ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Let's Talk About Stories: Shared Discussion With Amazing Grace
|Grades||K – 2|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Five 30- to 45-minute sessions|
This lesson gives second-grade students opportunities to interact with a thought-provoking story, as they also develop comprehension and critical-thinking skills. Students begin by listening to a read-aloud of Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, with teacher modeling of the thinking process at key points. They then participate in partner, small-group, and whole-class discussions to revisit and respond to the text. Students finish by using the interactive Doodle Splash to visually represent the ideas they want to remember from the book. Helpful tips are embedded within the lesson for discussing difficult themes and guiding students to make respectful and thoughtful comments in a group setting.
Doodle Splash: Students can use this interactive tool to illustrate and write about a memorable idea from their reading.
Jewel, T., & Pratt, D. (1999). Literature discussions in the primary grades: Children's thoughtful discourse about books and what teachers can do to make it happen. The Reading Teacher, 52(8), 842–850.
- Discussion groups support students' opinions with evidence from the text, prior knowledge, or personal experience.
- Discussions should be based on student response and not on teacher-directed questions.
Vasquez, V. (with Muise, M.R., Adamson, S.C., Heffernan, L., Chiola-Nakai, D., & Shear, J.) (2003). Getting beyond "I like the book": Creating space for critical literacy in K–6 classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
- Exploring critical literacies in the classroom can show students the power of language and how it can be used for social action projects in their community and to question the world around them.
- Contributing author Lee Heffernan shares a series of engagements that she created to provide students time to linger with and critically examine picture books over multiple class sessions. The series of engagements includes reading aloud, a picture walk, small-group conversations, a whole-group meeting, choosing an illustration, and notebook writing.