Independent Reading: Final Product | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA 2012 G7:M4A:U3:L6

Independent Reading: Final Product

You are here:

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can use established criteria to make informed judgments about the quality of texts, and interpret texts artistically. (RL.7.11b)
  • I can read grade-level informational texts proficiently and independently. (RI.7.10)
  • I can select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research. (W.7.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can create a "cheat sheet" to assist other students in determining whether or not the book I have read independently would be a good match for them.
  • I can represent a key moment in my independently selected text through visual means.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Planner (from homework)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Entry Task: Unpacking Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Peer Feedback on Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Drafts (5 minutes)

B.  Final Copy of the Independent Reading Cheat Sheet 
(20 minutes)

C.  Gallery Walk (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Reread the model position paper "Facebook: Not for Kids." Circle each time the author uses a cautionary tone or star each "if/then" construction you find.

  • This lesson is the "capstone" for the independent reading students have completed throughout the module. Students step back and take an evaluative approach to the book they have completed by creating a "cheat sheet" to which future students can refer to see if the book is a good match for them.
  • The cheat sheet is firmly rooted in an evaluation of the text, and requires a strong understanding of the student's book in order to be completed accurately. However, it is also meant to serve as an engaging, multi-sensory "break" from the intense academic writing in which the students have been immersed.
  • Consider making a cheat sheet yourself--both to serve as a model and to create a "community of learners" in your classroom.
  • The artistic element of this lesson is specifically denoted in NYSP12 ELA CCLS RL.7.11. Encourage students to be creative when developing their cheat sheets. Clip art or other visual approaches should be encouraged, provided they can be completed in a timely and neat fashion; they need not be limited to the picture at the bottom.
  • Consider issues of equity when planning for the visual element of this assignment. Students who are not artistically inclined should be given other visual options for completing the assignment, and also given a choice when asked to share their work publicly (see below).
  • Consider involving the media specialist and/or librarian in planning this lesson, not only as a teacher resource, but also perhaps as a guest speaker for modeling book talks or sharing other books.
  • Cheat sheets are shared via a Gallery Walk at the end of this lesson, but students are not limited to sharing their work through this forum. Consider developing a bulletin board, a display, book talks, technological means of sharing, or a partnership project with your local library to share the students' work with the wider community. Another option might be to bind the cheat sheets into a reference book for use in your classroom or school library. Consider giving students more time to work on their final products.
  • If you need extra time to review the position paper first drafts from Lesson 5, have students work on their cheat sheets for two periods. They will need their first drafts in Lesson 7.
  • You may wish to use Work Time B to work with students who would benefit from one-on-one feedback on their position papers.
  • In advance:

-   Make sure students have easy and equal access to the drawing supplies.

-   Review: Fist to Five in Checking for Understanding Techniques (see Appendix).

  • Post: Learning targets.


cheat sheet, evaluative/evaluate


  • Entry task, Lesson 6 (one per student)
  • Independent Reading Cheat Sheet: Final Copy (one per student)
  • Drawing supplies such as markers, crayons, and colored pencils (one set per student)
  • Cheat Sheet Interest List (one per student)
  • Model position paper "Facebook: Not for Kids" (from Lesson 1)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Entry Task: Unpacking Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Give students the entry task as enter class. Give them 2 minutes to answer the question:

*   "When something is evaluative, what does that mean?"

  • Cold call two or three students for their answers. Listen for: "When we get an evaluation, it means someone is judging our actions or our performance, so something evaluative must be doing something similar."
  • Explain that evaluative is the adjectival form of evaluate, and that it means "to decide the worth of something after studying it." Ask for volunteers to identify other forms of the word with which they are familiar ("evaluator," "evaluation").
  • Connect the students' experience to the definition by explaining that they can consider their independent reading a "study" of the book they choose. Now they will evaluate their independent reading book to give other students a chance to determine if it would be a good match for them.
  • Collect students' entry tasks.
  • Direct students' attention to the first learning target and read it aloud. Ask students to turn to a partner and discuss:

*   How will this assignment help you meet this learning target?

  • Cold call two or three students for input. Listen for responses such as: "The cheat sheet is a way of judging my independent reading book, to determine what another student might need to know about it before deciding whether to read it or not."
  • Consider selecting students ahead of time to take on the role of responder to the cold call. Students who need practice in oral response or extended processing time can be told the prompt before class begins and prepare for their participation. This also allows for a public experience of academic success for students who may struggle with on-demand questioning, or for struggling students in general.


Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Peer Feedback on Independent Reading Cheat Sheet Drafts (5 minutes)

  • Have students pair up with a partner to exchange their cheat sheet drafts from their homework. Give students 5 minutes to look over each other's work with the following prompt:

*   "What strengths do you notice about this draft? What do you wonder about the draft?"

  • Students should note important points from their partner's feedback on their draft.
  • Consider arranging pairs ahead of time. Pairs can be arranged according to homogeneous reading level, at varying levels of proficiency, by similar book genre, or other criteria.

B. Final Copy of the Independent Reading Cheat Sheet (20 minutes)

  • Distribute the Independent Reading Cheat Sheet: Final Copy.
  • Invite students to complete a final copy of their cheat sheets, concentrating specifically on the presentation: neatness, colorfulness, and creativity. Let them know there is no "wrong" way to complete their cheat sheets, as long as the information is accurate. They may use the provided drawing supplies such as markers, crayons, and colored pencils.
  • Remind students that this work will be shared with one another, and possibly with others in the community.
  • Consider allowing students to take the assignment home for extra time to work on it.
  • Reassure insecure students about their artistic skills; this product is not being formally assessed, and that all that is required is their best effort. The cheat sheets are not intended to be formally assessed. However, they will yield important information about student reading comprehension, engagement, and whether or not students can accurately evaluate a text. It is strongly suggested that teachers take a close look at the cheat sheets and use their professional judgment to determine how well the students met the learning targets.

C. Gallery Walk (10 minutes)

  • Have students stand up and take a quick stretch. Congratulate them on their hard work.
  • Ask them to leave their final copy, whether completed or not, in plain view in their workspace.
  • Distribute the Cheat Sheet Interest List.
  • Give students time to walk around the room and investigate their peers' cheat sheet drafts.
  • Ask students to conduct this investigation with a purpose:

*   "Find three cheat sheets for books that you would be interested in reading yourself in the future. Note their titles and authors on your Cheat Sheet Interest List."

  • After the Gallery Walk, have students sit back down in their seats and briefly compare their Cheat Sheet Interest List with that of a partner and discuss their choices.
  • Collect the Independent Reading Cheat Sheet: Final Copy  (or let students finish for homework).

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Redirect students' attention to the posted learning targets and read them aloud. Have students use the Fist to Five protocol to answer this prompt:

*   "How well do you think your cheat sheet work achieves the learning targets we set today?"

  • Invite students to turn and talk with a partner about how they rated themselves.
  • Go over the homework. Be sure students have a copy of the model position paper.
  • Students who indicate that they did not meet the learning targets proficiently may benefit from an opportunity to revise their work before sharing it with a wider audience; similarly, if questions arise about a particular student's performance, the teacher may take this opportunity to use the cheat sheet as a basis for discussion about independent reading with the student.


  • Reread the model position paper "Facebook: Not for Kids." Circle each time the author uses a cautionary tone or star each "if/then" construction you find.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up