The Important Thing about Reading Is ...

3, 4, 5

The purpose of this lesson is for students to develop awareness of why reading is important for everyone. Students will learn that some students do not have access to books in the same way they do and will decide how they can take action to ensure others have access to books.

PrintOne 60-minute class period

The learner will:

  • listen and respond to The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.
  • write about the importance of reading.
  • decide how they can take action to provide books for children who do not have books to read.
  • Read aloud copy of The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown (see Bibliographical References)
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Construction paper
  • Colored pencils, crayons, and/or markers
Home Connection 

Have students share their ideas about the importance of reading at home and ask their families about why reading is important. They may also discuss appropriate ideas for service projects with their families.


Brown, Margaret Wise, The Important Book, HarperColins Publishers, 1949. ISBN: 978-0064432276.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask students what it means for something to be important. Ask them what things are important to them and why.

  2. Read aloud The Important Book to students.

  3. After reading, ask the students what they learned about the topic of importance and what makes something important.

  4. Write on the board, “The most important thing about reading is…” Brainstorm attributes of books and reading. Create a list on the board of reading-related words and feelings. Have each student use the sentence starter on the board todraft his or her own sentence on paper.

  5. Have each student create a final copy of his or her sentence on construction paper with markers and decorate the page to match the sentence. As an extension, students may write additional attributes of reading, following the model of the book. They name the most important thing first and at least two other attributes of reading.

  6. After students have finished, allow them to share their sentences with the class.

  7. Ask the students whether they think reading is important for everyone. Allow students to share thoughts in a brainstorm fashion about why reading is important to our society (think of all the things we read in a day).

  8. Explain to students that not everyone has access to books and not everyone can read. Allow students to share how they feel about this.

  9. Ask students what they can do to help more people gain access to books. This should give you an opportunity to guide students to come up with the idea of holding a book drive.


Students' written statements can be collected and graded or students can be assessed based on their participation in the discussion.

Cross Curriculum 

This unit is designed to accompany a book drive.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of needs met by government, business, civil society, and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.13 Describe limited resources and scarcity.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify outcomes from the service.