Simmy Lesson Plan


Topic: Problem and Solution

Materials: Swimmy by Leo Lionni, crayons, white construction paper for each student, glue, scissors, small black fish for each student, blue water color paint, paint brushes, cups of water (depending on how many students paint at one time), “spring” made out of blue construction paper for Swimmy.

Content Standards:
Reading 3.3 Identify characters, settings, and important events.
Visual Arts 2.2 Demonstrate beginning skill in the use of tools and processes, such as the use of scissors, glue, and paper in creating three-dimensional construction.
Teaching Performance Expectation:
6: Designs developmentally appropriate instructional activities/learning experiences.

Learning Objective:
Students will be able to identify the problem and solution of a story.

Anticipatory set:
Conduct: “Sit criss-cross-apple-sauce. Raise your hand quietly if you have a smart idea to share. Listen to your friends when they have something to share.”
Transfer: We’ve been reading about Swimmy. We enjoyed predicting which animals he would see. We also know that he comes across a couple of problems. Can anyone remember what the problems are?
Purpose: To identify the problem and solution in a story and differentiate between a fiction and non-fiction book.
Motivation: The students will turn to a partner and share what they think the problem is in the story.

Instruction: First, the students will share with a partner what they think the problem is in the story. Then, I will have them turn back around so that I can begin my lesson. Before I begin reading, I will review the title, author, illustrator, title, page, main character, and setting. I will begin reading the book and have them identify any problems Swimmy encounters. As they mention a potential problem, they are to keep in mind the solution. The first problem is that Swimmy looses all his friends. The solution is that he makes new friends. Because this is a less obvious problem/solution in the book, I will have them talk with a partner about what they solution is. The book has been read so this will check for comprehension. When Swimmy meets his new friends (the solution), he encounters another problem. They want to play but they’re scared because the big fish will eat them. So the solution is that Swimmy teaches them to swim together like one big fish. The students will be asked to identify this and as they do, I will chart it on butcher paper. Next, I will pair up the students. Each pair will illustrate a problem and a solution using chalk and construction paper. One person in the pair will draw the problem and the other person will draw the solution. Between each pair, they will decide who is number one and who will be number two. Number one will draw the problem and number two will draw the solution. After they have drawn a nice and bold picture, partners will go to the back to water paint the ocean blue over the illustration. When the paint is dry, they are ready to add Swimmy to their picture. Each person will be given a small black fish and a spring to make him appear 3-D. Students will share their work as partners and describe their artwork to the whole class.

Before we end, I will emphasize that Swimmy found a solution to his problems. I will ask if it was okay to feel sad when he lost all his friends. Then, I will mention how it was okay to feel that way but he eventually became happy again. After Swimmy meets his new friends, he has another problem but he didn’t give up. He used his brain to think of a brilliant idea. Sometimes we might feel like Swimmy but remember he didn’t give up and he even remained creative!