K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

The students should be able to sequence the story, identify the main character(s), link prior knowledge, and create a letter.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1-2 Hours


Technology resources

Students will need access to a basic word processing program to complete a letter.


  • Review your objectives for this lesson.
  • Prior knowledge: What does it mean to be honest? How do you know when someone is being honest? Tell me a time when you were not honest. Explain what happened.


  1. Introduce the words fib (telling a lie) and riddle (a puzzling question). Write the words on the board or chart paper. Ask for volunteers to use each word in a sentence. Suggest that a student tell you a riddle.
  2. Explain to the students that you are going to read a story about a young boy who was not very honest. Ask the students to listen to find out what happens. (This story is very fun and has great pictures. The students will enjoy listening to it.) Show the pictures as you read the story.
  3. Begin reading the story to the students. You will not read all of the story. Stop on the page before the letter Horace has written to Walter and do not read the letter to the students at this point in the lesson.
  4. Analyze the text by asking the following questions: What would be another good title for this story? What is the main idea of this story?
  5. Using the character analysis worksheet, show the students how to do a character analysis graphic organizer (use Horace as your example).
  6. From the information on the character analysis organizer identify the qualities found in Horace. Ask the students to determine if he is a honest person.
  7. Now have the students complete a character analysis on Walter. Using chart paper, list the qualities the students identified. Determine as a class the traits found in Walter. Compare the two characters to determine if they are honest individuals or if they would make good friends.
  8. Reread the part of the story that describes the experiences Walter encountered once he told a fib (for example: bed turns into a truck, pretends to be sick, etc.) Ask the following questions:
    Why did his bed look like a big, orange truck? According to the text, what does the statement, “I don’t want to go” mean? How do you think Horace was viewed by his classmates? Explain.
  9. Writing Activity: Explain to the students that Walter wrote Horace a get-well letter. Ask them to pretend to be Walter. As Walter, they need to write a letter to Horace and try to predict what Walter really said in his letter. Use the friendly letter attachment for students to use as a form. Tell the students their letters will be read to the class at the end of the lesson.
  10. Read the rest of the story.
  11. Share the letters the students wrote.


Give an informal assessment by using the following questions:

  • If you were Horace would you have taken the truck?
  • Did the story end the way you expected?
  • What lesson did you learn from this story?

Task: Change the ending of this story. Use pictures to help you illustrate the new ending.

Supplemental information


This is a great lesson for a seminar. You will need to add your own creativity to it. The students in my class really learned a lot from this lesson.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Literature

        • Grade 2
          • 2.RL.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
          • 2.RL.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Guidance (2010)
      • Readiness/Exploration/Discovery

        • RED.SE.1 Understand the meaning and importance of personal responsibility and self-awareness. RED.SE.1.1 Understand the importance of self-control and responsibility. RED.SE.1.2 Identify ways of controlling behaviors associated with emotional states, feelings,...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.08: Interpret information from diagrams, charts, and maps.
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.04: Use oral communication to identify, organize, and analyze information.

Guidance (2001)

Grade K–5

  • Goal 7: Acquire the attitudes, knowledge and interpersonal skills to help understand and respect self and others.
    • Objective 7.04: Distinquish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.