Wake up your students with a fun reading lesson plan that actually motivates them to think of intelligent answers instead of just going through the motions and filling up their paper with cliches and plagiarized thoughts.
Competition Brings Out The Best in Students
I remember the first time I taught “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connel. I was so excited to share my insights on one of my favorite short stories.
I was the only one.
My incredibly intelligent insights were met with yawns, complaints, and children involuntarily soiling themselves.
I switched to Twain then to Poe then to Hemingway then to Seuss. Similar results followed I then resorted to teacher’s best friend: “read the story and answer the questions at the end while I surf the Internet and plan my family vacation in the mountains.”
Guilt, boredom, and an overwhelming desire to ram my head through the computer screen prompted me to hand in my resignation. I left my class, unconcerned with the potential of having my desks dismantled and the white board melted down and turned into plastic knives, and marched to the principal’s office.
On the way, I observed the most amazing lesson ever. I knocked the teacher out, stole his guided reading lesson plan, marched back to my classroom and tried it out immediately.
I now share it with you.
Common Core Standards
The precise common core standards you cover for this assignment depends on the reading material and questions you use. The difference between this and other reading assignments is that kids will actually be motivated to give intelligent answers, which means instead of just teaching the common core standards for reading, your students will be learning them. Here are some common ones.
- RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
- RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
Reading Challenge Lesson Plan Procedures
Once you get this guided reading lesson plan down, it will be easy to teach several times throughout the year.
- Either for homework or in class, have students read a literary work.
- Assign groups of four.
- Create or find 8-10 thought-provoking questions.
- Groups will answer questions in 3-5 complete sentences. Answer one or two questions to show them how it’s done.
- As groups answer questions, walk around and cause trouble by telling groups that other groups are talking trash about them.
- After all groups have finished, begin the discussion challenge.
- Call on a group at random to answer any of the questions. The answer must be read exactly as it is written on the paper.
- Call on another group to read its answer to the same question. Whichever group has the best answer, as determined by the class, wins the point.
- Call on group members at random to assure all group members participate.
- For less focused classes: assign one question; discuss the answer; assign another question; discuss the answer; continue until satisfied.
- Collect papers and you choose answers at random to read to the class.
Fun and Challenging Lesson Plans
If you enjoyed this challenge, you may want to try another.