Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Four Animal Legs at Sunset
Bay District Schools
Did you know that the sun is a star? This fourth lesson of the unit, Sky High Counting, engages students in counting and literature as they learn about the sun. Students continue their counting books adding a page for the number 4.
The student uses titles and illustrations to make oral predictions.
The student dictates messages (for example, news, stories).
The student relates characters and simple events in a read-aloud book to own life.
The student counts up to 10 or more objects using verbal names and one-to-one correspondence.
The student uses numbers and pictures to describe how many objects are in a set (to 10 or more).
The student uses sets of concrete materials to represent quantities, to 10 or more, given in verbal or written form.
The student knows that the sky looks different during the day than it does at night.
The student knows that the position of the Sun in the sky appears to change during the day.
The student knows some of the objects seen in the night sky (for example, stars, Moon).
-Crews, Donald. [Ten Black Dots]. New York. Scholastic. 1968.
-Carle, Eric. [1,2,3 To The Zoo]. New York. Philomel Books. 1968.
-Moncure, Jane Belk. [The Sun, Our Daytime Star]. Chicago. Childrens Press. 1990.
-One copy of “Moving Sun Rhyme” from the associated file from the lesson plan “Three Bears and Three Goats in the Morning Sun”
-Four quarter-size, yellow construction paper or sticker dots per student
-Yellow construction paper cutout of the numeral 4, one per student plus one for the teacher’s number wall card (see associated file from lesson plan “One Sun, One Moon”)
-Copy of the student worksheet from associated file – one per student
-Copy of the formative assessment checklist previously used with this unit – one per student
-One sheet of chart paper
-Various colors of markers for writing on chart paper
-Four large yellow stars traced from the pattern for the number wall cards (see associated file for lesson plan “One Sun, One Moon”)
-One 12 x 16 sheet of dark blue construction paper to make number wall cards
-One sheet per student of dark blue, 6 x 8, construction paper
-Pencils – one per student
-A set of multiple colors of crayons and/or markers per student or group
-One one-gallon plastic bag per student (previously used with this unit)
-Summative Assessment #1, What Do You See? (one per student)
1. Obtain and preview the book [Ten Black Dots]. This book is the basis for the unit and will be used daily.
2. Obtain and preview the book [1, 2, 3, To The Zoo].
3. Obtain and preview the book [The Sun, Our Daytime Star].
4. Locate your copy of “Moving Sun Rhyme” from the associated file from the lesson plan Three Bears and Three Goats in the Morning Sun.
5. Cut or obtain 4 quarter-size, yellow, construction paper or sticker dots per student. (Ellison cutouts work great.)
6. Cut a yellow construction paper cutout of the numeral 4 per student plus one for the teacher’s number wall card. Patterns are available from the associated file from the lesson plan One Sun, One Moon. (Ellison cutouts work great.)
7. Download, print, and duplicate student worksheet from associated file – one per student.
8. Locate the formative assessment checklist previously used with this unit.
9. Locate 1 sheet of chart paper.
10. Locate various colors of markers for writing on chart paper.
11. Create 4 large yellow stars traced from the pattern in the associated file for lesson plan One Sun, One Moon for the number wall cards. (Ellison cutouts work great.)
12. Locate one 12 x 16 sheet of dark blue construction paper to make number wall cards. On this dark blue paper, glue four large yellow stars and a yellow cutout of the numeral 4.
13. Locate one sheet per student of dark blue, 6 x 8 construction paper.
14. Locate pencils, one per student.
15. Locate a set of multiple colors of crayons and/or markers per student or group of students.
16. Have gallon bags used previously hanging in the room and available for use today.
17. Download, print and duplicate for each student Summative Assessment #1, What Do You See? from the unit attached files. See Extensions for the link.
18. All books used in the unit that this lesson is part of should be obtainable from various school libraries in your district. To locate the books, use the Sunlink Web site. Ask your media specialist to request the books for you from the various libraries. I have found all media specialists to willingly share their books.
Note: This is lesson plan number four of ten that makes up the unit, Sky High Counting,available from the link in the top corner or from the Extensions section of this lesson plan. This integrated lesson plan includes reading, writing, mathematics, and science.
1. Draw students’ attention to the wall chart for the numbers that were previously presented. Orally review the lines of the numerals by having students trace them in the air as you verbally describe them. Ask a student to count the number of stars on the chart as you touch the stars to demonstrate one-to-one correspondence. Ask whether the blue paper is supposed to be the day sky or night sky and encourage students to explain how they know.
2. Read the book, [1, 2, 3, To The Zoo]. As you read, demonstrate one-to-one correspondence while counting the various animals and other objects in the story.
3. Ask students to relate the characters in the book to their own experiences such as going to the zoo or petting an animal. Ask guiding questions about these shared experiences that result in the answer “four” such as: “How many legs did the lion have?”
4. As each page is displayed, have a student tell whether the illustration shows the day or night sky. Ask for an explanation of how they determined that it is day or night sky.
