Making Up a Guided Reading Pack

Please note: The guided reading packs are no longer available.  Additionally, I no longer recommend this process as so many students now have access to robust AAC.  Guided reading is now called comprehension instruction – see

On my website I have a number of Guided Reading Packs for download.  These are resources I’ve made and which we are using to support students with a range of abilities during Guided Reading time in the classroom. I’ve had a few people email and ask how they should make these packs up – so this blog entry is for you 🙂

By making these guided reading packs available for download I hope that you will be able to download the pack, print it out, get a copy of the relevant book and get started.

The most important part of each guided reading pack is the page with “the plan”.

The plan includes:

  • 5 purposes for guided reading so you can use the book as your “book of the week” e.g. Read to discuss what the turkey does that is funny
  • Prompts for activating prior knowledge with your class once you have stated the purpose e.g. Before reading, look at the pictures in the book
  • 5 suggested writing tasks
  • Some self selected reading resource suggestions, including a bookshelf I have created in Tar Heel Reader which aims to provide some further reading that extends on different aspects of the book of the week. You can access this bookshelf by typing in the web address or using the QR code.

As well as the plan, each guided reading pack includes a sheet for each guided reading purpose. These sheets are optional – and should only be used if you have students who need them. These sheets include Picture Communication Symbols or other pictures as appropriate. I use these sheets in different ways including:

  • For students with complex communication needs to contribute to the discussion about the purpose after reading the book
  • As a visual support for students who are verbal but who need assistance to generate ideas and language

For both these groups of students, I aim for these supports to be used in the short term. For a student with complex communication needs, it is preferable that they have a comprehensive communication system and don’t need to have supports like this constructed for different sessions throughout the day. If they don’t have a comprehensive communication system, then you can use these supports as a way for them to participate while you work towards a more comprehensive communication system.  An example of a low tech comprehensive communication system is a Pragmatically Organised Dynamic Display (PODD) .

For students who are verbal but who need assistance to generate ideas and language, I usually find that they become more confident at this task (and more successful) with practice – so after a while they shouldn’t need this resource and I start to fade its use.

You can just print out the sheet for each guided reading purpose and use it as it comes – and this is definitely the quickest way to get started.  However, I generally make the sheet for each guided reading purpose up by cutting up and laminating the symbols/pictures and then putting them on velcro strips on a page, with the purpose written clearly at the top of the page. Since I re-use the packs this makes the resource more durable and easy for me to find the different parts quickly each time.

Making the sheets up in this way also means I can present the whole page to a student, or I can remove some and present them in a way that is more appropriate for a student’s access method e.g. on an eye gaze frame.

And that’s all the resources that are included in the downloadable guided reading pack.

As well as these resources, you’ll need a copy of the book to read! I often (usually) scan the book and make it up in PowerPoint so that it can be presented on an Interactive Whiteboard. Since many of the students I work with have a visual impairment, presenting the book on the interactive whiteboard lets everyone follow along as I read. Recently – I’ve been able to access quite a few books (including this one) as an iPad book which is saving me a lot of time in scanning as I can just connect my iPad directly to the Interactive Whiteboard.

Other items I might add to the pack are:

  • A copy of the PowerPoint book printed out with the text in a larger font for a student with a visual impairment to follow along with or to borrow in the self selected reading block.
  • A USB stick with a copy of the book made up in Clicker so that a student who needs switch access to a book can also have access to the book in the self-selected reading block. I prefer using the book made up Clicker for switch access as a student can go back and forward and it offers a range of other literacy supports.
  • A copy of the book with Braille

Below is a picture of my personal guided reading pack for Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

And of course, storing it so that it is easy to grab everything quickly is important to – each of my Guided Reading packs is stored in a folder like this one:


Spread the word. Share this post!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *