Shayna M. Walker Lesson Plan – Read, Write, Think Aloud

Elementary Reading/Language Arts C&I


Virginia Department of Education English Standards of Learning for the Fifth Grade:

5.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional texts, narrative nonfiction, and poetry.

i) Draw conclusions and make inferences from text.

5.7 The student will write for a variety of purposes: to describe, to inform, to entertain, to explain, and to persuade.

b) Use a variety of prewriting strategies.

c) Organize information to convey a central idea.

e) Write multiparagraph compositions.

National Council of Teachers of English:

Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Intended Audience: 5th Grade students who have practiced making inferences in past grades.

Background/Overview: The purpose for this lesson is two-fold: to expand student understanding of inference and three types of clues that can be used to make inferences (picture, conversation, and narration cues), and to require students to reflect on their behavior towards others when being pressured to do something unwise. The latter is needed to help with the behavior challenges in this classroom.

Behavioral Objectives: Students will understand that picture, conversation and narration clues can be used to infer things about a story that are not explicitly stated. Students will write a short narrative of an event in their lives.

Resources/Materials, Time and Space: The class will be taught in the classroom with students at their desks so they can see the document camera. The lesson will be 45 minutes long and will require a pencil and a loose piece of paper.

The Lesson

Introduction: Teacher will ask students to sit in their seats with a blank sheet of paper or two and a pencil. Teacher will introduce the story “Probuditi” by Chris Van Allsburg and explain that we will be thinking and writing today during and after our read aloud. The introduction will take 5 minutes, the read aloud and modeling will take 20 minutes, the student writing and closure will take 20 minutes.

Instructional Strategies:

Teacher will read “Probuditi” aloud. While reading, teacher will stop and ask questions that require students to “infer”. Introduce the idea that we can use different kinds of clues to “infer” things that aren’t explicitly stated in a story. Create the following chart on the document camera or on chart paper:

Questions / Inference / Which Clues Did You Use?
Pictures / Conversation / Narration
What is really happening in this picture?
Complete this sentence:
“I think Mrs. Bemis is ______because…”. Indicate which kind of clue you used.
What does this dialogue show about Calvin?
If Trudy were to say something in this picture, what would it be? What is your evidence?
Do you believe Trudy was really hypnotized? What evidence can you show?

Next, teacher will share writing prompt and model writing a response.

“In Probuditi, Rodney is not a very good influence on Calvin. He encourages Calvin to do mean things to his sister, and make poor choices. Calvin doesn’t always feel good about his actions, but he does them anyway to impress his friend.

I want you to think about a time when you made a bad decision to impress a friend.

Let me show you what I mean. When I read Probuditi, I remembered something that happened when I was a kid, and I wrote down my experience. Let me demonstrate to you how I wrote my first paragraph of my first draft.

When I was young, maybe 11 or 12, my Mom took my friend Melinda and I to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Because we lived close to the park, a lot like we do to Busch Gardens now, as kids, we spent a lot of time there. It was a different time then, and most parents felt comfortable dropping their pre-teen kids off at the park for a few hours, and then picking them up. Melinda’s parents, however, did not, and required that a chaperone be in the park with us, so my Mom offered to take us and enjoy a nice day out with me and my best friend.

And let me read to you the rest of the story I wrote:

When we got to the park, Melinda asked when we would get to “go off on our own.” I knew my Mom had no one else to spend the day with, and would be lonely, but I really wanted to spend the day hanging out with my friend. I pressured my Mom to stay in the park (Melinda’s parents’ requirement), but to let us go off on our own for several hours. My Mom seemed hesitant, but I think she didn’t want to embarrass me, so we set a meeting time and she let us go.

When we met up with her later in the day, I could tell something was wrong. My Mom, who was usually a very cheerful person, had been crying. She had a small brown paper package with her, and she was very eager to go home. I realized all at once that I had hurt her feelings badly. I had invited her to spend the day with us, then “ditched” her to impress a friend. When I realized how lonely and hurt she was, I felt terrible.

Later that night, after apologizing to my Mom many times, she showed me what she had in the brown package. It was stationery, with little bears printed on it, and a cute bear pencil she had purchased at a really neat store in the park. It was exactly what I would have bought myself if we had been together. She used the stationery to write me a note about how bad she felt – but she threw the note away because she didn’t want to hurt MY feelings. Even though I had been terrible to her, she loved me so much she didn’t want to cause me pain.

To this day, if I see that old-fashioned bear pattern in a store, it makes me cry, and I still apologize to my Mom sometimes for the choice I made that day. I learned, the hard way, that impressing a friend is never worth hurting someone you love.

I want you to write a few paragraphs about a time when you made a bad decision to impress a friend. Use a separate piece of paper, because I will be collecting your stories. Remember to use details and words that help us understand how you felt, and most important, share with your readers what you learned from your decision and its consequences.”

Differentiation: SPED aids are often available in the room to support students who need help with writing. The teacher will call on students of all abilities and backgrounds to share their insight and experiences. The teacher will move through the room during the writing stage to ensure that progress is being made and students who need extra help receive it.

Accommodations/Modifications: Students with IEPs will receive extra support from teacher and aids. Their compositions may be shorter. All compositions are being generally evaluated for participation, so all students who produce a relevant product will be considered successful.

Closure: In the last 5-10 minutes of the lesson, students will be offered a chance to share their brief stories with the class if they want. If many students are eager, they will turn and talk to their shoulder partners. If only 1 or 2 wish to share, they can do so for the whole group.

Assessment/Evaluation: Teacher will ask students comprehension-confirming questions during the lesson. Students will submit at least 2-3 paragraphs describing the scenario in the prompt. The teacher will collect the paragraphs as proof of participation.


National Council of Teachers of English (1996). NCTE/IRA standards for the English Language Arts. Retrieved on December 11, 2013, from

Promethean Planet (2010). Lessons & Instructional Materials | Inference. Probuditi. Retrieved on December 11, 2013, from probuditi#.UqqYNKXp6MM

Virginia Department of Education (2010). English standards of learning for Virginia Public Schools. Retrieved on December 11, 2013, from