Deep Inside a Copper Mine
Level P 

About the Book 

Text Type: Nonfiction/Descriptive
Page Count: 16
Word Count: 927 

Book Summary
Imagine standing outside in the hot Arizona sun and then suddenly descending into a deep, dark hole in the ground. This is what a tour of the Queen Mine is like. Readers will take a "tour" of the historic mine and learn interesting facts about copper and how it is removed from the earth.

About the Lesson

Targeted Reading Strategy

  • Visualize


  • Use the reading strategy of visualizing to understand text
  • Sequence story events
  • Identify and create proper nouns
  • Recognize and understand the use of multiple-meaning words


  • Book -- Deep Inside a Copper Mine (copy for each student)
  • Chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Sequence events, proper nouns, multiple-meaning words worksheets

    Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if books are reusable.)


  • Content words: battery pack, claustrophobic, copper, cubbyholes, dynamite, gear, hardhat, humongous, mine, ore, tour, tunnel

Before Reading 

Build Background

  • Display for students a piece of copper wire. Explain that this wire is made out of copper. Ask students what they know about this substance, where it comes from and how we get it. Guide students to understand that copper is a metal that comes from ore that is mined from the earth.

Preview the Book

Introduce the Book

  • Give students their copy of the book. Guide them to the front and back covers and read the title. Have students discuss what they see on the covers. Encourage them to offer ideas as to what type of book it is and what it might be about.
  • Show students the title page. Discuss the information on the page (title of book, author's name).

Introduce the Reading Strategy: Visualize

  • Explain to students that good readers often visualize, or create pictures in their mind, while reading. Visualizing is based on what a person already knows about a topic and the words the author uses.
  • Model how to visualize.
    Think-aloud: Whenever I read a book, I always pause after a few pages to create a picture in my mind of the information I've read. This helps me organize the important information and understand and enjoy the ideas in the book. For example, when I read the words deep and copper mine on the title page, I picture a dark tunnel. I picture rough walls with small trickles of water running down them.
  • Read pages 3 and 4 aloud to students. Ask them to share what they visualize as they listen to the pages read aloud. Write their descriptions on the board.
  • Point out to students that even though their mental pictures about the page may not be the same, they were each able to create a picture in their mind.
  • As students read, encourage them to use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.

Introduce the Comprehension Skill: Sequence events

  • Review or explain that knowing the order in which events happen in a text helps readers understand and retell a story to others. Explain that readers can look for signal words such as today, then, first, and after, or time clues such as dates, that can help them understand the order of the events.
  • Model using signal words to describe the sequence of an average day in your life.
    Think-aloud: I know that my mornings usually follow a pattern or sequence of events. First, I wake up and turn off my alarm clock. Next, I take a shower and get dressed. Then, I eat breakfast and brush my teeth. Last, I get in the car and drive to school.
  • Ask students to share their morning routine. After volunteers have shared, ask students to recall what signal words the speaker used to tell the sequence of his or her morning routine.
  • Tell students that the book Deep Inside a Copper Mine follows a sequence about a mine tour. Tell students they will be using a graphic organizer to help them recall the sequence of events in the text.

Introduce the Vocabulary

  • Introduce the content words listed in the vocabulary section of this lesson.
  • Review the correct pronunciation for the multisyllabic and compound words: battery pack, claustrophobic, copper, cubbyholes, dynamite, hardhat, humongous, and tunnel.
  • Turn to the glossary on page 16. Read the words and discuss their meanings aloud. Say: If I didn't know the meaning of the word claustrophobic, I could read the definition in the glossary, but I could also turn to the page where it's found and read the words and sentences around it. When I read the sentences right after the word claustrophobic on page 8, I can see that the word means scared of tight places, and people might feel that way in a narrow and stuffy tunnel.
  • For tips on teaching word-attack strategies, click here.

Set the Purpose

  • Have the students read to find out about the Queen Mine Tour, stopping after each section to mentally visualize their reading and write the sequence of events.

