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October 27, 2016 Instant Lesson Plans For Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) By Genia Connell
Grades 1–2, 3–5

    Many teachers, including myself, have often said that it's easier to come to school sick than it is to make sub plans. I always hated spending hours writing detailed plans for every subject, and reading is the subject I worried about the most! A couple of years ago, however, I figured out a way to keep my students learning in my absence that was much less labor-intensive and time-consuming than what I had been doing. I created a single lesson plan that could pair with any book in my collection. I call these my grab-and-go lesson plans. These plans keep my students working towards curriculum goals, and they take only a few minutes to prepare. This week I'm happy to share my grab-and-go instant lesson plans that hopefully will save you some time when preparing your own lesson plans.

    Using the instant reading plans is easy. Simply follow the directions below. Choose a book, choose the reading response you want to use, make copies and you're done! Print all of the reading responses by clicking on any of the images below. 

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

    The Lesson Plan

    The lesson plan below can be used with any book from your collection. Simply print and go!

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

    The Reading Response Sheets

    For each lesson, choose one of the reading response sheets for students to use following reading time.

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

    Other Graphic Organizers to Use With Any Book

    Instant Lessn Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)
    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)
    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)
    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

     

    Some of My Favorite Books to "Grab and Go"

    Some of my favorite books to use with these lesson plans are listed below. They've all been tried out and work well with the discussion questions and reading prompts. The summaries listed are from Scholastic Book Wizard. Some of the books even have free extension activities and resources you can use with them, making your planning even easier! 

    Picture Book

    Book Summaries 

    In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars.
    When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.   

    Free Teaching Resource                                                                          

     Alexander faces a day that seems to grow increasingly worse with each passing minute. On the very first page, Alexander wakes to hair full of gum, trips on his skateboard, and drops a sweater in a sink full of water. At breakfast, his brothers are having a far better day — having found prizes in their breakfast cereal — which makes Alexander feel worse. School offers him no respite from his horrible day: he gets reprimanded by a teacher, he gets demoted to third best friend, and at lunch, finds himself dessertless. Could the day get worse?

    A young girl and her father take a nighttime stroll near the farm where they live to look for owls. It is a beautiful night, a moonlit winter night. Bundled tightly against the cold, they trudge through the pristine snow, "whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl." As they go, hidden in ink-blue shadows, a fox, a raccoon, a field mouse, and a deer watch them pass. A delicate tension builds as the father imitates the great horned owl's call once without answer, then again. Finally, from out of the darkness "an echo/came threading its way/through the trees."

    Vera Williams tells of a young girl, who along with her waitress mother, saves coins in a big jar in hopes that they can someday buy a big, new, comfortable chair for their apartment, the kind of chair her mother deserves after being on her feet all day in the Blue Tile Diner.  Finally the jar is full, the coins are rolled, and in the book's crowning moment mother, daughter, and Grandma search four different furniture stores, and after carefully trying several chairs, like Goldilocks, they find the chair they've been dreaming of at last.

    Extension Activities

    Chrysanthemum loves her name — until she starts kindergarten, which is an unfamiliar world full of short names like Sue, Bill, Max, Sam, and Joe. But it's Victoria who really makes Chrysanthemum wilt, offering that she was named after her grandmother, which is much more important than being named after a flower. Though Chrysanthemum's parents try to soothe her wounded soul with "hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi," it's not easy to find solace (and regain lost self-esteem) with all the girls on the playground threatening to "pluck" and "smell" you.

    Then the children meet their music teacher, charismatic Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle, that is. When Mrs. Twinkle announces that she wants to name her baby the prettiest name she has ever heard, and that that name is Chrysanthemum, all the kids wish they had flower names, too. For her part, Chrysanthemum blooms once again.

    Chrysanthemum Extension Activities

    Tanya loves listening to her grandmother talk about the quilt she is making from pieces of colorful fabric from the family clothes: an eventual heirloom to represent each person and the important events of their lives together. When Grandma becomes ill, Tanya decides to finish the masterpiece herself, and soon the rest of the family pitches in to help, finding comfort and connection by completing the squares and stitches.

