Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Reap What You Sow with Writing

Holley Murphy
DeSoto County Schools


You reap what you sow! Sow the seeds of the writing process by teaching students to make a plan before they write. This lesson details how to use a graphic organizer to summarize the story [The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat].


The student makes a plan before writing the first draft (for example, drawing pictures, using graphic organizers).


-Book: Nestrick, Nova. [The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat]. Platt, 1961. (If the book is not available, see Weblinks.)
-Props of each character (puppets, masks, pictures, etc.)
-Stalk of wheat
-Loaf of fresh bread (unsliced)
-Chart paper divided into 6 squares (See Graphic Organizer Sample in Associated File)
-Markers for writing on chart paper
-Writing paper pre-folded into 6 square spaces (one sheet for each student)
-Pencils for each child


1. Gather props, masks, pictures, etc. of characters for display and to hook the students into the lesson.
2. Fold writing paper into 6 square spaces, one sheet per student.
3. Purchase a loaf of fresh, unsliced bread.
4. Acquire a head of wheat-full stalk of wheat (available at most craft stores).


1. Display the props of each character.

2. Display the stalk of wheat and the fresh loaf of unsliced bread.

3. Ask the students to think about the props they see then guess what today’s story is about.

4. Ask the students if they have ever heard the story [The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat]. Students who respond positively may share a few words of description. If no one responds as having heard the story, pick up props and have the children name them.

5. Read and reread the story. Invite the children to “chime in” when they hear the familiar phrases such as, “Not I.”

6. Discuss the main idea of the story. Discuss the transitions. What happens first, next, then, last? Discuss the conclusion.

7. Encourage the students to share the story with their families tonight.

1. Reread [The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat].

2. Brainstorm the main idea, transitions and conclusion.

3. Model the graphic organizer with input from the children. (See Sample in Associated File)

4. Read the information on the graphic organizer aloud as a class.

5. Review where each piece of information goes in the graphic organizer.

1. Encourage the children to join in a choral reading of [The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat].

2. Briefly review the chart of the graphic organizer.

3. Distribute pre-folded writing paper to each student.

4. The students make their own graphic organizer summarizing [The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat].

5. Circulate the room assisting students, as needed.

6. Conference with students as they complete the assignment. Use a formative rubric (See Associated File) to assess and provide feedback.


Each student's graphic organizer is formatively assessed using a rubric (See Associated File) as the teacher and student engage in a conference concerning the completion of the graphic organizer as a planning tool for writing.


1. Now that they've made a plan, have the children write a summary paragraph using the completed graphic organizer.
2. For ESOL/ESE students, have the children dictate what would be written in each square of the graphic organizer.

Web Links

Web supplement for Reap What You Sow With Writing
Little Red Hen

Attached Files

This file contains a rubric and the Graphic Organizer Sample.     File Extension: pdf

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