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Lesson Plan

Multiple Perspectives: Building Critical Thinking Skills

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

Grades 4 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Eight–nine 30–40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Shannon Bradford

Shannon Bradford

Columbus, New Jersey


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • Computers with Internet access (one computer per student, if possible)
  • Pencils, crayons, markers, colored pencils, erasers
  • Construction paper for cover of diary (one piece for each student or student pair)
  • Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young (Philomel, 1992)
  • Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni (Random House, 1998)
  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin (HarperCollins, 2003)
  • Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin (HarperCollins, 2005)
  • Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin (HarperCollins, 2007)
  • Assorted Zoobooks or Ranger Rick magazines
  • Baseball caps labeled Fish and Frog (optional)

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  1. Print out several copies of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog photograph (enough for a small group of students to share) and cut each photograph into several pieces.

  2. Make one copy for each student of Sketch to Stretch, Can I See Different Perspectives?, Fish Is Fish Script, Fish Is Fish Venn Diagram, Doreen Cronin as Our Mentor, Diary Planning Sheet, Research Notes, and Self-Assessment: What Did I Learn?

  3. Make three copies for each student of the Partnership Reflection Form.

  4. Make five copies for each student of the Diary Entry Template.

  5. Bookmark Websites for Research on classroom computers or bookmark each of the websites on the list.

  6. Print one copy each of the Teacher Rubric: Student Diary Entries, Teacher Rating Form: Sketch to Stretch and Teacher Rubric: Fish Is Fish.

  7. Obtain one copy of Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young and practice reading aloud.

  8. Obtain one copy of Fish Is Fish by Leo Lionni for teacher reference.

  9. Obtain multiple copies of Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin.

  10. Obtain an assortment of Zoobooks and or Ranger Rick magazines for initial research.

  11. Reserve time in the computer lab for Session 5, if necessary.

  12. Familiarize yourself with all of the Websites for Research so you can assist students in navigating and searching these sites.

  13. If desired, have students bring in baseball caps prior to Session 3 and label each cap with either Fish or Frog. Each student needs a baseball cap, and because students will be working in partners, one student will receive the “Fish” label and the other student will receive the “Frog” label.

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