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How to Create Reading Lesson Plans that Engage Your Upper Elementary Students

As an elementary teacher, it is important to create reading lesson plans that engage your students. Not only will this help them learn and retain the material, but it will also keep them interested in the subject. In this blog post, we will discuss five steps to make reading lesson plans more engaging for your upper elementary students!

create reading lesson plans

Step One: Introduce the Text

When introducing a text to your students, it is important to give them some background information. This will help them understand the context of the reading and make predictions about the content.

There are four parts to introducing the text. The first part is the author’s purpose. You always want to explain why the author is writing this book or text. Then you want to discuss any vocabulary that might be difficult for the students. Also, check for prior knowledge to get the children interested in the text you are about to read. And lastly, discuss the standards you’re going to be looking at in the text. This can be an I can statement.

Step Two: During Reading

As you are reading to the students, it is important to stop and ask them questions. This will help them to think critically about the text and make connections to their own lives.

The question stems used while reading the text should be the standards that you are wanting the students to learn. They can also be questions from standards that you have previously talked about. It is also important that you decide if you’re going to use this book for more than one day. It’s always a good idea to split the reading in half and take two days to read the book that way your lesson is not too long.

Asking students a question from a page in the book and then having then turn and talk with a partner about that question is a great way to get all the kids involved in talking about their thinking.

a reading lesson plan

Step Three: After Reading

After your students have finished reading, you can wrap up the lesson by having them share what they learned. This can be done through a class discussion, think pair share, or a quick response on a sticky note.

Step 4: Teach the Reading Skill

Teaching the skill is the most important part of the lesson. Make sure you know what anchor chart you want to use and the standard that you are teaching. You don’t want to spend more than 5-10 minutes on this section. It is important to teach the standard over multiple days.

You can use an anchor chart, video, or interactive notebook during this step. Each day you can use something different.

plot anchor chart from a reading lesson

Step 5: Respond to Reading

It is also important in your reading lesson plan to provide opportunities for your students to respond to reading. This can be done through discussions, writing, or projects. By responding to reading, students will be able to show their understanding of the text and make connections to their own lives.

This can be done during their independent reading time or station time. There are so many options. For example, if you are teaching plot, the students can do a graphic organizer of the story you have just read. The students can write or draw about their favorite parts of the story. You can bring science, social studies, or math into their responses. They can do research. There are so many ways to get the students more involved in their reading.

By following these steps, you will be able to create reading comprehension lesson plans that are engaging and interactive for your students. By making reading fun and exciting, you will help them to develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime!

Get your Free Reading Lesson Plans

I have been using these steps for making my reading lesson plans for years. If this is something you are interested in, I have a reading lesson plan that you can use with your class. Click here to download a free reading lesson plan that you can use in your class to teach context clues with the book Baloney. This sample guided reading lesson plan has all the steps listed above with Common Core standards and TEKS standards.

Free Context Clues Lesson

I have more reading lesson plans that are ready to use in your classroom now. These reading comprehension lesson plans are great for upper elementary students and can be used in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade. Click here to see a list of reading lesson plans.

reading lesson plans

If you are looking for more information on how to teach vocabulary in the classroom, check out my blog on Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary.

Do you have any tips or tricks for making reading comprehension lesson plans? Share them in the comments below! Happy teaching!

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