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.
A lesson plan for grade 1 English Language Arts
- retell main characters, setting, and plot of The Alphabet Tree.
- retell the events of the story in sequential order.
- identify important components of the computer (keyboard, monitor, printer, etc).
- use the Kid Pix program to put together a multimedia presentation which retells the story.
Time required for lesson
- The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni
- Chart paper and Markers
- Kid Pix Studio Deluxe Software by Broderbund software
- Computer and printer (if you want to let children print their individual Kid Pix illustrations)
- Projection Device (i.e. LCD) or Large Monitor(i.e. Avery Key) for student presentations of their slide show or to review the Kid Pix tools with the whole group
- Review the concepts of a letter, word, and sentence.
- Discuss the meaning of the word “peace” as it is important to understanding the message of the story.
- If your students have not used Kid Pix before, let them have some time to experiment with it prior to this lesson so they are familiar with all the different drawing tools and what they do.
- Introduce the story by activating background knowledge. Discuss the meaning of the word “peace.” Discuss Springtime conditions. (March winds, insects coming out)
- Read the story to students.
- On a piece of chart paper, draw a blank flow map or flow chart of some kind with five boxes.
- Begin by discussing the characters, setting, and lesson learned from the story. Ask students to retell the main events in order and fill them in on the flow chart (letters setting in the tree, letters getting blown out of the tree, bee comes along and they make words, caterpillar comes along and they make sentences, caterpillar takes their sentence to the president).
- Split students into groups of five. One person in each group will choose an event to illustrate using the Kid Pix software (see Example 1 and Example 2).
- Prior to students beginning their Kid Pix projects, review the parts of the computer. Remind students that just like in our story, where the letters worked together to make words and sentences, the computer has many parts that work together. Ask students to name the parts of the computer: mouse, monitor, etc. You can even make little signs and let the students label a computer.
- Demonstrate how to add a text box on the Kid Pix program prior to letting students begin. They will still need guidance with it, but this will help. I would also review the use of the drawing tools and stamps.
- Let students open the Kid Pix program and click “Kid Pix.” This will take them to where they can paint their picture. Have students add their text box and type the event first.
- Remind students that their illustration needs to match their text just as it does in a storybook.
- After all the illustrations are complete, put them in order in the slide show program in Kid Pix. You can have students assist you with this. Let each group present their slide show.
- Students will be assessed by questioning and observation. How well they are able to retell the story will let me know if they understood it.
- Students will also be questioned about names of computer parts, monitor, keyboard, etc.
- The captions students write on their Kid Pix illustration can be used to assess spelling and punctuation.
I am a Reading specialist who works with students in a small group setting. I did this activity with a group of 5 first graders. It can be adapted and done with Kindergartners or Second graders as well. You can do it with one small group or break your class into several small groups and let each one complete their own slide show. We even extended the activity by turning the story into a play and doing a “Readers’ Theater.”
- Common Core State Standards
- English Language Arts (2010)
- Grade 1
- 1.RL.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
- 1.RL.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
- Grade 1
- English Language Arts (2010)
North Carolina curriculum alignment
Computer Technology Skills (2005)
- Goal 1: The learner will understand important issues of a technology-based society and will exhibit ethical behavior in the use of computer and other technologies.
- Objective 1.02: Identify and discuss physical components of a computing device (e.g., CPU, monitor, keyboard, disk drive, printer, mouse). Strand - Societal/Ethical Issues
- Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
- Objective 2.07: Use multimedia software to illustrate words/phrases/concepts. Strand - Multimedia/Presentation
English Language Arts (2004)
- 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 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
- Objective 4.03: Use specific words to name and tell action in oral and written language (e.g., using words such as frog and toad when discussing an expository text).
- Objective 4.06: Compose a variety of products (e.g., stories, journal entries, letters, response logs, simple poems, oral retellings).