School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 3

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and non-print texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

Objective c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations


In preparation for class book talks, the teacher should gather multiple copies of 5-6 texts. The texts should represent diverse topics and have varying reading levels. Present these texts to students by brief read-alouds and sharing of the physical texts. Once all books have been presented, students should indicate an interest level in each text. With this information, the teacher will place students in groups with their selected texts. Each group should be told how much of the book to read before a first discussion. The teacher should stagger the initial discussions so that each group has the benefit of teacher leading and monitoring. Once all groups have had a teacher led discussion, then student led discussions should begin with the teacher rotating among the groups to observe the discussion. Student leads should also rotate. Discussions should occur on a regular schedule, which could be every day, twice a week, etc…or whatever the teacher deems appropriate.


The teacher should select several books where there are dominant literary elements like character, setting, theme, mood, etc…Next the teacher should prepare a brief book talk which focuses on the dominant literary element for that particular text. Once this procedure has been modeled with a variety of texts, students should begin to present book talks following the same format.


The teacher should organize a list of general topics for nonfiction texts. They might include the fine arts, sports, technology, the entertainment industry, etc…Students should be assigned to a topic based upon an interest survey and instructed to find a nonfiction text about that topic. Students should be given a designated amount of time to find and read the text. On an assigned day, students should bring the book to class prepared to discuss its content. Student groups should be created according to topic. Given a certain class’s choice, there might be, for example, two technology groups. Informally, students should talk about what was learned about a specific topic from reading the text. The teacher should monitor the discussion of all groups.


The teacher should partner with the media specialist to conduct this activity. The media specialist should prepare two brief book talks to deliver to students. As the media specialist shares the book with students, the teacher should record questions about the text that are prompted by the book talk. Once the media specialist has completed the talk, the teacher should share with students the questions he/she has recorded and explain why it would be beneficial to have these questions answered. Next, the media specialist should share the second book talk, but this time the students should record questions about the text, which will be shared with the class at the conclusion of the book talk.