Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Where Do We Begin?

Renee Benefield


Students learn that writing and reading have to be in a certain order to make sense. This lesson will show students that in a no nonsense way!


The student knows various broad literary forms (for example, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, picture and predictable books).


-Large chart paper or chalk board (The chart paper is easy to relocate to a bulletin board or language arts center.)
-Pencils, crayons, markers for students' use
-Paper for students' use (prefolded into 3 sections)
-Fictional books that are familiar to the students that have vivid sequences of events (Little Red Riding Hood, for example)
-Several pictures (I have a picture box that is full of calendar pictures.)
-Copies of the attached file for each student


1. Put up chart paper.
2. Make copies of attached file, one per student.
3. Gather story books that have a very vivid beginning, middle, and ending.


1. Start the lesson by telling the students the sequence of events that you did this morning to get ready for school. You may list the steps on the chart paper.

2. Ask students if you could have put on your clothes before you got out of bed. Students will think this is very silly, but it will demonstrate that you can not do some things until you do something else first. Take the students through how they brush their teeth and the little steps it takes to do a task that seems so simple. Be sure not to leave out any steps!

3. Show a story with which the students are familiar, such as Little Red Riding Hood. Ask students if they are familiar with the story and have a small discussion about what happened first, next, and last.

4. Ask the students if Grandma could have gotten the basket of goodies before Little Red Riding Hood came to see her. The students will answer no. Have the students tell you the events that happened and write them down under the captions- first, next, and last.

5. Explain that all stories have to be in a certain order to make sense. Something had to happen first, then there is a middle part of the story, and then an ending.

6. Select a picture and tell the students that they will be doing a group story that tells about the picture and the story will need a beginning, middle and ending. Tell the students they can not see the beginning or the end, so they will have to create their own ideas. Encourage the students to make the story juicy with lots of interesting ideas and not boring. Encourage the students to tell about the picture. Encourage them to not begin their sentences with -I like...- which would make it a story about themselves.

7. Draw large circles on the chart paper and write beginning, middle, and ending. Take the dictation of the students as they tell the story. Then in each circle, write the appropriate story parts. Try to trick the students and ask them if you should write this part (middle) in the ending circle. Students try to catch the teacher's mistake!!

8. After recording the group story, ask the students to practice reading the story. Stress that this group story is very interesting and is considered a story, but that some stories have lots of details to make them more exciting to read.

9. Review the fact that all stories must have a beginning, middle, and end, that all stories must be in order to make sense.

10. Explain to the students that they will be putting a simple story in order showing the beginning, middle, and ending. Explain that they will be given three story parts. They will have to cut apart the parts and put them in the right story postion. Pass out the copies and give the students time to complete their work.

11. Assess the activity.


After the introduction of story sequence, the students will be formatively assessed by putting a story in order to show their understanding of beginning, middle, and ending elements of the story structure. Students will need to practice many times prior to being summatively assessed. Offer feedback and direction to those who need it.
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