Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Is There Room on the Bus?

Robin Downing
Leon County Schools


After fixing up a rickety bus, Sam sets off around the world, picking up an alliterative assortment of animals, from one lonely lion to ten bothersome bees along the way. This is an exciting way to explore beginning, middle, and end with young children.


The student listens for specific information, including sequence of events.


-Piers, Helen. [Is There Room On The Bus?] New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1996. (Or see modifications note in Extensions)
-Copy of Beginning, Middle and End worksheet for each child (See Associated File)
-Box of crayons or colored pencils for each child
-Writing pencils for each child
-Copy of the Criteria handout (See Associated File)


1. Make a copy of Beginning, Middle, and End worksheet for each student. (See Associated File)
2. Make a teacher copy of the Criteria handout. (See Associated File)
3. Set out a copy of the book [Is There Room On The Bus?] for sharing, and gather materials listed above for each student.


1. Tell students you would like to share a story with them. Begin the story with the traditional ending (and they all lived happily ever after). Fold your hands as if your story was so satisfying, (and you are finished), and wait for the anticipated moaning. Students will state that you canít start a story at the end. Let them suggest a beginning, and maybe a middle, too.

2. Show students the Beginning, Middle and End worksheet (See Associated File) as you discuss the various parts of the story that they have helped make up. (If possible, draw a large version of the Beginning, Middle and End layout on the board or chart paper for all to see.)

3. Ask them to think about the beginning, middle and end as you share the book [Is There Room On The Bus?] with them.

4. Discuss the story, [Is There Room On The Bus?], asking students for examples of what they might draw for the beginning, middle and end of the story.

5. Distribute Beginning, Middle and End worksheet and drawing/writing materials to each student.

6. Students draw (and some may use invented spelling to write) about each part of the story.

7. Conference with each student, asking them to tell you about their pictures, specifically noting whether they use the vocabulary beginning, middle and end, or show a recognizable sequence of events for the story.


This lesson instructs and assesses the retelling of events, referring to the sequence of events in a story. Students may use the words beginning, middle and end when telling about their drawings.

Evidence: Observe and provide formative instruction during class discussion. Students correctly complete a worksheet that is split into three columns: beginning, middle and end. Students draw a picture and use invented spelling to indicate the sequence of events. Students conference with teacher, and explain their work. Performance criteria are highlighted in the associated file.


1. Geography: Students can explore different countries of the world that are visited by Sam in his travels.
2. Language Arts: Students can write creative stories about Samís next travels, or about specific animals on the bus.
3. Math: Concepts of cardinal and ordinal numbers can be examined using this story.
4. Science: Habitats of animals around the world can be explored.

1. ESE: Begin by modeling the entire lesson using a very simple story that the students are familiar with. Repeat (after discussion) with stories of their choice, modeling the desired behavior and outcome.
2. Note: As mentioned above, the entire lesson could be performed using any simple storyline (with an obvious beginning, middle and end). A pre-activity may include modeling the lesson using a familiar fairytale, with class discussion and participation in creating the pictures for the storyboard.
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