EL Support Lesson

All About the Story

Use this engaging lesson plan to introduce the concept of perspective and story sequencing to your ELs. This can be used as a stand-alone lesson or as support to the lesson Put Me in the Zoo.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for thePut Me in the ZooLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for thePut Me in the ZooLesson plan.

Students will be able to identify characters, settings, and major events in a familiar story.


Students will be able to retell a story with complete sentences using a graphic organizer.

(5 minutes)
Vocabulary Cards: All About the StoryGlossary: All About the StoryLots of Details!
  • Pass out an index card to each student and tell them to draw a picture of themselves at recess.
  • Tell students to turn to a partner and trade their index cards. Have the partners guess what they are doing in the picture.
  • Have each student practise retelling what is happening in their partner's card.
  • Provide students with a sentence frame to help them discuss what is going on in their partner's picture. Model this for the students prior to allowing them to share. Use the following sentence frame: "I think (student name) is (action) because (support from illustration)."
  • Explain that because each person is different, each of their pictures shows something special or unique. This is their perspective.
(2 minutes)
  • Display the visual vocabulary cards and provide student-friendly definitions for each of the words.
  • Explain that just like the students pictures, each character in a story has a different perspective and that sometimes a story is told by one or more than one character.
  • Tell students that today you will be reading aloud a story and listening for the perspective of the characters. You will also be retelling what happened in the story by acting it out.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the book Midnight at the ZooBy Faye Hanson.
  • Pause as you read to ask questions about what is happening in the book. Provide students with questions using related sentence frames to guide them through the plot in the book.
  • Record student thinking on the classroom story map.
  • Model recording student thinking using complete sentences, emphasizing the importance of including a capital and a period.
(5 minutes)
  • Model how to retell a story by acting out the beginning, middle, and ending.
  • Put students into small groups of three and have them practise retelling the story by acting it out (one student acts out the beginning, one acts out the middle, and one acts out the ending).
  • Encourage students to use the language, "In the beginning...in the middle...in the end..." as they act out their part of the story.


  • Provide students with individual copies of the story to use during the group work section.


  • Have students practise acting out a second story.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Lots of Details worksheet and have the students complete them independently.
  • Post the visual vocabulary cards on the board for students to reference.
  • Provide additional copies of the read-aloud text for students to reference.
(3 minutes)
  • Invite a group of students to act out the story for the whole group (if time allows).
  • Review the key terms from the lesson and answer any questions as needed.

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