Lesson plan


Seeing things one word and letter at a time is a lot easier when students can point at them with fun pointers!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the EL Support Lesson: Magic Pointer Fingers pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the EL Support Lesson: Magic Pointer Fingers 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.
  • On the classroom whiteboard, write “Every sentence is made up of words and letters.”
  • Ask for student volunteers to point out different letters.
  • Then, write the word “is” on the board and ask students to find it in the sentence. Repeat with “of” and “and.”
(10 minutes)
  • With an oversized book, demonstrate to students how a ruler can be used as a pointer to read one word at a time.
  • After reading a few pages aloud, pass off the pointer to a student volunteer. Have the student point to one word at a time as the book is very slowly read aloud.
  • After a page or two, allow other students to have a turn with the pointer.
  • Continue this as needed until students seem comfortable. For even more fun, switch up the type of pointer by using wands, fly swatters, etc.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will have the opportunity to create special pointers today to help them focus on reading one word and one letter at a time.
  • Give each student a popsicle stick as the base to their pointer. Show students how the popsicle stick can be used like the ruler pointer.
  • Explain to students that they will have the opportunity to decorate their popsicle sticks. Show students where they can get the arts and crafts supplies to do this.
  • Take a moment to explain to students any expectations for independent student work periods (i.e., remaining quiet and seated). Check in with students to make sure that everyone understands what is expected.
(15 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating and answering questions. As students are working on decorating, adults can also ask them to use their wands to point out letters and words (assessing student abilities in pre-reading/reading skills).
  • Playing quiet music in the background can help to set a good working mood and keep conversations to a minimum.
  • Having various arts and crafts stations set up around the room can help to eliminate congestion and wait time for students to get supplies.


  • Working with a partner can help to scaffold this activity.
  • For students who have a harder time using scissors, pre-cut decorations can be offered.
  • For students with vision difficulties, having a personal version of the large-print book can be an invaluable assistance.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, encourage them to create decorations for their pointer based on the book they are reading. Students can also be encouraged to find and decorate something besides a popsicle stick for their pointer.
(5 minutes)
  • Adults should take anecdotal notes about student answers to questions regarding their thought processes in completing the activities. These can be used to make determinations about what students know.
  • Student accuracy in identifying letters and words with their pointers can also be used to determine if students have met the lesson objective.
(5 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask students to share about their pointers. Why did they decorate it the way they did?
  • Have each student choose a favorite book from the classroom library and point to each word on several pages with a partner.
  • Remind students that they can use their pointers any time they read!

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