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Lesson Plan

Focus on First Lines: Increasing Comprehension through Prediction Strategies

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Focus on First Lines: Increasing Comprehension through Prediction Strategies

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: 50 minutes; thereafter: 5-10 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Jacqueline Podolski

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


National Council of Teachers of English







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  • Make copies or an overhead transparency of the Opening Lines handout that is appropriate for your class, choosing from these options:

    • Use one of the existing handouts, based on the kinds of texts you will cover in your course or unit: American Literature, British Literature, Contemporary American Literature, World Literature, or Young Adult Literature.

    • Modify one of the existing lists above to fit the needs of your class. You might want to use a smaller number of quotations or to remove the author's name (since it may be a clue to time period for some students).

    • Create your own handout, pulling the first lines from pieces that you will read over the course of the class or unit. As you assemble your handout, be sure to mix the quotations chronologically so that students are encouraged to use clues from the sentences to decide on the time period for the quotation.

  • Make copies or overhead transparencies of the Recording Sheet and the Recording Sheet Sample.

  • If do not have computer access in your classroom, make copies of the printable Think-Aloud Predictions for "Young Goodman Brown." Prepare to talk through the think-aloud outlined on the sheet with students as a demonstration of the process.

  • Test the online Think-Aloud Predictions for "Young Goodman Brown" on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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