Using picture clues to help students decode a word seems like something students would do naturally right? Well, that’s not always the case. Some students struggle to focus on the important visual clues being offered. More often than not, our youngest students don’t come by this skill naturally. They have to be taught what to look for and how to use it to help improve their reading comprehension. That’s where eagle eyes come in! I’m here with a really amazing anchor chart that will teach your students how to “see” when they read. My favorite ways to introduce reading to my little learners are with the Eagle Eye Anchor Chart and related activities.
What is the Eagle Eye Strategy?
The Eagle Eye reading strategy is such a wonderful strategy for our emergent readers. As students are learning to read they are going to need some strategies to help them decode words they cannot sound out. Reading with eagle eyes is one of those strategies!
This strategy teaches students to use the pictures to help them when they come to an unknown word in their reading. Here’s how I teach the Eagle Eye reading strategy.
Eagle Eye Introduction
I begin introducing the eagle eye strategy with a question. I ask my students this, “Did you know that while an eagle is flying high up in the sky, they can look down and see a tiny mouse running on the ground or a fish swimming in the sea?” That question usually astounds the students. Then I explain how eagles have very special eyes that let them see very small things from far away. I finish by telling my students that I want them to have eagle eyes when they are reading.
Eagle Eye Anchor Chart
After this it is time to dig into the Eagle Eye reading strategy. We begin with an interactive anchor chart. We start with this adorable eagle front and center. This image always reminds students of our discussion about eagles and their very special eyes.
Next, I introduce our fun Eagle Eye rhyme. This simple rhyme helps students to understand the strategy and remember it. The goal with the eagle eye strategy is to look carefully at the pictures to see if there is anything that can help you when you come to a word you don’t know. Since this is one of the first reading strategies I teach, many students may not yet be successful blending CVC words. This strategy really helps them connect words and vocabulary they already know.
Once students know that we are going to use the pictures to help us read, it is time for some group practice. We begin by looking at some sentences with pictures. I ask students to look at and read the words they know in the sentence. Then we identify words we don’t know. Instead of jumping into blending those words we instead jump to the picture for some help.
I ask students to look at the picture and tell me what they see. Students share words they see in the picture. Then we see if any of the picture words match any of the word clues. Students will generally use their knowledge of letter sounds to see if any of they words they see in the picture match the first sound in the unknown word.
For example, if the sentence is “I pet a cat.” many students early in the year will struggle with the word ‘pet’. So we look at the picture and I ask students to tell me what they see. Students will say things like boy, cat, and table. We will take each of those words and try to connect them with our unknown word. It might sound like this: “/b/, /b/, boy. Does that match this letter?” while I point at the letter p. When the students answer no, then we move on to the next word.
Often someone will say ‘the boy is petting the cat.’ If the word ‘pet’ does not come out naturally then I will ask a question like “what is the boy doing?” When we get to ‘pet’ or ‘petting’ we are ready to find out match.
We continue to practice this strategy until the students have an understanding of how to apply it on their own.
This anchor chart resource includes 12 different sentences that can be used with this group practice. If you want to make up your own sentences think of some big words that you can add into sentences with sight words your students know. Some sentences might include:
- I see the hippopotamus.
- Can you see the dinosaur?
- This is a refrigerator.
All of these have words that students would know if they saw a picture, but they are obviously words they won’t know how to read.
Eagle Eye Practice Pages
Once we have done some practice as a group, it’s time for some individual practice. These Eagle Eye Practice Pages are a great way for students to practice using the pictures to help them finish the sentence.
Students will either choose the correct word from the words at the bottom or write a word based on the picture to finish the sentence. Once students have finished the sentence or found the correct word, then they practice reading the entire sentence.
These pages also get students writing. This is a great way to reinforce the writing of sight words and letter formation.
Eagle Eye Magnifying Glass Activity
The next activity is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s time for the students to act as detectives. They will have so much fun zooming in on the picture clues with an Eagle Eye magnifying glass.
I print out the magnifying glass templates, cut out the center, and then laminate. Not only does it end up looking just like a detectives magnifying glass, but it also keeps them looking great and ready to use for years!
To use the magnifying glasses, just grab some leveled readers and pictures books and let students start searching for those picture clues. Students love using their magnifying glasses to “zoom in” on the visual clues.
Eagle Eye Cards
Once the students have had some fun searching for picture clues, pair the magnifying glass with these Eagle Eye cards. This activity is perfect for centers and a great way for students to practice this strategy.
Students will use the laminated Eagle Eye magnifying glass to look at some pictures and find the matching word. This clip card reading center is so much fun and a great way to practice. Each card includes a picture clue, a sentence stem, and three possible words to finish the sentence.
This activity is easy to prep and store. I put this activity together using a small pencil box or zip-loc bag. Inside the pencil boxes, I put the cards, a few clothespins and a magnifying glass. It’s easy to add to center stations or for students to grab and take to their desk.
Eagle Eye Student Craft
We finish up our week with an eagle eye craft activity. The students love this activity, not just because of the craft, but because they have realized they can read some big words with the help of the pictures.
Students will grab a book, a magnifying glass and start searching for unknown words. When they find one, they use the pictures to figure out the word. Then they add the word and a drawing to their craft activity. The students are so proud to show all the “big words” they can read.
I hang these up in my classroom or send them home with students to share with their families.
Grab Your Eagle Eye Anchor Chart And Activities Set
You can grab the Eagle Eye Anchor Chart and all of these activities in the Emily Education store. With these intentional activities your students will be using their eagle eyes in no time!
Save these Eagle Eye Anchor Chart And Activities Ideas
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