Five Ways to Respond to Literature
Students will be able to write a response to literature in more than one way.
- Display a piece of chart paper with the question, "How can we respond to literature?" written in the center in large print. Read the question aloud.
- Underline the words "respond to literature" and remind students that the word respond means to reply or interact with, and literature means a fictional text or story. Restate the question in student-friendly terms (e.g., "How can we write or talk about stories?").
- Ask students to think about ways that they respond to literature. Write their responses around the question on the chart paper to create a "brain dump." Use this exercise to gauge background knowledge. Support students by suggesting ideas if needed (e.g., answering questions about characters or setting, making predictions, writing a summary). Keep the brain dump displayed to use later in the lesson.
- Tell students that today they will be using specific types of questions and prompts to respond to literature.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Display the Literature Response Prompts worksheet. Point out the first section and explain that when we write an essay in response to literature, we often start with a short summary so that our reader is familiar with the story. Remind students that a summary is a great way to think about the main idea of the story.
- Review the five types of responses listed on the worksheet: make a prediction, ask a question, clarify something, make a connection, and share your opinion. Discuss each type of response and provide student-friendly definitions for key terms (e.g., to "clarify" something is to make it understandable).
- Using the worksheet as a model, write a short summary of a familiar story, like "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Then, write a sentence in each response section, using one of the provided sentence frames (e.g., I wonder why Goldilocks went into the bears' house to begin with.)
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Display "The Story of the Treasure Seekers" by E. Nesbit from the Make a Claim Worksheet. (Note: you will not need the questions that follow.) Read the story aloud as students follow along.
- Divide students into small groups of four and have them sit facing one another.
- Hand out a full set of pre-cut Literature Response Reflection Cards to each group. Tell students to take turns picking a card and using the sentence frames to respond to the story orally. (Note: each student will pick a total of three cards during this activity.) Circulate and listen to student discussions.
- After students have discussed the story, call on non-volunteers to share insights from their conversations. Encourage students to continue using the sentence frames on the cards when they share.
- Draw a pie chart organizer on a sheet of chart paper with five sections. Label each section with a literature response category (prediction, question, clarification, connection, opinion).
- Display the full set of Literature Response Reflection Cards and, with student input, classify each sentence frame as one type of response. Tape the cards into the appropriate section on the pie chart.
- Ask students to work with their group to come up with other prompts, sentence frames, or questions for each category. Call on students and record their responses on the chart.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Hand out the Literature Response Prompts worksheet and a copy of "The Story of the Treasure Seekers" to each student.
- Instruct students to independently reread the story and complete each section of the worksheet. Allow students to use sentence frames from the worksheet or prompts that were generated in class to write their responses.
- Circulate and offer support as needed.
- Pre-teach challenging vocabulary that students will encounter in "The Story of the Treasure Seekers."
- Use a shorter text during the guided and independent practice activities. (See optional resources.)
- Strategically form small groups during guided practice. Place students in heterogenous groups so that struggling students have support and modeling from more advanced students.
- Provide bookmarks with literature response sentence stems for students to use during their daily reading. (See optional resources.)
- Encourage students to use the Literature Response Prompts worksheet to respond to a chapter or book of their choice.
- Have students write a three-paragraph essay in response to a text using the Literature Response Prompts worksheet as a pre-writing activity.
- Form reading groups or literature circles and have students use the Literature Response Reflection Cards to guide their conversations.
- Show a short video that tells a story, like Pixar's short film "Presto."
- Hand out a sheet of lined paper and tell students to write a short summary and a response to the video, using two out of the five types of responses. (Note: allow students to use the prompts and sentence frames generated in class.)
- Invite several volunteers to share their responses with the class. Ask the class to identify which types of responses the sharing student used in their writing (prediction, question, clarification, connection, or opinion).
- Collect students' writing to gauge understanding.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Direct students' attention back to the brain dump from the beginning of the lesson.
- Repeat the following question: "How can we respond to literature?"
- Ask students to share new ideas or build on the ideas that were generated at the beginning of the lesson. Write new responses in a different color and draw lines to connect related thoughts.