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Talking About Books Prompts

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A prompt for students to use when orally discussing books.

Nurture a love of reading and expose your students to new books through book chats.

Encourage your students to use this checklist as a prompt when talking about books they’ve read. Use the prompts for either formal or informal chats about books. The teaching resource includes prompts for both fiction and non-fiction books. 

These prompts are perfect to use in conjunction with other resources related to fostering a love of reading such as the Reading Preferences Survey or our Book Wish List.

For more ideas on reading engagement, visit our blog.

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Common Core State Standards alignment

Grade 2 > English Language Arts Standards > Reading: Literature > Key Ideas and Details > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Grade 3 > English Language Arts Standards > Reading: Literature > Key Ideas and Details > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

Grade 3 > English Language Arts Standards > Reading: Literature > Craft and Structure > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.5
Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

Grade 4 > English Language Arts Standards > Reading: Literature > Key Ideas and Details > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Grade 4 > English Language Arts Standards > Reading: Literature > Key Ideas and Details > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Grade 5 > English Language Arts Standards > Reading: Literature > Key Ideas and Details > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

Grade 2 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

Grade 2 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1.C
Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.

Grade 3 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Grade 3 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1 > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

Grade 3 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.3
Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

Grade 3 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

Grade 4 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Grade 4 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1 > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

Grade 4 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1 > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.C
Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.

Grade 4 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.4
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Grade 5 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Grade 5 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1 > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1.A
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

Grade 5 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Comprehension and Collaboration > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1 > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1.C
Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.

Grade 5 > English Language Arts Standards > Speaking & Listening > Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas > CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.4
Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.


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