Lesson Plan

Patricia Polacco Thunder Cake

Students will dip deeper into Patricia Polacco's story, Thunder Cake. Asking and answering questions about the characters and identify key details.

Students will be able to ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

English Language Arts
Grades 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Other — Exploring hands on materials brought in by the teacher

Show students some cooking supplies (mixer, flour, cocoa powder, tomatoes), a picture of Michigan, and a picture of a thunderstorm.  Ask Ss to do a poll everywhere (What do you think we will be doing today? What do you think cooking supplies and picture of Michigan and a thunderstorm have to do with each other).

Student Instructions

Look at the the products brought into class. Brainstorm what all these cooking supplies, a picture of Michigan and a picture of a thunderstorm has in common. Turn and share your ideas with a friend. 

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Reading

Show students the book Thunder Cake 

·       Prepare to read the text to the students

·       Use post-it notes as stopping points within the text for vocabulary and questions

·       Have Ss turn and talk throughout the stopping points

·       Show Ss the detail in the text that helps to answer the questions ( Go back in the text for text evidence)

Student Instructions

Listen carefully as your teacher reads, Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco.

Pay close attention to the story - You will be asked questions through the book. 

3 Guided Practie

Free, Paid

·       Ss will access the book via a link on their Google Classroom

·       Ss work in small groups on an organizer where they will be looking at Patricia’s feelings, Grandma’s actions, and Patricia’s actions

·       Focus on going to the text to find exact details

·       Ss will then complete a Kahoot quiz about the details that they found before working independently

Student Instructions

Log in to your Google Classroom Account. 

Work with partners/small group to complete organizer. You will be focusing on Patricia's feelings, Grandma's actions and Patricia's action. Make sure to take turns adn listen to each other. 

If you need to listen to the story again to find exact details, use the link in your Google classroom account.

Then, complete quiz on Kahoot about details in the story in your small group. 

4 Independent Practice

·       Ss will complete an online journal entry with Seesaw where they will upload a video of themselves responding to the question “What did Patricia learn about herself?  How did she change?”  Instruct Ss that they will need to find text evidence to respond to the question.  Make sure Ss are going back to their online text.

Student Instructions

Complete an online journal entry using Seesaw. Record yourself answering these questions:

  • What did Patricia learn about herself?
  • How did she change?

Make sure to use text evidence to answer your questions. 

5 Wrap Up

·       Ask Ss why is it important for a detective to look for all clues?  Then ask why should readers go back to the text?  Share out work.  Students can give some glows about other Ss video responses.


Fun extension - Make thunder cake to wrap up the lesson

Student Instructions

Participate in class discussion about text clues. Why should readers go back in the text? 

Share out work from video responses. 


Participate in making Thunder cake with class.