Lesson plan

Exciting Titles!

Read a well-loved story aloud to your second graders and inspire them to write funny titles. In this lesson, students will brainstorm outrageous titles of their very own!
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to create a unique title for a piece of creative writing.

(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud a favorite fiction book to your class, such as A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.
  • After the story, ask your class if they think the title matches the story or if they would suggest a different title and why. Review the definition of a title as needed. In this case a title is the name of a book or piece of writing.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to share their thinking. Share out as a class.
  • Point out that a well-written title goes with the story, gets you excited to read the book, and previews something in the story without giving everything away.
  • Tell the class that today they will practice coming up with titles on their own. These titles can be used to write stories in the future.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that as a writer it is important to think about how to get readers interested in what you write. One way to do this is by carefully thinking about the title of your story.
  • Tell students that when you begin to plan out a story, you can think about the title of your story as a way to grab a reader’s attention because the title is kind of like a preview of your story.
  • Display several favorite fictional stories and discuss which titles stand out and why.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the first image from the Name that Book worksheet using a document camera or projector.
  • Have students take a moment to quietly look at the book cover image without speaking. Pause for a full minute while students look at the image.
  • Ask students to reflect on the book cover image by asking the following questions: "What do you see? What else do you see? What do you think this book is about? What makes you say that?"
  • Record words or phrases from the students as they share their thinking (ex. I see a dragon, I see mountains, I think the story is about a kingdom, etc).
  • Have students turn to a different partner than they worked with in the introduction and ask them to think of a good title for this book.
  • Share out ideas from student discussions and record title ideas on the whiteboard.
(20 minutes)
  • Pass out the Name that Book worksheet and explain that students should start by recording their ideas for the first image before moving onto the second image.
  • If students finish early, they should work on the Crafting a Title and Name It worksheets.


  • Have more advanced students begin to think about additional details for the story that will go with the Crafting a Title worksheet.


  • Provide struggling students with the books used in the explicit instruction portion of the lesson and have them notice common words or themes in the book titles.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to share their title ideas with a partner.
  • Collect the worksheets for use in a future creative writing lesson.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite several students (as time allows) to share their title ideas with the class.
  • Close by saying, “A title is a great way to get started when writing a story. The title can help us think about what we are writing and what our story is about.”

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