School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

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

Objective b. URN:footnote:5 Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres


To ensure that students read consistently, the teacher should begin with a combination of assigned reading and self-selected reading. Once that pattern has been established, each student in the class should complete a simple survey where they address the types of books they enjoy and record 3-4 titles that were memorable. The teacher should collect the surveys and review them. Then, depending upon the composition of the class, the teacher should randomly distribute or purposefully give each student the survey of another class member. The receiving student will review the survey and then select a reading selection suggested by his/her classmate. The purpose of this activity is to allow students insight into the preferences of their fellow students and, perhaps, to broaden their reading choices.


As students read throughout the year, they should record basic information about their choices in a book log. However, each selection should be color coded so that the diversity of the individual student’s choices is easily seen. Visually, this coding could encourage a student to try reading something a bit different. To extend this activity, the teacher could create a book log for the entire class where students extend a line, add an icon, etc…to show how many and the types of books students are reading. This could evolve into a book log by grade or by school.


To assist students in becoming consistent readers, the teacher should allow time for self-selected reading during class. Prior to the start of reading, the teacher should have 4 volunteers or select 4 participants who, at the end of reading time, will “stand up” for their book. During “stand up” time, these students will speak informally about what makes their selection interesting and worthwhile. After each student has spoken, other class members can select the book they might most likely read by congregating in one of the four corners of the room for an instant result or voting for a book by secret ballot with the revelation of the winner announced the following day.


The teacher should create a book log format, which will be completed by each student. The following is a suggestion.

Book Log
Date Text Author/Source Genre Rating

On a given day/s the teacher will conference informally with each student about the progress of his/her reading. Trained parent volunteers might also conference with students. This activity would allow a student one-on-one contact with an adult to talk about what is enjoyed or disliked about reading in general or individual reading selections. Canvassing the class in this way allows the teacher to view the steadiness and diversity of student reading efforts.