Reading response logs can be used throughout the novel. It is essential to model each element of the reading response log. This lesson plan will provide the students with a clear purpose for completing the response logs and provide practice for each element of the log. It is strongly recommended that you use chapter 1 of the novel as the practice text for this lesson. You can, however, use any short text to model and practice the reading response log. This lesson can be separated into parts and completed over a number of days.
• Read and analyze a fictional text by creating a reading response log.
• Discuss and explain the differences between dependent and independent readers.
• Summarize, question, and respond to a fictional text.
• What kind of reader are you?
• What do independent readers actually do when they read?
• How do you figure out a text that doesn’t make any sense on the first reading?
• Why should you connect your own experiences to a fictional text?
• Reading response log student guide sheet (can be copied for every student)
• Reading response log graphic organizer (can be copied for every student)
• Reading response log notebook or folder – teacher discretion
• Reading response log rubric
• Dependent and Independent Readers T-Chart
Do Now: (Have on the board as student come into room)
5-minute journal write (8 line expectation)
While you are reading a novel, what are you thinking about?
What do you do if you don’t understand something on the novel?
Ask students to share responses to both do-now questions and create a class brainstorm. Example responses may include connections between a character and someone I know, questions about the plot, nothing, reread the page, go to a dictionary, etc.
Distribute the Dependent and Independent Readers T-chart
Explain to the class the difference between dependent readers and independent readers and students take notes on the chartDependent Readers depend on others to help them understand a text and are likely to refuse or stop reading a text they feel is too difficult.
Independent readers work through a text independently using a number of different strategies.
- adapted from Beers, K (2003) When Kids Can’t Read What Teachers Can Do
Ask students to separate the comments on the brainstorm into the dependent and independent reader categories on the T-chart.
Review student lists as a class. Ask students which type of reader they believe they should aim to be.
Explain students will be completing a reading response log while they read A Secret Life of Bees to ensure they are continuously using strategies independent readers use.
Distribute copies of Reading Response Log – Student Template to each student. (Could be copied on the back of Dependent and Independent Readers T chart) This paper needs to be taped into the students reading response notebook or folder so it is always accessible.
Explain the class will go through each section separately for chapter one of the novel. For the remainder of the novel, students will be responsible for completing an entire reading response log for homework.
Summary and Prediction
Discuss the terms summary and prediction and review the expectations on the template – students can take notes on template.
Explain the class will begin reading the novel together (p. 1- 3) and during reading teacher will be thinking aloud about how to notice important events to use for the summary.
After reading, model the first two key events.Example:
• Lily hears bees in her bedroom walls.
• Lily thinks about dying and is not afraid.
• Lily imagines meeting her mother in paradise and asking for her forgiveness.
Have students write down the third key event independently and then ask for responses. Ensure students are not choosing irrelevant events.
Model writing a main idea statement using the key events. Example:
The main idea of page 1 – 3 is introducing the reader to Lily, a girl who is not afraid of dying.
Model writing a prediction using the summary. Example:
I predict that Lily is going to be seriously stung by the bees in her bedroom. Her father, T-Ray, is not going to help her and Rosaleen will save Lily.
Students independently read p. 4 – 7 and complete their own summary and prediction. Must be checked for understanding.
Discuss the terms open and closed questions and review the expectations on the template – students can take notes on template.
Explain the class will continue to read the novel together (p. 8 -10) and during reading teacher will be thinking aloud and asking questions. Students can mark the text with questions or keep a list of questions in notebook as they read.
After reading, model the first comprehension question.Example: Who is Sophia Loren?
Have students write down the second question independently and then ask for responses.
Model writing an analytical question. Example: Why can’t T-Ray present Lily with the white rose at the charm school?
Have students write down the final question independently and then ask for responses.
Students independently read p. 10 – 15 and complete their own questions. Must be checked for understanding.
Discuss the terms important passage and review the expectations on the template – students can take notes on template.
Explain the class will continue to read the novel together (p. 15 - 19) and during reading teacher will be thinking aloud and marking important passages in the margin of the book.
After reading, model choosing an important passage and explaining the passage.Example: “”Please, Lily, you are insulting your fine intelligence. Do you have any idea how smart you are? You could be a professor or a writer with actual books to your credit. Beauty school. Please.” It took me over a month to get over the shock of having life possibilities.” (p. 16)
This passage is important because it highlights the lack of support and love Lily has at home from her father. Lily has dreams and her teacher sees her potential, but she is unable to follow them because of T-Ray.
Students independently read p. 19 - 22 and complete their important passage. Must be checked for understanding.
Discuss the terms personal response and review the expectations on the template – students can take notes on template.
Explain the class will continue to read the novel together (p. 22 - 26) and during reading teacher will be thinking aloud and making connections and sharing thoughts.
After reading, model a personal response.Example: I felt shocked as I read these pages. Lily had been hinting at how mean T-Ray could be, but know I understand. He made her kneel on grits! It must have been like kneeling on ground up glass, I know I would have screamed in pain if I were in her position; I cannot believe she didn’t cry. He, also, didn’t even give her a chance to explain; instead he just jumped to the worse conclusion. I can relate to that. Last week I came home from school a little late. My mom went crazy and thought I’d been hanging around with this girl I’d been told to stay away from. My mom took my cell phone. She didn’t listen when I told her I’d just been helping a teacher after school.
Students independently read p. 26 – 33) and complete a personal response. Must be checked for understanding.
Extensions: Once students are comfortable and confident with the reading response log, this assignment is a great homework for the entire unit. It allows the students to think critically about four essential aspects of the novel and continually monitor their comprehension.
Answer Key or Rubric:
All reading response logs should be graded with the attached rubric. It is directly composed from the expectations outlined on the student template.