Lesson plan

Treat Books Right!

Preschoolers can have a range of book knowledge. With this lesson plan, make sure that everyone is on the same page of how to treat books.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the What Do You Do with a Book? pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the What Do You Do with a Book? pre-lesson.

Students will be able to identify how to appropriately treat books.

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 We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems.
  • While reading, encourage students to help turn the pages of the book. Model reading from left to right and treating the book with respect.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to raise their hands and share the name of their favorite book.
  • After students have shared, have them pause and think about how sad they would be if they could never read this book again.
  • Pass out pieces of paper and have each student draw a picture of something they would not want done to their favorite book.
  • Students should share these with the class. As each student shares their picture, ask students what they should do to take care of the book instead. Encourage students to talk about things like not getting books wet, not eating messy foods near the book, not ripping pages, turning pages gently, etc.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have shared, ask students what they should use to mark their place in a book instead of folding pages or leaving the book spread open (Answer: a bookmark.).
  • Tell students that, today, they will have the opportunity to create their own special bookmark that features things they like to read about.
  • Work as a class to create an example bookmark that highlights things they have read so far this school year.
  • After checking in to make sure that everyone understands what they should do, pass out a blank bookmark to each student.
  • Before sending students off to work, remind them of any independent work rules (i.e., only speaking in a whisper, raising hands for needs, etc.).
(15 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assessing student abilities by asking them to demonstrate how a book should be held and treated.
  • Having lots of decorations and art supplies spread out around the room in a variety of areas can help to keep congestion to a minimum.
  • Playing quiet music in the background can help to set a good working mood and keep conversations to a minimum.


  • Working with a partner can help to scaffold this activity.
  • Offering pre-cut shapes with tape or sticky backings can help to ease the decorating process.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, encourage them to create bookmarks decorated with examples of ways to treat books.
(5 minutes)
  • Adults should take anecdotal notes about how students treat books both during this lesson and independent play periods. These can be used to make determinations about what knowledge students have generalized in regards to book treatment.
  • An inventory of student books to check their condition can also be done after this lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask students to share their bookmarks. Why did they choose to decorate it the way they did?
  • Have student volunteers demonstrate how to pick up, hold, mark a page, and turn pages in a book.
  • Direct students to turn to a partner and demonstrate how to properly treat a book and how to use their new bookmark.
  • Remind students about the importance of treating books well so that everyone can read and enjoy them.
  • End this time together by having everyone wave their bookmarks in the air and say, “We love books!”

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