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The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read Activities and Lesson Plans for 2022

Teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read will love this post. It includes resource recommendations and information about the book.

With themes of perseverance, growth mindset, and inequality, this The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read picture book by Rita Lorraine Hubbard is a favorite in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It will become one of your favorites too!

Engage Your Students with The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read.
  2. Check out the teaching ideas for reading comprehension strategies, grammar topics and social emotional learning skills that can be taught using this children’s book.
  3. Download the book companion to make lesson planning simple with The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

THE OLDEST STUDENT: HOW MARY WALKER LEARNED TO READ SUMMARY

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read is a story embedded in growth mindset, historical references, and that of resiliency.

Mary Walker grew up in slavery in the 1860s, learning the rules of the south quickly as an African-American. She had no time to read: she worked, and worked, and worked. When the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, Mary and her family stayed in the south and worked with her mother. 

She then had children, and with three hungry mouths, there was still no time to learn to read.  They grew up, and Mary outlived her family at the incredible age of 114. It was then, sitting in her Retirement Home, that she decided to learn to read. She studied and studied, and was finally able to read the signs all over the city. The squiggles came to life. She then preached with her church about how you are never too old to learn something new.

THE OLDEST STUDENT: HOW MARY WALKER LEARNED TO READ LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Each of our 400+ Starts With a Story book companions come with a teacher’s guide to make lesson planning quick and easy, printable worksheets and digital resources that cover ALL of the standards-based reading comprehension skills.

When it comes to writing lesson plans and finding activities for The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read, we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you.

We found this book was especially good at teaching the topics listed below.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

The text-based The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • retell
  • analyze character
  • author’s purpose

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

We found this story to be a great SEL picture book to promote:

  • perseverance
  • growth mindset
  • inequality

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • conjunction
  • colon
  • comma

THE OLDEST STUDENT: HOW MARY WALKER LEARNED TO READ ACTIVITIES

You’ll receive all of the following resources aligned to the story:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies
The Oldest Student book companion
elementary teacher reading aloud a picture book to his students

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The Oldest Student book cover and sequencing worksheet

BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read?

  • Lexile® Measure: 750
  • Guided Reading Level: R
  • DRA Level: 40
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 4.5

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written by Rita Lorraine Hubbard. It was illustrated by Oge Mora.

What genre is The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read?

It is a realistic fiction and biography book. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 40 pages long.

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