Shared Reading: See What We Can Do!

Text Type: Non-fiction: Description—Scrapbook

Summary: This scrapbook tells what is special about each of a group of children by sharing what they can do well.

Text Features
Print Concepts
• table of contents
• environmental print: descriptive labelling of photographs and drawings
• punctuation: exclamation marks and question marks
• cut out letters for the title

Visual Literacy
• labels
• scrapbook format with taped-on materials


Reading Strategies

• a range of comprehension strategies is integrated throughout the lesson
(Analyzing, Sequencing, Making Connections, Predicting, Inferring, Synthesizing, Evaluating, Self–Monitoring)
• the comprehension purpose for reading focuses on Analyzing/synthesizing

Working with Words
• comprehending vocabulary from pictures and labels

Assessment Opportunities
Note each student’s ability to:
• attend to and understand the text layout of a scrapbook page
• make connections across ideas from the Read Aloud and the first Shared Reading piece
• discuss the text with a partner (on–topic)
• predict, infer, analyze, and synthesize based on the information (visual and print) for each scrapbook page

Time: approximately 25–30 minutes


Establishing the Inquiry Focus
  • Is everyone special? In our last story Benny found out that he was special. What happened in the story to make him realize he was special? How did he find out?

    Ask students what they learned in the last story about being special. [Self–monitoring]
  • Tell students that they are going to learn more about what makes us each special, and how to show that we are special by sharing what we can do.
Activating and Building Background Knowledge
  • Look at the front and back cover of this book. What do you think it is going to be about? What do you think the drawings on the back cover are about? Why do you think that? What clues are you using? Who do you think made this book?

    Show students the front and back cover of the scrapbook, See What We Can Do!, and ask them what they think the book will be about. [Predicting/inferring]

  • Read the title of the book with expression, and discuss the exclamation mark. Remind students how we read ‘I Like Myself!’ Invite students to practise reading the title ‘See What We Can Do!’ using expression.

  • What do you notice about these letters? How do you think they were made? How could you make a title for a book like this? How could you put your name on a page like this?

    Ask students about the letters that form the title and how they were made. Where did the letters come from? [Making connections/predicting]
Setting a Purpose for Reading
  • Ask students to read with you to find out what is special about each child in the book. [Analyzing/synthesizing]


  • Turn to the table of contents and explain about a table of contents, going through each child’s name and related page number.

    Now, as we look beside each name on the table of contents we see a number. This is the page on which we will find out information about that child. Let’s look at ‘Devon, page 4.’ If we turn to page 4, we see information about Devon. If we turn to page 2, we see information about Rosanna. The table of contents tells us what page to turn to for a specific child.

    Compare each name on the table of contents and cover. [Analyzing]>
  • When we see a table of contents, we can choose which page we want to read first. It does not have to be read like we read a story from the first page to the last in order. We could start with page 8 if we wanted to find out about Meena first. Which page should we read first?

    Discuss the table of contents and how it is used in a non-fiction book.
  • Read each page with the class as it is chosen from the table of contents. Show students that descriptive labels can be read in any order on the page. Using a pointer, track the label you are reading to show students which label you are reading first, second, and so on. Have students select which label to read next. Discussions can be whole class or partner. Discuss content by offering prompts:
    • What do we see Rosanna doing? [Analyzing/inferring]
    • What do you think Rosanna is good at? [Analyzing/inferring/synthesizing]
    • Looking at the pictures, what do you think Devon is good at? [Inferring/analyzing]
    • What does Devon say he can do? [Analyzing]
    • What do Mayumi’s labels tell us that she can do? [Analyzing/synthesizing]
    • Do you think that she is enjoying what she is doing? Why? [Inferring]
    • When we read about Meena, what do we notice about the art? [Evaluating/inferring/making connections]
    • How many are in Meena’s family? Let’s count them. [Analyzing]
    • What does Peter say he can do? [Analyzing/synthesizing]
    • Who do you think he enjoys spending time with? [Inferring]
  • Devon uses the sentence, ‘I can garden.’ What can you do? Turn to a partner and use a sentence that starts with ‘I can.’

