Southwest Children's Literature

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Clarence and the Great Surprise

In the classroom/library:


SUBJECT: Language Arts and Fine Arts
OVERVIEW: Through hearing the book orally students will learn about a unique friendship.
PURPOSE: The lesson involves two friends traveling through the West, bound for the city. The students will learn that friendship comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Students will respond to the theme of the book through drawing.


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate the meaning of friendship
2. Illustrate (sketch to stretch) an adventure with their friend
3. Interpret their picture (by dictating to an adult)

Concept 1: Print Concepts
o Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the structures and elements of literature. (K-R2-C1)
PO 2. Identify elements of a story, including characters, setting, and key events. Theme
Strand 1: Writing Process
Concept 1: Prewriting
o Prewriting includes using strategies to generate, plan, and organize ideas for specific purposes. (K-W1-C1)
PO 1. Generate ideas through class discussion.
Concept 2: Drafting
o Drafting incorporates prewriting activities to create a first draft containing necessary elements for a specific purpose.
PO 1. Communicate by drawing, telling, or writing for a purpose.
Concept 5: Publishing
o Publishing involves formatting and presenting a final product for the intended audience. (K-W1-C5)
PO 1. Share a finished piece of writing.

Children's Book:
Clarence and the Great Surprise written and illustrated by Jean Ekman Adams

Sentence paper


Introductory Set
While the students are read the story they will be asked questions about the story. The students will be creating a piece of art work about an adventure with their friends. This will allow the students to connect the story with their own experiences.

Students will create artwork related to the theme of story
Students will fill in their adventure they have chosen into a complete sentence
Students will discuss what they think a friend is.

Book will be read orally.
Brainstorm different adventures the students and their friend have gone on

Create a picture and sentence of my adventure with my friend.

Check for Understanding
Re-read the ideas listed on our brainstorming.
Ask children to talk about what they are going to draw about. (Share with a partner, pre-writing)

Guided Practice

Students will be observed as they are designing their adventure to monitor their understanding of the activity. Teacher and helpers will go around and have children dictate a sentence about their adventure.

Students will contribute all their pictures and sentence strips to create a class book.
The next day the children will present their adventures to the class.

Each student will be asked what they are creating in their pictures and what they are writing.


Students will continue analyzing the class book: learning about the features of the book, cover, title page, dedication, table of contents, illustrations, and print.

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