The Power of Reading

Lesson 14


Unit 5

1st Grade

Lesson 14 of 26


Explain the lessons we can learn from Mary and why they are important.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard 

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Target Task

Discussion & Writing Prompt

What lessons can we learn from Mary? Why is the lesson important?

Sample Response

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Key Questions

  • What were the rules of the Alabama plantation Mary grew up on? How did they  make her feel? 

  • What was life like for Mary after she was freed? What does she vow to one day do?

  • Why did Mary not learn to read as an adult? How did this make her feel?

  • How is Mary feeling? Why?

  • What decision does Mary make? How does it make her feel?

  • How does learning to read change Mary’s life?




to promise to do something

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Common Core Standards

  • RL.1.2 — Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
  • RL.1.3 — Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
  • RL.1.5 — Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
  • RL.1.7 — Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Supporting Standards

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