Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Who Was Senator John Lewis?

Subject Area

English Language Arts




Students will read aloud the picture book, "Because of You, John Lewis," by Andrea Davis Pinkney. This is a biographical book and contains informational text on Senator John Lewis. Then students will discuss with a peer what facts they learned about the senator. Lastly, they will demonstrate their knowledge by sharing these facts with the class.

This learning activity was created as a result of the ALEX - Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) Resource Development Summit.

    English Language Arts (2021) Grade(s): 4


    Demonstrate comprehension of literary and informational text by utilizing its content when discussing or writing in response to the text.

    Unpacked Content



    • Comprehension
    • Literary text
    • Informational text
    • Discussing
    • Writing
    • Response


    Students know:
    • Comprehension of text can be demonstrated by referring to the text in discussions or written responses.
    • Informational text is nonfiction text, and literary text is fictional.


    Students are able to:
    • Demonstrate understanding of literary and informational text by referring to the text in discussions.
    • Demonstrate understanding of literary and informational text by referring to the text in written responses.


    Students understand that:
    • They can show that they understood literary and informational text by discussing or writing about specific content from the text.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will demonstrate comprehension by writing biographical facts obtained from "Because of You, John Lewis," by Andrea Davis Pinkney.

    Activity Details

    1. Building on prior knowledge, the teacher will ask students what type of book is defined as a biography.
    2. Then the teacher explains that students must listen and locate biographical information in the text
    3. Students will read the picture book biography, “Because of You, John Lewis," by Andrea Davis Pinkney. This will be done as a read-aloud with the teacher projecting the book and directing students to take turns reading
    4. The class will pair up for Think, Pair, Share. They will work together to write 2-3 facts about John Lewis on note cards. Then the note cards will be placed on the bulletin board for everyone to learn from.
    5. The paired students will share their notes with the class. 
    6. The teacher will then pose the question, how did the author find the information?
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Teacher can assess that students comprehended the text by collecting the note cards to verify that they utilized its content when writing in response to the text.


    Students may continue to write additional facts on note cards.


    Students who are struggling can receive help from their partner. They may also verbalize their example or use the book to point out examples.

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    31 to 45 Minutes

    Related Learning Activities

    Learning Activity (Before)

    Learning Activity (During)

    Learning Activity (After)

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Teacher Preparation: Teacher should familiarize themself with the book, "Because of You, John Lewis," by Andrea Davis Pinkney. (I use a digital copy of the text and project it so that everybody follows along together.)

    Students Preparation: Students will need to have an understanding of what types of books are classified as biographies and whether these books contain factual information.

    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    Copy of the book “Because of You, John Lewis,” by Andrea Pinkney


    Projector and teacher laptop to show navigation skills and lesson