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Lesson Plan

Literature Response in Primary Classrooms

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Literature Response in Primary Classrooms

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



This is a five step guide for setting up a framework for ongoing written literature response with primary students, especially Kindergarten. Designed to help teachers “set the stage” for ongling literature response, the procedure begins with drawing/labeling and moves through increasingly complex writing requirements that address higher-order thinking skills and foster student creativity. The lesson uses picture books from one author to model, demonstrate and describe the steps in detail. Ready-to-use templates are included. This recurring lesson assumes that students will be responding to literature in writing on a regular basis throughout the school year, with increasing complexity.

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Writing for young children starts with conversation and other oral language. NCTE (2004) tells us, in their guideline on beliefs about the teaching of writing, that through talk, children figure out how to write, that they decide what to write down through a variety of oral language experiences, including “explaining orally what is in a text, whether it is printed or drawn.”  Further, in “Text Talk,” Beck & McKeown (2001) show that all questions and responses are not of equal value, and discuss the importance of using open-ended questions in discussions about read-alouds to help students more deeply understand the stories read to them.

In this lesson, oral responses to read-aloud stories precede students’ written responses to literature. Through conversations and discussions about texts, students are given time to clarify their thoughts, get new ideas from others, and establish a core understanding of fiction texts that enable them to respond to prompts in individual, open-ended ways.

Further Reading

Writing Study Group of the NCTE Executive Committee. 2016. Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing. February 2016. Web. http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/teaching-writing

Read more about this resource


Beck, I.L., & McKeown, M.G. (2001). Text Talk: Capturing the benefits of read-aloud experiences for young children. The Reading Teacher, 55, 10–20.

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