During Reading 

Student Reading

  • Guide the reading: Have students read to the end of page 6. Encourage those who finish early to go back and reread. Have students draw on a separate piece of paper what they visualized as they read.
  • Model visualizing.
    Think-aloud: When I read about how the child saw counters and shelves of gear, I visualized a long row of yellow rain jackets and hardhats lining the wall. I pictured mine workers passing out this gear to tourists and showing them how to correctly put it on.
  • Invite students to share the visualization they drew. Ask them to tell how their visualization helped them better enjoy the story.
  • Write the following events on the board: Put on the battery pack. Drive to the Queen Mine in Bisbee. Put on the rain jacket and hardhat. Have students use their book to identify the correct order of these events. Introduce and explain the sequence events worksheet. Have students write the events on the board on their worksheet in the correct order.
  • Check for understanding: Have students place their hands over the photographs on pages 7 and 8, and then read the text. Ask them to share how they visualized the man-cars and the man-car beginning its trip into the mine. Then have them remove their hands and compare their visualizations to the actual photographs.
  • Have students work with a partner to write the next events that happen on the mine tour. Have them write the events on their sequence events worksheet. Invite students to share what they wrote.
  • Have students read the remainder of the book. Remind them to stop after every few pages and visualize what they read. Invite them to draw more sketches as they read on their visualize worksheet.

    Have students make a question mark in their book beside any word they do not understand or cannot pronounce. Encourage them to use the strategies they have learned to read the words and figure out their meanings.

After Reading 

Reflect on the Reading Strategy

  • Ask students what words, if any, they marked in their book. Use this opportunity to model how they can read these words using decoding strategies and context clues.
  • Have students share what they visualized while reading. Ask how using the strategy of visualization helped them understand and enjoy what they read.
  • Think-aloud: When I read about the cage that the miners used to ride to the bottom of the mine, I paused to picture in my mind how that elevator with mesh wire sides would look crammed full of big men with all their equipment. I pictured how it looked to go deeper and deeper into the mine with the light from the sun slowly disappearing.

Reflect on the Comprehension Skill

  • Discussion: Review with students the sequence of events they wrote so far on their worksheet. Discuss how identifying the sequence of events helped them remember what happened in the story. Point out that being able to identify sequence in text will also help them write their own compositions in proper sequence.
  • Independent practice: Have students complete the sequence events worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.
  • Enduring understanding: In this book, you took a tour of a copper mine and learned what it would be like to be a miner. Based on your personality and habits, would this job be a good job for you and why?

Build Skills 

Grammar and Mechanics: Proper nouns

  • Review or explain that a noun is a person, place, or thing. Ask students to identify examples of nouns in the room. Write these nouns on the board.
  • Review or explain that a proper noun is the name of a specific person, place, or thing. A proper noun always begins with a capital letter. Model changing the common nouns on the board to proper nouns (common noun: girl; proper noun: Laura).
  • Have students turn to page 3 and locate examples of proper nouns (Queen Mine Tour, March, Mom, Sam, I, Bisbee, Arizona, Tennessee, Fahrenheit). Remind them not to confuse a proper noun with the capital letter used at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the proper nouns worksheet. If time allows, discuss their responses.

Word Work: Multiple-meaning words

  • Have students turn to page 3 and read the following sentence: The Queen Mine Tour parking lot sat virtually empty at 1:30 PM on a hot March day. Write the word mine on the board.
  • Ask students to explain the meaning of mine in this sentence. Then write the following sentence on the board: That jacket is mine. Ask students to explain the difference between the meanings of the word.
  • Explain to students that words that sound and are spelled the same but have different meanings are called multiple-meaning words.
  • Invite students to share other multiple-meaning words they know. Write the words on the board and discuss their meanings with students.
  • Independent practice: Introduce, explain, and have students complete the multiple-meaning words worksheet. If time allows, discuss their answers.

Build Fluency 

Independent Reading

  • Allow students to read their book independently. Additionally, partners can take turns reading parts of the book to each other.

Home Connection

  • Give students their book to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends. Have them share their visualization sketches with someone at home.

Extend the Reading 

Descriptive Writing Connection
Ask students to write a descriptive essay about a tour, field trip, or vacation spot they have visited. Encourage them to use descriptive words and proper sequence of events so that readers can visualize where they visited.

Social Studies Connection
Have students work in pairs to research and create a travel brochure for a tourist attraction somewhere in their country. Tell students they should include in their brochure where the attraction is located, driving directions, what a visitor can expect to see, and how much it costs to visit. Invite student pairs to present their brochure.


Monitor students to determine if they can:

  • consistently demonstrate the reading strategy of visualizing during discussion
  • accurately identify the sequence of story events during discussion and on a worksheet
  • correctly locate proper nouns in text and on a worksheet
  • correctly understand and identify multiple-meaning words in text and on a worksheet

Comprehension Checks

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