Lesson plan

The Paper Bag Princess

In this lesson, students will practice listening comprehension skills after reading “The Paper Bag Princess” together as a class. Afterward, students will role-play, make inferences, and use summarization to strengthen literacy skills.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Fairy Tale Character Traits pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Fairy Tale Character Traits pre-lesson.

Students will be able to retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of the story's lesson.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(15 minutes)
  • Activate your students' prior knowledge before starting the lesson. Sample questions to ask include:
    • What does it mean to be kind?
    • If someone is mean or unkind, what might their actions look, sound, and feel like?
  • Ask students to think about what a prince, princess, and dragon are. Write down their ideas on the whiteboard.
  • Explain that you will be reading The Paper Bag Princess as a class, and they might meet characters who are kind and characters who are unkind.
(15 minutes)
  • Read The Paper Bag Princess to your class.
  • After reading the story, ask your students some comprehension questions to assess their understanding of the story. Good examples include:
    • Who was brave (strong, clever) in the story?
    • Who was unkind in the story?
    • What makes a good friend?
    • How can you be a good friend?
    • What is the author trying to teach us? What do you think the lesson is from the story?
  • Pick a few quotes from the book that justify student responses from the story. Elicit deep thinking my encouraging students to think about how they know which character is brave, or which character is unkind.
  • Ask your students what they think these quotes say about the character(s).
(25 minutes)
  • Tell the class that they will practice acting like different characters from the story.
  • Put students in small groups of three, and assign each one a different character role (Princess Elizabeth, Ronald, the Dragon). To help them get into character, ask questions such as: How would the Dragon act? Prince Ronald? Princess Elizabeth? Write down and review their ideas on the whiteboard.
  • Cut out holes in the brown paper bag for a head and arms. Students can also make a paper crown to pretend to be the prince/princess using the Floral Jewel Crown worksheet.
  • Give students time to reenact the story as Prince Ronald, Princess Elizabeth, the Dragon, etc.
  • Rotate around the classroom and observe students as they reenact the story. Ask students to think about how the characters must be feeling throughout different parts of the story as you observe students (e.g. When Prince Ronald____how did Princess Elizabeth feel? She felt ____).
(50 minutes)
  • Pass out construction paper to each group of students.
  • Explain to the students that they will be retelling the story, including the lesson they learned. Students will participate in a collaborative conversation about the story in their small groups.
  • Instruct students to retell the story by working together to draw pictures of what happens in the beginning, middle, and end.
  • Invite students to share ideas about the lesson of the story (e.g. The story taught us how to be brave, The story taught us it doesn't matter what's on the outside, but what's on the inside that matters, etc.) . Write down a few examples on the whiteboard and instruct students to write the lesson they learned from the story on the top of their poster.
  • Allow students to reference the story when needed.
  • Have the group write key details from the story that summarize what is happening in the story, using their own words.
  • Give students time to design their storyboards. Allow students to decorate their posters however they choose.

Enrichment: Have more advanced students rewrite Munsch's story. How would the story be different if Princess Elizabeth used something other than a paper bag to clothe herself? What if Prince Ronald was a nicer person? Alternatively, have the students tell and act out the story from the Dragon's point of view.

Support: Arrange students who need more support into a small group, and guide them through the writing activity. Help the students as needed.

As you introduce the words, project the words and examples using a document reader or smartboard.

(10 minutes)
  • Allow students time to share their posters with the rest of the class. Encourage students to ask questions about their peer's posters, the lesson each group learned, and make connections to their own ideas.
(5 minutes)
  • Encourage students to connect to the topics found in the text by sharing ways they are strong, clever, and brave. Allow students to share in partners before choosing a few volunteers to share with the class.

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