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Stars on student desks used during lesson

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Social Studies Sample Lesson Plan

Background or Context


Brief description of group: Grade 2, ages 7-8, 19 students (7 boys and 12 girls) Students of varying levels; 3 are on modified reading instruction, 2 are on modified spelling and vocabulary instruction.


General Goal(s)/Overall Purpose of Lesson and Relationship to Theme or Unit: Students will learn the connections between equality and justice, the overall theme of the unit.


Why does this learning matter? To engage students in thinking about justice and equality; to engage students in our country’s democracy based on the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice.


Lesson Plan


Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and Learning Standard(s): Civics and Government.6: Define and give examples of some of the rights and responsibilities that students as citizens have in school. (C)   ELA Standards 1, 2, 8, 9, 11, 12, 19, and 23.  


Specific, Immediate, or Short-Term Lesson Objectives:  Students will express their understanding of equality through writing and illustrating using examples from the reading of The Sneetches.


Core Vocabulary: Equality, Equal, Segregation


Materials: Pencil, Writing/Illustrating paper, Star cut outs (one for each student)


Minilesson (Introduce and Model New Knowledge): (30 minutes)

Connection: We checked our prior knowledge yesterday on what we already knew about equality by talking about the different settings in which we see or hear the word “equal” (point out classroom display we made yesterday). Today, we are going to start making a definition of equality through reading and discussing the book The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

Book Talk: Class Discussion, Do you think this book is going to be fiction or non-fiction? How many kids have read a book by Dr. Seuss before? What do you think some of the characteristics of the story might be (make a prediction)? (Try to get at rhyming, silliness, not a true story, etc)

Read-Aloud: Reading and During-Reading Discussion, Explain to students that some have stars and some do not, therefore some of us are going to be Star-Belly Sneetches and some of us will be Plain-Belly Sneetches. I will be giving the tallest students in the class stars to start with (to relate to the issue of appearance and equality in the book). We are going to follow the story line in our classroom during reading.

pp. 3-7

            Q: What is the problem in this story?

            Q: How big are the stars?

            Q: Do you think the stars matter?

Q: How do the Star-Belly Sneetches feel because they have stars? How do you feel?

            Q: How do you think the Plain-Belly Sneetches feel? How do you feel?

            Q: Does the story remind you of any other situation? Text-to-world connection?

pp. 8-11

            Q: Would you get a star? Why or why not?

Q: What do you think the Star-Belly Sneetches will say about the new Star-Bellies?

            pp. 12-13

                        Q: Why do you think the Star-Belly Sneetches think they are the best Sneetches?

                        Q: Do those of you with Stars think you are better than the other students? Why?

            pp. 14-17

Q: How will the new Star-Belly Sneetches feel now that there are several new Plain-Belly Sneetches? How do you feel?

            pp. 18-19

                        Q: Why do the Sneetches care so much about who has stars?

                        Q: Do you care who has the stars?

            pp. 20-21

Q: The Sneetches can no longer recognize each other. What do you think they will do?


                        Q: What has changed at the end of the story?

                        Q: How do the Sneetches now treat each other?

                        Q: What do the Sneetches learn by the end of the story?


Guided Practice: (15 minutes)

Literature Response, Students will respond on writing/illustrating worksheets to the question “What did you learn about equality in The Sneetches? Use an example from the book to explain.” Students will be asked to respond to this question using just a few sentences, to allow for this task to be completed in the given time. Student’s responses will be displayed in the classroom. This work will be done independently. I will be circling the room to conference with students.

Extension: Students who finish early will work on an equality word web.


Share/Wrap Up: (5 minutes)

            What did you learn about equality in this story? Does our school have equality? In what ways? (playground, lunchroom, classroom, etc)


Formative/Ongoing Assessment: Discussion throughout the read aloud serves as formative and ongoing assessment. Conferencing with students during literature response, as well.


Summative/End of Lesson Assessment: Literature response will function as an end of lesson assessment. Also, a pre-assessment was given before starting the “equality” portion of the unit asking, “What is equality?” Students will be asked to respond to a post-assessment asking the same question after the 2nd lesson of this portion of the justice unit on equality.


Possible challenges: Some students may choose not to participate in the discussion during the read aloud. I should be cautious of who I am calling on and be sure to rotate between students, so even those students who are not raising hands to offer up their opinions become a part of the class discussion. Some students have difficulty articulating their thoughts into writing in previous lessons. This problem appears to be more with the writing of the words than with the thoughts themselves. I should be aware of these students and guide them through conferencing (i.e. asking them questions and telling them “there! You got it! Write that down!”), as a means of differentiating.


Brief Plans for Next Lesson: Next lesson will be a read aloud of The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson. We will then compare these two stories about equality to assist with students coming to a firm definition of equality. 





Name_____________________________________ Date___________________


What did you learn about equality in The Sneetches? Use an example from the book to explain. 




























DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.