Lesson: Stop and jot while reading

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Lesson Objective

Students will stop and jot while reading a non-fiction text.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Readers, you now all have strategies for selecting books but as readers we have to also be thinkers.  One way to help us think while we read is to stop at important parts and jot down our thinking.  Today and tomorrow we will try out different places to stop and jot as we read. 


Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a composition notebook and a pencil.  They will be asked to stop and write throughout the lesson.  Readers of fiction and non-fiction may stop at different places to think about their reading.  Teacher unveils teaching chart for the day (attached to this lesson).  I have created a list of ideas for places we may stop as non-fiction readers to stop and jot or write down what we are thinking.  Teacher reads aloud the examples of places to stop.  Watch me as I show you how to stop and jot while reading a non-fiction text.


Teacher places the National Geographic article about flat sharks on the overhead.  Today, we will read this article together to stop and jot our thinking.  Teacher reads aloud the first three paragraphs of the article.  Wait, I see a word I don’t know that is bolded in the article.  When looking at our chart for the day I learned I should stop and write when I meet a new word.  I am going to stop and write down this word.  I will also try to define the word in my journal.  Teacher models writing the word coral reef and defining the term.  I wrote that a coral reef is underwater and is a place where sting rays can hide.  Did you notice how I stopped to think about what I read instead of continuing to read and maybe missing a key event.  Let’s keep reading.


Teacher reads aloud the next two paragraphs.  Wow! I am really curious now about how these fish are able to clean the rays wound and not actually hurt the sting ray.  I need to stop and jot because I am bursting with curiosity, I have so many questions about what I just read.  Teacher writes I wonder how the fish are able to clean the sting ray without hurting his wounds more in her composition notebook.  We have now seen two different ways or places we can stop and jot as non-fiction readers.  Now it’s your turn to try.


Teacher finishes reading aloud the first section of the text.  We are now at the end of a section and we also met another new word.  You may also have a strong image in your mind about what we just read.  Stop and jot your thinking in your composition notebook.  Students should stop and write while teacher circulates on the carpet.  Teacher calls on students to share their writing and guides conversations to highlight great student responses.


I am really impressed with your thinking today.  When you return to your seats today you will continue to read this article.  As you read, there will be places to stop and jot your thinking.  If you want to stop more times than on the worksheet you may write your thinking your composition notebook.  Each reader is different and your thinking may not be the same as other students at your table.  Off you go.


Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats to continue reading the article.  They should stop and jot as indicated on the worksheet.  They may also jot additional comments in their reader’s notebooks.  Teacher should conference with students during this time.


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Teacher has students share out their thinking in a class discussion.  Teacher should also collect stop and jot practice worksheets to determine which students mastered the skill.  This can be used to pull small groups during workshop time on the following day.


Reflection: I keep this poster in my room for the remainder of the school year or anytime the students are engaged in a study of non-fiction texts.  This is a constant reminder to students that they should be stopping as they read to stop and write their ideas.  I want to create deep thinkers not just students who are capable of word-calling.  It is a good idea to have some students read with a partner or pull different levels of articles for workshop time depending on the levels of readers in your classroom.

Lesson Resources

Stop and Jot Poster.JPG  
National Geographic Shark Article.doc  
Stop and Jot Practice Non-fiction.doc  


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