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Character and Action Identification Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #:AELP-STT000
Submitted by: Carole Fraher
Endorsed by: Regina Chatel, PhD. Date: June 6, 1999

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2


  • Language Arts/Story telling

Description: Identifying characters and actions in a story. Goals: Students will engage in building characters in a story.

Objective: Students will be able to identify a character and suggest an action for that character.


  • The book by Denise Fleming (1991). In the Tall, Tall Grass . Henry Holt & Company, Inc.; ISBN: 080501635X
  • Storyboard paper and markers, or chalkboard and chalk.
  • Pre-printed story pages for each student.
  • Crayons, markers, pencils.
  • A method to preserve and bind the book. (laminator, spiral binding, or large rings.)
  • 1 teacher’s whistle
  • 12 popsicle sticks (for sorting through earth elements)
  • 4 trowels (1 for each group of 3 students)
  • 24 sandwich size Ziploc bags (6 per group)
  • 4 quart size Ziploc bags (1 per group)
  • 24 stick-on labels (6 per group)
  • 4 markers (1 per group)
  • 12 pencils
  • 4 large sheets of white paper from paper bolt
  • 12 magnifying glasses
  • 12 white sheets of paper/ tub of crayons
  • 4 shoeboxes (1 per group, to hold all materials teacher has assembled for each group)(for rain plan, only to be used if inclement weather:
  • 1 paper grocery sack into which teacher has collected a sampling of non-living earth surface components and large plastic garbage bag)

Procedure: Initiation/Set:

Read: In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming.  For each page, identify the character (animal), the action, and how the action relates to the character.  Ex. A sound, a motion, a response, or a movement.

Main Activity:

Using a large sheet of storyboard paper or chalkboard, make these headings across the top, in 3 columns;

(character)   (action) (INVENTED WORDS o.k.)

1. Tell the students that they are going to make their own class book called In the Big, Big Zoo.   Ask for suggestions of animals they’d see in the zoo and write them down under the character column.

2. Go back to the top of the list and ask individuals for suggestions of an action for each animal.
    Prompt them with questions like:

 What does this animal do?
 What sound does it make?
 How does it move?

3. Move to the third column and ask for 2 rhyming  words to describe the action.  Encourage invented and nonsense words that rhyme with the action.  Read some examples from In the Tall, Tall Grass .  Each animal will have 2 rhyming words and an action to go with it. 4. Ask each child to choose an animal from the list.  Tell them that they will need to make an illustration of that animal for the class book.

5.  Give each child a piece of paper with the words “In the Big, Big Zoo” at the bottom, with line space left for them to write in the rest of the text for their page.  They will fill in their text using the storyboard or chalk board as a reference.  They will write the 2 rhyming words, the character, then the action of their chosen animal.  (It will follow the text style of Fleming’s In the Tall, Tall Grass.)   Ask them to draw an illustration above the text.


Read completed text, even if the illustrations aren’t finished.  Let each student read their page.  Have the students identify their character and action. (Ex. “My character is an elephant, and his action is spraying.”) When all illustrations are complete, gather the pages for a class book to go home with one child at a time for them to share with their family.

Assessment: Students are able to properly identify the character and action on their assigned page.