UNDERSTANDING: The common themes, ideas, characters, artisitc techniques, etc. of one author/illustrator's, Lois Ehlert, stories can relate to or affect our lives and environment.

  In this lesson, we will get to know the author/illustrator Lois Ehlert.  We will read several of her books.  Following each book, we will complete some activities that are related to all subject areas.  We will end the unit by doing a survey of the entire elementary students’ favorite Lois Ehlert book, sharing the results with others, and writing a letter to Lois Ehlert.

The activities in this unit were created by myself or taken from ideas out of the Mailbox magazine.

STANDARDS:  Using the South Dakota state benchmarks for K-2, this lesson will meet the following…  Math:  2.2, 6.1     Science:  3.1, 3.3     Communication/Language Arts:  1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3      

STUDENT OBJECTIVES:  The students will watch a video and Power Point about Lois Ehlert, read/listen to several of her books, participate in several cross-curricular activities related to her stories.

PREREQUISITE SKILLS:  students will have to have basic listening skills and be able to follow directions.





 Day 1:  classroom & computer lab

Does Lois Ehlert lead a successful and rewarding life?  Would you like to lead that kind of life?

Watch video "Get to Know Lois Ehlert" & Power Point

Television & VCR


 Power Point

Individual and group discussion on what constitutes a successful life

 Observation of how they relate to the video and Power Point

Day 2:  classroom & fish hatchery

What do you know and think about fish?  Where have you seen a fish?  How has your family used fish?

Shared reading of Fish Eyes... Within groups, create an original fish Field trip to fish hatchery

Copy of Fish Eyes

 Bus for trip

Individual and group discussion on fish and descriptive words for their original fish

 Observation of activity and field trip

Day 3:  classroom and outdoors

What part does nature play in your life and the lives of your family and friends?  How do trees affect the way that you work and play?

Shared reading of Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf Nature walk collect & identify types of leaves

Copy of Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Several leaves

Individual and group discussion  on trees and plants 

Make a chart of types of  leaves (poster/wall sized)

Observation of identifying leaves

Day 4:  classroom & computer lab

How can we learn about wild animals that live in our part and other parts of the world?  How can they affect our lives? 

 Shared reading of Color Zoo  Discuss geometric shapes and use to make animal collages visit Oakland Zoo on-line

Copy of Color Zoo


On-line address for the Oakland Zoo

Individual and group discussion on animals around the world and how they affect us

Observation of art project

Rubric for animal collages

Day 5:  classroom

What do you like best about the circus?  What have you heard or seen there? 

 Shared reading of Circus Listen to circus music make up sound effects for the story

Copy of Circus

 Circus music 

Individual and group discussion on the circus

 Observation of the sound effects

Day 6:  classroom

Where have you seen flowers grow?  What role do flowers play in our environment?

  Shared reading of Planting a Rainbow     Have a flower shop owner or gardener visit the class  Make a rainbow garden out of art foam

Copy of Planting a Rainbow 

Rainbow colors of art foam

Pots for flowers

Green felt for leaves    

Hot glue gun with glue sticks

Individual and group discussion on flowers and our environment

Observation of art project

Rubric for art project

Day 7:  Classroom & library 

What kinds of animals have you observed in your backyard?  How do they behave?  How do they affect the environment?

Shared reading of Nuts to You  Research and study squirrels Make a peek-through book about squirrels

Copy of Nuts to You                           

Squirrel books in the library

Paper and pattern for a tree with a hole in it

Pencils & crayons or markers

Share stories over DDN with another class

Individual and group discussion of squirrels

Observation of writing process

Writing rubric


Day 8:  Classroom

What kinds of foods do you like to eat?  What kinds of foods should we eat?

Shared reading of Eating the Alphabet         Taste different fruits and vegetables  Make a graph of fruits and vegetables that they have and have not tried

Copy of Eating the Alphabet

Several fruits and vegetables to taste

A graph with the names of fruits and vegetables

Pictures of fruits and vegetables for graph

Individual and group discussion of healthy foods

Picture graph (poster/wall sized)

Observation of making the graph


 Day 9:  classroom

What do you know about the moon?  How does the presence of the moon affect our lives? 

Shared reading of Moon Rope Make a moon rope

Copy of Moon Rope

Paper and streamers for moon rope

Individual and group discussion on the moon

Observation of art project

Rubric for art project

Day 10:  classroom & outdoors

What makes birds different from other animals?  Why do other animals consider birds as food?  What is your favorite bird?  

Shared reading of Feathers for Lunch               Discuss birds Make bird feeders

Copy of Feathers for Lunch

 Variety of supplies (pine cones, bottles, etc.) to make bird feeders

Bird seed

Individual and group discussion on birds and the food chain

Observation of art project

Rubric for bird feeder project

Day 11:  classroom

Continued from Day 10 - How big or small are birds in comparison to you?

Individual reading of bird picture books  Study the wingspan of several birds  Trace arm lengths of students and compare to wingspans

Several books about birds

Construction paper and butcher paper to make wingspans and trace arm lengths

Individual and group discussion on birds and their size

Observation of activity

Day 12:  classroom & kitchen 

What is your favorite kind of soup?  What kinds of ingredients can you use to make soup?  Where do those ingredients come from?

Shared reading of Growing Vegetable Soup Make vegetable headbands  Make vegetable soup

Copy of Growing Vegetable Soup

headband for each child with lightweight plastic vegetables to put on headbands and wire to make antenna

vegetables and broth to make soup


Individual and group discussion on healthy foods and where they come from

Observation of art project and soup making

Rubric for headband project


Day 13:  classroom

How are Lois Ehlert's books alike in the way that they are written?  How is she different from other authors that we have read?

Revisit Lois Ehlert books  and talk about the stories

Lois Ehlert books that we have already shared

Paper for making a list when comparing

Individual and group discussion on Lois Ehlert (the author)

Observation of lists

Day 14:  classroom

How are Lois Ehlert's books alike in the way that they are illustrated?

Revisit Lois Ehlert Books and talk about the artwork

Lois Ehlert books that we have already shared

Paper for making a list when comparing

Individual and group discussion on Lois Ehlert (the illustrator)

Observation of lists

FOLLOW-UP:  Take a vote throughout the school of students' favorite Lois Ehlert book.  Record and graph results on EXCEL.  Use e-mail to send reviews of the books and the results of our poll to our pen pals in Germany.  Write letters to her through Harcourt-Brace Publishing Company using Microsoft Word.  Use the DDN system to share our experiences with another class from a different school district in South Dakota.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS:  Vision Impaired Students:  Record voice reading the information on the Power Point.  Use large print or magnify any printed materials.  Provide textures for the art projects.  Hearing Impaired Students:  Provide a separate copy of the book and printed directions for all projects.  Speech Impaired Students:  Allow extra time for them to share or have someone else read for them in extreme cases.  Physically Impaired Students:  Allow them to work with a partner, the teacher, or a volunteer and Provide them with larger, easier to handle materials.  Always refer to any individual IEPs.