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Lesson Plan

Looking at Landmarks: Using a Picture Book to Guide Research

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Looking at Landmarks: Using a Picture Book to Guide Research

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Mobile Apps






  • Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

  • Encyclopedias, atlases, trade books, and other reference materials (see Websites section for online reference materials)

  • Illustrations or printouts of the landmarks mentioned in the story

  • One copy of a world map for each student

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Flip Book

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Flip Book

The Flip Book is designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books up to ten pages long. Students and teachers can use the flip book for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating question and answer booklets.


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RWT Flip Book

Grades   3 – 12  |  Mobile App  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

RWT Flip Book

The Flip Book app is designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books.


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  • Acquire a copy of Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg to read aloud to the class.

  • Make copies of the world map for students.

  • Locate books with pictures or illustrations of the landmarks mentioned in Ben's Dream, or print some additional pictures from the Internet.

  • Make copies of the Landmark Research Notes, Where Does Ben Go In His Dream?, Landmark Websites, world map, and rubric for students.

  • Test the Looking at Landmarks student interactive, Flip Book, Multigenre Mapper, Timeline Tool, and Graphic Map on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

  • As a further example of looking at landmarks, the teacher may want to read Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong by James Loewen. This book takes a critical look at 100 landmarks from around the country, examining them for historical inaccuracies, what is included, as well as what is excluded.

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