Like using books but hate coming up with questions, prompts, or strategies each and every time you use them? Cheat sheets to the rescue!
What do I mean by cheat sheets? I like to make my list of questions to target my goal ahead of time but I don’t want to do it each time I use that book! So, I make my cheat sheet once, and then I store them right in the book so I have them ready to go the next time! (Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links!)
I will share with you my favorite books to use, any time of the year, and my cheat sheets I have created to address various goals! Links to all of the books mentioned will be at the bottom of this post, not to worry!
Chalk: It is a wordless picture book (LOVE wordless picture books! Read my entire post on them HERE). This book is great for students of ANY age, the illustrations are realistic and motivating. Students can work on predicting, inferencing, describing and more! Here is my cheat sheet with “inferencing” statements. Students had to agree and disagree based on the statements I mentioned while going through the book!
We even used my agree and disagree signs (which you can learn more about and grab HERE). This elicited amazing conversation related to the story and used tons of academic language!
Have mixed groups? You can fold paper into sections and divide up the different prompts! Below you can see wh questions, higher level questions, and /r/ words!
Goldilocks Rocks: Love using these books for working on compare/contrast since students get to compare them to the original stories. I also love using this book to work on background knowledge, since we have to tap into that for working on comparing to the original! I like to come up with a cheat sheet ahead of time of the different “background knowledge” items I can elicit throughout the story so I remember to prompt before reading, while reading, and after! Click HERE to grab my storybook companion for this book!
Big Book of Why: This book is great for quick nonfiction items. It provides high interest facts that students just LOVE! I like using this book for cause/effect, answering WHY questions, main idea/summarizing, and more. I made quick visuals on index cards and keep them right in the book!
Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul: I love using these fictional stories since they are relatable to the students’ lives! I love using them for summarizing, listening for key story elements, sequencing, inferencing, and using context clues. I make my cheat sheets and sequencing statements and keep them right in the book in the page of the story!
As you can see, prepping is easier moving forward if you keep your hard work for the next time! I am all about time saving tips since we are all super busy! I also struggle to remember to ask the right questions if I don’t plan ahead! Want to grab the books discussed in this post, view the links below!
When I am not using cheat sheets (and even when I am), I love using my visuals on a stick with my storybooks. It helps elicit conversation and academic conversations! Grab the free visuals below!