Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Blooming with Self-Confidence

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Many children worry about not being able to do what other children can do. This lesson will help them understand and respect differences in readiness and abilities, as they read the book [Leo the Late Bloomer] and make flowers of their own.


The student knows how to use positive communication skills when expressing needs, wants, and feelings.

The student uses prior knowledge, illustrations, and text to make predictions.

The student uses basic elements of phonetic analysis (for example, hears, segments, substitutes, and blends sounds in words).

The student generates ideas before writing on self-selected topics and assigned tasks (for example, brainstorming, observing surroundings, reading texts, discussion with peer).

The student writes informal texts (for example, journal entries, reading response).


-Suggested book, [Leo the Late Bloomer], Kraus, Harpercollins Juvenile Books, 1994
-Suggested song, "Each of Us is a Flower," [10 Carrot Diamond] CD, Charlotte Diamond, 1995
-CD/cassette player
-4” Circles cut from yellow construction paper (one per student; use the Elison machine if one is available.)
-3x5 Orange or red construction paper rectangles (5 for each student)
-1x 12” Green construction paper for a stem (one for each student
-Chart paper
-Glue (enough for each student)
-Duplicate brainstorming Web sheet (see associated file)
-I’m Blooming bulletin board
-Bear stickers from lesson 2
-Calendar for review
-"Month-a-rena" and "Seven Days In a Week" songs from the previous lesson


1. Make the I’m Blooming bulletin board. (Suggestion: use a blue background with yellow letters)
2. Cut out 4” yellow circles from construction paper for the centers of the flowers. (Use the Ellison machine if you have one available.) Each student needs one.
3. Cut 3”x5” orange or red construction paper rectangles for the flower petals. Each student needs five.
4. Cut 1”x 12” stems from green construction paper. Each student needs one.
5. Have [Leo the Late Bloomer] out ready to read. If this book is not available, any book on self-confidence will do.
6. Have the CD/cassette of 10 Carrot Diamond with the song "Each of Us is a Flower" ready to play along with the CD/cassette player.
7. You will need chart paper for listing how Leo bloomed in the story.


Lesson 6 Day 10 of the All About Me Unit
It is a good idea to have a volunteer or paraprofession help you with this lesson.

1. Call students to circle time. Ask about classroom manners and pass out ‘beary’ good manners stickers for those showing good manners. Be sure to praise as many as many students as possible so good manners practice continues to spread throughout the classroom. If you are using the good manners backpack from lesson one, read an entry or two from the journal. Formatively assess students.

2. Then review what students learned about calendars and time from the day before. Ask: Who remembers what we learned about yesterday? Yes, it was birthdays. Sing the "Month-a-rena" and "Seven Days in a Week." Review a year, month, week, and day by when birthdays come with a calendar.

3. Also, review the birthday graphing activity so students become more familiar with the graphing process. Call on students to retell what they did and the conclusions they came to. Count the number of birthdays you will celebrate this year.

4. Ask: Do you ever worry about not being able to do what other children do? Suggest maybe they worry about their friends already knowing how to ride a bike without training wheels and perhaps they do not. Talk about different children’s responses. Introduce the book, [Leo the Late Bloomer]. Do a book walk and make predictions about the story. Tell students a prediction is a good guess of what you think the story will be about.

A. Cover page, say: Look at Leo. How does he look? What makes you feel that way?

B. Page 7, What is Leo doing here?

C. Page 9, Who are these people? How do they look?

D. Page 15, What is happening here?

E. Page 21, How does Leo look now?

F. Page 27, Now what is happening?

Formatively assess students.

5. Find out what this story is about. Read and discuss the story. Talk about the ways that Leo bloomed in the story, and the things he could do after he bloomed. Make a list of these things on chart paper. Title it: How Leo Bloomed.

6. Now model the blooming brainstorming and writing activity students will do later. With the 4” yellow circle, write Leo’s name in the center. Then choose five things from the list you made and write them on the orange rectangle flower petals. Glue the petals around the circle to make a flower. Put a green stem on the bottom and say: “Look how Leo bloomed!”

7. Demonstrate brainstorming on the chalkboard or overhead projector by making a blooming flower of your own. Write your name and draw a circle around it. Then draw lines out to the side and write five things you can do. (See associated file for an example.)

8. Now show students how to transfer each of five “I can” brainstorming ideas from your paper onto the orange rectangles, glue them to the yellow circle and add a stem. Proclaim: “I’m blooming, just like Leo!”

9. Assign students the I’m Blooming writing activity. Pass out the brainstorming sheets. Make sure students write their names in the circles and five things they can do around the circle. (The teacher can take dictation for students who need extra help.) Talk about several spelling strategies to help them spell words they do not know like:

A. Using the word wall

B. Finding words on charts or poems

C. Sounding out words using Elkonin boxes. For example say:

You want to write the word bike, but are not sure of how to spell it. How many sounds does it have? Hold up a finger for each sound /b/ /i/ /k/, so how many boxes do we need? Draw three boxes. First sound /b/ write b in the first box. Second sound /i/, write i in the second box. Third sound is /k/, write k in the third box. Now write the word correctly with the silent “e” on the end.
Formatively assess students.

10. Take dictation for those students who need extra help with writing. Tell students when they complete the brainstorming activity to show their work to the teacher and she will give them their yellow circle, five orange rectangles, and a bottle of glue. Then they can transfer their brainstorming to the flower.

11. When students have completed the I’m Blooming writing activity, have them share their flowers with the class. Post their flowers on the I’m Blooming bulletin board.

12. Remind them that everyone is different and unique and introduce the song "Each of Us is a Flower." Sing it several times so students become familiar with it. Be sure to tell them how happy you are each of them is in your class and how much you are enjoying learning about them.


Day 10
Formatively assess student knowledge of how to use positive communication skills when expressing needs, wants, and feelings by listening to responses from procedure #1. You are specifically listening for statements like:
Patiently waiting turns in line, raising hand to ask questions, polite responses using thank you or excuse me.

Formatively assess if student uses prior knowledge, illustrations, and text to make predictions by listening to the responses in procedure #4. Look for:
a. Cover page-Leo looks upset or sad.
b. Page 7, he still looks sad or not happy.
c. Page 9, these people could be his friends or family. They look worried.
d. Page 15, someone is watching Leo. They are taking care of him.
e. Page 21, he looks happy!
f. Page 27, now what is happening?

Formatively assess students generating ideas before writing on self-selected topics and assigned tasks by walking around and observing their writing on the brainstorming sheets. Look for things students can do:
a. ride bikes
b. read books
c. sing
d. wash dishes, etc.

Formatively assess students' use of basic elements of phonetic analysis (for example, hears, segments, substitutes, and blends sounds in words) as they use Elkonin boxes in procedure #9.

Formatively assess student writing informal texts in procedure #9 by observing that they wrote five things they can do well.


1. A great extension would be to read [Little Louie the Baby Bloomer], Kraus, Harper Trophy, 2000. In this book, Leo helps his little brother Louie who can’t do anything right.

2. Have students take the brainstorming sheet with the 5 statements they wrote about what they can do and have them write it in paragraph form in their journals. This can be a writing mini lesson. Use the teacher’s example during shared writing to model the process. Then assign students to do the same.

3. Chart the song "Each of Us is a Flower" for a singing and reading extension.

4. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

Information on ordering the Charlotte Diamond CD, '10 Carrot Diamond' can be found here.
10 Carrot Diamond

This site is a search of all public school media centers for specific books and media materials. Use this site to locate the materials needed for this lesson.

Attached Files

Sample brainstorming sheet     File Extension: pdf

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