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Lesson Plan

BOOKMATCH: Scaffolding Independent Book Selection

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Linda Wedwick

Linda Wedwick

Normal, Illinois

Jessica Ann Wutz

Jessica Ann Wutz

Normal, Illinois


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Large classroom library with books on a variety of topics in various genres

  • Chart paper, white board, or overhead transparency

  • Computer with Internet access and projection capability

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1. Assemble an ample supply of books, covering a wide variety of topics, genres, and reading levels, and spread them out on shelves or tabletops so students can easily browse them. If your classroom library is relatively small, you may need to take students to the school library, especially if students are all selecting books at the same time. However, if students are making book selections within a reading workshop, they are likely to be in different places, some just beginning their books, some in the middle, and some just finishing, and a smaller selection may be sufficient.

2. Schedule a set daily time (45 to 60 minutes) for the lesson sessions. Each session will include a minilesson about selecting books and time for students to spend reading the books they have selected

3. Choose three titles to demonstrate the book selection criteria in Session 2. Three examples include:
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, 1999)

  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Penguin, 1967)

  • The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (Random House, 1995)
Note: These titles were chosen to provide examples of a variety of genres. However, the titles you use for demonstration and modeling should reflect the interests of your students, or books with which your students are familiar. Any book can be used to model the selection process. You may even prefer to pull texts randomly from your classroom library, to model what students will experience when they make their own selections.

4. Choose example books to demonstrate a variety of genres and topics in Session 4. If possible, include nonfiction, graphic novels, plays/movie scripts, and poetry as well as fiction.

5. Make several copies for each student of the Student Comment Form for Intermediate-Grade Readers. Keep a supply in a central location for students to use as needed. Make an overhead transparency of the form for use in Session 6 if desired.

6. Print a copy of the BOOKMATCH poster and display near your whole-group meeting area.

7. Set up an online discussion forum such as a wiki or message board for the class. Simple instructions are provided on the wiki sites suggested in the list of Resources for this lesson. If students have not previously participated in online literature discussions, you may wish to adapt Sessions 1 and 2 of the ReadWriteThink lesson "Thoughtful Threads: Sparking Rich Online Discussions" to provide an introduction to the online forum.

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