Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Thumbs Up to a Good Book!

Madonna Scime


In this lesson students read a short fiction story. They write a recommendation paragraph which includes specific information defending their choices.


The student forms ideas about what has been read in a literary text and uses specific information from the text to support these ideas.


-Short fiction stories or books
-Overhead projector
-Overhead pens
-Transparency of -Thumbs Up Worksheet- (see Associated File)
-Transparency of -Thumbs Up to a Good Book Checklist- (see Associated File)
--Thumbs Up Worksheet- (see Associated File)
--Thumbs Up to a Good Book Checklist- (see Associated File)


1. Gather materials for lesson (see materials list above).
2. Make copies of assessment tools (see Associated File).
3. Make overheads of each assessment tool (see Associated File).
4. Select a high interest, motivational story (ex. -The Relatives Came-, by Cynthia Rylant, Aladdin Paperbacks; 1993; ISBN:0689717385)
5. Gather a supply of small fiction books for day 3.


Day 1
1. Read aloud a high interest short story, for example, -The Relatives Came,- by Cynthia Rylant.(Aladdin Paperbacks; 1993; ISBN: 068971785)

2. After reading, have a class discussion. Ask students by a show of thumbs up or thumbs down whether they liked or disliked the book. Then ask for volunteers to support the decision with details from the text.

3. Model how to write a -Thumbs Up Paragraph- using the overhead and transparency of the -Thumbs Up Worksheet- (see Associated File). Use supporting details from the students' previous responses as a part of the modeled paragraph.

4. Next, model the assessment checklist on the overhead by formatively assessing the modeled worksheet.

Day 2
1. Review by demonstrating the student handout on the overhead from a previously read class story (ex. a story from the basal or a teacher read-aloud book).

2. Cooperatively pair students. Have them complete a -Thumbs Up Paragraph- (see Associated File) based on a previously read story with their partners.

3. Ask for volunteers to read their paragraphs aloud to the class.

4. Demonstrate and complete a -Thumbs Up Checklist- on overhead (see Associated File).

Day 3
1. Students independently read a self-selected short story.

2. Student completes a -Thumbs Up Checklist- worksheet.

3. As time permits, share interpretations.

4. Assess each individual student's -Thumbs Up Paragraph- and complete the -Thumbs Up Checklist- (see Associated File).


The teacher uses the-Thumbs Up to a Good Book Checklist- (see Associated File) to formatively assess the student's ability to defend his/her interpretation by providing specific information from a selected text. Students write paragraphs to defend their interpretations of the books using the -Thumbs Up Paragraph Sheet- (see Associated File).


Once students become familiar with this lesson, they can build up to chapter books, nonfiction books, and other forms of media as well.
A bulletin board can be made to display the interpretations.
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