Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Tea Party

K20 Center, Gage Jeter | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


Cover Image

Tea Party

Students are exposed to excerpts of a text and move around the room to collaborate to make connections and inferences about what they will soon read.

Tea Party


This strategy gets students to consider parts of a text before reading it, reminding readers that comprehension begins before they read a text and that is not simply a set of comprehension questions that one completes after the reading is done. Utilizing this strategy, the meaning-making occurs even before students start reading the text. 


  1. Choose a text (fiction or nonfiction) that students will read.

  2. Before students read, take actual phrases from the text and write each phrase on an index card.

  3. Hand an index card to each student. Several students can have the same phrase.

  4. When students receive their cards, they walk around the classroom, share their cards, listen to others, and discuss how the cards might be connected, making inferences as to what the text might be about.

  5. Students meet in small groups to discuss what they've learned from the cards and what predictions they have for the text.

Beers, K. (2003). When kids can't read, what teachers can do. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.