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How to Plan for Literacy Engagement Charts: A Look Across 5 Days

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

A Shared Literacy Experience

Intentional planning to create a Literacy Engagement Chart can frontload future reading minilessons.

Having a Literacy Engagement Chart will provide an anchor on which to hang new learning when the time comes during a minilesson, small group instruction or an individual conference.

Conducting a shared close reading experience using a Literacy Engagement Chart consists of an initial reading and several rereadings over the course of a week that ends with one final text visit in which all the work from the week culminates into final thoughts and interpretations of the text.

Putting Together a Literacy Engagement Chart

✅ Choose a text that your readers will be interested in and enjoy.

✅ Read the text before sharing with your students. As you read, think about what strategies and skills your readers will need to truly understand and comprehend the text.

✅ Decide what strategies and skills your readers need. Be intentional in what you want your readers to experience with this text.

✅ Choose the sections to include on your chart. Be thoughtful about what skills and strategies you need to frontload with your readers. You may wish to check out this list of possible sections to include on your Literacy Engagement Chart right here…

✅ Plan what you will do in each section. Sketch out what you will want your readers to gain from this text. Think about what reading work from the chart you will be able to revisit in future minilessons after the chart is completed. You may want to use this planning cheat sheet found in the Literacy Treasure FREE Resource Library right here…

✅ Create your chart. You may wish to do this one section at a time or create and label all sections on the chart so that your readers will know what is coming.

Literacy Engagement Chart: A Look Across 5 Days

A Literacy Engagement Chart can be created for fiction and nonfiction texts. Every chart should have the same first section, Observations (Noticings).

A solid second section of a literacy engagement chart for either genre would be Wonderings (Questions). Having this section on your charts, especially in the beginning, would instill the strategy of questioning a text as you read. Questions are typically the first voice a reader hears inside their heads while they are reading. Having Wonderings as the second section would confirm for your readers not to ignore that inner voice they hear while they read.

Sections three & four should be selected based on specific classroom needs that are intentional and purposeful for your group of readers at that particular point in time.

The last section on a Literacy Engagement Chart for a fiction text would be about author’s message or the theme of the book.

The last section on a Nonfiction Literacy Engagement Chart would be about the authors structural choice for his/her text.

1st day


PURPOSE: Make observations to get familiar with the text and understand the gist

  1. Preview the book with the students.

  2. Browse the title, read the blurb, etc. The BCQ strategy could be used before reading. Read more about BCQ here -- Browse Connect Question: A Quick Prereading Strategy Minilesson To Actively Engage Your Readers. Readers will make observations (noticings) about what they “saw”, make possible connections and begin wondering about the text before reading.

  3. Read the text through one time. You may want to give students a focus question to think about as they listen.

  4. After the initial reading, have students think about the text and make observations (noticings) about what they noticed in the text. This would become the first section of the Literacy Engagement Chart: NOTICINGS.

2nd day


PURPOSE: Focus on asking and answering questions throughout a text to notice, understand and engage with that inner conversation. (OR, you may wish to frontload another specific skill or strategies that your readers need).

  1. Return to the first section of the chart to reread the noticings gathered from the first reading of the text.

  2. Explain that you will be rereading the text with the intention of answering some questions that you have been wondering since the first reading. You will want to have a couple of predetermined questions to present to your readers in the second section of the Literacy Engagement Chart: WONDERINGS.

  3. Ask students if they have any questions they have been thinking about since the first reading of the text. Chart any questions your readers may have.

  4. Reread the text aloud to the students. Have the questions charted so readers can listen for possible answers as you read aloud.

  5. Return to the questions on the chart and decide if any were answered by events or information in the text. Make sure to have students provide text evidence for their answers.

  6. Mark any answered questions with an “A” or a “ü”. At this time, have students add any new questions they may have to the chart.

  7. Spark a discussion about why some questions remain unanswered.

3rd day


PURPOSE: To frontload particular skills and strategies that your readers need.

  1. On this day, you will return to the chart and review the first two sections: NOTICINGS and WONDERINGS. Mark any wonderings for which students “found” answers with text evidence.

  2. Today’s rereading will be intentional and purposeful based on a skill or strategy with which your readers’ need shared experiences. This rereading may be a full text read or a revisit to a section (or sections) of the text.

  3. The look and design of this section of the chart can be created to meet your specific classroom and instructional needs.

  4. The possibilities are endless based on what the intention and purpose is for your students.

4th day


PURPOSE: To frontload particular skills and strategies that your readers need.

  1. On this day you may wish to return to the text for another purposeful rereading.

  2. Begin by reviewing the work created on the first 3 days.

  3. This day’s literacy engagement session focus is based on a skill or strategy with which your readers need shared experiences.

  4. Today’s text visit may be a full text reread or a revisit to one or more sections of the text.

5th day



PURPOSE: Using all the work in the previous readings to make interpretations and draw conclusions.

  1. On this day, you may return to the text with a full rereading or just revisit the chart that you have created along the way, as well as, review the conversations that were sparked to build, deepen and strengthen the understanding of the text throughout the week.

  2. Today, you will make interpretations and draw conclusions based on the week’s work. This will spark deep conversation about the text with justification and evidence to support the thinking.

A Look At Possible Sections

The possibilities are endless for different skills and strategies you could include on your Literacy Engagement Chart. Sections could include, but are not limited to:

  • Making Text Connections

  • Answering a Burning Question We Still Have About the Text

  • Tracking Character Development and Changes

  • Inferring Word Meaning

  • Inferring Character Feelings and Emotions

  • Inferring Plot

  • Story Elements

  • Tracking how the Setting of a story affects the plot and characters

  • And so many more.

Take a look at this Literacy Engagement Planning Cheat Sheet for more ideas for sections to include on your chart.

Literacy Engagement Charts make reading thinking visible and help build the bridge from active read aloud with accountable talk to successful strategy use during independent reading.

Literacy Engagement Charts frontload skills or strategies your readers need and provide shared experiences at using those skills or strategies before they are expected to use them within their independent reading.

Until next time...



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