Lesson plan

Preview with Post-Its!

Teach students to be stronger readers before they even begin reading! All they need is a book, their mind, and some sticky notes!
Need extra help for EL students? Try theExploring Reflexive PronounsPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theExploring Reflexive PronounsPre-lesson.

Students will be able to read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Previewing Using Text FeaturesPredictions, Questions, Problems
  • Gather students on the rug and introduce the book for today’s think-aloud/read-aloud. Tell students that you are going to get your brain ready to read by previewing the book, and today you will show them one way to do this with their own text.
  • Tell them that as a reader previews a book, their mind naturally asks questions, makes predictions, and scans for some words that might be challenging. Asking questions and thinking about the text will help the reader clear up any confusion. Write the words "prediction," "question," and "problem" on the board.
  • Tell students that their job today is to notice when their mind does these things!
(15 minutes)
  • Show students the sticky notes you have ready with the symbol for predictions (...), questions (?), and problems (P). Then preview the book, stopping along the way to make at least one prediction, ask a question, and wonder about an unknown word (i.e., problem).
  • Show students how to put a sticky note on the page where these thoughts took place and write your prediction, question, or problems on the sticky notes.
  • After you are done, read the book aloud, stopping at each sticky note to reflect on your prediction, question, and problem.
(5 minutes)
  • Send each student off with their choice of book and three sticky notes, one each for a prediction, a question, and a problem word.
  • Tell them that they might notice more predictions, questions, or problems, but to only mark three today. They should be ready to share their thinking when they are finished.
(15 minutes)
  • Students should quietly read their book, placing their sticky notes along the way.


  • Students who may need more support may benefit from having their sticky notes ready with the symbols already drawn on them.
  • All students should be reading books at their own level.


  • Allow students to model in groups how they previewed their book before reading.
(15 minutes)
  • Circulate as students are reading and have them tell you about each sticky note that they placed.
  • Pair students into groups and have them share the problems they see in the text with their partner.
  • Tell partners to take turns asking each other questions to get more information about the problem and clear up any confusion. For example, "Can you tell me more about the problem? What other information would you like to share? Where in the text did you have a problem with an unknown word?"
  • Listen to student discussions to gather information about their thought processes and assess their ability to ask questions to gather further explanation,share information with each other, and clear up confusion.
  • Optional extension: Have students transfer their sticky notes from their book to their reading journals or the previewing worksheet and write out what they thought about as they were reading. This writing also provides a great assessment for the teacher.
(10 minutes)
  • Pair students up and have them take turns sharing what they thought about as they placed each sticky note.
  • Enourage them to continue to ask for further explanation when they do not understand what their partner is sharing, or if they would like to know more about their predictions, questions, or problems.

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