Cross-checking: An early reading strategy
Beginning readers need to learn how to bring together two sources of information simultaneously. They have to think about what would make sense and think about letters/sounds; cross-checking. Most children prefer to do one or the other, but not both. Therefore, some children guess something that is sensible but ignore the visual (letter/sound) and others guess something which is close to the visual but makes no sense in the sentence. This activity will demonstrate how to cross check.
A lesson plan for grade 1 English Language Arts
- use the context of the sentence (meaning) along with the first consonant (visual/sound) to find the correct word to complete simple sentences.
- be provided an opportunity to explore searching and cross checking.
Time required for lesson
- Sentence strips
- Post-It notes
- Write sentences on the sentence strip using students’ names.
- Cover the word to be “figured out” with two Post-It notes.
- Use the first note to cover the first letter of the word. Each word should have a single consonant before the 1st vowel.
- The 2nd note should cover all the other letters of the word.
- Try to cut your Post-It notes so that each is exactly as long as the letter or letters it covers. This provides students with an additional clue of word length.
Examples of sentences:
- Tyler likes to ride a bike.
- Kelsey likes to ride a car.
- Christopher like to ride a bus.
- Susan likes to ride a jeep.
- Place a sentence on the board and read it. Have students suggest what the covered word could be. Write the suggested words on small sentence strips and place them next to sentence.
- Read the sentence using each word and ask, “Does that make sense?” If one of these words doesn’t make sense, remove it.
- Next, remove the Post-It note which covered the first letter. Allow the children to give more words that make sense and start with the letter. Write these on sentence strips. (Some children may guess anything that begins with the 1st letter. Prompt by saying, “________ begins with a ______, but we can’t use ________ because (name) can’t ride a_______.”)
- Uncover the word. Let the children see if the word is one they suggested. Have a student point to the first letter of each word as you (or the child if he/she is able) read the remaining choice to see which one looks right.
- Have a child point to first letter of each word as he/she reads the sentence.
- Repeat the process for each sentence.
During oral reading the child should re-read and self-correct. On a running record, observe the self-corrects and note the meaning, structure, or visual cues the child used.
- Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training by Marie Clay
- Guided Reading by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
This works best with a small group so that you can make observations about each child. With a few changes this lesson can be used with 1st and 2nd graders over and over to reinforce cross checking.
North Carolina curriculum alignment
English Language Arts (2004)
- Goal 1: The learner will develop and apply enabling strategies and skills to read and write.
- Objective 1.03: Use pronunciation, sentence meaning, story meaning, and syntax to confirm accurate decoding or to self-correct errors.
- Common Core State Standards
- English Language Arts (2010)
Reading: Foundational Skills
- Grade 1
- 1.RFS.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. 1.RFS.3.1 Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs (two letters that represent one sound). 1.RFS.3.2 Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words....
- 1.RFS.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. 1.RFS.4.1 Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding. 1.RFS.4.2 Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression. 1.RFS.4.3 Use context to confirm...
- Grade 1
- English Language Arts (2010)