Lesson: Abandon books

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Lesson Objective

Students will list reasons for abandoning a book.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Readers we have talked a lot about how we select books and how to talk about books with a partner.  But sometimes even if we are interested in a book, we may choose not to finish reading the book.  This is called abandoning the book because we may start a book and discover we aren’t as interested in the topic as we thought and choose to place the book back in the library before we finish reading.  


Teach (10-12 mins): Today, we will practice abandoning a book and explaining reasons why we might choose to abandon a book.  I noticed that many of you keep deciding that you don’t want to finish a book that you have started and are quickly abandoning a book.  Before you abandon a book you must give the book a good try.  Watch me as I walk through abandoning a book.  Pay close attention as I model because we will make a chart of reasons why we might abandon a book after the lesson.


Teacher shows a book selected from the library (I use Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume).  When I first saw this book in the library I was really excited because I thought I would like it.  The title was funny and I had heard that Judy Blume was a really exiting author to read.  I read the summary on the back of the book, teacher reads aloud the summary to students. 


This made me think the book was going to be really exciting with Fudge throwing tantrums and causing lots of mischief.  I began reading and read through the beginning of the book but didn’t find it to be as exciting as I thought.  I tried to keep reading remembering that good readers have stamina to keep reading through a book and after thirty pages I was still not interested in the story.  It took a long time for the action to get started and I didn’t find the jokes in the book to be funny.  I tried really hard to keep going but I never got sucked into the story.  I decided to abandon the book and choose another book from our classroom library.


What did you notice about how I modeled abandoning a book?  Turn and tell your partner.  Students should turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.  Teacher calls on students to share and adds their responses to the teaching chart for the day.  We have a really good list so far of reasons why readers abandon books.  I showed you how I abandoned a fiction book from our library.  Now watch as I model how to abandon a non-fiction book. 


Teacher shows a book selected from the library ( I use  a book about alligators and crocodiles from Reading A-Z).   I have always been interested in learning about alligators because I grew up visiting Florida and seeing them in the national parks.  I thought this would be a good book to teach me more about alligators.  I tried reading the first chapter but I was really confused.  A lot of the vocabulary was difficult and the book was more focused on the differences between crocodiles and alligators.  I did not have the background knowledge about alligators to read this book and fully understand because I kept getting confused as I read.  I decided to put this book back in the library because it required that the reader already knew some important information about alligators.  I may come back to this book later on in the year once I have more background knowledge but for now I decided to abandon the book.


What did you notice about how I decided to abandon the non-fiction book?  Turn and tell your partner.  Students turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.  Students share responses and teacher adds to class chart.  


I think we are ready to share about books you may have already abandoned this year.  Remember it is important to give a book a chance before abandoning it.  This means that we try to maintain our interest even if some parts are not as interesting as others.  Today during workshop time we will share times we have abandoned books. 



Active Engagement (15-20 mins):  Students return to their seats.  At their seats each student will fill out the abandon books exit slip.  Teacher circulates during this time to conference with students.  I chose to use this lesson when I notice many students have been abandoning books in the classroom.  If some students in the classroom have not abandoned a book during the school year, ask them to reflect on the previous school year or imagine why they might abandon a book to complete the exit slip using reasons from the class teaching chart.


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins):  Students have time to share with the class books they have abandoned and explain their reasoning.  Teacher collects exit slips at the end of share to reflect on student mastery.


Reflection: Abandoning books is always an issue in my classroom so I refer to this lesson and teaching chart throughout the year.  I find that many students want to visit the library rather than read during independent time and quickly abandon books in order to exchange for a new one.  One way I try to stop these behaviors is to require students fill out the abandon books exit slip each time they return a book to the library incomplete. 

Lesson Resources

Abandon Books Exit Slip.doc  


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