October 6, 2015
by Ann Marie Lynch

Lesson plan

How and Why Stories

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Students will be able to work as a group to express and share their ideas. They will also be able to write and illustrate their own "how and why" story.

(5 minutes)
  • Before reading How the Camel Got His Hump, ask your students to name some animals with interesting characteristics.
  • Tell the students they will listen to a story about why an animal is the way it is. Allow them to make predictions about the story.
  • Tell the students that this style of storytelling is called "how and why" and that the stories are not factual.
(15 minutes)
  • Play the How the Camel Got His Hump interactive story.
  • Ask your students questions about the order of events. Possible guiding questions could be: How did the camel look in the beginning of the story? Then what happened? What did he look like after?
(30 minutes)
  • Tell your students that they are going to use their imaginations to write their own story about why an animal is unusual.
  • Ask your students to give you ideas of animals whose characteristics they could write about.
  • Write their ideas on the white board. Possible ideas include: elephant (long trunk), skunk (smelly), and giraffe (long neck).
  • Ask your students to decide which they would like to write about.
  • Once they have decided which animal, elicit ideas from the students for the story and write their ideas on the board. Encourage them to use their imaginations and humor.
  • Ask the students to help you write the story and guide them by with sentence starters such as Long ago, the elephant had... Then one day...
  • Write the corresponding page number and one or two simple sentences on chart paper for each page of the book.
  • The number of pages for the book should be half the number of students in your class.
(30 minutes)
  • Divide the class into pairs.
  • Give each pair of students a blank piece of white paper.
  • Assign a page of the story for each pair.
  • Instruct the students to copy the sentences of the page they have been assigned along the top of the page and to work together to illustrate their page.
  • Tell students to turn the page horizontally and write the sentences on the top, leaving space for their illustrations. The students can also write their names in the corner.
  • Early finishers can make additional drawings for the facing pages and a cover page.
  • Enrichment: Have advanced students work on the Animal Word Search With Images worksheet.
  • Support: Give struggling students the Animal Matching List worksheet.
(25 minutes)
  • Ask the students to show you or the class the pictures they have drawn and how the pictures relate to the sentences of the story.
  • Have students work on worksheets (see Differentiation for details).
  • Collect the worksheets once they're done. Review them to assess their understanding.
(25 minutes)
  • After the students have finished copying their sentences and illustrating the pages, they can help gather the pages together in order.
  • Use a spiral binding machine with a clear plastic cover to make the book.
  • When the book is ready, the students can present the book together.

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