Lesson plan

One Marker at a Time

Seeing things one word and letter at a time is a lot easier when students can cover them with fun materials!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Mark It! pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Mark It! pre-lesson.

Students will be able to point out individual letters and words in sentences.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Read The Cheerios Play Book as a class, allowing different students the opportunity to put cereal pieces into the pictures.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will have the opportunity to use cereal as more than just something to eat. They will use it to mark letters and words in books!
  • Pass out printed copies of a leveled reader text and a small amount of cereal to each student.
  • As a group, practice putting one piece of cereal on each word. (If possible, it can be nice to project the text and demonstrate how to do this on a larger screen.)
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they can also use other materials to mark the individual words in their books.
  • Pass out stickers and have students work in partners or small groups to use stickers to cover the words on the next page of the leveled reader.
  • Come back together as a whole group and share student work to check for understanding.
  • Explain to students that they will now have the opportunity to use markers, stickers, etc., to mark each word in the rest of their leveled reader book. Show students where the supplies will be located to do this, make sure students understand what is expected, and review any expectations for independent work times (i.e., not running, using quiet voices).
(15 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assessing student work.
  • Playing quiet music in the background can help to set a good working mood and keep conversations to a minimum.
  • Setting up a small amount of marking supplies at various tables throughout the room can help students from all convening in one location.


  • Working with a partner can help to scaffold this activity.
  • For non-native English speakers, leveled readers can be given out in their native language.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, encourage students to mark the words they know how to read with one style of decoration and the words they would like to learn how to read with another style of decoration. Students can also mark words by the number of letters in them.
(5 minutes)
  • Student accuracy in identifying words in texts should be noted.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask students to share about their experiences. What kind of marking tool did they like using? Were any pages hard to mark?
  • Ask students to identify some specific letters in the words.
  • Conclude by reading the leveled reader while students follow along, touching all the words they have marked.

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