Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

In this lesson plan, students discuss and analyze Judy Blume's book ''Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.'' Students complete activities related to plot structure and characterization and present a story tableau to represent key parts of the plot.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • identify plot structure of a fiction book
  • make text connections between the assigned book and other books and films
  • develop a story tableau to portray an important scene from the book


60 - 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.


By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Materials Needed

  • Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (1 book per student)
  • White board or chalk board
  • Story plot map chart


  • This lesson involves the entire text, so students should have completed their reading of the book prior to beginning this lesson.
  • Begin the lesson by asking students:
    • What did you enjoy about the book?
    • What other books did it remind you of?
    • What movies did it remind you of?
  • Ask the students to name the main characters in the story, and list these on the board.
  • Ask students to give one or two describing words for each character and have them support these with examples of the character's actions from the story.
  • Discuss the book in general, including questions such as:
    • Why was Margaret so unhappy during this year?
    • Who are Margaret's new friends at her new school?
    • Why did the girls form a secret club?
    • Why is Margaret's life difficult because she does not have a particular religion?
    • How did Margaret change from the beginning of the book to the end?
    • Why do you think that Judy Blume selected the title for the book?
    • What are some other possible titles for the book?
  • Draw or display a story plot map, similar to the one included with this lesson.
  • Review the parts of the story structure with the students: exposition, initiating event, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution.

Story Plot Map

Activity 1

  • Divide the students into groups of three.
  • Ask the students to complete the story plot map for the book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
  • When the groups are finished, compare the plot maps:
    • Did everyone list the same initiating event? If not, discuss the students' ideas until reaching consensus about the correct initiating event for the book.
    • Did everyone identify the same climax? If not, discuss the students' ideas until reaching consensus on the correct climax for the book.
    • Did everyone identify the same resolution? If not, discuss the students' ideas until reaching consensus about the correct resolution for the book.

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