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Lesson Plan

Critical Reading: Two Stories, Two Authors, Same Plot?

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Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute class sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Villanova d'Asti, Asti


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Many students often lack critical thinking skills to be able to analyze what they read. This lesson encourages students to read and respond critically to two different pieces of literature with the same title. Students make predictions about the stories and analyze the story elements (i.e., characters, plot, conflict, and resolution). They then compare and contrast the different stories, distinguish between fact and opinion, and draw conclusions supported by evidence from their readings.

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  • Compare & Contrast Map: Students will choose one story element and use this interactive tool to compare the element in the two stories.

  • Literary Elements Map: Students will use this interactive tool to reconstruct the story that they read.

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Schallert D.L, & Reed J.H. (1997). The pull of the text and the process of involvement in reading. In J. Guthrie & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Reading engagement: Motivating readers through integrated instruction (pp. 6885). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • In this chapter, the authors discuss the importance of involving students in the development of stories in such a way as to attract their attention and emotions. It is clearly beneficial to devise tasks, environments, and strategies that will foster involvement in all kinds of reading tasks.

  • Students who are reading a required assignment are likely to be drawn into their reading by features of the text such as characters with which they can identify, words that arouse vivid imagery, and texts that say the unexpected.

  • Talking with peers to negotiate an understanding of what was read is highly motivating. Not only are students likely to become involved in the active interaction often associated with peer-lead discussion groups, they may be more interested in what they are reading as they anticipate what will happen when they meet in groups to discuss what they have read.


Welker, W.A. (1999) The CRITICS Procedure. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 43(2), 188189.

Welker states that, "students often lack the critical thinking skills necessary to pass judgment on what they read." Critical Reading Instruction that Improves Comprehension Skills (CRITICS) helps students to develop into thinkers, not just readers.

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