Book of the Month

The Certificate (Grade 2, Level N)

In this realistic fiction book, Josh gets jealous of his sister Tia and tries to pressure her into behaving recklessly. But after thinking through the possible consequences, Josh stops Tia before it’s too late. 

This story, written at a Level N instructional reading level, presents a situation many students can relate to, sparking meaningful discussions about the SEL competency of building relationships and other related topics, including sibling rivalry, risk-taking and dares, and examining consequences.

The student version of the book (on the left) features vibrant illustrations and engaging text that is carefully controlled for advancing readers along with built-in activities that bridge reading and writing.

The teacher version (on the right) is identical, with the exception of built-in teaching panels on every two-page spread, which make it easy to take advantage of the instructional opportunities embedded in the text. 

The built-in instruction includes:


Questions and prompts that support fluency and understanding during the first reading

  • Self-monitoring
  • Making inferences
  • Asking and answering questions
  • Making and confirming predictions
  • Making connections
  • Visualizing
  • Justifying opinions
  • Clarifying vocabulary and idioms

Word Analysis Strategies

  • Using letter sounds and spelling patterns
  • Looking for word parts
  • Rereading and looking for meaning clues


Digging deeper into specific text elements and comprehension strategies

  • Making connections
  • Making and confirming predictions
  • Descriptive language
  • Making inferences
  • Text and graphic features

Social-Emotional Learning

  • Building relationships
  • Making personal connections
  • Perspective-taking
  • Empathy
  • Understanding individual differences
  • Identifying emotions
  • Interpreting gestures and facial expressions
  • Risk-taking
  • Analyzing situations and choices
  • Evaluating consequences
  • Resisting social pressure


Revisiting the text to examine elements of the story from a writing perspective

  • Showing and telling
  • Dialogue

Partner Talk & Going Solo Activities

  • Using specific nouns and strong verbs to describe an experience to a partner
  • Writing a description using precise language
  • Analyzing word choices in another story

Response & Extension Activities

  • Writing
  • Speaking & Listening
  • Understanding Visuals
  • Vocabulary & Language
  • Understanding Text

The Partner Talk and Going Solo activities below are included in both versions of the book and are further supported by a printable graphic organizer. These activities use student talk to build a bridge from reading to writing, a practice that helps students recognize that if they can say it, they can write it

The Certificate comes from the Grade 2 Small-Group Resources kit but can be used by any students at a Level N instructional reading level. Download the accompanying Take & Teach Lesson and Blackline Masters below for further support for English learners, social-emotional learning, and a variety of extension activities.

Related Resources

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