July 27, 2018
by April Brown

Lesson plan

Increasing Reading Stamina and Comprehension

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EL Adjustments

Students will be able to read and comprehend a text at their independent reading level.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(10 minutes)
  • Project the Reading Stamina Chart on the whiteboard.
  • Circle the words reading stamina and ask the students if they know what reading stamina means. Allow a few students to offer responses. Say, "Reading stamina means being able to stick with something for long periods of time. This stamina, or endurance, builds strength. Stamina can also be used when playing a sport or creating an art project. We can build our reading stamina by choosing 'just right books,' or books that we can read independently, without really struggling to read the words, for at least 15–20 minutes!"
  • Project the Finding Just-Right Books worksheet on the whiteboard and briefly explain how to use the five finger rule to figure out if a book is at their independent reading level.
  • Explain to students that today they will be working on their reading stamina as they read a "just right" fictional text independently. Write and read the following learning objectives in student-friendly terms and have the students choral chant the learning objectives back to you:
    • I can increase my reading stamina by reading a "just right" book independently.
    • I can retell a story after reading a "just right" fictional text.
(5 minutes)
  • Choose a short fictional text that you and your students are very familiar with. Briefly discuss that a fictional text or book is a story that is imaginary, or pretend.
  • Show the students the cover and explain that you are going to pretend that you have just read the book independently for 20 minutes.
  • Keep the Reading Stamina Chart projected on the whiteboard and explicitly model how to fill in the date and shade in the bar graph up to the number 20.
(10 minutes)
  • Project the Paragraph Frame Worksheet for Fictional Text Retell on the whiteboard. Read through the paragraph frame aloud and model filling it out, searching in the fictional text for answers. Allow students to help you fill out the chart when appropriate.
  • Ask a student to read the completed paragraph aloud when you are finished.
  • Say, "Increasing our reading stamina can make us better readers! We can also become better readers by retelling the stories that we read!"
(30 minutes)
  • Pass out copies of the Reading Stamina Chart to students and tell them to glue the chart in their reading log or journal. Next, pass out a copy of the Paragraph Frame Worksheet for Fictional Text Retell. Guide them to glue the worksheet in their reading logs or journals, too. Provide copies of the Finding Just-Right Books worksheet for students to use as a tool to figure out if a book is at their independent reading level.
  • Give students a few minutes to choose a short fictional text at their reading level from the classroom library. Emphasize that during independent reading time, they should have eyes looking at their story, read to understand, and have quiet mouths and quiet hands.
  • Write the following directions on the board:
    1. Use the Finding Just-Right Books worksheet to choose a book.
    2. Fill out your Reading Stamina Chart.
    3. Complete the Paragraph Frame Worksheet for Fictional Text Retell.
  • Rotate around the room and help students as needed.


  • Allow students to read their text aloud to a teacher or partner. Guide students as they fill out the Reading Stamina Chart and Paragraph Frame Worksheet for Fictional Text Retell.


  • Allow students to illustrate their favorite part of the story in their reading log or journal. Encourage the students to write a few sentences on why this was their favorite part of the story.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students read their completed Paragraph Frame aloud to a partner.
  • Rotate around the room and listen to the students, paying attention to how comfortable the students seem during retell, body language, and whether or not the students included important characters and events from the story.
  • Collect the Paragraph Frames as a formative assessment.
(4 minutes)
  • Provide students with the following questions and allow them to choose one or two to share with a partner:
    • Why is it important to increase your reading stamina?
    • How does increasing your reading stamina and retelling a story make you a better reader?
    • Could the story you read really happen? How do you know?
    • What is the setting of the story? Who are the two main characters? Use words from the text to support your answer.

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