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Constructivist Lesson Plan Format

Literature Lesson
Julia Spivey
Read Aloud of The Journey by Francesca Sanna

Problem Confronted: Refugees (and how we can make them feel safe and welcome in our
country and our classroom.)

Lesson Overview


o Students will be able to draw conclusions about emotions of characters in the

illustrations and text in the book and relate it to their own lives.
o Formative: I will listen in on students’ discussions with one another to see if they are able to
accurately interpret events and emotions based on the illustration they see.
o Summative: Students “I can” statements include useful ideas on how they can make a student
that was a refugee feel welcome in the classroom.

Related State Standard:

o 1.RL.4.1 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or

Management of:

o Time: 30-35 minutes

o Materials: The Journey book, assessment sheets.
o Space: For the read aloud and discussion, students will be on the carpet in the nook. For the
writing, they will be at their desks.
o Behavior: I will use the marble reward system for the whole class and the card-flip system for
each individual student. I will use the star behavior management system for two students who
have them.

Differentiation and Culturally-Responsive Practices

o In the grand conversation, students will draw upon their memories of what it felt
like to be in a strange, new place and what made them feel welcome in their
new environment.
o Students will learn what it means to be a refugee and what they can do to make
these people feel safe and welcome in our country and in our classroom.
o Student who struggles with vision will be placed up front to see the images

Building Background Knowledge

Activating Background Knowledge: The teacher will bring in a life-size drawing of a person and
introduce this person to the students as a new member of the class. I will then discuss with students
their feelings when they were a new student or how they felt when they were in a new, unfamiliar
place, and share my feelings when I began at a new school.

Purpose: “I am going to read The Journey by Francesca Sanna. Pay close attention to the pictures and
events, because what happens to the characters in this book are similar to what our new classmate has
been through before she came here to America.”

Essential Questions: How can I use illustrations in a book to tell what a character in this book
may be feeling? How can I make a refugee, such as the ones in the story, feel safe and
welcome in my country and classroom?

Constructing Understanding

o Read Aloud: I will read the story The Journey by Francesca Sanna using animated voices
when appropriate.
 For each step, include:
o Students will listen to the story and respond in a grand conversation.

o Response initiates: After the story, I will ask students questions to get an initial, natural
response from them. I will then use that to lead into our theme for the lesson.

How did you like the story?

Did you think this story was happy? Sad? Why?

How did it make you feel?

What happened to the father?

Why did the family want to leave their country?

How do you think the family was feeling throughout this story? Why?

Define refugee.

Why do you think the family had to leave at night so that they wouldn’t be seen?

Why did the family keep having to hide?

Why do you think the guards wouldn’t let them cross the border?
If you had to leave your country like the characters in the story did, how would you feel?

How would you wish to be treated by the people that live in that country?

Using New Understanding

 Extension/Independent response activities: Show a few different pages in the book, one at a
time. Students, will be drawing conclusions about what the characters may be feeling or
experiencing in the story based on the illustrations and text.
 Students will be given a sheet of paper with a line of text from the book. Students will have the
opportunity to illustrate their own picture for the story to go along with the text. The teacher
will walk around during work time and ask students their rationale as to why they chose a
particular color, action, facial expression, etc. To go along with their journaling assignments,
students will also write a sentence or two in the space below about a time if/when they felt a
similar emotion.

 Refugees, such as the ones in the book, experience a lot of hardships and loss in their lives.
What can we do as fellow Americans to help them feel safe?