What Really Happened in Chapter 3?

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SWBAT read and comprehend chapter 3 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Big Idea

Showing students the importance of rereading a text.


10 minutes

To begin today's lesson I return yesterday's notes.

As a way to make sure everyone remembers what has happened so far in the novel, we will create a quick summary of chapters 1 & 2 on the board by answering our five summary questions: Who? Wants what? But? So? Then?

Getting Down to Business

30 minutes

Depending on my group of students, they will either listen to the audio for chapter 3 or read it silently on their own.  I tend to have general students listen and advanced students read, as the audio helps the general students with pacing and comprehension.

Immediately after either listening to or reading the chapter, I will have students close their books.  I tell them we're going to take a quick comprehension quiz about the chapter.  After the groans subside, I hand out "Did It Happen in Chapter 3"?  Their task is to put a check mark next to the events that happened in the chapter they just read.  Simple enough, right?

Once students are done with the assignment, I will ask if anyone feels completely confident that they got 100% of the answers correct.  I ask them, "What could you do to be completely sure you have all of the answers correct?"  Hopefully, someone will mention rereading or looking in the book.  

Before moving on, I will say to the class, "Before you open your book, if you are 100% confident that you have all of the answers right, I will take your paper now.  However, if you miss even one, you will get an F.  Is there anyone who would like to turn it in right now?"  I'm hoping that no one takes me up on this gamble!

At this point, I have students take out a correcting pen or pencil.  They are going to reread chapter 3 and make changes to their quiz as they come to the information.  The events that did not happen in chapter 3 are:


  • Aunt Polly whacks Tom for stealing the doughnut.
  • Amy Lawrence is very mad at Tom for paying attention to the pretty girl.
  • The pretty little girl throws Tom a note, which he tucks in his jacket pocket.
  • Aunt Polly felt guilty and apologized to Tom, but he ran out of the house and wouldn't listen to her.
  • Tom wondered if Amy Lawrence would be sad if he died.
  • Tom creeped into his bedroom window, and said his prayers before going to bed.


Once everyone has reread and corrected their quiz, we move on to the overarching why of this lesson.

Did They Get It?

10 minutes

At this point in class, students a corrected quiz in front of them.

I ask them to take a look at the paper and make some observations about their reading.  I ask them to think about what they got from the first reading of chapter 3 and what they got from the second reading of chapter 3.  The differences in their readings may not be specifically listed on the quiz, but looking at the changes to the quiz answers is a good place to start in their reflective writing assignment.

I ask students to write a reflective paragraph on the back of their quiz sheet addressing this question:

  • What does a reader get from a text during a first read?  What is the value in reading a text more than once?


Before students start writing, I dispel any fears that they are going to be graded on the comprehension quiz.  The formative grade for this assignment is based on the reflective writing piece.  I am looking for some "thinking about your thinking" (metacognitive) writing here.