Beacon Lesson Plan Library

To Read or Not to Read ? That Is the Question

Nancy Montague
Bay District Schools


Students learn how to use the book jacket to predict what the book is about. This aids in the decision to read or not to read the book, and decreases the amount of time they spend trying to find a book for pleasure or research.


The student uses prereading strategies before reading (for example, a KWL or skimming text headings, bold type, and other text features).

The student reads and predicts from graphic representations (for example, illustrations, diagrams, graphs, maps).


-Media Specialist
-20+ books with book jackets (5 per group of 4 students)
-1 book with an exciting book jacket and 1 old, worn-out book without a jacket
-One copy per student of the Prediction Worksheet (See Associated File)
-Overhead transparency of Prediction Worksheet
-Overhead projector
-Vis-à-vis pen
-12” x 17” plain white paper
-Colored pencils, markers and/or crayons
-One copy per student of the Assessment Rubric (See Associated File)


1. Invite the Media Specialist to come to your class and talk with the students about the purpose of the book jacket. Ask her/him far enough in advance to give her/him time to plan.
2. Become familiar with book jackets, and if you are unable to secure the Media Specialist, present the topic yourself.
3. Download the Prediction Worksheet from the Associated File and make copies for each of your students and an overhead transparency for yourself.
4. Download the Assessment Rubric from the Associated File and make a copy for each student. Become familiar with the rubric before the activity, so you can give feedback while the students are creating their book jackets.
5. Select 20+ books from the media center to bring into class the days of the sessions. In choosing the books, look for ones with book jackets and of the appropriate age-level of your students. Also select two books, as mentioned in materials, to grab the students’ attention.
6. You can plan which specific students will be grouped together, if needed, or you may try coming up with a clever way to group them. This needs to be a quick transition though, and requires some forethought.
7. On the day the sessions begin, touch base with the Media Specialist.
8. Gather materials.
9. Distribute required worksheets and rubrics.
10. Have your transparency and overhead projector ready.


Session 1: To Read or Not To Read?--Becoming informed on the purpose of book jackets

1. Show the students the book with an exciting jacket and the old, worn-out book without a jacket. Ask them which book they would rather read and why? Allow for a few answers. This should not take longer than five minutes.

2. Introduce the Media Specialist to the class and allow her about twenty minutes to share information with the students on the following topic: “Why a book has a book jacket.” This presentation should include the following information:
a. The purpose of a book jacket: To lure a reader into reading the book and to give the reader enough information to predict what the book will be about and if they will like it
b. The components of the book jacket:
(1.) Front cover/attention grabber
(2.) Inside front flap/ summary of the book
(3.) Inside back flap/ summary of the author

3. At the end of the presentation, open the floor for a question and answer time. This can last up to ten minutes. The Media Specialist may hold up books and ask for some predictions of content/purpose. During the presentation/question and answer activity, the teacher needs to circulate and give corrective feedback as needed. Once complete, the class will thank the Media Specialist for coming to class and sharing with them.

4. Break the students into groups of four and give each student a copy of the Prediction Worksheet, an Assessment Rubric, and give each group five different books. Using the overhead and transparency demonstrate to the students how to use the Prediction Worksheet. Explain that they write the title of the book in the first column. (Use an actual book in your demonstration.) Recalling the information shared with them by the Media Specialist about the cover only, they are to predict what the book is about and to write it in the second column of the worksheet. Tell them they are to do this with each of the five books their group is given and that they are to work individually on this part of the activity. Allow them ten to fifteen minutes for this portion.

Session 2: Group Work

1. Have students get back into their groups of four. Make sure they get the same five books they previously used to predict. (Hint: The titles are listed on their worksheets.) They also need the Prediction Worksheets that they used in Session 1.

2. In the next activity, students work together as a group. On the overhead show the students the third column and explain that they are to share their predictions on each of the five books, together. If another member of the group has the same or similar prediction, they place a check in the column. They can have up to three checks for a group of four people. Allow ten to twenty minutes for this activity.

3. Now, modeling on your overhead, introduce the fourth column of the worksheet, Actual Content. Tell them to read the summary on the book jacket, of each of the five books, and write what the book is actually about. Allow ten to fifteen minutes for this activity.

4. Ask the students, within their groups, to compare their predictions with the actual content. “Were they right? Was the book jacket misleading or in sync with the summary?” These are some questions they can use in their group discussions. Allow ten to fifteen minutes. Be sure to circulate during this activity and give prompting questions, if needed. Provide feedback to the groups.

Session 3: Individual and Creativity Time

1. Tell the students to return to their individual workstations. Hand out a sheet of the white paper to each student. Allow students to choose the medium with which they will write/draw (colored pencils, markers, and/or crayons).

2. Tell the students to create a new book jacket for a book they have read or are currently reading. Allow forty-five or fifty minutes for this session. The book jacket must contain:
A. Front Cover with this information:
(1.) Title
(2.) Author’s name
(3.) Illustration or creative way to convey a mood (about the book) through color/lettering
B. Inside Front Flap of Cover: Summary/synopsis of the story (something to grab the reader's attention)
C. Inside Back Flap of Cover: Summary about the author

3. Be sure to circulate and give feedback to the students while they are creating. You may need to refocus them to the assessment rubric to keep them on track. (See Associated File)

4. Teacher assesses the book jacket. (See Assessment Rubric in the Associated File)


The student demonstrates his knowledge of the use of a book jacket in aiding a reader in predicting book content through looking at the front cover or skimming key features such as the title, graphic on the cover, or book summary on the inside flap. The student creates a new book jacket for a book they have read or are reading. In assessing the book jacket, the student should create a cover that aids in predicting the content of the book.

(For further information on assessing the students' work, see the Assessment Rubric located in the Associated Files.)


This lesson was created for a classroom containing students with specific learning disabilities, so no additional modifications should be needed.
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