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


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  • The Alphabet Tree: After reading The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni to students, the students will retell the events on a flow map. Then using Kid Pix software, each child will choose an event, illustrate it, and write a caption for it. The students will then put their events in order in a Kid Pix Slide Show they can present to the class.
  • The emperor's prize egg: This lesson will introduce students to the life of a penguin. They will explore penguins' habitats, eating habits, and other unique adaptations that they use to survive in Antarctica.
  • Tarantulas: Students will read Tarantula by Jenny Feely. Then they will summarize what they have learned about tarantulas by writing descriptive words or phrases on a graphic organizer. Finally, using the Kid Pix Studio Deluxe (or other similar drawing program), students will write sentences about tarantulas and make an illustration.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • read the story and show comprehension by retelling main events in sequential order.
  • create a slideshow based on the book to show a typical day in the life of a tree frog in the rainforest.
  • use language conventions to write captions for slideshow project.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

4-5 hours


  • The Red-eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley (I had multiple copies to use with my guided reading group, but you could also do it as a read aloud with 1 copy)
  • Drawing paper
  • Crayons, pencils
  • Index cards

Technology resources

  • Computer
  • Scanner (if you want to scan student drawings for the slideshow)
  • Computer with a microphone
  • Digital camera (optional)
  • PowerPoint
  • Projection device, interactive white board, or Avery Key to present student projects to the class (optional)


  • Activate background knowledge by asking students what they know about frogs and the rain forest.
  • If you have a sample slideshow, show it to your students to give them an idea of what kind of project they will be creating.
  • Students will already be familiar with using flow maps.


  1. Begin with some “before” reading strategies. Look at the cover and make predictions. Do a picture walk. To prepare students for some of the vocabulary, discuss the names of some of the insects and animals they may be unfamiliar with (macaw, katydid, iguana, etc). Set purpose for reading. Let students know they will learn about what a typical day for a tree frog is like. Tell them that we will use that information in our slideshow.
  2. As you read, stop to discuss and make or check predictions. After reading, let students share what they have learned about tree frogs from the book.
  3. Now you are ready to begin planning for your slideshow. Begin with a blank flow map or other type of flow chart. Tell students this will be your storyboard for the project. Each box in the map will represent a slide in the slideshow. (See attachment for sample Flow Map.)
  4. Designate the first box of your flow map for the title page. Then ask students to retell the story. Pick out the most important events of the story and place them in sequential order on the flow map/storyboard. You can also designate the last box of the flow map for an “about the author” slide. You now have a completed storyboard for your slideshow.
  5. Assign students different events and let them illustrate. This can be done on paper and scanned. You can also let students use the drawing tools in PowerPoint, but let them plan their card on paper first and then do it on computer.
  6. After students’ artwork is scanned and put on slides or drawn on the computer, it is time to work on text. Let students write captions for their events/illustrations on index cards. Then attach them onto their planning sheet where they want to add their text box. Assist children in editing their text. Remind them to use correct punctuation, capitalization, etc. Show students how to add text boxes and let them add text to their cards.
  7. Next, you can record narration. Let each child record his/her caption.
  8. If you wish, you can add an “about the author” slide. Take a picture of your “authors” with a digital camera to include or scan a regular photograph. Let students write up something about them. You can even make it look like rolling credits.
  9. Now that your project is finished, you can present it to the class with a projection device or at the computer with one small group at a time.


To assess the slides, you can look at several different factors. These factors include (but are not limited to) cooperation, content accuracy, spelling and grammar, buttons. In considering content, I not only looked at what children wrote, but I also look at their illustrations. Did the illustration correctly reflect the event from the story?

Supplemental information


This project was completed over several different days. We spent a couple sessions just reading the story and completing the flow map. Then we worked on their illustrations and captions. Once I got illustrations scanned, we spent the next couple of sessions typing text, recording narration, etc.

I love this topic because it ties into so many areas. Frogs fit the second grade curriculum (life cycles). You can also do some geography and talk about rain forests.

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

        • Grade 2
          • 2.RL.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
      • Grade 2

        • 2.TT.1 Use technology tools and skills to reinforce classroom concepts and activities. 2.TT.1.1 Use a variety of technology tools to gather data and information (e.g., Web-based resources, e-books, online communication tools, etc.). 2.TT.1.2 Use a variety...
      • Science (2010)
        • 2.L.1 Understand animal life cycles. 2.L.1.1 Summarize the life cycle of animals: Birth Developing into an adult Reproducing Aging and death 2.L.1.2 Compare life cycles of different animals such as, but not limited to, mealworms, ladybugs, crickets, guppies...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.09: Identify and use multimedia tools to combine text and graphics as a class/group assignment. Strand - Multimedia/Presentation

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 2.06: Recall main ideas, facts and details from a text.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.04: Increase oral and written vocabulary by listening, discussing, and composing texts when responding to literature that is read and heard. (e.g., read aloud by teacher, literature circles, interest groups, book clubs).
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.06: Plan and make judgments about what to include in written products (e.g., narratives of personal experiences, creative stories, skits based on familiar stories and/or experiences).
    • Objective 4.09: Use media and technology to enhance the presentation of information to an audience for a specific purpose.
  • Goal 5: The learner will apply grammar and language conventions to communicate effectively.
    • Objective 5.02: Attend to spelling, mechanics, and format for final products in one's own writing.