    When you are reading Devon’s page with students, you may wish to extend oral discussion using the same sentence format that he uses.
  • How do we know what the word ‘vegetable’ means? What clues are given in Devon’s drawing?

    Clarify any vocabulary that may limit comprehension, e.g., ‘noodle,’ ‘vegetables,’ using pictures and contextual support.


Were we correct in our thinking about what this book might be about and who made it? Did we think it was a book made by children? Which clues that we used were the best?

  • Check students’ predictions of what this book was going to be about. [Predicting]
  • Are these children special? What is special about these children? What can they do?

    Ask students to discuss with a partner what they have learned about what these children can do and how it makes them special. Invite a few students to share their thoughts with the class. [Synthesizing/analyzing]
  • Ask students to think about what they can do themselves and how that makes them feel special. Ask them to think of how they could draw one thing they can do. [Making connections]


Reading Strategies

• a range of comprehension strategies is integrated throughout the lesson
• the comprehension purpose for reading focuses on Analyzing/synthesizing

Working with Words
• learning high–frequency words
• learning letter sounds

Assessment Opportunities
Note each student’s ability to:
• make connections between pictures, drawings, and words
• attend to print in label format
• evaluate the drawings/pictures in relation to the words
• match words
• learn letter names and sounds

Time: approximately 30–35 minutes


Revisiting the Inquiry Focus
  • Ask students what they have learned about how someone knows what is special about himself or herself. Students can share ideas with a partner and then invite a few students to discuss their thoughts with the class. [Self–monitoring]
Activating and Building Background Knowledge
  • What is one thing you can do? Is it the only thing you can do? Why did you choose that one thing? How can you draw what you can do?

    Remind students that you asked them to think about one thing they can do and how they might draw it. Ask them to share with a partner what it is that they can do and what they could draw to show it. [Making connections]
Setting a Purpose for Reading
  • The children in this book used drawings to show what they can do that is special. Let’s look at the drawings to see if we can see what is special about each child. How else did the children show what they can do?

    Ask students to read the book with you to find out how each child represented what they could do in drawings, as well as who did which drawings, and what they might mean to the child who drew them. [Analyzing/synthesizing]


Teaching Tip: Again, as you read, use the table of contents to choose which page will be read first, second, and so on. Use the pointer to select which label will be read first.

  • Read the labels for the child selected and discuss the drawings and pictures on the page. Use prompts to help focus students on the drawings, pictures, and labels. [Analyzing/inferring/synthesizing/evaluating]
    • What do the drawings on the page represent? [Analyzing/synthesizing]
    • Why do you think that the drawings are on the page? [Predicting/inferring]
    • Do the drawings and pictures relate to the words? [Evaluating/analyzing]
    • Who do you think did the drawings? [Predicting/inferring]
    • Is there anything else put on the page besides a drawing? [Analyzing]
    • Do the drawings represent what the child felt was special about what he or she could do? [Evaluating]
    • How did the drawings and labels get attached to the page? [Analyzing]
    • Which of the activities on the last page can you do? [Self–monitoring/evaluating/synthesizing]
    • Are there other things that you like to do and are special for you? [Self–monitoring/synthesizing/evaluating]
    • Which picture on the back cover belongs to which child? [Analyzing/making connections: comparing]


  • How do we know what each child could do?

    Ask students how these children let others know what was special about them and what they could do. [Synthesizing]

If I were going to draw on my mask, I would want to show me planting flowers, so it could be a flower pot that I draw. Perhaps I could paste on a picture of a flower. Then I can attach a string to each side hole and wear my mask.

  • Provide copies of the Mask About Me and tell students they are going to draw one thing on it that tells what they can do that is special.

Note: You may wish to have coloured paper and magazines available for students to cut out pictures for decorating as well as coloured pencils and markers to draw designs.