    Reading Response

     

    Grace loves stories, whether they're from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn't black. With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing!

    Teaching Plan

     

    Wake up with Peter to a snow-covered day where adventure awaits. No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

    The Snowy Day Science Lesson

    The Snowy Day Extension Activities

    The Snowy Day Lesson Plan

    The Snowy Day Science Lesson

    Get to Know Snow!

    The Snowy Day Discussion Guide

    The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don't proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways.

    Teaching Idea

    After being initiated into a neighbor's family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula's had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author's childhood.

    Chicken Sunday Writing Prompt

    Young Stanley Lambchop is a perfectly nice, average boy who leads a perfectly nice, average life. But one morning something is different: Stanley's bulletin board has fallen on him during the night, and when his parents pull him out from under it, they find that he is suddenly only half-an-inch thick.

    Being flat isn't as bad as you might think, however: the doctor says Stanley is fine, and in some ways he's better than ever. He can slide under closed doors, for instance, and he can be rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. Stanley rescues his mother's ring when she drops it through a narrow metal grating, and foils a gang of thieves who've been stealing paintings from the Famous Museum of Art. But when the thrill of flatness wears off and Stanley decides he really wants to go back to normal, his resourceful brother finds a way to help him.

    Reading Response

    The Princess Elizabeth is slated to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. In resourceful and humorous fashion, Elizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald — who is less than pleased at her un-princess-like appearance.

    Character Traits Reading Response

    Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing; quite an errand for a little girl.

    But where there's a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on.

    Character Traits Reading Response

    When Grace Campbell's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school's mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the "best man for the job" — and seems to have captured all the male votes — while Grace concentrates on being the best person.

    Here's hoping that these ideas and graphic organizers make your life simpler, especially when it comes to planning for a substitute. I'd love to know what books you love to read aloud with your students, or how you make planning for a sub easier!

    Many teachers, including myself, have often said that it's easier to come to school sick than it is to make sub plans. I always hated spending hours writing detailed plans for every subject, and reading is the subject I worried about the most! A couple of years ago, however, I figured out a way to keep my students learning in my absence that was much less labor-intensive and time-consuming than what I had been doing. I created a single lesson plan that could pair with any book in my collection. I call these my grab-and-go lesson plans. These plans keep my students working towards curriculum goals, and they take only a few minutes to prepare. This week I'm happy to share my grab-and-go instant lesson plans that hopefully will save you some time when preparing your own lesson plans.

    Using the instant reading plans is easy. Simply follow the directions below. Choose a book, choose the reading response you want to use, make copies and you're done! Print all of the reading responses by clicking on any of the images below. 

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

    The Lesson Plan

    The lesson plan below can be used with any book from your collection. Simply print and go!

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

    The Reading Response Sheets

    For each lesson, choose one of the reading response sheets for students to use following reading time.

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

    Other Graphic Organizers to Use With Any Book

    Instant Lessn Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)
    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)
    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)
    Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!) Instant Lesson Plans to Use With Any Book (Perfect for Substitutes!)

     

     

    Some of My Favorite Books to "Grab and Go"

    Some of my favorite books to use with these lesson plans are listed below. They've all been tried out and work well with the discussion questions and reading prompts. The summaries listed are from Scholastic Book Wizard. Some of the books even have free extension activities and resources you can use with them, making your planning even easier! 

    Picture Book

    Book Summaries 

    In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars.
    When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.   

    Free Teaching Resource                                                                          

     Alexander faces a day that seems to grow increasingly worse with each passing minute. On the very first page, Alexander wakes to hair full of gum, trips on his skateboard, and drops a sweater in a sink full of water. At breakfast, his brothers are having a far better day — having found prizes in their breakfast cereal — which makes Alexander feel worse. School offers him no respite from his horrible day: he gets reprimanded by a teacher, he gets demoted to third best friend, and at lunch, finds himself dessertless. Could the day get worse?

