Book Journal


This is an open ended lesson. Students can enter in and be successful no matter their level.

Lesson Instructions

I use this as an ongoing literacy group throughout the school year. I have the children in a small heterogeneous group of 5-6 students. I choose the texts for the children from leveled readers that I have read in advance. I vary the genre by the week.

Each student has a spiral to use as a Book Journal. The spiral serves as ongoing authentic assessment.
The student reads the text and then writes a summary of the book in their Book Journal. The teacher assists with the reading by using using guided reading strategies. For example, I ask the student to read aloud as I listen. If the student is reading aloud at a level that is appropriate for independent reading I move on to listen to the next student. As I listen to individual students read I ask that the rest of the students read to themselves until I get to them. One of the reasons I group students heterogeneously is so that I can differentiate my instruction and provide to each student the level of support needed to read the text. I also want students in different books so that each child is truly reading his/her text.

The student writes the title of the book, as well as the author and copyright information for the book. The student then writes a summary of the book. My expectations for the summary are differentiated by grade level as well as by where the students are with their reading level. Once the child has written his/her summary, and I have agreed that the summary is complete then the student can add an illustration.


  • Spiral notebook
  • Pencil
  • Colored Pencils
  • Fiction and Informational Texts

Lesson Duration







[if ffstdother]

Other/Alternative Standard(s)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.