Favorite Passages

Analyzing the Text
Ongoing Activity
Grades 6–12
Language Arts, History, Art
Individual, Group


Students will build a stronger understanding of the key scenes in the novel.


The basic premise of this activity is to create a “message board” where students can post and comment upon important, entertaining, interesting, etc., passages from a reading. This activity lends itself well to working with novels as it is an ongoing creation in which all students can choose to participate.

Although this activity can be done in a digital environment such as a wiki page, good old fashioned butcher paper and markers may be more effective. An online version of this activity is difficult to incorporate directly into the classroom. However, if students are highly active online, digital may be the way to go.

Materials Needed/Preparation


  • Butcher Paper
  • Markers
  • Tape


  • Assign students the task of writing down at least one important, entertaining, interesting, etc. passage from the assigned reading. (Consider making this a recurring assignment.)
  • Find an ideal place in the classroom, and hang a large piece of butcher paper.

Estimated Time

3-5 minutes per session


Explain the rules of the message board

  • Any passage from the reading can be posted on the board. (Try to limit postings to the essential part of the passage, quotation, etc.).
  • Set a time period during which students are allowed to post.
  • Leave space for responses between each posting.
  • Set the rules for responses:
  • ~Respond to the passage, NOT to the person.
  • ~No negative responses (i.e. “stupid,” “dumb,” and so on).
  • Emotional responses can be acceptable—the teacher will have to be the final judge of this.

Allow time for students to post to the message board each day.

Alternate Procedures (may be more effective for classes not ready to choose passages on their own)

  • Choose passages from the novel.
  • ~See Of Mice and Men Discussion by Section and Short Writing Prompts for ideas.
  • Write one passage each on a sheet of butcher paper.
  • Create small groups.
  • Have groups rotate around the room, from passage to passage, reacting and commenting on the butcher paper (same recommended rules for response above).
  • ~Monitor the time, and be consistent.
  • ~Monitor student participation and comments—make sure no inappropriate comments or responses are being written.

Post Activity/Takeaways/Follow-up

Post Activity

  • Take the time to look at what students have posted that day.
  • Use postings for:
  • ~Discussion starters
  • ~Journal topics
  • ~Quiz questions
  • ~Refer back to these postings later during the unit as appropriate.


  • Overall, students should come away with a greater understanding/appreciation for the reading covered.


  • Refer back to these postings later during the unit as appropriate.


The main purpose of this activity to generate interest and participation in the readings. Consider giving participation points to students who contribute to the message board.

Common Core State Standards Met

  • Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • ~Key Ideas and Details: 1, 2, 3
  • ~Craft and Structure: 4, 5, 6
  • Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-12
  • ~Key Ideas and Details: 1, 2, 3
  • ~Craft and Structure: 4, 5, 6
  • Writing Standards 6-12
  • ~Text Types and Purposes: 1, 2
  • ~Research to Build and Present Knowledge: 9
  • Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
  • ~Comprehension and Collaboration: 1
  • Language Standards 6-12
  • ~Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: 5
  • Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12
  • ~Craft and Structure: 4, 6

Related Lesson Plans for this Work