Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time One 30-minute session daily
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



A daily DEAR program (Drop Everything and Read) provides students with much more than a just-sit-there-and-read experience. It gives the teacher a structured time to touch base with each student over a period of time, assess progress, and target instruction. Even more important, it gives students time to read what they want to read, share what they've read, and receive the support they need for further reading explorations and reflections. Daily reading sessions last between twenty and thirty minutes and are followed by fifteen minutes in which students can write in their reading response logs. When a student completes a book, he or she conferences with the teacher to discuss the book and share his or her reading log. PAL book talk sessions with adult volunteers follow. Volunteers spent less than ten minutes discussing the book with the student and follow up with a brief note of encouragement.

back to top



Questions to Use in Book Chats: This printable sheet provides a set of questions that can be used during student-teacher or student-volunteer conferences, after independent reading sessions.

back to top



Deb Foertsch, who's reading program inspired this lesson, says her ideas are based on these beliefs about literacy instruction and learning: Students learn best

  • in a community of learners;

  • in a safe environment;

  • when reading, writing, speaking, and listening occur across the curriculum;

  • when literacy instruction blends demonstration and explanation, guided and independent practice, teacher and student support, individual pursuits, student choices, and teacher direction; and

  • when learning is student-centered, with hands, minds, and hearts engaged.

This lesson draws on all these beliefs as part of a daily reading program where students select their own readings and share their reactions to the texts with others in the learning community.

Further Reading

Fleisher, Cathy, Kathleen Hayes-Parvin, and Julie A. King. "Becoming Proactive: The Quiet Revolution"  Voices from the Middle 6.3 (March 1999): 3-10.


This lesson is based on Deb Foertsch's Large-Group Instruction, as described in Sierra-Perry, Martha. 1996. Standards in Practice: Grades 3-5. Urbana: NCTE. pp. 2-25.

Read more about this resource

back to top