Lesson Plan

Reading Response Letters

How can you *see* what your students are thinking while they read? Try reading response letters in your class. Students will practice formatting letters and learn to discuss their thinking about literature in writing.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Making Text Connections pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Making Text Connections pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to correctly format and punctuate a letter to someone about a book they have read.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Reading Response Letter FormatPlanning Your Reading Response LetterReading Response Letter ChecklistReading Response Letter Interactive
  • Ask students: Think about the independent book you are reading right now. Raise your hand if you are reading a fantasy book. Historical fiction? Continue to list genres.
  • Tell students that you want to learn more about the books they are reading and how they are responding to those books.
  • Tell students that reader response letters are a way that teachers and students can communicate about the books they are reading. Tell them they are going to learn how to write this kind of a letter.


  • Provide student-friendly definitions in English or in L1 of the various literary genres.
  • Provide examples (images or real books) of the various types of genres.


  • Define "reading response" and "communicate" for students in English or the L1, if appropriate.
  • Have students share their response regarding what type of book they are currently reading with a partner. They may use the following sentence frame:
    • Currently, I am reading a ____________ (genre) book called ____________ (book title).
    • The book is about ____________ (theme).