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Lesson Plan

Learning Centers: From Shared to Independent Practice

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Five 20- to 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Nancy Drew

Tecumseh, Ontario


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



What do the seven blind mice do on Sunday? On Monday? Students find out in this recurring lesson that uses independent literacy centers to help students become proficient in completing activities about the stories they read. Although this lesson uses Seven Blind Mice as an example, the framework is adaptable to almost any text. Students begin with a shared reading of the selected text. Then, in subsequent lessons, students are introduced to each type of learning center in which students are asked to read, listen, and write about the text, create lists of words that contain the same beginning sound as a word from the story, and assemble sentence strips about the story. Each learning center is modeled in a large-group setting, and students are given the opportunity to role-play or engage in guided practice before being expected to work independently.

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Writing Center Response Worksheet: Students can use this sentence frame to help them write about activities they do on their favorite day of the week.

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Ford, M.P., & Opitz, M.F. (2002). Using centers to engage children during guided reading time: Intensifying learning experiences away from the teacher. The Reading Teacher, 55(8), 710–717.

  • Instruction away from the teacher needs to be as powerful as instruction with the teacher.

  • Learning centers are small areas within the classroom where students work alone or together to explore literacy activities while the teacher provides small-group reading instruction.

  • Independent activities should create excitement about reading and writing and actually require students to interact with print while reading and writing.

  • We need to set children up for success—the instructional activity must be within reach of the learner.


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