Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Book a Day Will Keep the Teacher Away

Farica King
Santa Rosa District Schools


Want your students to read a book in a day? In this lesson, students work in cooperative groups to read a book in a day. Each group is assigned a portion of the book to read and uses the jigsaw learning strategy to review the book as a whole class.


Interpret and use oral, print, or visual information for specified purposes.

Cooperate in a variety of group situations.


-Sample paragraph (see Associated File)
-Scoring checklist (see Associated File)
-Cooperative worker checklist (see Associated File)
-Overhead projector
-Overhead transparency of “Sample Paragraph” (see Associated File)
-Overhead transparency of “Scoring Rubric” (see Associated File)
-Overhead markers
-Selected chapter book (copies for each group)
-Old chapter book that can be torn apart
-Chart paper or butcher paper


1. Select an interesting book for students to read; obtain copies for each group. (For this activity, it is best to select a book that is not lengthy. Base the selection upon the reading level, interests, and abilities of the students.)
2. Determine how chapters will be divided. (One chapter per group is best unless the chapters are very short.)
3. Select an old chapter book that can be torn apart. (This can be any genre or length. It is only used for demonstration purposes.)
4. Determine student groupings. (If students have varied reading levels, distribute stronger readers evenly among groups.)
5. Download “Sample Paragraph” used for demonstration purposes; create overhead transparency of sample paragraph. (See Associated File.)
6. Download “Scoring Rubric;- create one copy per student. (See Associated File.)
7. Download “Cooperative Worker Rating Checklist.- Make copies for student use. (See Associated File.)
8. Secure overhead projector.
9. Locate overhead markers.
10.Obtain chart paper.
11.Secure markers, tape, pencils, and paper for student use.
12.Review the Weblink on the jigsaw learning strategy. (See Weblinks section.)


Day One

1. Begin the lesson by taking an old chapter book and introducing it to the class. Be sure to emphasize the length of the book. (This book can be any genre or length. It is only used to emphasize that books are just made of chapters.)

2. Ask students if they think they can read this book in a day.

3. Listen to student responses and agree that it is probably impossible.

4. At this point, while students are involved in discussion, begin ripping the chapters out of the book. Make sure the students see this happening. (This part is important to the effect of the lesson.)

5. Once students begin to ask what is happening, stop and ask if the students believe that they could read just a few chapters of the book in one day. Lead students to the consensus that this is possible.

6. Once that students have reached this conclusion, explain that books should not be torn apart and should be handled appropriately. However, point out that this is a good example of how a book is nothing more than a few chapters put together. Explain to students that by working on a book in small pieces (chapters), the task becomes much easier.

7. Using the overhead transparency of the “Sample Paragraph” have students read the paragraph aloud. (See Associated File.)

8. After reading the paragraph, discuss the main idea of the selection. On the transparency of the sample paragraph, use overhead markers to demonstrate how good readers use print information to help them understand the meaning of the text. Be sure to point out characters, context clues, theme, etc..

9. Have the class (as a group) paraphrase the paragraph aloud.

10.As a class, record the paraphrased paragraph on a sheet of chart paper. A picture depicting the main idea may also be drawn at the bottom of the chart if desired.

11.Using the overhead transparency of the “Scoring Checklist,” review the expectations of the chart paper activity. (See Associated File.) Use this rubric to formatively assess the class chart. Discuss any questions students have at this time.

Day Two

*Before class begins, divide students into previously determined cooperative groups.

12. Announce to students that their groups will work together to read an entire book in a day. Remind the class that this goal can be accomplished by working together as a team.

13.Distribute copies of the selected book to each group.

14.Assign each group the chapters for which they are responsible.

15.Remind students that each group will create one chart for each chapter read. Review criteria used to assess the charts using overhead transparency of “Scoring Checklist.” (See Associated File.)

16.Distribute student copies of the “Cooperative Worker Checklist.” (See Associated File.)

17.Review cooperative worker traits at this point. Briefly discuss how working cooperatively helps everyone accomplish the task.

18.Before instructing students to begin reading, remind each group that reading and recording is a group task. Everyone in the group should take part in these activities at some level. (As the teacher circulates, guidance in this area should be provided.)

19.Have students begin reading their assigned chapters.

20.Provide each group with chart paper and markers.

21.Circulate and provide assistance and feedback to groups.

Day Three

22.Allow students to complete reading and charting activities.

23.Circulate and provide assistance and feedback as needed.

24.As groups finish their charts, display charts around the classroom in order beginning with chapter one.

25.After each group’s chart is posted, instruct the group to independently complete the “Cooperative Worker Checklist” that was distributed earlier in the lesson. (See Associated File.)

26.Once all groups finish, begin with chapter one. Call on each group to describe the events of their chapter(s). Continue this process through the final chapter. Prompt students to include characters, plot, setting, theme, etc., as needed.

27.After the final group presents, provide a brief summary of the book. Remind students that by working together, what seemed like an impossible task was accomplished.

28. Teacher will evaluate checklists.


Use completed charts to formatively assess the student’s ability to use print information for specified purposes. (The student uses comprehension strategies to monitor and increase understanding of the text.) A scoring checklist is included in the Associated File.
Use cooperative worker checklist to formatively assess the student’s ability to cooperate in group situations. (See Associated File.)


Students functioning at the supported and participatory levels should be paired with students functioning at the independent level for this activity. Independent level students can read softly to supported and participatory students as needed. Reading levels of the students should also be considered when selecting materials for this lesson.

Web Links

Web supplement for A Book a Day Will Keep the Teacher Away
Jigsaw Strategies

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