1. Before students arrive in
the classroom, post signs around the room which warn
of potential health hazards, such as “Use
Proper Eye Wear When Operating Machine”, “Danger:
Hazardous Material”, “Warning: Reclaimed Water” etc.
You might include several signs stating similar warnings in
foreign languages. Write on the board the question of the day: “Why
is reading important?”. On some of the students desks
place pictures taken from magazines or newspapers depicting
people who are very successful and clearly used reading to
get to where they are today. When students enter the room,
ask them to respond to the question of the day. Give them about
5 minutes to do this independently, and then discuss their
answers. Make a list of their ideas on the board about why
they think reading is important.
2. Tell the students to look around the room at the signs you
have posted. Ask the students to consider what might happen
to a person who could not read these signs. What dangers might
such a person face? Why is reading critical in these various
situations? Discuss their answers.
3. Have the students with pictures of famous people on their
desks hold up each photo one at a time. See if the students
can identify the person and their profession. Ask students
to consider how each person became so successful. Do you think
they have strong reading skills? What makes you think so? Could
the person have become so successful without having the ability
to read? Allow students to discuss and think about these questions
as a whole class or in small groups.
4. Ask students to make a double column list. In the left column,
tell them to write down things they would like to have or accomplish
in the future. Tell them to be as specific as possible and
list as many things as they can think of. Some of these might
be “Become a veterinarian” or “Have a nice
house/car”. After several minutes, have students write
in the opposite column how they hope to attain these things.
Discuss what the students have written and explore how reading
skills are necessary to attaining these goals.
Review the ideas that students have generated during the period.
Pose this final question to the class: “How would your
life change if you could not read?”
As students are writing lists, the teacher should float
around the room to assess their responses. During discussion,
listen to students’ commentaries and assess what
students already know about the importance of reading.
Since this is an engagement lesson, students should be
generating lots of questions and ideas about the topic,
but they will not have all the answers just yet.
Answer the closure
question in 4-5 sentences.