Response to Literature: Introduction Part II

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12326

When you read a book, you react to the story, maybe by identifying with the hero or getting lost in the author's world. You can analyze and share your reactions by writing an essay using these steps!


Comprehension, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Have you ever read a book that just grabs you by the socks and you want to tell everyone what a great book it is? As you go through school, you will have to write book reports, and maybe you will want to review a book on Amazon or some social media site! Writing about a book is just like writing a book: you need to make sense. Learn how to write a response to your favorite book!

When you read, your thoughts, feelings, and ideas interact with those of the author.

You may wonder what may happen next or why a character acts a certain way. The piece might relate to your own life in some way. It may trigger a memory from the past, or make you think about the future. This is called responding to literature.

If you missed or need to review the first introduction Related Lesson in the Response to Literature series, find it in the right-hand sidebar.

As you reflect on your response to the piece you read, you can share your feelings and opinion by writing a response to literature essay. You will include the name of the book and who wrote it, give a quick summary of the book, and your opinion about one or more aspects of the book, such as the characters' traits, the setting, plot, theme, and moral of the story. Then, you will share how the book impacted you on a personal level.

The five-paragraph essay will be broken down as follows:

  1. The introduction includes the title of the book and the author’s name, a brief summary of the book, and your opinion on one aspect of the book.
  2. The body includes three paragraphs: the first paragraph includes the main events of the story; the second paragraph tells the character’s strongest trait and supports it with an example or two; and the third paragraph includes any other information from the book you want to share.
  3. The conclusion is where you explain why you like the book and how you relate to the main character or the theme of the story. You will also restate your opinion of the story.

You write a response to literature to reflect on something you have read and to show a deeper knowledge of the text. You also can show a personal connection you have to the piece of literature.

Remember when you write your essay to:

  1. pick a book that you have an understanding of and an opinion about.
  2. write down narrative elements (character, setting, plot).
  3. ask yourself questions about the story: What did I like? How do I relate to the main character?
  4. use a graphic organizer, such as a timeline, to gather your thoughts and ideas.
  5. write your rough draft.

Before you continue to the Got It? section, review the basic parts of a story by completing this interactive. Answer the questions below, then click on each question to reveal the answer:

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Review the parts of a response to literature essay with your teacher or parent, then continue to the Got It? section to respond to a passage.

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