Dimension 1.4: Activities- The teacher plans engaging, flexible lessons that encourage higher-order thinking, persistence and achievement.

In the Spring of 2020, I was observing and assisting in a Kindergarten classroom at St. Elmo and was given the opportunity to teach a reading lesson. The class had been talking about different types of literature, and I decided to do a lesson on fairy tales. This ended up being one of the most complex and longest lessons I’ve done. It included multiple steps, group sizes, activities, and spanned across multiple class periods.

During this lesson, we began with a turn and talk activity where I posed the question- “What makes a fairytale unique?” Students discussed their answers with their partners, and I called on a few groups to hear their thoughts. I wrote the main elements of fairytales on our anchor chart: setting, problem, theme, characters, solution, and fantasy elements. Next, we had a read aloud and the students heard Jack and the Beanstalk. We then talked as a whole group about how the elements from Jack and the Beanstalk fit into our anchor chart. We discussed specific examples from the book and other examples that could appear in other stories.

After having our read aloud and discussion and filling in the anchor chart, we moved onto the independent activity. Students were given a fairytale graphic organizer to begin creating their own fairytales. They were expected to draw pictures that represent their story ideas for each of the elements. As a modification to this lesson, students that were finishing early had the opportunity to place sticky notes over each box and use sentence stems to describe each element and picture.

We then moved on to working in small groups. During small groups for the next few days I helped students who had used the post it notes turn their story boards into a composed story on lined paper and draw a picture. Students who had not done sticky notes yet used the sentence stems to translate their stories onto the lined paper and then drew their pictures. Students who felt comfortable sharing read their stories to the class and they were all hung on a bulletin board!

Check out the full lesson plan and storyboard template below!

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