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Lesson Plan

The Big Green Monster Teaches Phonics in Reading and Writing

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Maureen Gerard

Maureen Gerard

Phoenix, Arizona


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Go Away, Big Green Monster!—Ed Emberley's tale about a scary, multicolored monster—is used to help students build their reading fluency and word recognition skills. In this lesson, students chorally read the story and then point out familiar color words or sight words that appear in the story. After finishing the story, students are introduced to four different literacy center activities that include participating in a read along, building word families with story words, playing a memory game with color words from the story, and retelling story events using sentence strips. In the sessions that follow, students create their own artwork of the big green monster and use that artwork to help them write a story. Students use both self- and peer-editing to improve their writing. Completed stories are either published on the Internet or in a class book.

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Dahl, K.L. & Scharer, P.L. (2000). Phonics teaching and learning in whole language classrooms: New evidence from research. The Reading Teacher, 53, 584–594.

  • Teachers can assess the skill progress of students at point of use to help plan individualized instruction. By giving one-on-one instruction during reading and writing experiences, teachers can address what students need instructionally at the moment. This tailored instruction helps children progress developmentally and provides teachers with developmental information to use during large- and small-group activities.

  • Phonics skills are most effectively taught within the context of meaningful, enjoyable reading and writing activities to maximize application of concepts.

  • Phonics instruction should be distributed across a wide range of daily language activities. Writing experiences serve as an essential context for developing phonics knowledge.

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