Lesson plan

Five Ways to Respond to Literature

Prepare your students to analyze and respond to literature by practising five types of responses: predictions, questions, clarification, connections, and opinions.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theSummary Writing with Big IdeasPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theSummary Writing with Big IdeasPre-lesson.

Students will be able to write a response to literature in more than one way.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Literature Response PromptsLiterature Response Reflection CardsMake a ClaimThe Story of the AmuletRead and Think Bookmarks
  • Display a piece of chart paper with the question, "How can we respond to literature?" written in the centre in large print. Read the question aloud.
  • Underline the words "respond to literature" and remind students that the word RespondMeans to reply or interact with, and LiteratureMeans a fictional text or story. Restate the question in student-friendly terms (e.g., "How can we write or talk about stories?").
  • Ask students to think about ways that they respond to literature. Write their responses around the question on the chart paper to create a "brain dump." Use this exercise to gauge background knowledge. Support students by suggesting ideas if needed (e.g., answering questions about characters or setting, making predictions, writing a summary). Keep the brain dump displayed to use later in the lesson.
  • Tell students that today they will be using specific types of questions and prompts to respond to literature.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the Literature Response Prompts worksheet. Point out the first section and explain that when we WriteAn essay in response to literature, we often start with a short summary so that our reader is familiar with the story. Remind students that a summary is a great way to think about the main idea of the story.
  • Review the five types of responses listed on the worksheet: make a prediction, ask a question, clarify something, make a connection, and share your opinion. Discuss each type of response and provide student-friendly definitions for key terms (e.g., to "clarify" something is to make it understandable).
  • Using the worksheet as a model, write a short summary of a familiar story, like "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Then, write a sentence in each response section, using one of the provided sentence frames (e.g., I wonder why Goldilocks went into the bears' house to begin with.)
(15 minutes)
  • Display "The Story of the Treasure Seekers" by E. Nesbit from the Make a Claim Worksheet. (Note: you will not need the questions that follow.) Read the story aloud as students follow along.
  • Divide students into small groups of four and have them sit facing one another.
  • Hand out a full set of pre-cut Literature Response Reflection Cards to each group. Tell students to take turns picking a card and using the sentence frames to respond to the story orally. (Note: each student will pick a total of three cards during this activity.) Circulate and listen to student discussions.
  • After students have discussed the story, call on non-volunteers to share insights from their conversations. Encourage students to continue using the sentence frames on the cards when they share.
  • Draw a pie chart organizer on a sheet of chart paper with five sections. Label each section with a literature response category (prediction, question, clarification, connection, opinion).
  • Display the full set of Literature Response Reflection Cards and, with student input, classify each sentence frame as one type of response. Tape the cards into the appropriate section on the pie chart.
  • Ask students to work with their group to come up with other prompts, sentence frames, or questions for each category. Call on students and record their responses on the chart.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the Literature Response Prompts worksheet and a copy of "The Story of the Treasure Seekers" to each student.
  • Instruct students to independently reread the story and complete each section of the worksheet. Allow students to use sentence frames from the worksheet or prompts that were generated in class to write their responses.
  • Circulate and offer support as needed.


  • Pre-teach challenging vocabulary that students will encounter in "The Story of the Treasure Seekers."
  • Use a shorter text during the guided and independent practise activities. (See optional resources.)
  • Strategically form small groups during guided practise. Place students in heterogenous groups so that struggling students have support and modeling from more advanced students.
  • Provide bookmarks with literature response sentence stems for students to use during their daily reading. (See optional resources.)


  • Encourage students to use the Literature Response Prompts worksheet to respond to a chapter or book of their choice.
  • Have students write a three-paragraph essay in response to a text using the Literature Response Prompts worksheet as a pre-writing activity.
  • Form reading groups or literature circles and have students use the Literature Response Reflection Cards to guide their conversations.
(10 minutes)
  • Show a short video that tells a story, like Pixar's short film "Presto."
  • Hand out a sheet of lined paper and tell students to write a short summary and a response to the video, using two out of the five types of responses. (Note: allow students to use the prompts and sentence frames generated in class.)
  • Invite several volunteers to share their responses with the class. Ask the class to identify which types of responses the sharing student used in their writing (prediction, question, clarification, connection, or opinion).
  • Collect students' writing to gauge understanding.
(5 minutes)
  • Direct students' attention back to the brain dump from the beginning of the lesson.
  • Repeat the following question: "How can we respond to literature?"
  • Ask students to share new ideas or build on the ideas that were generated at the beginning of the lesson. Write new responses in a different colour and draw lines to connect related thoughts.

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