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Lesson Plan

Creating a Class Pattern Book With Popular Culture Characters

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions and one 30-minute presentation session
Lesson Author

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Tampa, Florida


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology



Teacher Resources




  • LCD projector

  • Computer with Internet access and microphone

  • Toys or stuffed animals of popular culture characters

  • Digital (or traditional) camera

  • I Went Walking by Sue Williams (Gulliver, 1990)

  • Notepad and pencil

  • Windows Movie Maker (optional – download)

  • PowerPoint (optional)

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1. This lesson will work best if you have access to an LCD projector. If you have a computer with Internet access in your classroom, you should arrange to have the projector hooked up to it for Sessions 3, 4, and 5.

2. Obtain and familiarize yourself and your students with a wide variety of predictable pattern books. You can use the following websites to find such books:
Share these books with students through read-alouds. Choose one pattern book to use as the model for the pattern book your students will create.

3. Have students bring to school toys or stuffed animals representing their favorite popular culture characters. These can include cartoon, comic book, and movie characters.

4. Keep your eye on fast food restaurants for the latest popular culture toys that are often included in kids' meals. Keeping a box of these toys in the classroom is a wonderful aid to creativity at a pattern-book writing center (see Extensions). In addition, you could supply these toys for use by students who do not have a character to bring to school.

5. After reading and becoming familiar with the chosen pattern book, students will be taking pictures of their popular culture characters to make a class pattern book in Photo Story 3, Windows Movie Maker, or PowerPoint. Arrange to use a camera (preferably digital) during Session 2. If a digital camera is not available, you can use a traditional camera and have the photographs saved onto a CD. Alternatively, if computer technology is an issue, this lesson can be completed by placing photographs on paper and having students create a hard-copy class book.

You will be taking pictures all around your school and playground. As a courtesy, you may wish to send an e-mail or note to teachers and other staff to let them know about the timing and objective of this lesson. Some teachers will close their doors so you do not disturb them, while others will welcome you to visit their classrooms. Office and custodial staff usually enjoy these visits by students but will appreciate the advance warning.

6. Students will be helping you add text and visual effects to enhance their class pattern book. Photo Story 3, Movie Maker, and PowerPoint offer the opportunity to use effects that can add interest to their digital photos. You will need to decide which software you would like to use prior to the lesson.

If you decide to use Photo Story 3 or Movie Maker, experiment with adding text and using effects. Prior to using the program in the classroom, you should know how to import photos into the software, place photos on the storyline, insert transitions, insert picture effects, create narration, and write words on the pages. These skills are outlined in the Photo Story 3 Instruction Sheet and the Windows Movie Maker Instruction Sheet.

In addition to these sheets, detailed instructions for using Photo Story 3 can be found at Create Your First Photo Story. Windows Movie Maker 2 and Create Home Movies Effortlessly With Movie Maker 2 both have basic information about how to use this program. (Note: If you have a Windows operating system on your school computers, Movie Maker should be included in the "All Programs" list or in the "Accessories" folder on your machines; otherwise, you will need to download it.)

If you decide to use PowerPoint, practice using the different effects and transitions. How to Create Talking Books in PowerPoint 97 & 2000 offers a tutorial in how to make digital books using the software. Before demonstrating it to students, you will need to know how to import photos, add text, use screen transitions, and apply effects. The PowerPoint Instruction Sheet lists directions for how to create a simple book with digital photos.

7. Practice using the microphone to record speech on the computer. In Photo Story 3 and PowerPoint, this process is relatively simple because you record each frame separately. However, when recording speech in Movie Maker, you must match the speech with the timeline.

8. Make copies of the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages and How I Feel About What I Did self-assessment.

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