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Lesson Plan #: AELP-VOC0013
Submitted by: Regina Jackson
Email: crjack@earthlink.net
School/University/Affiliation: Concordia University, River Forest, ILL
Endorsed by: Dr. Lora Knutson
             Concordia University River Forest, ILL Date: July 2, 1999 

Grade Level(s): 4, 5


  • Language Arts/Vocabulary

Duration: Two 45-minute sessions Description: A Ride on the Red Mare’s Back by Ursula K. Le Guin is a story is about a little girl who saves her little brother from a group of mean and ugly trolls. She enlists the help of a tiny wooden horse that her father had whittled for her. The tiny horse was painted a bright shiny red with colorful flowers for the bridle and reins. There is something special about the beautiful red horse, it has magical powers or is it the little girls strong will.

Goals: The unit of study is on animals/horses, fiction and non-fiction stories. Students will build their vocabulary, word power and knowledge.

Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • use dictionary and thesaurus effectively
  • explain in their own words the meaning of new words within the context of the story
  • become more knowledgeable about the animals around them especially horses
  • write a more descriptive story about the main characters


  • story book – Le Guin, Ursula (1996 ). A Ride on the Red Mare’s Back. Orchard Books; ISBN: 0531070794
  • dictionary
  • thesaurus
  • a sponge ball for the game at the end of the lesson


  • Model and reinforce the uses of the dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Ask the children to listen while you read the story out loud for the first time.
  • After the story, ask the children to write down the new words that they have heard.
  • Walk around the room to make sure everyone is on task.
  • Ask students to take turns reading their new words.
  • With the students, re-read the story together using SSR method.
  • Have students then start to use the dictionary to look up the new words.
  • Discuss the new meanings as they read together using the word in context.
  • At the end of the lesson or on a 2nd day the teacher can play a game with the students using a sponge ball.
  • Object of the Game:
    Get the students to think about how many adjectives they know.

    Students can stand or sit on their desks, the teacher will throw out the first ball.
    The student who catches it must say a adjective from the story or one they have already encountered.

    If the student does not say a adjective they will have to sit down.
    You can keep playing until there is one person left. this person get to pick the next story.


  • Observe students in their listening skills activity.
  • Observe and interact with students during class participation and discussion.
  • Ask the students to write a brief summary of the story, pictures are allowed.