Basal Reading Approach
By Ronda Borden
Edited by Kathy Stevens and Cara Dunn

Textbook Definition:
Basal Reading Approach – A major approach to reading that occupies the central and broadest position on the instructional continuum. Built on scope and sequence foundations and traditionally associated with bottom up theory, basal programs have been modified in recent years with the inclusion of language experience and literature activities.

Describe the Lesson:
Students read a basal story titled “The Bremen Town Musicians.” The focus was on vocabulary and comprehension.

When was it observed: 2-11-2009

School: WoodCreek Elementary

Grade Level: 2nd

Objectives of the Lesson:
Students will participate in reader’s theater story from the basal reader book and be able to apply the vocabulary through active comprehension.

Materials for the Lesson:
Basal book
Vocabulary term and definition cards
Craft Stick Puppets for characters
Vocabulary Worksheet pg. 170
Story Comprehension Worksheet pg 171

The teacher engaged the students in the lesson by introducing the vocabulary from the story titled “The Bremen Town Musicians” in the basal book with the term cards. She placed these on the chalkboard. The words are: scare, third, daughter, music, voice and whistle. Each table received one definition card and chose a representative to match the definition to the term.
The teacher then assigned parts for the reader’s theater by choosing sticks from a cup. The students colored and decorated puppets for their chosen part. Once this was complete the students read through the story independently.
Next, the students completed pg 170, “Vocabulary” where they chose a word from the word bank and inserted it into the correct sentence.
The whole class came together at the carpet with their books and puppets. They read through the Readers Theater script. The students displayed enthusiasm and expression in their reading and seemed actively engaged in their learning.
After reading the teacher reviewed the story elements through questioning and guided the students in a shared retelling.
The students returned to their desks to complete the “Story Comprehension” worksheet, pg 171.

Any supporting documents:

My observations of the Lesson:
In my experience, basal books were not fun or interesting. In the class I observed the teacher was a fabulous reader and the children stayed engaged thoughout the book. However, before she began to read she got the children involved with all the new vocabulary that she knew would be introduced in the book by using character cards. She printed a vocabulary word on one character and put the definition another character card. The cards took some time to make because they were cut out into the shapes of the characters from the story. This was a great way to get the children talking and excited about what would happen the story. She was well organized and it showed by the flow of this lesson.

Benefits of the Basal: When using a basal reader, reading and language skills are applied to a variety of genres, balancing fiction and non-fiction.

Drawbacks of Readers Theater: The basal can be monotonous for the teacher and student due to less variety in approach and delivery of the skills and information.