Lesson Plan

Let's Be Awesome!

The essential question is: how can I be awesome?
Karen C.
Media specialist/librarian
High Plains Elementary
Englewood, CO
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

1) Understand an author's message about acceptance of others and being unique
2) Apply the author's message to their own life

English Language Arts
Health & Wellness
Grades 2 - 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing

The teacher will introduce the essential question: how can you be awesome?

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Reading

The teacher will read aloud the book Exclamation Mark by Amy Krause Rosenthal.  As the teacher is reading, s/he will engage the students in a discussion about how the character feels about himself in the beginning vs. the end; what happened along the way for the character to change his perception of himself; and what is the author's message.

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Reading

The students will work with a partner.  Each partner will select one book to read from among a bin of books with the themes of being yourself, uniqueness, it’s OK to be different, etc.   Some possible books could be:   

Cowboy Slim by Julie Danneberg
Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore
Moosetache by Margie Palatini
Chamelia by Ethan Long
Dandelion by Don Freeman; 
It’s OK To Be Different by Todd Parr
My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

After reading the books, each student will complete a written response of the author’s message using this format:




4 Independent Practice

Free, Paid

Next the students will use two apps:

1) PicCollage
2) ThingLink (this is the app, not the website as indicated below)

Upon completion of the written responses, the students will share an iPad and will each take a photo of a)  their written response; and b)  the cover of their book.

The students will use the iPad app PicCollage and create a collage which includes: a)  the images of their book covers; b) a title for the collage; c) the essential question “How can I be awesome?”; and d)  their names written as “By [first name] and [first name]”.  Students will save this collage in Photos on the iPad.

Next the students will open the iPad app ThingLink.  They will start a new project based on the collage image saved above.  On this image they will: a)  attach a hot spot of each of their responses with the corresponding book covers; and 2) each add a video recording of themselves answering the essential question.  These video hot spots should be attached to the text showing the essential question.


5 Wrap-up

Free, Paid

Students will copy the link to their finished product and share the link with their teacher and parents.   The teacher could also consider copying each link into a class blog or Schoology account so that the kids and parents can revisit the projects.   

PLEASE NOTE:  In order to be able to read the students’ responses when viewing the ThingLink online, it’s necessary to zoom in using Control + or Control -

Here’s a sample of the activity.  Be sure to mouse over the image to see the hotspots: