Guided Reading

Guided Reading I Can't Do This

The associated New 2014 National Curriculum Reading Objectives are referenced within the reading Assessment Focus buttons below:



Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning.

Can children

  • Read on sight
  • Use phonic strategies
  • Use textual and grammatical knowledge to self correct
  • Show awareness of punctuation marks
  • Show accurate and fluent decoding skills
  • Demonstrate understanding in prepared reading?

Question prompts to develop Assessment Focus 1

  • Do you see a word you know?
  • Check the picture
  • What would make sense/ sound right?
  • What would you expect to see at the beginning of …..?
  • Is it like a word you already know?
  • Can you see a word inside the word?
  • Blend this part of the word.
  • Does the sentence make sense?



    Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text

    New 2014 National Curriculum –

    Year 3/4

    • Retrieve and record information from (non-fiction)

    Year 5/6

    • Summarise the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph, identifying key details that support the main ideas.



    • Where does the story take place?
    • What does Fortitude look like?
    • What do the mistakes look like? (Why has this been used to represent them?)
    • Who are the characters in the book?
    • Why were the letters in ‘Riddle’ mischievous?
    • What happened after the mistakes escaped from the box?
    • How many mistakes did Fortitude make (that we know about in the story)? What were they?
    • What was Fortitude’s biggest mistake?
    • Why did the biggest mistake of all shake the other mistakes hands to show there were no hard feelings?
    • What was the result of Fortitude tying his shoe lace too tightly?
    • When they went to find him, how did the mistakes know they would eventually find Fortitude?
    • What happened when the mistakes found Fortitude?
    • Describe what happened when Fortitude wouldn’t listen to the mistakes?
    • What happened that forced Fortitude to listen to the mistakes?
    • Who eventually got Fortitude to listen?
    • What happened when Fortitude learnt from his mistakes?
    • How did Fortitude feel by the end of the story?
    • What was the final mistake in the book?
    • What other words (nonsense or otherwise) can you make by mixing up the letters in RIDDLES? (see p7)



    Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts

    New 2014 National Curriculum –

    Y3/4 –

    • Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
    • Predicting what might happen from details stated and implied

    Y5/6 –

    • Draw inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings , thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
    • Predict what might happen from details stated and implied



    • How do you know that Fortitude treasured his thoughts and ideas? (Deduction skills)
    • Why is the star on page 6 labelled ‘Max’?
    • What do the jumbled up letters on page 22 spell? Why do they spell this?
    • What moment in your life does the black puzzle on page 15 represent? (stuck moment) How is this image representative of your stuck moment?
    • The jigsaw puzzle, where you can clearly see the image of the bee, can only be seen when the page is turned. Do you think it was important to position this picture in this way? If so, why? (Just like your answer is revealed in your stuck moment when you complete the puzzle, so too is the image when you turn the page).
    • What causes Fortitude to fall? (Deduction skills)
    • How could the story have ended differently? (Deduction skills)
    • Why is there a drawing of a hand before the word YET on page 27?
    • How do you think Fortitude felt when he was flying with his thoughts at the beginning of the story? What gives you this impression?
    • Put yourself in Fortitude’s shoes. How do you think he felt when he fell? What gives you this impression?
    • Why is the bee important? (The bee disappears when things are going wrong for Fortitude)
    • On page 18, comment on the words; ‘I can’t do this. What if I make a mistake? What if I fail?’
    • If you said these words, how do you think your friends would react?
    • Describe what is happening on page 14 in your own words (interpreting skills)
    • What do think will happen because of finding the word yet? (inference skills)
    • If you were in Fortitude’s shoes after he had fallen, what would you do?
    • Who do you know who is like Fortitude? Why?
    • Page 15 and 16 must go in this order. Why? What are they about? What is going on here? (Make sure the children look closely at the black jigsaw and identify the eye and the streak of yellow as this will help them to deduce that completing the jigsaw puzzle with the last key piece will help them to see the solution clearly- they were simply missing one piece that kept them in the dark and stuck.)
    • Why do you think the author has chosen a question mark as the tool used to hook the bad thought on pages 22 and 23?
    • What is the YET Magic that is referred to on page 28?
    • How did Fortitude eventually reach the stars?



    Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level

    New 2014 National Curriculum references

    Year 3/4/5/6-

    • Identifying how language, structure, and presentation contribute to meaning


    • Why have some words been written as part of the image rather than the text? What effect does this have?
    • If these words were not there, would this make a difference to the story/book?
    • On page 14, why is the word potential underlined each time it is used?
    • On page 16, why are the words effort and clear written in large letters?
    • Why are the words in the text on page 14 in boxes? Why is there a note from the author at the bottom of this page?
    • What is the turning point in the story?
    • On page 17, why is the first line printed bigger than the other words on the page?
    • On page 19, why are the words ‘He fell.’ alone at the top of the page? What effect does this have?
    • On page 23, why is the word BINGO! big and in capitals and why is ‘lightbulb moment’ highlighted?
    • On page 24, why is the thought red?
    • There are some repetitive structures in the text. Can you spot them and say what effect the repetition has?
    • How are sentences organised? If you were to talk about the style of the writing, what would you say? What creates this style?
    • Do you think page 5 is important to the story? If it was removed, what effect would this have on the book?
    • If you were to draw a line graph that represented the mood change in the story, how would the line go? (The teacher will need to draw a line graph axis for this and indicate the points in the story along the x axis and show the mood on the Y axis- make group decisions as to how the mood fluctuates as the story goes along.)



