Grade 3: Close Reading Literature: “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”


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You will need to sign in (free). Scroll down to Video Lessons by Text: Reading and Writing. Select Grade 3: Reading and Writing Video Lessons by Text. Scroll down under Literature until you find the title listed above.


Reading Literature

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

RL.3.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).


This Grade 3 lesson titled “Close Reading Literature – The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Jennifer Reynolds for LearnZillion is intended to be completed in 6 sessions of ELA/Literacy instruction. Lessons focus on: describing a character’s traits by looking for textual clues—especially the author’s words and phrases, using illustrations to help tell the story and determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases, examining characters’ actions and how these actions affect a story and determine the author’s message. There is a short, independent written practice at the end of each lesson. (You will find this practice in the Additional materials tab directly above the “begin video” in each lesson. It will be near the end of that document, titled “Your Turn”).


Connecticut teachers should be aware that the website, as well as the teacher notes and preparation materials, will require familiarity to be used effectively. Writing standards are not listed, but they could be added since students take notes and answer questions throughout the lesson set. Teachers may also want to consider providing more opportunities for students to ask and answer text-dependent questions in discussions and/or in writing. There is no aligned rubric to assess whether students are mastering standards-based content and skills.


This lesson set is a useful example of how to target a set of grade-level CCSS ELA/Literacy standards. It includes a clear and explicit purpose for instruction and is easy to understand and use. Materials include the full text, a read-aloud video, guided notes for each video, as well as PowerPoint slides. The lesson set is designed to be used in multiple ways in school and/or at home to provide appropriate supports for all students—those at grade level, as well as those who are ELL, have disabilities, or who read well below the grade level text band. The use of technology and media allows flexibility for teachers as they plan and deliver their instruction.

A set of video lessons aligned to this text titled “Writing Opinion Essays in Response to “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” has also be reviewed on this website and can be reached if you CLICK HERE.  This sequence of process-based writing leans heavily on insights from a close reading of the text, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” by Beatrix Potter.