Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Important Thing

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Student-made time capsules end the All About Me unit by showcasing important things about individuals in class.


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 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).

The student understands calendar time (days, weeks, months, years).


-Empty Pringles can (one for each student)
-5x8 white sheet (one for each student)
-Suggested book, [The Important Book], Brown, Harper Trophy, 1990 (or any other book on what makes a person important)
-Suggested book, [Another Important Book], Brown, Harpercollins Juvenile Books, 1999 (or any other book about what makes a person important)
-Suggested book, [My Teacher Sleeps in School], Weiss, Puffin Books, 1985
-The Important Thing About Me activity sheet (two for each student) (See attached file)
-The Important Thing About Me brainstorming sheet (See associated file)
-Box that can be sealed up
-Calendars (enough for several groups of 4)
-Digital camera/regular camera
-Height and weight sheet from day 5 and 6
-Body tracings from day 5 and 6
-Crayons (enough for each student)
-Summative 2 (one for each student)
-Suggested song, "The ABC’s of You," [Down the DO-RE-MI] CD, Red Grammer, 1990
-Measurement sheet from Day 5


1. Collect enough Pringles cans for each student. You can ask for volunteers to send them in.
2. You will need a 5x8 sheet of white paper, crayons and tape for each student to decorate his time capsule. (Make one ahead of time to show as an example)
3. Also needed is a box that can be sealed to store the time capsules in until the end of school. It will need to be large enough to store one Pringle can for each student in your class.
4. Have [ The Important Book, Another Important Book,] and [My Teacher Sleeps in School] ready to read.
5. Duplicate the brainstorming sheet for each child. Also make two copies of the Important Thing About Me sheet. One page is to be filled out now, and the other one on the last day of school to use as a comparison.
6. Have students’ body tracings and height/weight sheets ready to place in the time capsules.
7. Take students pictures with a digital camera/regular camera. Attach picture to the important activity sheet.
8. You need enough calendars for several groups of four. It is a good idea to count how many days, weeks, and months ahead of time so you know the correct responses to students' answers.


Lesson 8 Day 13 and 14 of the All About Me unit.

Check in the “Beary” good manners backpack and read some journal entries. Discuss who’s been seen practicing good manners. Formatively assess students answers.

1. Call students to circle time. Review onset and rhyme from the previous day with the word like from the book, [I Like Me!] Write on the board: like, bike, hike. Ask: What is the rhyme? What are the beginning letters? What are some other words you could make?

2. Tell students you have a question for them. Ask: What does important mean? Listen to several responses. Tell them important means valuable or something worth a lot. Think back to yesterday's lesson when we made collages that showed what you liked about yourself. Think of all those things you put in your collage, what is the most important? Give an example from the teacher's collage.

3. Hold up [The Important Book]. Read the title of the book. Ask: What do you see on the cover?

A. Look on the title page. What do you see?

B. Page 1, What do we see?

C. Page 4, On this page there is what?

D. Continue to use picture clues for predictions of what the story will be about.

E. Who thinks they know what this book is about?
Formatively assess students.

4. Read [The Important Book]. Discuss all the important things in the world according to the story, but ask, what is the most important? Hopefully students will come to the conclusion that they are. Have them think back to what you asked them in #2. What is the most important thing about each individual student?

5. Return to desks and have students brainstorm important things about them. Distribute the brainstorming activity sheet. Instruct students to write ideas in the boxes. They can write more than one idea if they want to. Model this from the board or with an overhead transparency. Talk about how to spell words. Students can use the word wall, poem and song charts, ask a friend or sound it out. Make sure students show you the completed brainstorming sheet before you give them the Important Thing About Me activity sheet. Formatively assess students.

6. Now distribute The Important Thing About Me activity sheet. Show students how to take their brainstorming ideas and transfer them to the sheet. While students are completing their sheets, take their pictures. (I use a digital camera because you can print them out on the printer at school. Most school media centers have one for check out, but any camera will do.) Attach the picture to the sheet when students have completed it.

7. Tell students we are going to take the important thing activity sheet and put it in a time capsule to open on the last day of school. Does anybody know what a time capsule is? A time capsule is a container that holds information about the present. It is sealed up, put away, (sometimes buried) and gotten out at a specific time frame. You can compare what is inside with the present day and see how much things have changed. In our class, we are going to put our body tracings with our height and weight along with this important page. Then on the last day of school you will fill out another important page and measure your height/weight again. We will open the time capsule compare your body tracing along with your height /weight to see how much you’ve grown and changed. Remember when we took height and weights, you asked why there were two lines. The second line is for the last day of school.

