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Lesson Plan

A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco

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A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco

Grades 2 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Whitney Schultz

North Clearwater, Florida


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco (Putnam Juvenile, 1998)

  • Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco (Putnam Juvenile, 1996)

  • Computers with Internet access and a printer

  • Chart paper and markers

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Patricia Polacco Rubric

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1. Obtain and read Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco. Look for text-to-self connections and text-to-text connections and note these for class discussion during Session 3.

2. Familiarize yourself with the Semantic Impressions strategy, which has students use new vocabulary words to write a story of their own before they read a text where these words appear. (For more information about this strategy, see Richek, M.A. (2005). Words are wonderful: Interactive, time-efficient strategies to teach meaning vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 58, 414-423.)

Write the following vocabulary words on chart paper in this order: solemn, decent, sigh, exchanged, announced, suffered, deserves, glistened, and intricate.

3. Access the Generative Vocabulary Strategies from the Southwest Educational Department Laboratory and familiarize yourself with the Possible Sentences strategy. Write the following vocabulary words on chart paper in the following order: faint, glided, faltered, nook, trundled, marveled, bustled, savored, processions, muffled.

4. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Character Trading Cards tool. You might want to create a sample card using one of the characters from Chicken Sunday or Rechenka's Eggs to share with students during Session 4.

5. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Patricia Polacco WebQuest. This WebQuest is designed to incorporate technology into reading activities and will help students deepen their comprehension of the stories and apply their knowledge of the vocabulary to create their own stories about the author. If this is the first WebQuest students in your class have completed, you might want to assign pairs of students to work on it together. Pairing students who have difficulties reading with students who excel in this area would help struggling students with the reading required in the WebQuest.

6. If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access and a printer, reserve two 30- to 60-minute sessions in your school's computer lab (see Sessions 4 and 5). Add the Character Trading Cards tool and the Patricia Polacco WebQuest to the Favorites list on these machines.

Note: If you experience difficulty, make sure that computers have the most recent version of the Flash plug-in, which can be downloaded for free from the ReadWriteThink.org Site Tools page.

7. Make one copy of the Patricia Polacco Rubric for each student in your class.

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