Table of Contents Time

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SWBAT use a Table of Contents to find what pages certain stories are located on.

Big Idea

Help students navigate their way around a book and find what they want to read more easily.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

The standard RI1.5 is about teaching students to use text features, and in this lesson I focus on the table of contents.  The standard is under craft and structure, so I want students to analyze why an author might choose to include a table of contents to help present the information in the text. Really, I want my students to learn to use the table of contents to find specific information in a text and to think about what the purpose of a table of contents is to understand why the author might chose to use one.

Lesson Overviewc

I show the video and explain that the class will learn to use a table of contents. First, I give each child a text and we practice using the table of contents. Then they work with their partner to analyze a sample table of contents from a website I project on the board. I use the online website, because I try to show my students a lot of different examples and models of things we are studying.  I guess I feel like I need to expose them to a skill or samples that look different. Plus technology motivates them. So, the students share their ideas about the sample tables of contents and we have a class discussion about table of contents.

The students work in small groups, Peanut Butter Jelly Partners, and they Transition often I have a video on each in the resource section.

Introductory Activity

The students watch the video, but I stop it at one minute because then it is about the glossary. I do read the text to my class, because some students cannot read the text.  Then I ask the class to talk about what the table of contents can do to help them as readers. Then I listen to see what my students comprehend from the video.

Next, I share the lesson plan and we chant the lesson goal.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Partner Work

20 minutes

Student Reflection

5 minutes

At this point we have a discussion in the lounge about what the students choose as the answers. So, I ask different students to read the questions, and others volunteer their answer. Then they have to tell my why they made that selection. By having to prove their answer I engage the class in a little higher order thinking activity. 

Basically, we go over the activity sheet, they prove their answers, and I clear up any confusion.


5 minutes

This is the time when I like to use some form of formative assessment.  My favorite is the Tweet Board, which is really the same thing as an exit ticket. I have a picture of the board in the resources.

For today's lesson, the students are to write one thing they can use a table of contents to do.  I am hoping they write to find out how many chapters are in the book or to find the page a certain story is on. I read their responses as they put their sticky note on the board.  Then I answer and add my comments about the work.