Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Filling in the [Holes]

Donald Hines
Orange County Schools


Students use graphic organizers and note taking to help gain understanding and clarify meaning from the novel [Holes] and write daily inferences and generalizations about what they have read in that day's assignment.


The student uses a variety of strategies to analyze words and text, draw conclusions, use context and word structure clues, and recognize organizational patterns.

The student makes inferences and generalizations about what is read.

The student uses graphic organizers and note-making to clarify meaning and to illustrate organizational pattern of texts.


-Sachar, Louis. [Holes]. Dell Yearling, New York. 1998.
-Transparency of the [Holes] Graphic Organizer and Inferences and Generalizations Rubric (if you are using it for the lesson)
-Graphic organizers from MyT4L Graphic Organizer
-Transparencies of sample graphic organizers for illustration
-Vis-ŕ-vis overhead marking pens
-Index cards (4x6)


1. Secure sufficient copies of [Holes] by Louis Sachar.
2. Familiarize yourself with the novel.
3. Select desired graphic organizers.
4. Prepare transparencies of graphic organizers which are considered options for this lesson.
5. Determine the scoring rubric you wish to use for the lesson or use the one included under Associated Files.
6. Prepare transparency of the scoring rubric for instructional purposes.
7. Prepare transparency to aid with instruction of students in making inferences and generalizations about what is read.


Day 1
1. Introduce the rubric for scoring the lesson. Also instruct students on making inferences and generalizations about what they read. Students will read Chapters 1-3 of [Holes] and do their first index card making inferences and generalizations about what they read.

Day 2
2. Divide students into groups of 3-4 and introduce graphic organizers from which the students can choose the one which their group will use for taking notes to clarify meanings and illustrate organizational patterns of the text. Have students read Chapters 4-5 and do a graphic organizer on those two chapters.

Day 3
3. Review inferences and generalizations turned in Day 1 and graphic organizers from Day 2.

4. Have students read Chapters 6-8 and prepare index cards as they read with inferences and generalizations from those chapters.

Day 4
5. Have students read Chapters 9-14 and in earlier assigned groups prepare graphic organizer for this section of reading.

Day 5
6. Review successes from inference and generalization cards turned in Day 3 and from graphic organizers completed Day 4.

7. Have students read Chapters 15-19 and complete index cards with inferences and generalizations.

Day 6
8. Review and discuss successful inferences and generalizations from Day 5.

9. Have students read Chapters 20-23, and engage in class discussion of inferences and generalizations.

Day 7
10. Have students read Chapters 24-28 and have groups complete graphic organizer for the section.

Day 8
11. Review Part 1 of the book for major inferences and generalizations.

12. Have students read Chapters 29-34 and groups complete graphic organizer for the section.

Day 9
13. Have students read Chapters 35-40 and submit index cards with inferences and generalizations for the section.

Day 10
14. Review successful inferences and generalizations students turned in from Day 9 reading.

15. Have students read Chapters 41-44 and groups complete graphic organizer for the section.

Day 11
16. Review graphic organizers from Day 10.

17. Have students read Chapters 45-49 and turn in index cards with inferences and generalizations.

Day 12
18. Have students read Chapter 50.

19. Groups complete a summary graphic organizer for the entire story.

20. Teacher reviews final scoring rubric with students.


Assessment will be accomplished in the following forms:
1. Collect and check each student’s index cards summarizing what they read and making inferences about the characters and the action, as well as generalizing about the story’s meaning.
2. Provide oral feedback during class discussion of the story and its meanings.
3. Share story graphic organizers by cooperative learning groups with all members of the class.


This lesson should be modified for different learning styles and learning levels in group work by grouping stronger critical thinkers with weaker critical thinkers, and modified by the amount of reading the students are to do. With slower reading groups, the teacher will read a part of the story aloud to the class with the class following in the book and continuing with the assigned activity.

Web Links

A brief web autobiography of the author of [Holes] which gives some insights into his interests and his pathway to writing adolescent literature.
Louis Sachar: Autobiography

Attached Files

A rubric titled “Holes Rubric” for reproduction.     File Extension: pdf

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