Reading Lesson Plan

Posted on March 18, 2012 by


Reading lesson planworks best with older students who can read relatively well (4th grade and up), but has been successful with lower grades as well.

1stplay the reading game, “Popcorn.” The idea behind “Popcorn” is that students take turns reading out loud and that all of the students follow along silently. One student starts reading and when they are done, the reader says “popcorn, [another student’s name]” and then the other student begins reading exactly where the previous student stopped.

For example – the students are Todd, Ryan, Troy, Giorgi, Nino, Alex, Megan and Melissa. They have to read the following passage:

Dad, Tim, Erin, Mom and Emily go to the train station. Mom, Tim and Emily have tickets to go to Moscow. Dad and Erin do not have tickets and will stay home in Tbilisi. Dad, Tim, Erin, Mom and Emily walk past all of the shops and onto the platform. Dad is carrying Mom’s suitcase. Mom is carrying the three train tickets. Tim is wearing his backpack and a very large, silly hat. Emily is carrying her bag and a large cup of coffee. Erin is carrying the camera and taking a lot of pictures. Erin takes several pictures of the train. The train engine is purple and silver, but the train cars are black and purple. Soon, the train blows its whistle. Mom, Tim and Emily hug Dad and Erin.

Todd starts to read. He says “Dad, Tim, Erin, Mom and Emily go” then he says “popcorn, Nino.” So Nino starts to read “to the train station. Mom, Tim and Emily have tickets to go to Moscow.” Then she says “popcorn, Giorgi, so Giorgi continues “Dad and Erin do not have tickets and will stay home in Tbilisi.” This should continue for the rest of the passage.

Students do not have to stay popcorn at the end of a sentence or even at the end of a word. That is, students can change readers at any point. For example, if Ryan is reading about Tim, he says “Tim is wearing his back-” then he can say “popcorn, Alex” and Alex has to start “-pack…” and then he can continue with the sentence.

The only rule is that each student needs to read loudly and clearly; all other students need to be quiet so they can listen.

Ideally, the students should call popcorn in the middle of words and/or sentences, as that forces all the students to follow every sound, and not just wait for the end of a sentence.

Also, in theory, this should be played for points. A student who is called on but doesn’t know where to begin reading loses a point; the student who calls on the lost student receives the point. For example, Troy is reading and says “Dad, Tim, Erin, Mom and Emily go to –” then he says “popcorn Todd” and Todd starts to read with “Mom, Tim and Emily,” then Todd loses one point and Troy gets one point.

If you want to make it very competitive, you can link popcorn points with prizes (you can keep track on a daily basis – five points is a piece candy, or something small like that).

Some things I’ve noticed with the Georgian students:

– They are used to one student reading the entire passage. Even though I explain it in English and my co-teacher explains it in Georgian, the students will still try to read the entire passage. If this happens, jump in, say popcorn at the end of a sentence, and force the students to change readers. Eventually they’ll catch on and start saying popcorn by themselves.

– Put a minimum number of words that each student has to read (3 – 5); this ensures that the game flows and that every student gets some practice reading out loud.

– Wait until the students understand the game before implementing a point system or encouraging them to say popcorn in the middle of words.

– Students who aren’t reading are eager to assist the reader with pronunciation – don’t let them. Particularly in this game, it doesn’t help the student who is reading.

– If the passage is long enough and the class is small enough, make sure every student reads. If there are too many students for every student to read every day, keep track of those who read the most and call on the quieter students to start the game.

2ndreading comprehension.

– Go through the passage, from the beginning, and ask who/what/when/where/why/how questions about almost every sentence. Don’t let students read the sentence containing the right answer – make sure they only give you the answer to the question.

– For example, with the reading passage above, you can ask simple questions: “who goes to the train station?” “Where will Mom, Tim and Emily go,” etc

– This is good for building listening comprehension and reading skills.

– Georgian students, however, are not used to answering questions about the reading. You might have to play popcorn for one paragraph, ask questions, play popcorn with the next paragraph, ask questions, etc.

– If you want, you can also use a ball for this section. Ask a question, toss the ball to a student for them to answer the question, the student throws the ball back to you, and then you ask another question to a different student, again throwing the ball. The ball helps to control the students and encourages them to be quiet. You  may have to remind them that the ball is simply an asset to the game, not the focus of the game, and so the need to toss the ball gently to you and make their best efforts to catch it. If the ball becomes a distraction, stop using the ball and scold the students for being unruly.

– After asking your own questions about the reading, go through the reading questions as listed in the book. If time is short, make the students write out the answers to these questions for homework.