Read Write Think Aloud Lesson Plan
Standards: VA SOL’s:
Oral Language 3.1: The student will use effective communication skills in group activities.
Reading 3.4: The student will use strategies to read a variety of fiction and nonfiction materials.
Writing 3.9: The student will write descriptive paragraphs.
Writing 3.10: The student will write stories, letters, simple explanations, and short reports across all
Writing 3.11: The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.
IRA/NCTE Standards: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12
Intended Audience: This lesson plan is intended for a group of approximately 15 students in a grade 3
classroom. Students in this classroom are generally reading at grade level although there is range of
ability for writing. Students should listen to and participate in a read-aloud, write legibly, have moderate
control over grammar and spelling, and understand the parts of a story (beginning, middle, and end).
Background/Overview: Students will listen to and participate in a read-aloud of “Flat Stanley” by Jeff
Brown and Scott Nash. Students will observe the process of thinking about and writing a story, including
key questions and brainstorming, as it is modeled on the board. Students will imagine that they are flat
like Stanley to complete a story web and then write a story about the adventure they would have. Key
questions for the story web include: How would you become flat? Where would you go? How would you
get there? Where would you stay? What would you do? What would you wear? How would you feel?
Would you stay flat? Following the read-aloud and modeling, students will write an original “Flat
Stanley” story that has a clear beginning, middle, and end and incorporates these key questions. Students’
should reflect the author’s style but incorporate original ideas for what they could do if they were flat.
Behavioral Objectives: Following a read-aloud of “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown and Scott Nash, students
will answer key questions in a story web and then write their own version of “Flat Stanley” detailing what
they would do if they were flat. Student stories should be structured with a clear beginning, middle, and
end and include original ideas that are an extension of the story.
Resources/Materials, Time, Space: One copy of “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown and Scott Nash; a large
enough space to seat about 15 students for a read-aloud; Time: Read Aloud 10-15 mins., Modeling 10-15
mins, Writing 10-15 mins. There will be an extra 15 mins. at the end of the lesson to allow students extra
time to finish writing if needed.
The Lesson Proper
Introduction: Based on the picture on the cover of the text and the title, students will be asked to predict
what this story is about. Students will be asked to predict how Stanley could have become flat. After
reading the first two pages of the story, ask students what was Stanley’s problem and if they would like to
be flat like Stanly.
Introduce the title of the text and author. Ask students to make predictions based on the picture
on the cover of the book and the title. What do you think this story is about? How do you think
Stanley became flat?
Page 2: Stanley goes to the doctor. Ask students did the doctor know how to help Stanley?
Page 3: Stanley slides under doors and then goes to California. Ask students if being flat is useful
for Stanley? What other spaces could Stanley fit into? Why doesn’t Stanley take a plane to
Page 4-5: Arthur flies Stanley as a kite but he gets stuck in a tree. Ask students why Stanley
would not talk to Arthur? Do you think it would be dangerous to be flat?
Page 6: Stanley and his dad talk to Mr. Dart about the museum thieves. Ask students what do you
think Stanley’s plan is to stop the museum thieves?
Page 7: Stanley puts on a disguise to hide in the museum. Ask students what do you think
Stanley is going to do? Why did he agree to put on the disguise? What was wrong with the
disguise Stanley brought?
Page 9: Stanley catches the museum thieves. Ask students why did the Chief of Police give
Stanley a medal?
Page 10: Stanley is famous but then teased by people. Ask students did Stanley’s feelings about
being flat change in the story? How did he feel before and how does he feel now?
Page 11: Stanley is sad and Arthur helps him. What do you think is Arthur’s idea to help
Stanley? Do you think it will work?
Tell students that next we are going to think of our own short “Flat Stanley” story on the board. Tell
students that one way to plan to write is to create a story web that asks important questions about details
you might want to include in the story. Key questions for the story web include: How would you become
flat? Where would you go? How would you get there? Where would you stay? What would you do? What
would you wear? How would you feel? Would you stay flat? Choose an adventure you might have if you
were flat and model an example of the thinking and writing process involved in outlining a story with a
story web. When demonstrating the thinking processes and mechanics involved in composition, model for
students how these questions come together to make sense and create a theme that is developed
throughout the story. Tell students that they may incorporate a few of the ideas from the text in their
story but to also think of their own original ideas.
Differentiation: To meet individual student’s needs, the independent writing will be modified. Some
students may be more interested in planning and writing a story about what they would do if they were
flat but other students may want to write a story about someone else that is flat or another adventure
Stanley might have if he had. For students that would rather write about Flat Stanley, I would ask them to
think about and write what would happen next in the story after Stanley becomes famous for catching the
thieves at the museum. Providing students the opportunity to choose the subject of their story allows the
writing extension to meet each student’s individual interest and perspective.
Accommodations/Modifications: This lesson can be modified to accommodate special needs students.
A special needs student may require extra support during the independent writing and need extra time to
complete his or her story. Struggling and special needs students could be guided with the help of a peer or
the teacher when writing the story web and their “Flat Stanley” story.
Closure: To conclude the read aloud, think aloud portion of this lesson, the class will review what
happened in the story. Students will be asked “What were some things that Stanley could do as a flat
person that he couldn’t do before? Is there anything he wouldn’t be able to do if he is flat? What problems
did Stanley have and did he solve them? How? Why did Stanley’s feelings toward being flat change in the
story? Why did Arthur put books on himself? What happened at the end of the story? Tell students to
imagine that they are flat like Stanley. Students will be instructed to plan their own “Flat Stanley” story
using a story web like we did on the board. Using their story web, they will write their own original story
about their adventures. After the class completes their story, volunteers will be asked to share their “Flat
Formative: Informal observation of student responses during the read-aloud and modeling.
