After reading big books to your students, consider ways to utilize these texts to strengthen literacy skills.

Place a previously read big book in a literacy station. Working in pairs, have students label the concepts they learned during your initial read aloud. By “rereading” the photographs and illustrations within an informational big book, students can label key vocabulary, steps in a process, specific nouns, action verbs, etc. This is a fabulous method of assessing primary students’ comprehension of content-area concepts.

This same activity could also be integrated into your writer’s workshop. Provide pairs of students various big books from previous read alouds. Armed with sticky notes, they can label the visuals for specific details targeting WOW! words and utilizing spelling conventions. As a writing activity, this allows students to practice these skills without spending any time drawing a picture first.

Assess understanding by labeling big books

These strategies support all levels of primary students. Special needs students and ELL can participate successfully, as they aren’t expected to write complete sentences–just one-word labels. And high-ability students can be challenged to write two-word labels (adjectives and nouns) and/or more labels per page.

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