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Lesson Plan

The Wonder of Leo Lionni: Increasing Comprehension with Prediction Statements

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The Wonder of Leo Lionni: Increasing Comprehension with Prediction Statements

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Vanessa Udry

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • participate in class discussions about characters, setting, and plot.

  • make predictions about a variety of texts.

  • draw conclusions from a variety of books.

  • learn how to make "I wonder" statements while reading a new text.

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Session One

  1. Picture walk Swimmy by Leo Lionni together. Discuss what students think the story is about, asking questions such as the following:

    • What do the students think is the setting of the story?

    • Who do you think is Swimmy?

  2. Read Swimmy aloud to students. Stop and wonder aloud what might happen next in the story periodically, using questions such as these:

    • "I wonder if Swimmy will make friends."

    • "I wonder if that is the same fish that ate Swimmy's family."

  3. Write these statements of wonder on the board or chart paper as you read the story.

  4. Look back at the wonder statements, and discuss what happens in the story by discussing how you found some of the answers from the story (e.g., Swimmy made friends and was happy).

  5. Discuss how some of the answers will not be answered in the text (e.g., It's not clear if the fish at the end is the same fish as in the beginning).

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Session Two

  1. Review wonder statements on the book Swimmy from the previous session.

  2. Explain that the class is also going to get a chance to create wonder statements.

  3. Pass out "I Wonder" Worksheet.

  4. Read The Biggest House in the World! by Leo Lionni to students.

  5. Stop every few pages, and ask students their own wonder statements about the story.

  6. Write their ideas on the board or chart paper.

  7. Halfway through the story, ask students to pick a wonder statement, write it on their paper, and draw a matching picture.

  8. Continue to read The Biggest House in the World! stopping every couple of pages to write down wonder statements from the students.

  9. At the end of the story, ask students to pick another wonder statement to write down and draw a picture to match it.

  10. Invite students to share their wonder statements and discuss whether they found the answers to their statements or if they are still wondering. This process can create a lively conversation when students have differing opinions about whether the answer was in the text or not.

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Session Three

  1. Arrange students in groups of three to five. Students can be grouped by reading level or groups can be mixed levels of reading.

  2. Ask students to look at some Leo Lionni books together in their small groups and select one to read.

  3. After each group has completed the book, pass out copies of the Wonder Statement Directions and the Stapleless Books that you prepared before the session.

  4. Ask students to follow the instructions on the Wonder Statement Directions:

    • Picture walk the story together.

    • Make a wonder statement together before reading the story. What do you think this story is about?

    • As your group is reading the story, you will come to a bookmark.

    • At each bookmark, stop and write down a wonder statement about that reading selection in the Stapleless Book.

    • After completing the story, draw a picture to match each wonder statement from the story.

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Session Four

  1. Once all of the groups have completed their Wonder Statement Stapleless Books, invite them to share their work with the class.

  2. Discuss the wonder statements with the students.

    • Did they find answers to their questions in the book?

    • Were more answers based on their own opinions and experiences?

  3. End the discussion with any other feedback that the students would like to share about the project.


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  • Monitor student participation during whole group talks and discussions of wonder statements.

  • Check “I Wonder” Worksheet for completion and student understanding.

  • Check Stapleless Book for wonder statements that are clear and connect to the story.

  • Check Stapleless Book for pictures that match statements.


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