Lesson plan

Tea Time

Students will love talking about what they've been reading when the story comes to life. This tea time activity nourishes students' confidence in addition to improving their reading comprehension skills.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to participate in a collaborative discussion about a piece of literature.

(10 minutes)
  • Call students together, and have them bring their class books.
  • Tell students that today they are going to be having a party as the characters in the book. However, it is going to be a special type of party: a tea party.
  • Explain that in many parts of the world today, tea time is when people come together to share ideas, topics, and learn from one another. This is a time when people take part in polite conversation about things that interest them.
  • Ask students to brainstorm some guidelines for a tea party conversation.
  • Explain that while tea time does not have a ton of rules, it is important that people wait their turn to speak, keep the conversation on topic, and be prepared to share insights.
  • Ask students to think about some of the different characters in the story. Have each student choose a character that they relate with or would want to portray.
  • Distribute the name tags. Have students write down their chosen characters' names on the tags and put them on.
  • Remind students that while they will be taking on the perspective of their character, even mean or rude characters disagree politely and use appropriate language during tea time.
(5 minutes)
  • Run a sample book club tea with some of the students. Have some student volunteers sit around the table at the front of the class. The other students should be like an audience watching the discussion.
  • Start the tea by welcoming everyone as their character in the story.
  • Choose an event or major topic in the story to begin discussing. For example, if someone got injured in the story, ask the student portraying that character about his injury.
  • Allow the discussion to carry on for a few minutes, guiding or stopping the student volunteers as needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Have a new group of volunteer students demonstrate a book club tea for the class without your assistance.
  • Once again, use the table at the front of the class and have the student volunteers sit around it.
  • The other students should be like an audience watching the discussion.
  • As the student volunteers attempt to run their book club, occasionally call out "freeze" to pause the action and point out things students are doing really well or could improve on to make the party even better.
  • Stress to students how important it is to wait their turn to speak, to keep in line with the conversation, and to be prepared to share new insights from the viewpoint of their characters.
  • Divide students up into small groups.
(20 minutes)
  • Allow students to grab some snacks from the large table before beginning the activity. Then, have the groups each begin a tea party.
  • Circulate the room, joining in on discussions, answering questions, and ensuring students are not dominating or failing to participate.
  • Enrichment: For students who need a greater challenge, writing a collaborative paper or a sequel based on the literature being discussed can necessitate compromise and other higher level discussion skills.
  • Support: For students who need a little extra assistance, providing sample questions before the book group can help them prepare. Allowing students the option of using a talking stick may help them with taking turns.
(5 minutes)
  • Informal assessment can occur by observing students' level of participation in their discussions.
(10 minutes)
  • After students have had their book club tea, call them back together to talk as a group.
  • Have students share what they liked about the book club discussion and what could be improved. Encourage students to focus on things that they could change about their own behavior instead of thinking negatively about other students.

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