Health for students to enjoy (2-3 min), in addition to an Elmo link where Elmo visits the doctor. It’s always critical to remember how much print awareness a student needs to be independent with any additional support documents.
Once again, although the publisher’s catalog information states that this text is at a K reading level, many kindergarten students enter grade 1 with all letter names known (not necessarily both upper case and lower case), some letter sounds and few (3-5) sight words. This text is more suited for mid to end of grade 1.
Carrie Subtelny is a Winnipeg, MB, based tutor, consultant, and advocate for literacy.
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