Lesson Plan:

Highlight Reading and Writing

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August 27, 2015
by Jen Kessel

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to incorporate familiar and unfamiliar words into writing.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Show the class the stack of newspapers and magazines. Ask them why they think people read these types of things.
  • Talk about what familiar and unfamiliar mean.
  • Tell the class we will be using the newspapers and magazines to help us with our writing.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Take a newspaper and scan through it.
  • Look for words that are familiar to you, and highlight them as you read.
  • Once you have five words highlighted, look at the paper again for words that are "unfamiliar" to you (words that seem like they'd be unfamiliar to your students). Highlight five of them as you see them.
  • Use the dictionary to look up the unfamiliar words.
  • Write down the unfamiliar words and their definition on lined paper.
  • Tell students that they'll be repeating what you did, but they'll also choose one unfamiliar and three familiar words to start writing a new story.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Students can work in pairs to find words and help each other look them up in the dictionary.
  • Once they have their familiar and unfamiliar words ready, they should work independently on their story.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Have students use their collection of words to write a short story on a topic of their choice.



  • Enrichment: Ask advanced students to incorporate more unfamiliar words into their stories.
  • Support: Have struggling students refer to things around the room for inspiration.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Observe students as they work.
  • Collect students' stories once they're done writing. Review the stories later to assess student understanding of the lesson content.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Call on students to share some familiar and unfamiliar words that they found.
  • Ask why they chose the words they did.

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