When I Get Stuck on a Word

When I get stuck on a word in a book,

There are lots of things to do.

I can do them all, please, by myself;

Without help from you.


I can look at the picture to get a hint,

Or think what the story’s about.

I can “get my mouth ready” to say the first letter,

A kind of “sounding out.”

I can chop the word into smaller parts,

Like on and ing and ly,

Or find smaller words in compound words

Like raincoat and bumblebee.

I can think of a word that makes sense in that place,

Guess or say “blank” and read on

Until the sentence has reached its end,

Then go back and try these on:

            “Does it make sense?”

            “Can we say it that way?”

            “Does it look right to me?”

Chances are the right word will pop out like the sun

In my own mind, can’t you see?


If I’ve thought of and tried out most of these things

And I still so not know what to do,

Then I may turn around and ask

For some help to get me through.


                                    By Jill Marie Warner