My first lesson focused on how to use the book jacket to anticipate and predict the challenges we might face. I used The Seekers: the Quest Begins by Erin Hunter.I typed up the description from the book jacket on half sheets for students to place behind "Practice Time" in their reader response notebooks.
I also taught how to preview well enough that we figure out the structure of a book. I used The Seekers again. As we flipped through the book, we noticed that each chapter had a title of one of the character's names. We figured out that the story would flip back and forth between the characters. If we had not figured this out from the beginning, we might have been confused for a while, but since we were prepared for that before we started to read, we would probably be pretty successful. We could look back at our character/setting/problem chart each time we start a new chapter to help us remember what's going on with that character.
I used Schooled by Gordon Korman as another anchor text for analyzing the text structure. Basically, this story is also told by MANY characters in the book, so students need to be ready to read each chapter through that character's voice.
This may seem like an obvious thing, but I have a number of students who are great at reading words but struggle with comprehension. I have found that identifying the way an author has structured the book is one of their biggest pitfalls. These students usually do not spend enough time previewing and specifically trying to figure out how the book is going to go before they start to read.
If you are teaching students to "coach" themselves in the lower grades, strategies like IPICK or the "3 finger check" for choosing just right books, identifying the genre and thinking about how stories like that usually go, previewing to predict what the book is going to be about, and keeping up with character names would also be appropriate. Teaching students how to use story structure to their advantage would also fit into this unit. Really, you can modify "Coaching Your Reading Life" to target any strategies you find students are not using independently that you think they should be.
Have a happy week creating literate lives!