5. As each page is read, have the students predict what might be on the following page. Ask why they made that prediction.
6. Display the number wall card for the number 4. Announce that today our special visitor is the number four.
7. Trace the cutout numeral on the chart with your finger. As you do, talk to the students about the fact that the numeral four looks kind of like a chair. Verbally trace the four by modeling and saying, “Start with the short line and trace down and across. Now trace the tall line straight down.” Have the students trace the four in the air with their fingers.
8. Touch the yellow stars on the wall chart and say the number words “one, two, three, four” demonstrating one-to-one correspondence.
9. Make the relation with the numeral four and the four stars obvious. Touch the stars and say “one, two, three, four.” Then, trace the numeral and say “four.” Remind students that the numeral tells how many stars are on the paper.
10. Hang the wall card on the wall high enough that students can see it but low enough that they can touch the stars.
11. Display the chart paper. Remind students that their homework last night was to find animals that have four legs. Make a list as related by the students. The list should be words and drawings if possible. As the students respond, give formative feedback such as, “Yes, a cat has four legs.” or “No, a fish does not have any legs. What animal has four legs?” When students have had the opportunity to add as many answers as possible to the list, hang the list under the wall chart for the number 4.
12. Pass out the worksheet from the associated file. Have students write their names on the papers. Using their fingers, have the students trace the numeral 4 on the papers. As students are tracing with their fingers, verbally describe the procedure saying, “Start with the short line and trace down and across. Now trace the tall line straight down.” Have students pick up their pencils and trace the numeral 4 using their pencils. Verbally describe the tracing again.
13. Tell the students that there are many stars on the paper, but our numeral tells us to only color four stars. Tell students to pick four colors to color four stars. They can be colored any way the student chooses as long as he/she only uses four colors and only color four stars. They can be striped, one each color, two colors on each, etc. The purpose is to be sure the student understands the concept of four.
14. Collect the papers. Use the papers to formatively assess individual student’s knowledge of the numeral and number four. Mark students' ability on the formative assessment records sheet. Remember that you are assessing whether students adequately demonstrate their knowledge of counting to four, not their coloring or tracing abilities.
Reading (read-aloud) –
Note: While asking questions and requesting student input, be sure all students have the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, share their predictions, and abilities, etc. Don’t allow the more vocal students to dominate.
15. Show the book, [The Sun, Our Daytime Star].
16. Look at the cover of the book. Ask if students can predict what the title might be. Teach students to predict by using what they see. Ask guiding questions such as: “Is this a day sky or night sky?” “What is the only thing you see in the sky?” After students predict the title using the illustration, read the title to them.
17. Now that students know the title of the book, ask them to predict what they think the book will be about. Give formative feedback as to whether they are using the title and illustration to make their prediction and whether the prediction is realistic. Possible feedback might be, “Looking at the big picture of the sun on the cover, you may be right. The book probably is about the sun.”or “We see a big yellow sun on the cover. Do you think there would be a sun if the book were about stars in the sky? Think about it some more and I’ll come back to you for another guess.” Formative feedback tells why the student is correct and/or guides the student towards the correct answer.
18. Read the first page to the students. Talk to the students about the word “discovery.” Tell that them discovery means they are learning new things. Ask students to predict what they would be learning about from this book. Be sure they explain why they are making that prediction.
19. Continue reading the entire book. For each page, follow the read, relate to students’ own lives, and predict what will come next, procedures that has been established.
20. Place the book in a predominant place in the classroom, such as on the chalk tray. Invite students to read the book during their “self selected” reading time.
21. Give Summative Assessment #1, “What Do You See?” available from the unit plan’s attached files. See Extensions for a link to the unit plan. Since individual students will be in conference with the teacher, this assessment might be given during center time or working with words time.
22. Ask students about the sunset they observed with their parents last night. Where was it in the sky? What color was it? What other information do they have?
23. Open the book, [The Sun, Our Daytime Star]. Ask students about a sun they have seen. Was it the same colors as the ones in the book? Was it the same shapes as the ones in the book? Looking specifically at the sun in the window of the illustration on page six, ask if the sun is a morning sun just coming up like they saw yesterday morning, or a sunset like they saw last night. Have students explain.
24. Teach the students the last stanza of the “Moving Sun Rhyme” from the attached file from the lesson plan, Three Bears and Three Goats in the Morning Sun. Use the following motions with the rhyme: “I come inside,” move your hand like you are opening a doorknob. “Cause it’s almost night,” point a finger to the sky. “The sun’s in the west, Going, going, gone out of sight, ” slowly move your pointing finger from straight up to the west horizon. Answer any questions about the sunset. Repeat the stanza at least three times.
25. Add the beginning stanza of the rhyme learned yesterday, to the last stanza just learned. Say and do the motions to these two stanzas several times. The purpose today is to make students aware of the apparent movement of the sun. Later in this unit, you will teach them that it is actually the earth moving, not the sun.
