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

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • listen, reflect, and respond to the story. This response will express both verbal and written emotional reactions and personal opinions.
  • discuss how people and governments depend on each other.
  • create a picture that demonstrates a job that is necessary to the community.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

90 Minutes


  • Walter the Baker by Eric Carle
  • lined story paper
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • white board and markers
  • 9×12 white construction paper
  • black vis-a-vis markers
  • 2 boxes of large knotted pretzels


Teacher needs to:

  • assemble all materials
  • purchase pretzels
  • read story


  1. Gather students to an area where they can see and hear story.
  2. Read Walter the Baker.
  3. Move students to a circular seating arrangement, so they can see each other as they discuss the story.
  4. Ask the following questions:
    • Should the Duke be able to send Walter away?
    • Why did Walter want to stay?
    • Why did the Duke want Walter to stay?
  5. Allow the students to respond, repeating their responses and asking for clarification if necessary.
  6. Give each student a large knotted pretzel. Have the students hold up their pretzels to see how they fit the story’s criteria of the sun being able to shine through three times. Then have them eat the pretzels to see if they meet the criteria of tasting good.

Follow-up activities

  • Have the students write an answer to the following question and illustrate it on story paper: What would you do and say if the Duke, or someone like him, told you to leave your home? Why?
  • Have each student draw and label a picture of what he or she wants to be when he or she grows up. Emphasize the importance of having a job that is necessary to the community. Tell students that the picture should be drawn in the center of the page with themselves being the most dominant. Each student should write his or her name at the top of the page and the name of his or her chosen occupation at the bottom of the page. Have the students outline the picture with a black marker and color it.


  • Does the student contribute to the discussion?
  • Is a personal opinion or an emotional response expressed in the writing? You will get a wide range of responses from, “He’s not my father.” “He can’t tell me what to do.” to “I’d be like Walter and try to find a way to stay because it would be scary to leave my home.”
  • Does the picture show a job that is necessary to the community? If the student shows a job such as rock star they will need to tell you why this is important to other people in the community.

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

        • Grade 1
          • 1.RL.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
        • Speaking & Listening

          • 1.SL.2 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 1

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.07: Respond and elaborate in answering what, when, where, and how questions.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.01: Elaborate on how information and events connect to life experiences.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 1

  • Goal 6: The learner will apply basic economic concepts to home, school, and the community.
    • Objective 6.05: Give examples of the relationship between the government and its people.