Lesson plan

Readers Record Their Thinking

It is important for students to stop and think as they read. This activity/lesson is a fun and quick way to see how students are thinking as they read.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Reading with Symbols pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Reading with Symbols pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use sticky notes to record their thinking while reading and talk about their thinking with a partner.

(5 minutes)
  • Pick a grade-appropriate book you that is familiar to the class-something you may have read a couple of times in class and is a quick read aloud (like No, David!). You will have already gone through the book and marked three pages with sticky notes using the symbols on the chart.
  • Tell students that you are going to read a story that is familiar to them, but this time you took notes to record your thinking while you read. And that is what they are going to do today: Use sticky notes to record their thoughts and feelings as they read, and then share these notes with a partner.
(10 minutes)
  • Show students a chart where you have stuck sticky notes with symbols next to what the symbol represents. For example: A heart for favorite part, an exclamation mark for an exciting part.
  • Go over the chart.
  • Start reading the book and stop to think at the pages you have marked with a sticky note. For example: I put a sticky note with a heart here because this was my favorite part. I put a sticky here with a question mark because I was wondering about….
(5 minutes)
  • Model one page in the same book without a sticky note this time, thinking out loud as you read the page. For example: Hmmm. I think this page is really funny. I might put a sticky with a smiley face here so that I can remember to share this with my partner later.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to go back to their desks with their book bags/boxes or familiar books and pick one book they will want to record their thinking on and one they will want to share with a partner.
  • Give students three sticky notes each to record their thinking. You may also want to use one of the bookmarks listed under Materials and Preparation to facilitate note taking.
  • Walk around and check in with students. Share a few student examples with the rest of the class.
  • Enrichment For advanced students, let them take notes. Spend a few minutes with them individually and show them how to write a quick note or some words on their sticky note or on a separate piece of paper.

  • Support For students who need support or language learners, practice sentence stems with them before they share with partners. For example: My book was called ____. This part was ____. I put a sticky here because ____.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are reading and taking notes, walk around and take an informal assessment of what they are marking.
  • You may use this lesson over multiple days, selecting three to four students each day to informally check in with to discuss their sticky notes and the pages they have chosen to highlight.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students meet with their reading partner (they may choose or you may choose one for them) and discuss the book they have chosen.
  • Have partners share the book title and the three sticky notes each, taking turns sharing.
  • Walk around and check in with partners. Pick a couple of partners to share with the rest of the class.

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