Summative: To demonstrate learning, students will submit their story web and original “Flat Stanley”
Students were interested in the topic of this lesson and were very engaged during the read, write,
think aloud. Only two students out of fifteen in the class had read “Flat Stanley” before. In the beginning
of the read aloud, a few students became distracted from the story because they felt a person could not
really be flat like Stanley. I told them to use their imagination and try to think about what would happen
if it could be true and how would Stanley’s perspective change. During the read-aloud, students knew
that Stanley was mad at Arthur because he got stuck in a tree when he was flown as a kite. A few
students thought that being flat could also be dangerous. I asked them what else could happen to Stanley
if he were flat? One student said that he could get stuck under a door or between furniture if he were
trying to squeeze through a narrow space. I asked the class if they thought there was anything Stanley
couldn’t do now that he is flat. Student responses included: sit down, run, bend his arms and legs, and
wear normal clothes. When Stanley talks to Mr. Dart outside the museum, the students knew that Stanley
would help Mr. Dart with his problem with the museum thieves but they were not sure how. They did not
know how being flat could help catch thieves. Next Stanley is forced to put on Mr. Dart’s disguise
instead of his own. I asked the class, what do you think Stanley is going to do? Student thought at this
point that Stanley would change his mind and not help the museum. When Stanley puts on the disguise
several students decided that he thought it was important to help if he could. After Stanley became
famous, students predicted that Stanley would stay flat because he was hero. When Stanley begins to be
teased by people the class overall still felt that he should stay flat even though he was sad and wanted to
be normal again. After the students saw that Arthur had an old bicycle pump in his toy box, students
predicted that Stanley could be pumped full of air and return to normal.
Next I told students that we are going to think of our own short “Flat Stanley” story on the board
and then they would have the opportunity to write their own version of the story, either as “Flat Stanley”
or as themselves if they were flat. I told them that they are to imagine that they are flat like Stanley and to
think of a new adventure they might have being flat. I encouraged them to think about how Stanley’s
perspective in the story changed and how it influenced what he could and could not do. I told students
that one way to plan to write is to create a story web that asks important questions about details you might
want to include in the story. I wrote a circle on the board and in the middle I wrote “Hello, My Name Is
Flat Ms. Dennison” I next told students key questions for the story web: How would you become flat?
Where would you go? How would you get there? Where would you stay? What would you do? What
would you wear? How would you feel? Would you stay flat? I told the class that this is one way to
organize the details we can include and that the answers to these questions should come together to form a
story. I wrote the answers I had prepared for the story web questions on the dry erase board (see
attached). I also wrote the first few sentences of a “Flat Stanley” story on the board (Hey! Come and
look! Jaime called from the living room. Her sister, Ms.Dennison, was flat! A book had fallen down off
the shelf. Ms. Dennison decided to climb in to a box and be mailed to Maine to visit her dad.” As I was
writing the beginning of this “Flat Stanley” story, students in the class were calling out things I could do
if I were flat. Students were eager to think of answers to the questions on the story web and this was the
only part of the lesson where classroom management became difficult.
Next I asked students to return to their seats and begin working on their own story web. I walked
around the room to assist individual students with their ideas. I told the class that they could incorporate
some ideas from the story into their own stories but I encouraged them to think of their own original ideas
and adventure for Stanley or for themselves as a flat person. Most of the class wanted to write about
themselves as a flat person and some wrote about a friend of family member. Students frequently asked
each other about their ideas and several ideas were common in all of their stories. Many of the boys in
the class decided to have Stanley go to Las Vegas. The girls frequently wanted to go to the beach and act
as a surfboard. Some students wrote that as a flat person they could help someone or something and
become a hero, just as Stanley did for the museum in the story. Most students wrote that Stanley should
be mailed in an envelope or a box but one student said that Stanley could lie on the top of a bus to see the
sky and travel around. Students wrote that they could become flat by being stepped on, being crushed by
their brother, having a book, car, bus or stuffed animal fall on them, and having an elephant stop on them
at the zoo. Some of the ideas students came up with in their stories for things they could do if they were
flat were: slide under doors, be a surf board, slide up a pipe, and fly or float through the air.
Overall, this lesson was effective and went as planned. The extra twenty minutes the teacher
allowed for finishing their stories was necessary for many students to finish. The read-aloud and topic
motivated students to think about the story, use their imagination, and write their own adventure. The
teacher said that one student in the class who dislikes and has difficulty writing did a great job on this
assignment and she was able to check this off in his folder for his parents to see. From this I learned the
importance of selecting a quality book that is of interest to students, allows you to model the
comprehension strategies necessary to understand the story, and lends itself to writing an extension of the
story. There are several ways that I would modify this lesson to make it more effective. I would make
sure to tell the class in the beginning of the discussion about the story that a story has a beginning,
middle, and an end. Several students began their stories with becoming flat, described one thing they
would do if they were flat and then ended the story abruptly. These students revised their stories to add
more details in the middle of the story but it would be beneficial to emphasize to students how a story
should progress from start to end. A few students didn’t incorporate ideas into the story that reflected
Stanley’s change in perspective. I would also remind students that they should try to think of some of the
special things that Stanley could do because he was flat and not just everyday things that he could do even
if he weren’t flat.