Saturday 3 October 2020

Using Guided Reading To Teach Foundation Subject Content


The idea I have been thinking about is in no way revolutionary or even original. It just came about as a result of some recent Twitter conversations.

I have recently been appointed Science lead at school. This week I had a handover meeting with the previous Science lead who shared with me the superb work she had been doing to lead the subject. She told me that her next step for her curriculum work would be to assign famous scientists for each of our Science units of work. 

As this is a work in progress for us, I thought I would ask Twitter science folk for suggestions. Thankfully, lots of people replied offering help, advice and resources which I am incredibly grateful for. Then I saw a tweet from @missshooes this morning where she said that at her school they sometimes look at famous scientists during guided reading sessions.

I thought that this sounded like a great idea. Maybe we could take it even further as a way of easing our already overcrowded curriculum especially at the current time when there are many gaps to fill. I wonder whether much of the foundation subject content could be explored through guided reading sessions (or whole class reading if that's what you prefer). I know I am guilty of an over-emphasis on fiction in guided reading sessions. Much of the content we teach in geography/history/RE and science could be explored in reading sessions. 

The children would get guided instruction of texts containing subject knowledge for foundation subjects while at the same time teaching reading objectives - obviously! It would help to create a better balance of non-fiction and fiction in reading sessions therefore exposing the children to a greater range of text types as well as developing their knowledge of the foundation subject topics. It might even help them with tackling the KS2 reading SAT which some argue is a test of knowledge as much as a test of reading ability.

It could be useful for pre-teaching foundation subject content too as pre-teaching is a great strategy for enabling SEND children to approach the foundation subject lesson with greater confidence. For example, if you have planned to teach a lesson about the Ancient Greek gods/goddesses in history, you could use a text about Ancient Greek goddesses in guided reading sessions earlier in the week. This could also mean that you can explore topics in greater depth during the history lesson as the children already have obtained some prior knowledge during guided reading sessions.

I'm going to give this a try in my own classroom and will update this blog when I know how it has gone.

Like I said, nothing ground-breaking but maybe worth a try.

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