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ELA G3:M1:U2

Building the Power of Reading

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The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.


In this second unit, students will explore their own “powers of reading” that help them access text. In the first half of the unit, students will explore fictional accounts of people who worked hard to build their reading powers. Students will then refer to the characters in these books as role models of sorts, as they begin to assess their own reading abilities. They will use information about their individual strengths and needs as readers to set goals for the development of their reading powers, and will write a text-based informational paragraph about their goals.

In the second half of the unit, students will focus on one specific “reading power”: fluency. They will learn about the importance of fluency, set fluency goals, practice fluency, and demonstrate their fluent reading in the end of unit assessment. 


Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 5-20 lessons. The “unit at a glance” chart in the curriculum map breaks down each unit into its lessons, to show how the curriculum is organized in terms of standards address, supporting targets, ongoing assessment, and protocols. It also indicates which lessons include the mid-unit and end-of-unit assessments.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How do people around the world access reading and books?
  • How does reading give us power? 
  • Powerful readers have and continue to develop a variety of skills.
  • Readers can learn about different cultures (people and places) through a variety of texts.

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards and to be taught during the literacy block of the school day. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies and Science content that many teachers may be teaching during other parts of the day. 



Texts to buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please refer to Trade Book List for procurement guidance.

Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
That Book Woman
by Heather Henson
Teacher copy only
ISBN: 978-1416908128, 1416908129
Nasreen’s Secret School
by Jeanette Winter
One per student
ISBN: 978-1416994374, 1416994378
Waiting for the Biblioburro
by Monica Brown
Teacher copy only
ISBN: 978-1582463537, 1582463530
The Boy Who Loved Words
by Roni Schotter
Teacher copy only
ISBN: 978-0375836015, 0375836012
The Incredible Book Eating Boy
by Oliver Jeffers,
Teacher copy only
ISBN: 978-0399247491, 0399247491
Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco
Teacher copy only
ISBN: 978-0399237324, 0399237321
The Librarian of Basra
by Jeanette Winter
One per student
ISBN: 978-0152054458, 0152054456
Rain School
by James Rumford
One per student
ISBN: 978-0547243078, 0547243073
My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children around the World
by Margriet Ruurs
Teacher copy only
ISBN: 978-1590780930, 1590780930


Optional Activities

Tour the local library; do a neighborhood walk or scavenger hunt for text (e.g., signs, billboards, print in stores, etc.)

Invite school or community librarian to discuss how librarians help people build their reading power

Read The Storyteller’s Candle to students, and help them understand how the story’s main character used her reading power for good by reading aloud to others. Invite students to choose a text they would like to record in order to share a love of reading with the school’s younger readers as a way to entertain them (or any other audience that might benefit from access to texts read aloud).

Library/Media Specialist
Tour of the library; discussion of how librarians help people build their reading power

Technology/Media Specialist
Explore different ways to access text using computers (e.g., Web sites, blogs, email, etc.) and informational text features in Web site

Research countries mentioned in reading; locate them on a map, and study their physical geography and how that geography impacts how books are transported to readers in that country

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