    A young girl and her father take a nighttime stroll near the farm where they live to look for owls. It is a beautiful night, a moonlit winter night. Bundled tightly against the cold, they trudge through the pristine snow, "whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl." As they go, hidden in ink-blue shadows, a fox, a raccoon, a field mouse, and a deer watch them pass. A delicate tension builds as the father imitates the great horned owl's call once without answer, then again. Finally, from out of the darkness "an echo/came threading its way/through the trees."

    Vera Williams tells of a young girl, who along with her waitress mother, saves coins in a big jar in hopes that they can someday buy a big, new, comfortable chair for their apartment, the kind of chair her mother deserves after being on her feet all day in the Blue Tile Diner.  Finally the jar is full, the coins are rolled, and in the book's crowning moment mother, daughter, and Grandma search four different furniture stores, and after carefully trying several chairs, like Goldilocks, they find the chair they've been dreaming of at last.

    Extension Activities

    Chrysanthemum loves her name — until she starts kindergarten, which is an unfamiliar world full of short names like Sue, Bill, Max, Sam, and Joe. But it's Victoria who really makes Chrysanthemum wilt, offering that she was named after her grandmother, which is much more important than being named after a flower. Though Chrysanthemum's parents try to soothe her wounded soul with "hugs, kisses, and Parcheesi," it's not easy to find solace (and regain lost self-esteem) with all the girls on the playground threatening to "pluck" and "smell" you.

    Then the children meet their music teacher, charismatic Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle, that is. When Mrs. Twinkle announces that she wants to name her baby the prettiest name she has ever heard, and that that name is Chrysanthemum, all the kids wish they had flower names, too. For her part, Chrysanthemum blooms once again.

    Chrysanthemum Extension Activities

    Tanya loves listening to her grandmother talk about the quilt she is making from pieces of colorful fabric from the family clothes: an eventual heirloom to represent each person and the important events of their lives together. When Grandma becomes ill, Tanya decides to finish the masterpiece herself, and soon the rest of the family pitches in to help, finding comfort and connection by completing the squares and stitches.

    Reading Response

     

    Grace loves stories, whether they're from books, movies, or the kind her grandmother tells. When her school decides to perform Peter Pan, Grace longs to play the lead, but her classmates point out that Peter was a boy. Besides, he wasn't black. With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing!

    Teaching Plan

     

    Wake up with Peter to a snow-covered day where adventure awaits. No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

    The Snowy Day Science Lesson

    The Snowy Day Extension Activities

    The Snowy Day Lesson Plan

    The Snowy Day Science Lesson

    Get to Know Snow!

    The Snowy Day Discussion Guide

    The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don't proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways.

    Teaching Idea

    After being initiated into a neighbor's family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula's had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author's childhood.

    Chicken Sunday Writing Prompt

    Young Stanley Lambchop is a perfectly nice, average boy who leads a perfectly nice, average life. But one morning something is different: Stanley's bulletin board has fallen on him during the night, and when his parents pull him out from under it, they find that he is suddenly only half-an-inch thick.

    Being flat isn't as bad as you might think, however: the doctor says Stanley is fine, and in some ways he's better than ever. He can slide under closed doors, for instance, and he can be rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. Stanley rescues his mother's ring when she drops it through a narrow metal grating, and foils a gang of thieves who've been stealing paintings from the Famous Museum of Art. But when the thrill of flatness wears off and Stanley decides he really wants to go back to normal, his resourceful brother finds a way to help him.

    Reading Response

    The Princess Elizabeth is slated to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. In resourceful and humorous fashion, Elizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald — who is less than pleased at her un-princess-like appearance.

    Character Traits Reading Response

    Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing; quite an errand for a little girl.

    But where there's a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on.

    Character Traits Reading Response

    When Grace Campbell's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school's mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the "best man for the job" — and seems to have captured all the male votes — while Grace concentrates on being the best person.

    Here's hoping that these ideas and graphic organizers make your life simpler, especially when it comes to planning for a substitute. I'd love to know what books you love to read aloud with your students, or how you make planning for a sub easier!

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