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Lesson Plan

Combining Read-Alouds With Economics in the Primary Grades

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Combining Read-Alouds With Economics in the Primary Grades

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 10- to 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Shelby Hawthorne

Williamsburg, Virginia


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola (Prentice Hall, 1974)

  • A Symphony for the Sheep by C. M. Millen (Houghton Mifflin, 1996)

  • Computers with Internet access

  • LCD projector or large monitor

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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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1. Make sure you are familiar with the economic concepts natural resource and producer. For a definition of natural resource that you can adapt for students, see AmosWEB Gloss*arama. To find a definition of producer that is appropriate for students, visit EconEdLink: Little Bill the Producer! and click on the link that says "interactive activity."

2. Obtain copies of Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola and A Symphony for the Sheep by C.M. Millen, and familiarize yourself with them before reading them aloud to your class. Keep in mind the economic goals of the lesson as well as the goal of teaching sequence as you read them.

3. Preview the Sheep Shearing in Vermont online video.

4. Decide whether students will use Venn diagrams to compare the two books individually, in small groups, or as a whole-class activity. Consider using the interactive Venn Diagram as an online tool for this activity. Alternatively, you can make a Venn diagram on chart or butcher paper to record (or model recording) students' comments about the books. Another option is to use one of the printable Venn Diagram handouts.

5. Prepare a sequence chart on butcher or chart paper for each book. Have handouts of the Sequence Chart graphic organizer or the Sequence Activity (for Charlie Needs a Cloak) ready if students will complete them individually or in small groups.

6. Have handouts of the That Reminds Me Of... graphic organizer ready so students can complete them after the read-aloud of each book.

7. Prepare a vocabulary list on chart or butcher paper. Identify the vocabulary words in the two books that relate to natural resources and producers as economic concepts. (See the activity at the end of Session 1.)

8. If your students are not familiar with Think-Pair-Share as a reading comprehension strategy, model it and give your students an opportunity to practice it with a familiar story such as the Three Little Pigs. Give students a thinking prompt, then have them pair up and share their answers with their partners. Ask for volunteers or call on pairs to share answers with the whole class. For additional information, you can read Strategies for Reading Comprehension: Think-Pair-Share.

9. If you do not have a classroom computer with Internet access and a projection screen or large monitor, make arrangements to use the school's computer lab for Session 3 and possibly Session 4.

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