Free ERIC Starters to support Reading Lessons

I have written before about my move away from guided reading and the introduction of our DERIC reading skills. These DERIC reading skills are embedded in all of our reading lessons – they appear on all of our lesson resources and both teachers and children refer to them constantly during the lesson.

DERIC stands for:

D: Decoding words

E: Explaining new vocabulary

R: Retrieving infomation

I: Interpreting infomation

C: Choice (thinking about the choices made by the author/director/artist)

A key element of this approach is our Read with ERIC starters. As part of these starters, the children are presented with a stimulus (this could be a short film clip, a picture or a poem) and have to answer questions about it. We have found these to be really useful for developing children’s awareness of our DERIC skills: they are practising their comprehension skills without having the barrier of decoding to content with.

ERIC blog 2.png.

These reading starters can be a  10 minute discussion at the beginning of the lesson or they can form a whole lesson involving written responses.

After my blog about whole class reading, lots of people asked if I had a bank of these ERIC starters that I would be happy to share. I have complied a collection of some starters that I have used. I plan to add to these over the coming months. I have also divided the starters into images, films and poetry.

Click on the links below to download yourselves a copy.

Hope they are useful.

Read with ERIC Film

Read with ERIC Poetry

Read with ERIC Pictures


21 thoughts on “Free ERIC Starters to support Reading Lessons

  1. What a fantastic idea! Being the wrong side of 45yrs, teachers sharing is uplifting enough but when it is something so good and ‘pickupable’ it makes it all the better.


  2. Thank you so much for these! Can I ask what year group you work with? I am new to Year 5 from Year 3 and wondered what age group you aimed them at?


  3. So helpful! Thank you. My class love these kinds of activities and they are really helping to improve their reading – especially the interpret and choice questions. It’s great to be able to have a bank of them to use.


  4. Many thanks for your kindness in sharing these. Your creativity is inspiring! Have started whole class reading this year and it is much more enjoyable to prepare and teach. The differentiation and text choice is still an issue for the less able readers in my Y56 class but with support and an established routine I hope they will develop greater stamina, enjoyment and of course comprehension. Those children are now accessing age related texts with support which in itself is much more positive.


  5. Absolutely amazing thankfully. So kind of you to share. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve adapted them slightly to suit the key reading strands that our school uses. So not only did you invent Read with Derc and Eric…’ve also played a good part in reading with Trill!!


  6. Thank you, I absolutely love using these with my class. I had exactly the same issues with using carousel activities with my class, as I have no TA . This is the first time I have felt happy with my guided reading sessions.


  7. This is a beautifully made, straightforward and exceptionally useful approach. Various government approaches have always tried to complicate what is essentially common sense: support readers with varied quality questions. Thanks.


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