Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lesson Plan: Sequencing Events Using "Paul Bunyan: A Tall Tale"

The following lesson was adapted from Read Write Think. Changes were made to the original lesson, but many of the ideas come from the Read Write Think lesson.

Subject: Reading
Grade: 5th

Integration of Learning Outcomes:

· Students will be able to listen to the story of Paul Bunyan while focusing on the important events in the story.

· Students will be able to write complete sentences and draw illustrations describing events from the story.

· Students will be able to work with their classmates to discover the sequence of events by putting the illustrations in order on the class timeline.

· Students will be able to write journal entries about how finding the sequence in a story helps increase their understanding.


· CC.1.4.5.P: Organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally, using a variety of transitional words and phases to manage the sequence of events.

· R5.B.3.3.1: Identify, explain, and/or interpret text organization, including sequence, question/answer, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, or problem/solution.

· 1.6.5.A: Listen critically and respond to others in small and large group situations.

o Respond with grade level appropriate questions, ideas, information, or opinions.


· Read the picture book Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg to the class.

· Guide students to focus on the events that take place in the story and the order in which they occur. Students will take notes during reading listing as many events from the story as possible,

· Split the class into thirds. Have 1/3 write one event from the beginning, 1/3 will write on events from the middle, and 1/3 write about events from the end. Students will write one event each on a post-it.

· Then, have students post the post-it notes on the board.

· Go over events that are posted on board. Have students add any events that may be missing.

· Pair students with one other partner. Assign each pair a particular event. Make sure that most of the events are assigned.

· Introduce the concept of sequence to the class and explain that this is a strategy that they are going to use to understand what they have read. Explain that they are going to build a "human" timeline to review the sequence of events in the story of Paul Bunyan.

· Give each pair of students a blank sheet of plain white paper, and have them work together to write one complete sentence describing the event that they were assigned from the story.

· After students finish writing their sentences, give them time to draw detailed illustrations of the scenes in which the events took place. Show a model. Use the very first event of the story as a model.

· Begin the timeline process by having students divide themselves up into three groups based on when their event happened in the story: beginning, middle, or end.

· In each group, have students work together to decide the sequence of events. When the group has a tentative order, they are to sit in a line in their order.

· Students can then share their sentences and their drawings with the class, and the class may make changes to the location of the students along the timeline of Paul Bunyan.

· The students can count off in line and number their drawings to reinforce the sequence of events.

· As a closing activity, have students write short journal entries about how this activity helped them to better understand the story of Paul Bunyan.


· Drawing pictures for visual learners

· Taking notes while reading

· Read aloud by teacher

· Model for expectations

Formative/Summative Assessment
· Observe students' participation in the discussion of the story and sequence activities.

· Review students' writing and illustrations that describe the event from Paul Bunyan.

· Assess students' completed journal assignments reflecting on ways that thinking about the sequence of events helped support their learning and understanding.

· Metacognition, or self-directed thinking, helps students understand the importance of comprehension strategies.

· Students increase their comprehension of texts as they talk, draw, or write about what they have read.

· Visual structures that organize information in a logical way help to improve comprehension by providing concrete representations of concepts.

Materials/ Technology

· Read Write Think Lesson

· Post-it notes

· Paul Bunyan: All Tall Tale by Steven Kellogg

· Construction Paper

· Colored pencils

· Reading notebooks and pencils

Reflection of Instruction

This lesson went fairly well. When students did the post-it note activity, I was surprised that almost every student put a different event. There were so many to choose from, so I’m glad that it worked out that most students chose different events. We sorted the post-it notes as beginning, middle, or end. Then, I assigned each student an event from the post-it note that was different than the one they wrote. For the few that did repeat each other, I assigned them a new one from the book that we did not discuss. Students were able to write their event and draw a colorful picture. 

To help sequence the events, I sorted groups into a beginning, middle, or end group. I had students decide where their event fell. Students sequenced their events within the groups. My co-op then suggested sequencing a timeline in the hallway. We used tape, and students got in a line to post their event on the wall. We then went through each event and decided if we needed to move any. There were a few that we needed to move, but for the most part, we were able to successfully sequence the events. 

Next time, I could make a display about the events that the students sequenced from the book. I made a little sign, and students posted their events in the hallway, but next time I could have them glue their picture to construction paper and make a whole wall display out of it.

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