Lesson Plan:

Colorful Coding

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January 22, 2017
by Brandy Metzger
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January 22, 2017
by Brandy Metzger

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to locate answers to comprehension questions in a passage.
  • Students will be able to determine the difference between questions with a directly stated answer and questions with an inferred answer.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Pass out the first comprehension passage and a set of colored pencils for each student.
  • Tell the students that today they are going to learn to identify types of questions and how to color-code answers.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (30 minutes)

  • Display the first passage on the projector or document camera and read the title of the passage.
  • Have students predict what this passage will be about.
  • Tell the students that you are going to look over the questions before reading the passage.
  • Let students know that there are some key words that can help identify a question as a "right there" question that they can find the answer to in the text or a "thinking" question in which they will have to infer an answer.
  • Tell students that "right there" questions may begin with a phrase such as "in the passage," "according to the text," or "in the paragraph. " For these questions, they are going to draw an eyeball beside them to remind us we can look for the answer right in the text.
  • Tell the students for other questions they will have to think about what the answer may be or infer. For these questions, they will draw a brain to remind us to think about the text and our own prior knowledge to determine an answer.
  • Go over each question and have students draw the eyeball or brain based on the kind of question asked.
  • Next, read the passage out loud to the students stopping to review any unfamiliar words or concepts.
  • After the reading, have students turn back to the questions.
  • Guide students through the first half of the questions in the following manner. For "right there" questions, have students choose a color and underline the question in that color. Then, have them flip back to the passage and find the answer. They will use the same colored pencil to underline the answer in the passage. For "thinking" questions, talk the students through the overall text ideas and their own prior knowledge to select the best answer choice.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Ask students to work together with a partner to color-code the rest of the questions.
  • Circulate the room to check for understanding and make sure students are only coding "right there" questions.
  • When everyone has finished, check the questions and compare what was color-coded. Some students may have coded different areas of the passage.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Pass out an additional comprehension passage.
  • Students will code questions with symbols and colors on their own.




  • For advanced students, have them develop their own questions about the text that would have to be inferred.


  • For students working below grade level, make sure their passage is a lower Lexile level that matches their ability.


Assessment (10 minutes)

  • Have students develop one additional "right there" question about the text and write the answer to it as well.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • As a review, discuss the difference in "right there" questions and "thinking" questions.
  • Ask students why it is important to refer back to the text as they answer comprehension questions.

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