Beacon Lesson Plan Library

What Would Pink Say

Carla Tolone


After listening to Patricia Polacco's [Pink and Say] students create a Venn diagram of similarities and differences between the two main characters.


The student knows the similarities and differences of characters presented within and across fourth grade or higher level selections.


-Book: Polacco, Patricia. [Pink and Say]. New York: Philomel Books, 1994.
-Map of the United States
-Chart paper
-One piece of construction paper for each set of partners or small groups of three
-Teacher Checklist (See Associated File)


1. Gather materials listed above for activity.
2. Copy Teacher Checklist. (See Associated File)


1. The class reviews a map of the states involved in the Civil War and students identify which states are in the north and which are in the south. Explain and discuss the differences between the Union states and the Confederate states.

2. Involve students in a discussion of why the Civil War began by brainstorming feelings about the causes of the war. This whole-class discussion helps to introduce the story of [Pink and Say].

3. Show the students the cover of [Pink and Say] and ask students what differences and what similarities they see just by looking at the two main characters.

4. List the student responses on the board or a piece of chart paper.

5. Read the story [Pink and Say] and instruct students to listen for similarities and differences between the two characters.

6. After reading the book, students meet with a partner or in a small group of three to create a Venn diagram. Draw a Venn diagram on chart paper and review with students what goes in the inner and outer parts of the circles.

7. Use recorded student responses in step 3 to model for the students how to record the similarities and differences on the Venn diagram.

8. Allow partners/groups to meet for 15 minutes to complete their Venn diagram on construction paper. Encourage students to generate at least 3 similarities and 3 differences.

9. Collect Venn diagrams and reconvene into a whole-group meeting. Have students take turns adding the similarities and differences they created with partners/groups to the Venn Diagram you drew earlier on the chart paper.

10. After each group has had a chance to share their ideas, ask for any additional similarities and/or differences individuals saw within the story and discuss the characteristics on the diagram.


A checklist (See Associated File) is used to formatively assess student knowledge of similarities and differences of characters. The teacher provides formative feedback to students as they are creating their Venn diagrams.


As an extension or follow-up activity, ask students to close their eyes and pretend they are either Pink or Say. Explain to students that they will be writing a letter from the point of view of the character they chose. This letter will describe the new friend they met (either Pink or Say) and how they are alike and how they are different. Students can pretend to write the letter to whoever they wish.

Attached Files

This file contains the Teacher Checklist for Venn Diagrams.     File Extension: pdf

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