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Decoding My Textbook

Main Core Tie

Science - Earth Science
Standard 3 Objective 2

Time Frame

1 class periods of 70 minutes each

Group Size



Utah LessonPlans


Students will rewrite a section of text from their textbooks into words they understand. They will create a picture to illustrate the text and combine their work into a new "book".


  • computers(optional)
  • pencil
  • paper
  • colored pencils
  • dictionary

Background for Teachers

NOTE: This lesson could be used for ANY grade and ANY standard.

Time Needed: 50-90 minutes if students are assigned a couple of average length paragraphs. More time is needed if more text that is assigned.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Decide if you wish for students to work alone or in pairs. Assign partners or allow students to choose if pairs are desired.
  2. Assign each student or pair a section of the reading. Make sure the reading addresses an important part of the core curriculum. It would be unwise to spend this much time on less critical material.
  3. Explain to the students that they will take each sentence, word by word and rewrite it in their own words. They should look up words they do not know and shorten sentences and thoughts into understandable concepts.
  4. Model a paragraph for the students on the overhead or projector.
  5. Describe how large the picture should be and how the text should be written, whether on the computer or printed neatly on a page. If students are writing by hand, they should do a rough draft first.
  6. Compile the student work into a new "text" and share it by publishing it or showing it on an overhead or projector. Students can narrate their own text and explain to the other students the concepts they thought were most important.

Assessment Plan

Scoring Guide:

1. Students rewrite the text into student language…………………….4
2. Students shorten sentences and clarify meaning………….……… 4
3. Picture aids understanding of the text……………………………….4


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Created: 11/06/2014
Updated: 02/03/2018