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Lesson Plan

Creating a Class Pattern Book With Popular Culture Characters

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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


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Develop a familiarity and understanding of the structure and patterns found in predictable texts

  • Transfer knowledge of the structure of predictable texts to the writing of their own patterned sentences about popular culture characters

  • Work collaboratively to write and edit a digital "book"

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Session 1

1. You should prepare for this session by having a variety of students' popular culture characters set out on a table. The book I Went Walking by Sue Williams is ideal for this lesson because it allows for easy character substitution into the pattern text.

2. Discuss language patterns with your students. Show students examples of pattern books that they have read previously in the classroom. Elaborate on the familiar story structure in the book you have chosen to use for this lesson.

3. As you read the book, students should read it aloud with you. Ask them to pay attention to the pattern in the story. Reread the story a second time so students become fluent with the text.

4. Write the common pattern sentence from the book on the board, and have the students practice the sentence in a real-world manner. For example, if using the pattern from I Went Walking, write and say, "(Name of student) went walking. What did (he or she) see?" Student answers, "I saw (name of student) right in front of me." Then you can have students play this oral-language game with one another to make them familiar with the pattern book structure.

5. Have a discussion with students in which you refer to the sentence pattern frame found on the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages. Tell the students that this will be their planning sheet and that their goal is to make their own pages for a digital book. Tell students that they will end up with two pages. The first page will contain a student's photo, and the second page will have a photo of his or her popular culture character in a new setting.

6. Model some sentences with the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages prior to handing out the sheets to students. For example, take one of the popular culture characters that a student has brought to class and model a story with it. In the first sentence, insert a student's name and discuss the use of he and she: "(Your name) went walking. What did (he or she) see?" In the second sentence, tell students they will place the character's name in the first space, list what the character is doing in the second space, and note where the character is doing that action in the third space: "I saw (who) (doing what) (where)."

7. Hand out copies of the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages to students. Inform them that they will "go walking" around the school with a camera and their popular culture characters during the next session. Have them brainstorm ideas of places where they could take pictures of their characters and sketch rough drafts on their planning sheets. Let them know that they can change their minds when they go walking.

8. Collect the planning sheets from students so you will have them available for the next session.

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Session 2

1. Hand back students' completed copies of the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages from the previous session so you can remind them of the places they chose for their photos. Plan the route for the class walk, but let students know they can choose another picture location if they see a better setting during the walk.

2. As you and your students walk around the school, each student will have his or her popular culture figure in hand. Students will be responsible for choosing where to place their characters. At each chosen place, you will take a photo and take notes on the sentences students create orally. The sentences should be personalized. For example, the class will say, "Sue (name of student) went walking, what did she see?" Then the student will say, "I saw Sponge Bob (character) waving at me (doing something) near the water fountain (where)." Your record of these sentences will be the rough draft for the digital pattern book.

3. When the individual photos are done, work as a group to plan a cover photo and a photo to place at the end of the story. In addition, take individual photos of all students to use on the "(Name of student) went walking" pages.

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Session 3

Notes: You may choose to do this session as one double session or two single sessions, depending on the attention span of your students. Before this session, you need to create both a hard copy of each photo and a computer file that you can use to make the digital book. If you've used a digital camera, just have prints made and save the files on a CD. If you've used a traditional camera, have prints made; then scan the photos and save the files on a CD. Attach each printed photo to a copy of the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages with removable tape.

1. Open your chosen software program, and import the photos from Session 2. Use a computer with an LCD projector so students can see the images on the big screen as you work.

2. Have students continue the shared writing of the digital pattern book. First, have them plan the sequence of the photographs on the storyboard timeline in Photo Story 3 or Movie Maker, or along the sidebar in PowerPoint.

3. Once the photos are placed in a sequence on the storyboard timeline on the screen, review the story with students. Ask them if they think their photos are in the right sequence of events in terms of the walk they took around the school. Then add the beginning and ending photos to the sequence of the story, and ask students to think of a title for the story.

4. Next, use the rough draft you took on your notepad during the previous session, and work with students to revise and edit the text for each photograph. While putting the text on the screen, have students pay attention to the color of the text needed so it can show up on the screen, especially for Photo Story 3 and Movie Maker, where the text will be on the photos. Using PowerPoint, you can adjust the placement of text into boxes. However, students still may like to use different fonts and color fonts depending on the mood of a photo.

5. Read the story with the class, asking them to provide revision suggestions along the way. Incorporate revisions as appropriate. Then, to provide closure to the session, read the text through once more with students chiming in.

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Session 4

1. Using an LCD projector and computer, show students the digital pattern book once again. Tell them that you are going to add motion effects and screen transitions to enhance it.

2. Show students a few choices of transitions for each photo, and ask them which one fits best. Sometimes they will choose the "page turning" transition as the best. Other times, encourage them to use transitions that indicate meaning. For example, if one of the characters broke something, you may want to zoom in on it and add a shatter transition.

3. When the story is complete, show it to students. Discuss the zooms, pans, and transitions. Ask them to look for situations where the transition adds further meaning to the text, such as a whirlwind transition signifying spinning or a fade out signifying leaving the room.

4. To render the digital book when it is complete, you need to ensure that you save Photo Story 3 and Movie Maker books as projects and then as .wmv files. For Photo Story 3, go to the "Save your story" slide and click on "Save your story for playback on computer." This will render it into a .wmv file. For Movie Maker, click on "Finish Movie." It is best to save the file to your computer hard drive. In PowerPoint, if you want the file to open directly as a slide-show movie, save it as a .pps (PowerPoint Show) file.

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Session 5

Note: This session will be shorter than the previous sessions.

1. Using the LCD projector, show the digital pattern book to the class. Celebrate with snacks and drinks.

2. Have each student complete the How I Feel About What I Did form as a self-evaluation.

3. Ask students to discuss things that they learned about making a digital book. How was this experience different from previous shared writing experiences?

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  • Set up a pattern-book writing center with familiar pattern books and popular culture pictures or figures. Provide blank books, craft materials, and frame sentences for students to follow as they construct their own pattern books using the patterns and characters.

  • Initiate a take-home project. Pack a backpack with the following items: a pattern book, copies of the Planning Sheet for Your Digital Story Pages, and an inexpensive digital camera (you can pick one up for under $20) or a traditional disposable camera. Students can take turns with the backpack, having their favorite characters get into situations at home. Once everyone has had a turn bringing the backpack home, you can create a new digital pattern story as a class and discuss the different settings the characters enjoyed in the scenes from students' homes.

  • Use the "Taking Photos of Curious George: Exploring Character Through Images" lesson with your class to guide them in a character study of Curious George as they create another digital storybook.

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  • Use the Assessment Rubric to assess studentsí knowledge and understanding of the concepts learned in the lesson.

  • Examine the responses students made in their self-evaluation of work using the How I Feel About What I Did form to see how well these correspond to your assessment of their work.

  • Throughout the sessions, assess how students use spoken, written, and visual language to construct the digital pattern book. Look also at how well they are able to work together on the project. Take anecdotal notes.

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