  • After the masks have been made, place students in small groups and have them wear their masks. Group members look at the masks and talk about the special thing that each student can do. Emphasize the importance of listening to one another and providing positive feedback about each mask.
  • You might display the masks along with students’ drawings of what is special about themselves and their drawings of what they can do. Ensure students’ names are recorded on their art work.
Working with Words
  • There are several words from the kindergarten high–frequency word list that appear in the book: ‘I,’ ‘can,’ ‘we,’ ‘do,’ ‘me,’ ‘a,’ ‘my,’ ‘is,’ ‘and,’ ‘my,’ and ‘the.’ Identify one word, e.g., ‘me,’ reread the text containing the word and frame it with a cardboard word frame, a rectangle of coloured acetate, water–soluble highlighter, or Wikki Stix. Reread, having students finding the word ‘me’ wherever it exists. [High-frequency words]
  • What is the first letter of the word? How many letters are in the word? Let’s say them together and clap for each letter, d…o… says ‘do.’

    Choose another of the high–frequency words to find and highlight as the text is reread. Do a brief activity to help students remember the word. [High-frequency words]
  • You may wish to focus on a few words that can begin sentences. The Introducing Word Wall Words lesson plan in Kindergarten Working with Words Guide, page 48, links to the ‘I’ and ‘can’ found in this text and would be appropriate to use if you have not already done so. Reread to find the page in the text that has an ‘I can…’ sentence.
  • You may wish to target a particular letter and sound such as ‘g.’ Page 10 has three examples. This could also be linked to the Playing Sound Games lesson plan in the Kindergarten Working with Words Guide, page 36.


Reading Strategies

• a range of comprehension strategies is integrated throughout the lesson
• the comprehension purpose for reading focuses on Analyzing/synthesizing

Working with Words
• recognizing letter names
• building words

Assessment Opportunities
Note each student’s ability to:
• join in with the reading
• understand what is special about other people and themselves
• recognize letter names
• build words

Time: approximately 30–35 minutes


Revisiting the Inquiry Focus
  • Think about the characters in the books that we have read and then tell a partner if you think it is important to feel special and why.

    Ask students if it is important to feel special. Relate this to all three books that were read in this unit. Show the books and remind students of the characters and how they feel special. [Making connections/evaluating/synthesizing]
Activating and Building Background Knowledge

I could show you how I plant flowers with my granddaughters by pretending I had a shovel to dig a hole in the dirt for the plant. How can you show what you like to do by acting it out or miming it? Show your partner.

  • Ask students to think about something special they can do and then how they could represent that activity by acting it out. Have students share their mime with a partner. [Making connections]

Setting a Purpose for Reading
  • Tell students that they will be rereading the book and as each page is read, they will act out each child’s special activity. Remind them that they will need to read to find out the activity and then think of how they could act it out. [Analyzing/synthesizing]


  • Read each page with the students, inviting them to join in with the reading.
  • Pause at each page and, after each descriptive label, have students mime or act out what the activity is, for example, for Rosanna they can pretend to be in the water moving their arms to float or swim. Offer prompts when needed:
    • How do we show swimming? How do we move our arms? [Making connections]
    • What do we need to do if we are planting a flower or some vegetables? [Analyzing]
    • When baking, does stirring look different from beating? How could we mime each? [Making connections/analyzing]
    • How do I hold a paintbrush to paint a picture? [Making connections]
    • What can we do to show hugging? [Making connections]


  • When we read this last page, we see each of the children doing something that is special to them. Why do you think the children have asked, “What can you do?” How do we read this?

    Reread the last page and ask students why they think that the last sentence, ‘What can you do?’ is there. What is the punctuation mark at the end of this sentence? What does it tell us to do with our voice? What does it mean? [Inferring/evaluating/synthesizing]
  • Ask students to meet with a partner, choose one thing that they can do that is special for them, and act it out for their partner. Select a few to be mimed for the whole class.
  • Chart some of the special ‘can do’ activities. Have students help to ‘share the pen’ when writing or to add a drawing to show the activity.

