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Lesson Plan

Talking About Books to Improve Comprehension

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time One 45- to 60-minute session
Lesson Author

Erika Griffin

Trumbull, Connecticut


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch (Annick Press, 1996)

  • Flipchart and markers

  • Index cards

  • Pencils

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1. This lesson assumes that students have developed some of the comprehension strategies needed to understand texts they read independently and that they have practiced using these strategies. With this foundation, students will be prepared to share their understanding of the texts they read and will be willing to reflect on their ideas with others.

2. Select a short text (fiction or nonfiction) that will generate ideas for discussion. For purposes of example, Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch has been used in this lesson. The type of text that works best has the following characteristics:

  • It is short (e.g., a picture book, short story, or feature article)

  • It includes a meaningful theme or topic that will lead to conversation

  • It deals with a theme or topic that is open to multiple interpretations and that students have some background understanding of
3. Read aloud the text you have selected so that students are familiar with it and can enjoy the story. After you have read the text to the class, you will want to reread it on your own, marking places in the text where you will stop and think aloud about ideas that might lead to conversations. During the read-aloud, you may have noticed that there were places in the text where students had some interesting responses. These often lead to good conversations.

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