Close Reading 1st & 2nd Grade: How People Learned to Fly

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 19 reviews
19 Ratings
Tamara Russell
Grade Levels
1st - 2nd
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
83 pages
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Tamara Russell


Complex Text Read Alouds are tons of fun to do--especially with little people.

The scaffolding that we do with littles is important, and this unit has tons of built in support for first and second grade learners. I've included pocket chart resources and coordinating interactive notebook pages to help students recall the content. There are also some vocabulary cards that go with the anchor text, How People Learned to Fly by Fran Hodgkins. There's a great science connection that you can do in class with your learners! One of my favorite parts is the fluency. It's differentiated. There are two levels for first and two for second on the same you're basically getting four levels on each story! Great for small group instruction! The fluency has text coding and comprehension too. If you're a fan of my fluency series, you'll LOVE the way this fluency is formatted too! It's jam packed with fun!

Five different common core standards are covered in this set of lessons.

Day 1: Build background; quick write and collaborative sharing on objects that fly; read aloud and reflection.

Day 2: Re-read short portion of anchor text; set a purpose for reading; review elements of fables; read paired text-Greek fable Icarus.

Day 3: Re-read short portion of anchor text; make inferences about illustrations; science demo; 'how to' writing extension

Day 4: Re-read short portion of anchor text; make inferences; discuss salient vocabulary; paired interactive text

Day 5: Re-read short portion of anchor text; discuss main idea; paired text on Orville & Wilbur Wright; Home-School Connection (Airplane Launch)

If you like using complex text reading units with your littles, you might be interested in my other offerings!


Quick As A Cricket is one of the first units I use in first grade. It's a fun way to look at vocabulary by studying antonyms and synonyms. Students read the text multiple times to work on discussing description and making mental images. It's a great book! The lesson plans are super explicit to guide your study.

Fire! Fire! is a great unit to use with first graders in October. We used this one in the run up to having firefighters visit the classroom, or even after visiting a firehouse. We used Robert Munsch's 'The Fire Station' and Gail Gibbons' 'Fire! Fire!' to work on comprehension and sequencing. I tied in work on blends, and making tens in math too! We even did a science experiment on how to put out fires! This is a jam packed unit that is really versatile. We love using it yearly!


George, Abe, and Barack is a must use in February in my first grade classroom! I love teaching social studies and tying this unit into additional fluency on the presidents! In this unit, the students learn about George Washington and Abe Lincoln through their biographies. They read 'Of Thee I Sing' which is Barack Obama's book for his daughters that includes the stories of many different influential Americans. It is a great way to work on fact and opinion and vocabulary while working on social studies and discussing people who made a positive impact on our country.

Tomas and the Library Lady is a great little story about a boy who moves from Mexico and makes a meaningful connection to reading through his family and a relationshp with a librarian. I use this text when I am teaching biographies, but I've also used it during Hispanic American Heritage Month. Just depends on the year. The students work on story elements, text dependent questions and a class book! It's a great little unit.


In the spring, I use Kitten's First Full Moon to analyze story structure and cause and effect. Students also work on reviewing roots and suffixes and discuss main ideas and details. It is a great tie in with any unit on earth space.

Zin, Zin, Zin A Violin is a wonderful rhyming story about orchestras and counting! The students learn all about different instruments why working on summarizing, main idea and context vocabulary. It's a wonderful way to integrate music into your lessons! There is a fun violin craft that we made that tied in non-standard measurement! Fantastic integration ideas!

How People Learned to Fly is one of my favorite units to teach! Its is differentiated and full of resources for first and second graders! I love the science connections that we make and the additional fluency passages that are in it. The students focus on fables, main idea and vocabulary in this unit. We also learned about The Wright Brothers and flying. You don't want to miss this one in the spring!

Total Pages
83 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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