Working with Words
  • Reread the names of the students in the book. Chose one of the names, or a name of a student in the class, to use for sequencing letters to build names. Print the name on a card, cut the card into letters, then reassemble the letters into the name. Have students rebuild the name in the pocket chart. Chant the names of the letters as the name is rebuilt. You may wish to connect this to the Jigsaw Names lesson plan on page 76 or Naming Letters Using Students’ Names on page 42 of the Kindergarten Working with Words Guide.
  • For a demonstration lesson for the following word solving and building activity, see Literacy Place for the Early Years Kindergarten Working with Words Guide, pp. 61–64. See also the reproducible large letter cards and small letter cards on pages 111–128 of the Kindergarten Working with Words Guide. [Building words]

Key Word: grandpa
Context: See What We Can Do!, page 11

Building Words

Word Pattern Sorts
Words starting with ‘g’ rhyming pattern ‘ag’
Transfer to a Reading Context
    • bag (Here is the bag.)
    • go (Go to the store.)
Transfer to a Writing Context
    • tag (I want to write, ‘I want to play tag.’ Which rhyming pattern will help me spell tag?)
    • grapes (I want to write, ‘I like grapes.’ Which letter does grapes start with?)


Many texts benefit from being reread with students to enable the books to become familiar and to increase participation in the shared reading. Over time, share the pointer with students in turn, so that they demonstrate how to track print in the big book.

Teaching Tip: Rereadings can occur with a whole–class group, or in small groups. If you have students who need more support, consider a small–group session using the small versions of the text to provide more individualized assistance.

In each rereading, select ideas from the following three areas based on the needs of your students:

Print Concepts, Book Handling, and Media Awareness
  • Encourage students to participate in using the pointer to track print. Students’ confidence will develop as the text becomes more familiar. Offer prompts to refine and expand print concepts. [Tracking print]
  • Attend to capital and small letters in texts, e.g., There is a big ‘M’ in Meena. Can you show it to me? Now find me a little letter ‘m.’ Point to ‘me,’ ‘my,’ or ‘family.’
Focusing on Comprehension
  • Reread to compare the special activities in the book with the activity that they chose for their mask. [Making connections: comparing]
  • For Rosanna’s page, we could look at her other drawings and we could label her swimming with arm floats.

    Reread to think about the ‘can do’ activities in the book. What other drawings or labels could have been added for each child that would still indicate the one thing that they could do? [Predicting/inferring]
  • Discuss with the students why the objects or drawings on each page are relevant to that person and that one activity.
Working with Words
  • Make the word ‘do.’ Tell me what we learned that Rosanna can do. (Demonstrate in the pocket chart)

    You can choose to focus on any of the high–frequency words in the text (‘we,’ ‘can,’ ‘do,’ ‘a,’ ‘the,’ ‘my,’ or ‘is’) for lessons. (See the Introducing Word Wall Words lesson in the Kindergarten Working with Words Guide, page 48.)
  • Provide students with letter cards and have them build the high–frequency words in pairs. Model the making of the words in the pocket chart. Always provide a contextual sentence for the words. [Word building]

Teaching Tip: Reproducible large letter cards and small letter cards can be found in the Kindergarten Working with Words Guide, pp. 111–128.


You may consider using some of the following suggestions to extend the inquiry:

  • Ask students to go to a buddy class to tell their buddies about what is special about them or what they can do. Students can ask their buddies what they can do and why it is special for them.
  • Invite students to discuss their ideas about what makes them special. Have their ideas changed since they made their first drawing to show something special about themselves? Have they identified more qualities or abilities that they feel make them special? [Making connections: comparing]
  • Have students choose a puppet from the selection of puppets at the drama centre and tell a partner what might be special about that person or animal.
  • Encourage students to discuss with their families something about themselves or something they can do that makes them special.
  • Select other books about being special, or awareness of our uniqueness, to read to the class such as:
    • It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr: Little, Brown and Company, 2001 (Fiction: a book that highlights that it’s okay to be different because you are being who you are—special and important)
    • Ish by Peter H. Reynolds: Candlewick Press, 2001 (Fiction: a little boy who loves to draw is discouraged by his brother but encouraged by his sister to see that his creativity is what’s important)
    • Sometimes by Keith Baker: Harcourt, Inc., 2007 (Fiction: an alligator explains that he likes himself and tells what he likes to do)