Grandma Bird / During Reading / /

Reading Grandma Bird

Encouraging literal, inferential and text to world thinking.

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Required reading: Whole book


  • English
  • Reading

Strategies used

  • Read Aloud


Reading aloud to your class is one of the essential reading lessons you can provide. There are many advantages, one of which is affording children the opportunity to build their knowledge of story structure.

Read simply for enjoyment for a first reading. This allows children to build knowledge of story structure. Stopping too frequently with questions interferes with this process. Reading aloud will enable children to hear what text sounds like and helps them acquire an internal reading voice. We call this an Ear for Reading. Children who have acquired an inner reading voice will hear it when they read independently and silently. It helps them read fluently and supports reading comprehension.

Occasionally, you may want to stop at a pivotal point to predict what might happen next, encouraging the children to use clues from what you have already read. Do this sparingly — Reserve for points where miscomprehension could potentially affect the overall understanding of the text. There will be opportunities to talk about details later.

Reading the book for a second time allows you to check understanding at both literal and inferential levels and to discuss themes and ideas.


  • Prepare by reading the book and making brief notes about any special features e.g., building tension during the storm, thoughts about reading the dialogue between Noi and Grandma.
  • Use sticky notes or annotate in light pencil, which can be erased after reading.



Read the story aloud up to the page: ‘So one morning, when the tide was out, Noi crept away.’.

This is a good stopping point because we can infer from the text that Noi isn’t enjoying staying with Grandma, and this might be why he has crept away. It is an excellent point to stop and make predictions about the consequences of him setting out on his own.

Check understanding by asking the following questions:

  • What do you think Noi is going to do? (This can be answered by looking at the fishing net and bucket in Noi’s hand).
  • Does Noi want Grandma to know he is going out? (This question could be answered by referring to the word ‘crept’ in the sentence).
  • Do you think Noi likes staying with Grandma? Can you explain why you said this? (A combination of inference from the text and illustrations can be used to answer this question).
  • Would you like to stay with Grandma? (This question asks children to make links between text and their life).

Final reflection

Read aloud to the end of the book.

  • Should Noi have gone out on his own?
  • Why? Why not?

Encourage children to consider both points of view rather than reach for the most obvious answer before you invite them to weigh up the pros and cons. A For and Against T diagram could be used to support the formulation of reasons supporting both courses of action.

Invite the children to talk about the actions Noi could have taken instead of leaving.

  • What could Noi have done instead of leaving?
  • What do you think you would have done if you were in Noi’s position?

Key vocabulary

for, against


For and Against T Diagram

Use this diagram or produce your own to use to summarise your discussion about whether Noi was right or wrong to leave Grandma’s house.

Noi For and Against T Diagram


Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

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Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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