Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Stone Soup

Barbara Northcutt
Sumter County Schools


Students count ingredients in Stone Soup and create a list of ingredients. Each child colors his or her own little book..


The student uses spelling approximations in written work.

The student dictates or writes simple informational texts (for example, descriptions, labels, lists).

The student understands simple nonverbal cues (for example, smiling, gesturing).

The student counts up to 10 or more objects using verbal names and one-to-one correspondence.


- Stone Soup, illustrated by Diane Paterson, by Troll Associates, 1981. (No author listed: Folklore-France)
- Stone Soup by Marcia Brown Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons , Macmillan Publishing Company N.Y., NY 1975.
-Chart paper for teacher
-Teacher made worksheet for little book, 1 per child.
-Crayons and pencils for students


1. Obtain a copy of the tale about Stone Soup and prepare yourself to read the story.
2. Have a chart paper labeled Our Favorite Soup ready to use for recording the tally marks and for listing the ingredients.
3. Duplicate the little book for the children to use.


1. Prepare the students for the reading of the story by telling the students that you would like to find out what kind of soup the class likes the best.

2. Write down the names of the different soups that students identify as their favorite soups in columns. For example: Johnny says, chicken noodle soup. Write chicken noodle soup at the top of the column and put a tally mark under the heading chicken soup for his response. Mary likes tomato soup. Write tomato soup and put a tally mark under the heading tomato soup. Juan also likes chicken noodle soup the best so you add another tally mark under chicken noodle soup. Add additional headings and tally marks as needed to keep track of each child's favorite soup. Each child's response should be recorded on the chart paper by grouping similar responses in the same column.

3. Ask a question such as, how we can use this information to find out what soup is the most popular in the class? If no one suggests counting the number of tally marks guide students in that direction.

4. Have students count the tally marks under each selection. Write the numeral that stands for how many tally marks were made in each column. Ask the students to look at the numerals to decide which soup was the favorite.

5. Have students look at the chart and ask questions such as: Can you find two soups with the same amount of tally marks? How many more children like chicken soup than like tomato soup? Guide students to make relative comparisons of the number of tally marks in each column.

6. Ask the class if they have ever eaten stone soup. Ask the students if anyone can guess how stone soup is made. What do they think stone soup will taste like? Allow time for student responses.

7. Read one of the Stone Soup stories pausing to look at the pictures for information highlighting the ingredients needed to make stone soup. Allow students to count objects in the illustrations, the number of soldiers, the number of stones added to the soup, the number of carrots, etc.

8. Draw attention to the characters' faces and gestures as the peasants try to convince the soldiers that they have nothing to eat. Allow the children to discuss how the peasants and soldiers were feeling. Compare the expressions on the faces of the the villagers and soldiers throughout the story. Children can imitate facial expressions and body language of the different characters in the story, for example, hand rubbing tummy to signify hunger.

9. After the story is finished tell the students that the class is going to work together to write the list of ingredients needed for making stone soup. Pass out the individual books to the students.

10. On chart paper write the name Stone Soup. Open the book and have the children locate the ingredients in the book. As the ingredients are named, break the word apart into the individual sounds and see if the children can give you the letter name that makes the individual sounds. Onion may wind up being written unyin when spelled by the students and carrot may be spelled carit. (This is okay.)

11. After all the ingredients have been listed, children may color their individual little Stone Soup books. Children should be directed to label one ingredient in the little book. Remind children to break the word apart into each sound before writing the word.


Teacher observation of student interaction and discussion is used to assess whether or not individual students are correctly counting tally marks made and if the objects in the story are correctly counted. Mastery is attained if the student correctly counts the number of the objects in the story and the tally marks most of the time. Look at the collectively made class list of the ingredients needed to make stone soup. If a list has been made, mastery has been achieved. By focusing in on the student discussion of the facial expressions and body language of the characters in the story the teacher can determine if individual students understand simple non-verbal cues. A formative assessment is made using each student's little book to see if the labeling of an ingredient approximates the correct phonetic spelling.


You may read another version of Stone Soup another day and compare and contrast the ingredients. Using the children, make a people graph by standing behind the version they liked best. Count how many children liked each version. Which one did most of the children choose? Children may read/share the little book with a friend.
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