Reading Strategy- Eagle Eye!

Hello! I am excited to go into more depth about some of my favorite things.....guided reading and animal strategies!! Let's get started by talking about my friend, Eagle Eye!

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What does it mean to use eagle eye? Eagle eye is a reading strategy that reminds students to check the picture when they are stuck on a word. 

 When should I teach eagle eye? I am often asked, what order should these strategies be taught in? I typically say that it depends on students’ needs and ability. I will say that, teaching kindergarten, I always start off with this one! I would recommend starting here if:

  • The child is just beginning to read
  • You teach prek/kindergarten
  • The child does not use any strategies while reading 
  • Eagle eye is a great strategy to start with!

Teaching Eagle Eye:

If you are not familiar with these decoding strategies, they are based off of the Beanie Baby animals.  I bought mine at a local flea market and had some saved from my childhood collection! I always get these out when I introduce a new strategy. This seems to help students to make an association with the strategy. If you want to use the beanies too, check out Ebay, garbage sales, flea markets, and more! Of course, you don't have to have these to teach the strategies! 

Take a walk...

If you are not already doing this, I would recommend taking a "picture walk" before you read. This means that you and students will look at the pictures before reading. This gives students an opportunity to activate their prior knowledge, make predictions, and you can introduce vocabulary words. This is especially helpful if there are any unfamiliar pictures in the book. This will allow you to talk about the pictures that students will be checking before you read. I can say from experience that I have told students to check the picture while reading and they do not know what the picture is of! Oops!! This is why this step is important when you work on this strategy. Taking a picture walk also helps to remind students that it is OK to look at and rely on the pictures as they read!

Follow the arrow...

While reading with students, I draw a little arrow from the word to the picture. You can do this before you read the book or as you are reading with students. I typically only do this if students are stuck on a word but, you can always do this when you first begin the strategy. Of course, this only works if you are using printable books. 

Picture Detective

Get out your magnifying glasses and look at the pictures closely! This is a fun prereading activity that allows students to be picture checking detectives. You can do this while taking a picture walk or keep them close by as you are reading. If students get stuck on a word, you can grab the magnifying glasses to check the picture if needed! 


Motivate students to take a closer look at the picture with a magnifying glass

Check out these kid-friendly magnifying glasses on Amazon! 
Click the photos to check them out!

Practice with task cards!


To use these task cards, students will read each sentence and use the picture clue to read each underlined word. Two sets are included-one with more simple sentences and one with more complex sentences. Grab these printable task cards by clicking here!

Grab a freebie!

Check out one of my previous blog posts to grab this printable so you can remind students to use their strategies! Click here to grab the decoding strategy printable and more!

After teaching the eagle eye strategy, I typically like to move to lips the fish. 

Read more about the strategies here....

Click the image to check out another blog post

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