Lesson Plan

The Art of Improving Literacy Skills

Helping students improve their reading skills
Bonnie S.
Classroom teacher
Brooklyn, United States
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My Grades 10, 11
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  1.  Select appropriately matched reading materials based on reading levels, genre, and/or themes.
  2. Read independently for a sustained time period, thereby building reading stamina.
  3. Respond to questions in written format with textual support.
  4. Participate in related discussion questions vis-a-vis oral debate or Socratic Seminar.
English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook

Ask students,
  1. "What are ways that we self-monitor our reading?"
  2. " Why is this important/"
Have students write their responses in a document in the Google Classroom.  Then have them share with one another.
In addition, assign given literacy skills based on the attached taxonomy.  These include reading, writing, speaking, listening, as well as viewing and representing, or digitally representing.  The ELA Taxonomy Resource is helpful in determining the specific skills.

2 Direct Instruction:

The next step is based on the notion that the students' reading levels (lexile levels) have been assessed.  
Explain that students can better understand their reading skills by determining the correspondence of lexile levels to grade.
Help students understand that lexile levels are tools that help students measure their current reading skills and can  help them better improve their skills.  

3 Guided Practice

  1. Modeling of assigned skills is extremely helpful before students get to the given assignments.
  2.  Select a text from the CommonLit resources to demonstrate the skill that will be practiced.
  3. Students will respond within the same document in their Google Classroom.
  4. Guided questions include literal, literal rearranged, inferential, and critical questions.

4 Independent Practice

  1. Students are instructed to login to CommonLit and use the assigned literature.
  2. Time is given for this activity, at least twenty minutes. Monitoring time fosters time managemement skills. The  Online Stopwatch is helpful in strengthening this skill. 
  3. For students who need additional support, like culturally  diverse students and/or Special Education students, the site offers Read Alouds as well as translation in Spanish.
  4. Students can then participate in oral debate or Socratic Seminar based on provided Discussion Topics in CommonLit.

5 Wrap-Up

Students can share:
  • Items they have learned from the reading
  • Questions about their own assigned reading material and/or about what another student has shared.
  • Their reflections about the process.
They can then write an exit ticket in their Google Classroom created doocument, turn it in , and log out.