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Lesson Plan

"Blind Date with a Book": Creating Lifelong Readers

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"Blind Date with a Book": Creating Lifelong Readers

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Eight 50-minute sessons, plus time for students to read novels outside of class
Lesson Author

Amanda Ottinger

Amanda Ottinger

Woolwich Township, New Jersey


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



This lesson has students read a novel after going on a "blind date" with a variety of novels during a class period. Students then create an argument for why their classmates should also read their novel (even if they do not like the book they read). Ultimately, students will debate against one another to argue why their book should be added to the curriculum.  This encourages students to read for enjoyment and learn that while they may not always enjoy reading, they can still learn from an author's words.

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The Blind Date with a Book learning project is much more than just an engaging activity for students; the purpose of the project is to encourage independent reading based on students’ interests. Not only does the extended lesson provide ample opportunities for differentiation based on individual student needs, but it also brings the power of choice back to the English classroom. Too often, students complain about the canonized choices that populate our high school curriculum. In their Guideline on the Students’ Right to Read, NCTE states, “The right of any individual not just to read but to read whatever he or she wants is basic to a democratic society.” Through “dating” a variety of novels and choosing those with topics that interest them most, students are able to take ownership of what they are doing and how they are accomplishing the goals we, as instructors, have set for them. Furthermore, they are able to exercise their democratic right of choice in the classroom, thus fostering a learning community where students are able to learn from one another and from the books they read and share throughout the school year.

National Council of Teachers of English. 1981. Guideline on The Students' Right to Read. November 2009. Web.

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