Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Peer Power Partners

Christy Clanton
Bay District Schools


Peer Power Partners empowers fourth graders with care and consideration for others as they tutor their first grade reading buddies.


The student knows various ways to communicate care, consideration, and acceptance of self and others (eg., by cooperating).

The student knows various ways individuals and groups can work together.


- -Peer Power- video (distributed by Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc. Box 585, Katonah, N.Y. 10536, published by Learning Media, New Zealand Ministry of Education, Margaret Mooney and Margaret Hayes, consultants)
- TV/VCR presenter model
- Individual student copies of Peer Power: Tutorís Handbook for Buddy Reading (blackline master is included with the video)


1. Preview the video. Video may be obtained from Richard C. Owen Publishers, Inc.; Box 585, Katonah, NY 10536.
2. Duplicate and assemble copies of Tutor Handbooks (one copy for each child every four weeks).
3. Meet with a first grade teacher willing to participate in this year-long program. During this meeting a time should be established for the classes to get together for the tutoring sessions and a list should be made of paired students, giving special attention to individual needs.


1. Introduce the class to the school service project of Peer Power Partners by sharing photos of previous classes engaged in the project. The students are told that they will be responsible to assist a young first grader as they develop into fluent readers.

2. Show the video, -Peer Power,- to the class.

3. Hand out copies of Peer Power: Tutorís Handbook for Buddy Reading to students (as included with the video). Tell each individual student the name of the first grade reading partner, allowing time for them to record the first graderís name in the appropriate blanks in their handbooks.

4. The class goes to the first grade classroom, allowing each student to meet the reading partner. Each fourth grader shares the handbook with the young reading partner, specifically drawing attention to the page entitled ďReport Card.Ē This page has a checklist assessment of reading behaviors expected of the young reader that the fourth grader will complete and give to the teacher. Additionally, the handbook includes ďTutorís Checklist,Ē which enables the fourth graders to self-assess the use of appropriate caring, considerate behaviors during their work (i.e., praising strategies, friendly strategies, body language strategies, etc.)

5. Each first grader takes out the reading choice that he/she has selected with the help of the teacher. Then they read their books to their fourth grade partners, with the fourth grade partner utilizing the reading strategies that were learned from the -Peer Power- video.

6. After the reading, the fourth grader leads an oral discussion of the Report Card section with the young partner as he/she marked it.

7. Upon returning to their fourth grade classrooms, each fourth grader self-assesses utilizing the Tutorís Checklist page.

8. This program occurs throughout the entire school year, with the classes meeting four days a week, approximately 15-20 minutes per day.

9. At the completion of each handbook copy of 16 reading sessions, the fourth graders reflect personally on their effectiveness in communicating care and concern for self and others.


Students self-assess using the Peer Power Partners Student Handbook's Tutor Checklist and reflect on their effectiveness in communicating care and concern for self and others by writing a short description on notebook paper to give specific examples of care and consideration that they used with their reading partner.

The Tutor Checklist asks the older child to reflect upon:

-putting their young reading partner at ease
-encouraging their young reading partner to talk about the story and pictures
-remembering to tell the young reading partner to use the signal system when he/she is ready to read by him/herself
-listening attentively to the young reading buddy
-praising the young reading buddy when he/she chooses to read by him or herself, self-corrected their own reading errors, or worked out a difficult word
-making sure that the young reading buddy says the word correctly after making a mistake (-Let's read from the beginning of the sentence together.-)
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