Getting Them Into a Book

Getting Them Into a Book

Inspire Curiosity

Are you familiar with the INTO, THROUGH and BEYOND strategy for teaching text?  Looking for something that can work in a single period to get students into their next book?  Here’s an idea may work for you this Spring.

Distribute the book.  Invite students to look carefully at the cover art, front first, then back.  Set timer for 60 seconds.  Then have them turn and talk to partner about what they think the book will be about, just based on the graphics – images, colors and font. (If there’s time, do a quickie mini-lesson on color symbolism, or just project a slide or distribute a handout or have them go to link on their phones or tablets.)  If it’s a book about another culture, this may be more useful. Colors and Culture.

Next, have them write on a sheet of scratch paper,

  • write ten numbers from 1 to the last page number in the book.
  • Turn to and skim those pages.
  • Copy sentences from five of those pages that catch their attention because they seem
    • interesting
    • surprising
    • provocative
    • confusing
  • In a paragraph, write what they think these sentences say about characters, setting, or conflict.  Give the students a few minutes to share with one another their sentences and to talk briefly about similarities and differences in their inferences about the book. (I like to have write in their journals and come back to them later.)

Resist temptation to comment yourself.  The goal here is to spark curiosity to inspire them to read to find answers.

Now, you do a dramatic read aloud or play an audible version of the opening pages for five to seven minutes, stop, and let students continue reading until five minutes before class period ends.

During final five minutes, give them EXIT SLIP assignment.

  • What have you learned?
  • What do you expect to happen next?
  • What puzzles or confuses you?


If students have tech available, they can tweet or post to Padlet or whatever quick way you’ve taught them to respond with electronics.  😊  It’s okay to write Exit slip on scrap paper and hand it to you as they exit the room.

What usually happens is students continue reading, anticipating the sentences they copied and wondering if their inferences have been on or off target.  Generally, once they begin, students will keep reading.

About half way through the book, assign something artsy that has them draw, chart or diagram what they’ve bee =n reading and share those with a small group.  It’s okay if some are ahead or behind.



And, in terms of testing…consider open book.  Another idea is options for grade.  Student can earn up to an “A” with no book; maximum of “B” with book.


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