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Lesson Plan

Using Children's Literature to Develop Classroom Community

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Grades 3 – 6
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Elvira DiGesu

LaSalle, Ontario


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



These lessons use children's literature to provide students with an opportunity to explore the concept that all individuals have strengths, abilities, and talents. Through whole-class and small-group dialogue, students determine what each story means in the context of their classroom and themselves as individuals. Students also develop the necessary skills for cooperative learning.

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Douville, P., & Wood, K.D. (2001). Collaborative learning strategies in diverse classrooms. In V.J. Risko & K. Bromley (Eds.), Collaboration for diverse learners: Viewpoints and practices (pp. 123–151). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • The value of having students interact with one another has theoretical roots in the social constructivist perspective of Vygotsky (1978) who maintained that the way students talk and interact with one another helps them to internalize new information and shapes the way they think and learn.

  • By collaboratively discussing text with others, students are encouraged to develop an open attitude to listening that allows for multiple points of view.

  • Collaborative activities provide students with a language-rich environment in which they teach one another and learn from one another within a social context that shapes engagement.



Vygostsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Sauberman, Eds. and Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1934)

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