Practical Perspective: Getting the Most Out of Story-Based Lessons          


Several Attainment products utilize story-based lessons or a read-aloud approach when teaching literacy skills. While the scripted instruction is wonderful for fidelity and using effective strategies, there are additional steps you can take to get the most from these lessons.


Consider these suggestions to increase engagement of students with more complex needs:

  • The first and, possibly, the second reading of a book should be considered a “teaching phase." As you read the book, label any unfamiliar words, picture symbols, or illustrations that will later be used for vocabulary or comprehension questions.
  • Keep the vocabulary simple, focusing on one or two main words. Provide objects to represent vocabulary words.
  • Plan literal comprehension questions and stop to ask the questions as soon as the answer is provided within the text. Provide objects as response options for answering questions.
  • Add some variety to the lesson by asking questions where there is no correct answer such as: Did you like the story? Who is your favorite character?
  • Give students the opportunity to engage in an activity that goes along with the story in a meaningful way. For example, if you are reading the book Lemonade for Sale, make some lemonade with your students. Ensure that every student has an active role in making the lemonade. If you will be reading the story multiple times, take photos of the activity so that you may review it with your students. Try to keep a sample, such as a cup of lemonade, to use for your anticipatory set with the next reading.


Do you have advice for implementing a story-based curriculum or lesson? Feel free to comment below and share!

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