Misty's Dream Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will follow Misty Copeland’s journey from aspiring young dancer to inspiring Black ballet star.


Social Studies Focus:

Black History Month


Social-emotional Focus:

following dreams


ELA Skills:

key details, writing, writing, vocabulary


Page 4 Skill:

read a chart



leotards, potential, en pointe, audience



RI.2.1, RI.2.4, RI.2.10, L.2.1, SL.2.3


Guided Reading Level:



Lexile Level: 530L



Provide students with some background on goal-setting and following one’s dreams.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

  • Watch our video “Follow Your Dreams.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following questions:
    • What are some ways to follow your dreams? (Answers include: Believe in yourself; be brave; stick with it.)
    • Why are all dreams important? (Answers will vary.)
    • What will you need to practice to achieve your dream? (Answers will vary.)

Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

  • Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are leotards, potential, en pointe, and audience.

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. Do students think Misty worked hard to become such a good ballerina?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on the cover: “Think about what Misty did to follow her dream.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Checkpoint (15 min.)

  • Pass out the Reading Checkpoint to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.
  • Use the online game show to gauge comprehension and reinforce the issue’s content. Students can play by themselves or in teams. For each question they answer correctly, they win a point.

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important movement and ELA skills. Here’s how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words leotards, potential, en pointe, and audience.

Editor’s Pick: Write Your Dream (15 min.)

  • The Dare to Dream skill sheet not only lets children write about their dreams for the future but also make a plan for how to reach them. And of course, students get to draw a picture of what they will look like when their dream comes true.

Movement Focus: Dance It Out! (25 min.)

  • The Your Move! skill sheet is clever, fun, and good exercise! Children are encouraged to make up moves centered around different areas of their body—a high move, a medium move, and a low move. They then draw what each move looks like and give it a name.

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson:

  • The Girl With Olympic Dreams, May/June 2020. This issue introduces kids to Sky Brown, a young girl who dreams of one day skateboarding in the Olympics!
  • You Can Do It!, September 2018. This issue gives kids tips on how to follow their own dreams.

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher-Lexile level: 550L
  • Lower-Lexile level: 480L