    Explain and comment on the writer’s use of language including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level

    Year 3/4

    • Checking that the text makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and explaining the meaning of words in context
    • Read books that are structured in different ways

    Year 5/6

    • Check that the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context
    • Discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader


    • Why are thoughts represented by bubbles- what effect does this have?
    • Why has the author chosen to name the main character Fortitude?
    • What is a horoscope and how are horoscopes linked to the story?
    • Why has the author chosen the word ‘Riddle’ as the one that has legs?
    • Why has the author muddled up the letters that spell, ‘KEEP GOING’ on page 22?
    • What language has the author used to make the character appear curious?
    • Which words and phrases are written in bold type face and why has this been done?
    • What metaphors have been used in this story?
    • Why do you think the author chose to use metaphors so heavily?
    • On page 19, why is the place from which Fortitude has fallen referred to as a thought paradise? What do you think a think a thought paradise is and what is the author trying to say about thoughts and thinking by referring to it in this way?
    • On page 19, the author has used the word ‘Galumph’ which is not a real word. What do you think it means, how do you know and why has the author used a made up word? What word could you use to replace it?
    • On p23, what does the phrase, ‘The lights were on and everyone was home!’ mean? There are several meanings (word play).
    • Why have the words ‘aiming’ and ‘reached’ been used on page 28?
    • Why has the author chosen to use a sheep to represent the bad thought?
    • Why has page 24 been used as the front cover of the book? Was this a good decision by the author? What alternatives might there be and why?
    • On page 8 and 9, what do the five images on these pages mean? Can you explain what you think the author meant? Which do you think is the most effective metaphor here and why?
    • Why is the bee described as a banoffee bee? Can you think of an alternative word to describe a bee?
    • What words in the text do you not know? (Look them up and find their meanings) – why do you think the author has decided to include words that are challenging?
    • Choose the five best words from the story (in your opinion)and explain why you think they are the best. What effect do they have and why didn’t the author use alternatives?
    • What is the overall mood of the text and how is this created?
    • Is there any humour in the text? How is it created?
    • What words/phrases indicate the authors attitude?
    • How could the meaning of sentences be changed by altering the punctuation? (Find examples to discuss, consider why the author chose to use the punctuation she did and whether an alternative could have been used- would this effect the meaning?)
    • How does the author show that putting in effort to work through challenges is important?
    • What are thoughts like? How does the author portray what thoughts are like?
    • Do the illustrations complement the language used? If so, how?
    • What is the tone of the writing? How is the tone created?
    • When are there mood changes in the story and how are these mood changes conveyed?



    Identify and comment on the writer’s purposes and viewpoints and the overall effect

    New 2014 National Curriculum

    Year 3/4

    • Discuss words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination

    Year 5/6

    • Check the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context
    • Distinguish between statements of fact and opinion
    • Provide reasoned justifications for their views


    • What is the author wanting us to think about when reading the book? What are the themes?
    • Why has the author chosen to name the main character Fortitude?
    • Why has the author related thoughts to being like bubbles?
    • What impression do you get about thoughts? How has this impression been created by the author?
    • What does the author think about thoughts and ideas? How is this suggested?
    • Why is some of the text in different sizes? What effect does his have?
    • Why has the author chosen to use a sheep to represent the bad thought? Does it help to give this thought a personality and if so, why?
    • What effect do the words ‘light bulb moment’ have on the character? What do you think a ‘light bulb moment’ is?
    • Do you think there is evidence to suggest that the author believes that, how we treat our thoughts is how we should treat each other? How might this have been suggested?
    • What questions would you ask the author about the book?
    • Why does the author refer to reaching for stars?
    • Do you get a sense that the author is with you when you read the story? If so, why?
    • Do you think the author chose an effective cover for the book? Explain your reasoning.
    • On page 21, why do you think the author made it so that Fortitude could not reach the thought to pull it to him?
    • If you could redesign the cover, what would it look like? Why?
    • How would you describe the illustrations? Does the style go with the story? Explain your reasoning.
    • What do you think this story is about? Why has it been written?
    • What age group do you think it is suitable for? Why?
    • Why is ‘I Can’t Do This…’ the most damaging thought Fortitude had ever had?
    • If the author was presenting her argument, what would she say rather than have written the story?



    How the text fits into its social, historical, cultural, literary heritage context

    New 2014 National Curriculum

    Year 3/4

    • Listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or text books

    Year 5/6

    • Increase their familiarity with a wide range of books
    • Make comparisons across books


    • Can you think of a story that has a similar theme (i.e, perseverance, putting in effort to achieve challenges etc.)? If you compare the two, which text is most effective in exploring these themes and why?
    • Do you think this story is relevant to all cultures (e.g, could it be published in other countries/languages and still be of interest)?
    • Is there anything about the story that makes it obviously British?
    • Is there anything obvious from this culture that has influenced the writer?
    • Could this book have been written in another time period? What makes it stand out as a book of modern times?
    • How is Fortitude similar/different to other main characters you have read about? Comparing these characters, which one do you prefer and why?


    Process & Production Questions:
    • Do you think it helped that the author also illustrated the book? Why/Why not?
    • What may have influenced the writer?
    • What research would the writer have needed to do in order to produce the text?
    • The author added in the first page about the bubbles after the rest of the pages had been created. Why did she do this and do you think it was important for that page to have been included? If so, why?