Reading Vipers

It’s been a while! Almost three years in fact since I last blogged about anything. So, I suppose I better write about something. I spent some time today, while my wife was working on her Masters dissertation, writing some new reading resources to use with my class so I thought that would be a good place to start.

Last year, my colleagues and I spent time collaboratively discussing, researching and experimenting how best to teach reading to the children in our school. The usual Guided Reading Carousel vs Whole Class Teaching debate reared its head. We still disagree on what’s best; however, what we did agree on was that we needed to improve our teaching of explicit reading skills. We needed to know exactly what skills we wanted to teach and what these would look like. Teaching children to be ‘good readers’ is an incredibly complex process but if we could improve the clarity of the skills we are teaching and the manner in which they were taught this would be a good starting point to work on this year.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, myself and a colleague spent some time on Twitter searching for ideas, opinions and places to start. There wasn’t a shortage! What an amazing CPD resource! We settled on using Rob Smith’s excellent VIPERS resources (Twitter handle: @redgierob) . I will not go into detail about them as there are some great blogs on Rob’s website (Literacy Shed) which explain it much better than I could. See the link below for the blog post:

I must also thank Ashley Booth (@MrBoothY6), Jo Payne (@MrsPTeach) and Rhoda Wilson (@TemplarWilson), for their excellent blogs on reading comprehension. Rhoda produced an amazing free resource based on one of (if not my favourite) children’s books – The Boy In The Tower by Polly Ho-Yen. These teachers have all had a huge impact on my teaching of reading and I can’t thank them enough. I posted links to some of their blogs including a link to Rhoda’s amazing resource.

Click to access boy-in-the-tower-planning-and-resource-booklet.pdf

Inspired by these generous teachers, I have decided (with permission from Rob Smith) to share my Reading Vipers resources which I created based around the book Ma’at’s Feather by Juliet Desailly. They regularly share free resources they have spent time creating so I thought I would do so myself. I created these resources with Year 4/5 in mind but they are still a work in progress as I have to create the Non-fiction comprehension sheets linked to specific chapters in the book. The poem included is one which I wrote myself to ensure I could cover several vocabulary questions.

These resources haven’t been road tested with my class yet so please feel free to read, use or simple let me know what you think. I hope to tweak these resources as I try them out and add other resources as we work on different books throughout this year. Thanks for reading!

1. Prologue

2. Ch 2

3. Poem

4. Ch 4

5. Ch 6

6. Ch 8

7. Non-fiction – Tombs + Life After Death

8. Ch 10

9. Ch 12

10. Epilogue

Poem – the Nile



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