Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Oops, I Did Not Say It Right

Brenda Lewis-Williams


Students will understand how the behavior of family members and peers affects interpersonal communication. The story “Chicken Little” will demonstrate and differentiate between truth or gossip.


The student knows communication strategies for avoiding potentially harmful situations (eg., refusal skills and resistance to peer pressure).


-The literature story “Chicken Little”
-From the Poetry Pool, the poem “Chicken Little” (see Weblinks section)
-Etchings of “The Sky Is Falling” and “Confidants”


1. On Day 1 check out the websites and download all material that needs to be duplicated. Duplicate etchings. Practice reading the story to the class.
2. On Day 2 give etchings for visual comprehension and read the poem to reinforce the story and objectives of the effect of behavior of family members and peers in relationship to interpersonal communication.


Day 1:
1. Gain attention by reading the story to the class.

2. Present objectives: Students will understand how the behavior of family members and peers affects interpersonal communication.

3. Relate to present knowledge by asking the students if something strange has happened to them. After students respond verbally, share with students the story of Chicken Little and how perception creates issues that cause confusion. Example: Chicken Little did not know what hit her on the head, so she made an erroneous assumption. Her assumption led to gossip that spread and created chaos in the community (barnyard).

4. Arrange students in groups of no more than five. The group designates a recorder and a presenter. The recorder records the groups’ ideas on a sheet of paper. The presenter will share the groups’ responses with the entire class.

5. Engage students in learning by asking students to discuss how they would have responded (positive) /reacted (negative) in the same situation.

6. While students work in groups, listen to student responses and provide nominal feedback (teacher as a facilitator).

Day 2:
1. Provide for practice by discussing their perceptions of the etchings and poem and how it relates to the present.

2. Create a T-chart on the white board with two columns. Include one column for truth and one for gossip.

3. Use the etching titled Confidants to discuss the similarities and differences of confidants and gossips.

4. Use the nursery rhyme "Chicken Little" and etching of The Sky Is Falling to relate the fear and confusion created by Chicken Little’s statement, "The sky is falling!"

Day 3:
1. Provide feedback: The discussion groups will provide feedback as it will allow the students to internalize the concepts of and contrast between truth and gossip.

2. Read to the class the poem "Chicken Little" by Eric Sleator McGill and discuss his version of the truth as opposed to Chicken Little’s perception of truth.

3. Ask the question: If Mr. McGill had spoken up and told Chicken Little what he had done, what would have been the outcome? Would the truth have become gossip or remained as truth?


After class and group discussions, the students will have learned to internalize and to extrapolate information from situations that are not so obvious. The students will be able to become effective communicators and become responsible and ethical workers.
Assess students' responses from day 1, 2, and 3:
-Verbal discussions and comprehension of key words
-Compare and contrast of similarities and differences in the etchings that were used to develop communication strategies that avoid conflict
-Determining the outcome based on the poem by Eric Skeator McGill
-Written observations from student journal


This is a conflict resolution lesson.

Web Links

Web supplement for Oops, I Did Not Say It Right
Poetry site

This site provides a visual for individual interpretation in conjunction with the actual story.

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