Professional Development

October 26, 2019

6 Steps to the Best Guided Reading Level E Lesson

With only 20 minutes to implement a guided reading lesson, how can we make it the best and most successful for students on level e? How can we make the most of the time we have? We create and follow a strong lesson plan for guided reading level e that provides our readers opportunities to practice skills appropriate for this level in reading, word work, and comprehension.

These six steps will help you master teaching guided reading for level e so you can boost your readers. Let’s dig into how to create the best lesson for level e students at your table.

(By the way, click the link if you want to check out the Guided Reading Level E unit with everything put together for you – scripted lesson plans, teacher resources, student books, word work – everything!)

1. Study the guided reading lesson cycle components to write effective lesson plans.

If you start with a firm understanding of what the guided reading lesson cycle should look like, you’ll feel more confident with writing an effective lesson. Each of the components serves a purpose to help our readers learn to self-monitor, correct, and read with fluency and comprehension. You can check out these posts for more help with the lesson cycle:

In the Guided Reading Level E unit, I included scripted lesson plans to help you have a clear picture of how to do guided reading on this level. But, most importantly, I included detailed teacher notes that explain each component. I want you to truly understand why each piece of the lesson is important and feel confident implementing it.

2. Use teaching posters and cards to serve as visual aids for readers.

Teaching posters have been so helpful for my own students. I hang reading strategies and decoding posters where my students can easily see them and refer to them. Once we’ve practiced using them, they start to learn to check them on their own. A great lesson includes students starting to problem solve on their own!

Along with posters, I also included vocabulary cards and sight word cards for Guided Reading Level E. These cards can be used during the warm-up, word work, and/or book introduction, depending on where your students need support.

3. Use quality guided reading level e books for students.

When we place students on a reading level, it’s important to make sure the books we use for them are accurate for that level. No matter how awesome of a lesson plan you wrote, if the book isn’t on level, the students won’t be successful. The best guided reading lesson includes a quality, on-level book.

The texts also need to have great illustrations that give just enough support to students on level e. The books should also provide students opportunities to practice the skills they need to master before moving to the next level. On guided reading level e, students are working to:

  • solve new words with a focus on meaning
  • reread to check, confirm, and search
  • cross-check one source of information with another
  • self-correct using multiple sources of information

The all-inclusive Guided Reading Level E unit includes six texts in both color and black and white. There are four fiction books and two non-fiction books so your students can practice reading different genres. Each book is carefully written and illustrated for your students to be successful.

4. Take running records as students read.

A great guided reading lesson on this level also includes taking running records while students read. Running records serve as the assessment part of the lesson. I take one running record on a student in each group. This ensures that I get one on every student each week.

If you want to have the best guided reading lesson, then students must be in the correct guided reading group. Running records help you learn if a text was too easy or too hard so you can make adjustments as needed.

I included running record tips and forms for each book so you’ll have everything you need to assess students and meet them where they are. You’ll be able to track how each of your readers are doing and keep progressing them forward.

Here are some helpful blog posts on running records:

5. Use meaningful word work to help students practice important skills for guided reading level e.

Hands-on word work activities help students become better readers. Word work helps readers learn word patterns, grasp phonics concepts, and develop a deeper understanding of how words work. A solid word work lesson in guided reading is part of a successful lesson.

In the Level E Unit, each of the six books has its own word work activities that correspond with the text. I included everything you’ll need for word work for students to be able to learn and practice.

Some of the word work skill students are working on are:

  • adding and deleting blends
  • inflectional endings like er, ly, and ful
  • jumbling and making contractions

6. Help parents get involved in students’ reading at home to help boost your readers.

After my students read the book in guided reading with me, I send it home with them to read to their parents. I don’t know about you, but I saw a direct correlation with students progressing in reading and parental involvement. Most parents want to be involved, but they might not know how to help their children.

For this reason, I included several parent notes in this unit. The first note lets parents know what their student is working on in guided reading level e. It tells them where their students came from, what skills they are currently practicing, and where they will go next.

Then, there is a parent guide to send home with each text. This note has tips for parents and questions to ask during and after reading. I wanted to make it easy for you to include parents in learning for the benefit of your students.

If you need a little help making the most out of your guided reading time for level e, try following these steps and see if you feel more confident and your students are more successful. Sometimes going back to the basics makes a huge difference! If you still need help, you can always leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

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Guided Reading Level E This unit includes:

  • Guided Reading Level E Components
  • Organizational Tips for Teachers
  • Reading Level E Strategies Map
  • Guided Reading Level E Lesson Notes and Teacher Notes
  • Teaching Posters and Charts Needed
  • Parent Involvement Tips and Notes
  • Running Record Breakdown
  • Lesson Plans and Materials
  • 6 leveled texts (color and b&w-4 fiction, 2 non-fiction)
  • One-day and two-day teacher scripted lesson plans for each text
  • Word Work Activities for Each Text
  • Sight Word and Vocabulary Cards for Each Text
  • Running Record for Each Text
  • Parent Involvement Notes for Each Text

First Grade Guided Reading Bundle Levels E-J Everything you’ll need to teach these guided reading levels bundled together to save you money.

Word Work Activities Level E These activities are not tied to any book, so you can use them during literacy stations, intervention time, or during guided reading for students who need more help.

FREE Guided Reading Strategy Posters Print them and hang them for students to use as visual aids during guided reading.

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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