8. Now that the sheets are complete, it’s time for students to decorate their time capsules. Distribute 5x8 white sheets. Have students write their names and decorate them with pictures from the important pages like their favorite foods, games, TV shows, etc... Then cover and tape to the Pringles can.

9. Once the time capsules are complete, it is time to pass out the height/weight sheets, important page (with student pictures), and the body tracing to each student. Staple all the pages together, fold the body tracing in half, roll it up and place in the time capsule. (Be sure to place the second copy of The Important Thing About Me Activity Sheet in the box, too, so students can fill out one at the end of school for comparison.) Once the lids go on the time capsules, students are not to open them again. Place time capsules in a box labeled Time Capsules and open the last day of school. Seal with tape and place on a shelf where you can see them often and be reminded to open them the last day of school. (Of course the students will not let you forget!)

10. Ask students how they can figure out what the last day of school is and how many days, weeks, and months will go by until they can open their time capsules. Hopefully someone will say they could use a calendar to find out. Review the year, month, week, and day vocabulary with students with a calendar as a model. Ask:

A. 12 months equal ____?

B. A month is made up of what?

C. How many days are in a week?

D. What makes up a day?
(Answers will vary according to the date of this activity)

11. Divide students into groups of four and give each group a calendar. Assign each group to find out how many months, weeks, or days until we can open the time capsules. Set the boundaries for this activity by saying the month we will start with is August and the month we will end with is May. Give students about 15 minutes to complete this. Walk around and observe each group. Provide corrective feedback if needed. When students have finished call everyone back to carpet. Ask:

A. How many months until we can open the time capsule?

B. How many weeks?

C. How many days?

D. Will a year go by?
Talk about how many months are in a school year versus a regular year.
(This activity could be done in a whole group depending on your situation.)

12. End this lesson by reading [Another Important Book]. Have students make predictions about this story. Discuss and make comparisons of how the two books are alike and different. Conclude each and every one of them is special and that you are glad they are in your class!

Day 14 of All About Me

1. Give Summative 2.

2. Celebrate the end of the unit by introducing and singing "The ABCs of You" by Red Grammer. Sing it several times until students become familiar with it. This song sums up all that is good about students and promotes a positive image.

3. Sing and recite other songs and poems from the All About Me unit. Tell students how proud you are of their great manners. (If you did the “Beary” Good Manners backpack read several pages from the journal.)

4. Tell students how much you enjoyed learning about them and ask how much they know about you. (They should know a little about the teacher as she has modeled her responses in many of the daily activities, but the next question is one students are always curious about.) Read the title of the story [My Teacher Sleeps in School] and ask if students think you sleep at school. Read the story and ask if reading this book answers their question. Tell students more information about you.


Day 13 and 14
Formatively assess students' use of prior knowledge, illustrations, and text to make predictions in procedure #3. Listen for predictions that match the pictures. Any off the wall statements that don’t make sense are a red flag that means more work is needed in predicting.

Formatively assess students' understanding of calendar time (days, weeks, months, years) by observing students as they complete the activity in procedure #11. Answers will vary depending on the date the activity is done on.

Formatively assess students as they generate ideas before writing on self-selected topics and assigned tasks by observing them complete the brainstorming activity in procedure #5. Look for students filling out the page with correct words that match the box they are putting them in.

Formatively assess students writing informal texts as they complete the Important Thing About Me activity sheet from procedure #6. Observe students' writings to make sure each line is completed and makes sense.

Day 14
Summatively assess the rest of the unit standards. (See Extensions)


1. Math Center: Place calendars at the math center for students to further explore them.

2. Writing Mini lesson: Take the brainstorming sheet and show students how to write this information in paragraph form.

3. Make a note on your calendar or in your lesson plan book to get the time capsules out in May. Then you can have a good comparison of work from the beginning of the year to the end.

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 Margaret Wise Brown (author of books used in this lesson) can be found here.

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.

Information on purchasing the Red Grammer cd can be found here.
Red Grammer

Attached Files

The Brainstorming and Important activity sheets.     File Extension: pdf

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