Lesson plan

Learning to Read from Left to Right

This is a great lesson to introduce or review introductory literacy concepts with your students!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Where Do I Begin? pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Where Do I Begin? pre-lesson.

Students will be able to follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page when reading text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together for a read aloud.
  • Tell students that today you will be reviewing how to read a book, by following special reading rules. Remind students that a rule is something that tells you what kind of behaviors or actions are allowed or expected.
  • Ask students to think about some rules that you have in the classroom (e.g., only writing or drawing on paper, quiet voices, sharing) and explain that just like in the classroom, we follow special rules to help us read books the right way so that we can understand the story.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the read aloud text and model thinking aloud (in a humorous way) how to determine which part of the book is the cover, "Hmm..I wonder if I should start here, at the back? No...that doesn't seem right, what about upside down?" Encourage students to shout out or share what you should be doing.
  • Explain that you should always start reading the words from the top of the page and then from left to right.
  • As you read the story, model reading top to bottom, left to right, and page by page by pointing to the words with your finger or a pointer as you read.
(5 minutes)
  • Pair students together and pass out one of the texts gathered for this lesson to each pair.
  • Tell each pair to work together to identify the front/back of their book, and to follow the words on each page from top to bottom and left to right (they can practice reading the story together if able/time allows, otherwise they can just point to the words without reading them).
  • Support students as needed.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to practice reading a text on their own while practicing reading from top to bottom, left to right, and page by page.
  • Display the My Reading Checklist worksheet and go over each section with the class.
  • Pass out one of the texts gathered for this lesson to each student, along with their own copy of the My Reading Checklist worksheet.


  • Model using the reading checklist in a small group format.
  • Work with students to review the concepts using a choral reading activity.


  • For advanced students or those ready for a greater challenge, provide them with an additional book to read and use the checklist.
  • Encourage students to note their favorite part of the book and mark with a sticky note. They can then share their favorite parts with a partner.


  • Work with a smaller group of students to read a familiar book as a group, while using the checklist.
  • Provide each student with their own copy of the book to use during the read-aloud.


  • Go over any unknown or confusing words on the checklist in a small group setting.
  • Have students work in pairs to practice using the checklist.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are working independently, use the Class Literacy Concepts Checklist worksheet to note if students are able to identify the front/back cover, read from left to right, and read page by page.
  • Collect student checklists and check that student self-assessments match teacher informal assessments, taking note of any students who need additional instruction or reteaching of the concepts.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite students back for an end of lesson review.
  • Ask students to reflect on the lesson and turn and talk to a partner by finishing the sentence frame, "I used to think ____ about reading a book, and now I think____ about reading a book."
  • Encourage several student pairs to share their thinking with the group.

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