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Lesson Plan

Guided Comprehension: Evaluating Using the Meeting of the Minds Technique

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Three 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sarah Dennis-Shaw

Avon, Massachusetts


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



Who is to blame for the plight of the three little pigs—the wolf or the pigs themselves? Students ask themselves questions like this as they read multiple versions of a familiar fairy tale. In this lesson, students use the Meeting of the Minds technique, a comprehension strategy that teaches them to act out the opposing views of two or more characters in an oral debate or interview format. Students begin with teacher-directed, whole-group instruction for using this strategy. As students read various versions of The Three Little Pigs, they assume the role of the characters and respond to questions in character. Students then work in small groups to complete various activities, including using Meeting of the Minds, writing stories and dramas, and comparing two versions of a fairy tale. As a culminating activity, students reflect on how the reading strategy helps improve their comprehension.

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Meeting of the Minds Chart: This chart allows students to view a story from different characters' points of view.


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McLaughlin, M., & Allen, M.B. (2002). Guided Comprehension: A teaching model for grades 3–8. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • Guided Comprehension is a context in which students learn comprehension strategies in a variety of settings using multiple levels and types of text. It is a three-stage process focused on direct instruction, application, and reflection.

  • The Guided Comprehension Model progresses from explicit teaching to independent practice and transfer.

  • Evaluating is defined as making judgments. The meeting of the minds technique uses the evaluating strategy by means of a debate format between two characters that have differing viewpoints on a topic or situation.

  • Current studies demonstrate that when students experience explicit instruction of comprehension strategies, it improves their comprehension of new texts and topics (Hiebert et al., 1998).

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Hiebert, E.H., Pearson, P.D., Taylor, B.M., Richardson, V., & Paris, S.G. (1998). Every child a reader. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA).

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