October 21, 2018
By Jasmine Gibson

EL Support Lesson

EL Support Lesson: Magic Pointer Fingers

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Pointers!Lesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Pointers!Lesson plan.

Students will be able to point out individual letters and words in sentences.

(2 minutes)
  • Display the read-aloud text (using a big book for visual support) for today's lesson and introduce the text by reading the title and author. As you read the title and author, point to each word with a pointer or your finger.
  • Pause and explain that one way to help you read is to touch each word as you read it.
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the target vocabulary words using the vocabulary cards and providing students with student-friendly definitions. Ask students to turn to a partner and rephrase the new vocabulary in their own words (as able).
  • Read aloud from the text. As you read, practise modeling how you touch each word as you read it, either using a pointer or pointing with your finger.
  • Pause and note the new vocabulary words you are using (Touch, Pause, Track) as you read.
(5 minutes)
  • Have the class remain sitting in a circle or read-aloud space, then pass out the Dot Reading worksheet to each student.
  • Read the text of the worksheet aloud while students practise following along with their fingers. Pause and allow students to read each of the pictures aloud to practise their pre-reading and comprehension skills.
(10 minutes)
  • Invite students to turn and talk to a partner to finish this sentence starter: It is important to track each word as I read because_____.
  • Pass each partner pair a levelled text.
  • Explain that each pair should take turns reading the text and touching each word as they read it.


  • Gather a smaller group of students together to practise reading the same levelled text as a group.
  • Pass out popsicle sticks for students to use as pointers while they read.


  • Pass out additional books for students to practise reading using their pointer fingers.
  • Have students complete the Coded Pointing worksheet for additional practise.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are at work, assess if they are able to track the words on a page accurately.
  • Take note of any students who seem confused or unable to differentiate between letters and words. Take these students aside for further instruction.
(3 minutes)
  • Gather the class together and review why it is important to keep track of the words while reading (e.g., "It helps us know which word to read and helps us keep our place when reading").
  • Answer any questions and/or clear up any misconceptions.

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