26. Review the chart of things in the night sky. Ask for anything the students may want to add to the list. Discuss what there might be four of in the night sky. Guide students to acknowledge that there can’t be four moons in the sky since we only have one moon. We could see four lightning bugs in the night sky, but not four butterflies since butterflies have no light and can’t be seen in the night sky.
27. Remind students that they are creating a counting book somewhat like [Ten Black Dots] using yellow dots.
28. Tell students that today’s page in their counting books will be for the number four. Ask how many yellow dots each student will need for this page.
29. Pass out one piece of dark blue paper to each student. Ask whether this page will be about things in the day sky or night sky. Ask students to explain their answer.
30. Show a container with the yellow dots, and another container with numeral cutouts. Call on groups of students to come get four dots from the dot container and a numeral 4 from the numeral container. As they get their dots and numerals, have students show you what they have selected as they walk back to their seat. Correct any miscounting or misconceptions as the individuals show you their dots and numerals.
31. Have students place the dots and numerals on their papers (just place, not glue). Demonstrate how the dots could be the four fireflies and talk about what else could be in the picture (moon, stars, etc.) Ask several students to share what their dots are going to be and what they are going to draw. Give feedback to help guide students such as, “Yes, if the dots are firefly tails, you can draw the rest of the fireflies.” or “No, if the dots are firefly tails, you may draw the rest of the firefly, but you can’t see a butterfly at night, so it can’t be in your drawing. What is in the night sky that could be with your fireflies?”
32. Remind students by showing pages from the [Ten Black Dots] book, that each page must have a story that goes with it. Demonstrate how the story on each page must match the picture on the page.
33. Stories should include the number word four, that this is the night sky, and what the item is in the picture. Model a story about four fireflies such as: “One night, four fireflies were blinking their tails. They were flying around the moon.” Ask students what would be in the picture for this story.
34. Give examples and non-examples of stories that could be on the page. A non-example might include the story, “My dots are bugs.” Explain that since the picture must be about the night sky, you will have to tell what kind of bug you can see at night. Students also forgot to tell that this is a night picture and that there are 4 dots.
35. Pass out crayons and/or markers. Have students turn their papers the tall way to do their drawing. (Then the large construction paper cover can be folded to be the front and back of the book.)
36. As students are drawing, they should be thinking about the story that goes with this page. Tell them to be ready to tell you their story as you come to them, and you will write their stories on their pages for them.
37. Before students begin drawing, assist them in gluing their dots and numerals to the page. This can be done one-on-one, or as a group as you demonstrate depending on the ability of the class. Although this can be time consuming each day, doing the pasting ahead of time does not allow students to place the dots where they desire for their creation and the teaching opportunity of counting one-to-one and relating the counting with the numeral.
38. As students are drawing, circulate and write students' stories as they dictate them to you. Remind students that their stories must match their drawings; so only tell you a story about what they are drawing. Guide students to use the words “four and night sky” in their story. Give formative feedback as to whether their drawings are appropriate for the night sky and whether their stories match their drawings.
39. Have students store their completed pages in their gallon bags. Place this numeral 4, day page in front of the numeral 3, day page from yesterday. With pages placed in this manner, you can quickly view who has completed the page and followed directions by placing it in the correct place. If the pages are placed in cubbies or desks, they tend to get lost before all ten pages are complete and the book is assembled.
40. Tomorrow you will be learning about the number five. Talk to your parents about things that have five parts.
41. As soon as you get home, ask your parents to look at the sun with you. Look at where it is in the sky. Is it in the same place as it was in the morning? Is it in the same place it was after supper? Be ready to tell us about it tomorrow.
Formative assessments are performed throughout the lesson as indicated, with both affirmative and corrective feedback given. A formative assessment checklist is available from the unit plan attached files. See Extensions for a link to the unit plan.
Summative Assessment #1, What Do You See? for the unit, Sky High Counting is given. The assessment tool is available from the unit plan. See the Extensions section of this lesson plan for the link to the unit. This tool assesses the four language arts standards taught in this and the previous three lessons of the unit.
1. A center suggestion for students while the assessment is being administered is to draw the outline of some object and have students glue cotton balls on the shape to make a cloud picture.
2. With minor adjustments, this standard (reads and writes numbers to 10) could be added to the unit. This would require additional practice in writing the numerals.
3. Number words can be added to the wall cards, worksheets, and book pages.
4. Zero can be added to the wall cards and book pages.
5. Adult volunteers can help with assembling wall cards, gluing yellow dots and numerals, and taking dictations.
6. ESE modifications may include guiding students’ hands while touching the stars being counted or having students put a mark on rather than color the stars on the worksheet.
7. ESOL modifications may include reading to small groups of students rather than the whole group.
8. If the specific books used in this lesson cannot be located, a book with similar content can be substituted.
9. 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: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2982. 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).
All books used in this lesson should be obtainable from various school libraries in your district. To locate the books, use the Sunlink Web site. Ask your media specialist to request the books for you from the various libraries. I have found all media specialists to willingly share their books. SunLink