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A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!

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A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!



Lesson Plan Type

Recurring Lesson

Estimated Time

One 30-minute session daily

Lesson Author
Traci Gardner
Traci Gardner
Blacksburg, Virginia
National Council of Teachers of English


Standards Resources & Preparation Instructional Plan

Comments (1)


Featured Resources
From Theory to Practice

A daily DEAR program (Drop Everything and Read) provides students with much
more than a just-sit-there-and-read experience. It gives the teacher a structured
time to touch base with each student over a period of time, assess progress, and
target instruction. Even more important, it gives students time to read what they
want to read, share what they've read, and receive the support they need for
further reading explorations and reflections. Daily reading sessions last between
twenty and thirty minutes and are followed by fifteen minutes in which students can
write in their reading response logs. When a student completes a book, he or she

conferences with the teacher to discuss the book and share his or her reading log.
PAL book talk sessions with adult volunteers follow. Volunteers spent less than ten
minutes discussing the book with the student and follow up with a brief note of
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Questions to Use in Book Chats: This printable sheet provides a set of questions that
can be used during student-teacher or student-volunteer conferences, after
independent reading sessions.
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Deb Foertsch, who's reading program inspired this lesson, says her ideas are based
on these beliefs about literacy instruction and learning: Students learn best
in a community of learners;

in a safe environment;

when reading, writing, speaking, and listening occur across the curriculum;

when literacy instruction blends demonstration and explanation, guided and

independent practice, teacher and student support, individual pursuits, student
choices, and teacher direction; and

when learning is student-centered, with hands, minds, and hearts engaged.

This lesson draws on all these beliefs as part of a daily reading program where
students select their own readings and share their reactions to the texts with others
in the learning community.
Further Reading

Fleisher, Cathy, Kathleen Hayes-Parvin, and Julie A. King. "Becoming Proactive: The
Quiet Revolution" Voices from the Middle 6.3 (March 1999): 3-10.

This lesson is based on Deb Foertsch's Large-Group Instruction, as described in

Sierra-Perry, Martha. 1996. Standards in Practice: Grades 3-5. Urbana: NCTE. pp. 225.
Read more about this resource
D.E.A.R. Friends,

Welcome to the official Drop Everything and Read websitewhere dropping things
(chores, errands, paperwork, staplers . . . okay, maybe not that last one) and
reading books is highly encouraged!

Our assertion around here is that reading, whether youre on your own or cozied up
on the couch with your kids, is so much more fun and rewarding than just about
anything else (especially, chores!). So, were telling folks of all ages to drop what
theyre doing and pick up a book, instead.

And, whats more, weve packed the pages of this website with reading lists, activity
ideas, digital assets, and other resources to get you started and keep you busy. Join
us and help spread the love of reading in your home, school, and community all
month long in April and beyond!

HarperCollins Childrens Books

p.s. You may remember that Beverly Cleary wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona
Quimby, Age 8. Since then, Drop Everything and Read programs have been held
nationwide on April 12th in honor of Mrs. Clearys birthday. We figured, why not
drop the day and celebrate our beloved author, her timeless stories, and the joy
of reading for the full month. So, drop by this website all month long in April and
anytime you want to make reading a priority!
What is D.E.A.R.?

D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read, a national month-long celebration
of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in
their lives. Because, whats more fun(damental) than reading, really?

When is D.E.A.R. celebrated?

D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly
Clearys birthday, since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8
(pages 40-41). Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the
D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the
same experience to Ramona and her classmates. As D.E.A.R. has grown in
popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of
April . . . offering classrooms and communities additional time to celebrate!

Can D.E.A.R. be celebrated anytime?

Yes, of course! We encourage you to Drop Everything and Read every day
throughout the year. The goal of the program is to prompt people to make reading a
regular part of their routine . . . whether theyre reading solo or together with their
classmates, parents, or friends. So, go ahead and join the millions of families,
schools, bookstores, and communities who have participated throughout the years
and pledge to drop what youre doing in order to read a good book.

How can I participate?

As an organization, library, school, or bookstore, you can participate by hosting a
Drop Everything and Read event at your location (or elsewhere) during the month
of April. As an individual, you can participate by attending an event in your
community or by reading at home with your children, siblings, or friends.

What materials are available for D.E.A.R.?

Please visit the Resources and Favorite D.E.A.R. Books sections of this website
to find common core-aligned downloadables, digital assets, activity ideas, reading
lists, and more to help you plan, promote, and host your own Drop Everything and
Read celebration.

Where can I find Beverly Clearys books for my D.E.A.R. celebration?

Parents and children can find Beverly Clearys books in their local library or
wherever books are sold. Booksellers can call 1.800.C.Harper or fax their order to

Who is leading the D.E.A.R. celebration?

Well, as Beverly Cleary has said, I am honored that D.E.A.R. celebrations go on in
my name, so shes pretty much the inspiration behind the entire program. But,
many folks and organizations who work tirelessly to promote reading, literacy, and
learning have joined the movement. The list of participating sponsors includes:
National Education Association (NEA)
National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library
Reading Rockets
General Federation of Womens Clubs (GFWC)
Newspaper Association of America Foundation (NAA)
First Book
Read Kiddo Read
Walden Media
HarperCollins Childrens Books
Learn more about these organizations here.