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Lesson Plan

Building a Matrix for Leo Lionni Books: An Author Study

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Building a Matrix for Leo Lionni Books: An Author Study

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Books by author Leo Lionni: Inch by Inch (1960), Swimmy (1963), Frederick (1967), and A Color of His Own (1975)

  • White butcher paper (about 7 feet long)

  • Crayons

  • Blank white copy paper

  • Fine-tipped black markers

  • White construction paper (full sheets)

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Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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Literature Response Sheet

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  • Draw a matrix on butcher paper on which to glue studentsí drawings:

    • Each cell should measure 9 inches vertically and 12 inches horizontally, so that there is adequate room for students to glue their drawings into the cells.

    • In the top row, label the columns as follows: title, character, setting, problem, solution, ending.

    • Attach the matrix to the wall, and plan to leave it on display during the entire lesson.

    • Make photocopies of each book cover and, if desired, a copy of each main character. Color copies are nice if you have access to a color photocopier. Glue the book cover copies into header cells of the matrix and save the character copies for use during the class sessions.

  • Gather books for read aloud: Inch by Inch (1960), Swimmy (1963), Frederick (1967), and A Color of His Own (1975).

  • Read background information on Leo Lionniís life, using the resources at Random House's Leo Lionni Author's Page, which includes a brief biography of Lionni, an annotated bibliography, and a tribute to the author..

  • Make copies of the literature response sheet. (Optional)

  • Test the Interactive Venn Diagram on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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