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2nd/3rd grade lesson

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Michelle Levy
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2nd/3rd grade lesson

ELA/ Social Studies/ Art – Fables from different countries



Students in grade two explore the lives of actual people who make a difference in their everyday lives and learn the stories of extraordinary people from history whose achievements have touched them, directly or indirectly. Students in grade three learn more about our connections to the past and traditions that have developed and left their marks on current society, providing common memories. One emphasis is on the subsequent arrival of immigrants, and the impact they have had in forming the character of our contemporary society. This unit will incorporate these aspects of East Asian culture and immigration with the impact on the student’s lives.

Prior to this unit, students will have learned the names of the seven continents and their relative locations. Students will have read several fables and will be familiar with the narrative, and specifically “fable,” genre. Students will also have already participated in creating several pieces of art and will be familiar with the knowledge that different countries and cultures produce different forms of art.

Second and third grade students will be ready to look at a map and find the locations of China, Korea, Japan, and the United States (specifically California). Students will learn to compare and contrast pieces of land based upon their relative sizes (land mass). Students will be ready to learn how other cultures, such as Korea, create oral storytelling and art forms. Students will build fluency by reading fables from East Asian countries.


Skill and Content Objectives –


2.1 Students differentiate between things that happened long ago and things that happened yesterday.

2.2 Students demonstrate map skills by describing the absolute and relative locations of people, places, and environments.

3.1 Students describe the physical and human geography and use maps, tables, graphs, photographs, and charts to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.

3.3 Students draw from historical and community resources to organize the sequence of local historical events and describe how each period of settlement left its mark on the land.



RL2.2/3.2 – Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral /and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

RI2.3/3.3 – Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text /using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

RI2.7/3.7 – Explain how specific images contribute to and clarify a text /Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

RF2.4/3.4 – Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

SL2.5/3.5 – Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings / Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.




Theatre –


Creating, Performing, and Participating in Theatre

Development of Theatrical Skills
  • 2.1 Participate in cooperative improvisations that incorporate the Five Ws.
Creation/Invention in Theatre
  • 2.2 Create for classmates simple scripts that demonstrate knowledge of basic blocking and stage areas.

Understanding the Historical Contributions and Cultural Dimensions of Theatre

Students analyze the role and development of theatre in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting diversity as it relates to theatre.

Role and Cultural Significance of Theatre
  • 3.1 Dramatize different cultural versions of similar stories from around the world.



Students analyze the role and development of the visual arts in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting human diversity as it relates to the visual arts and artists.

Role and Development of the Visual Arts
  • Grade 2: 3.1 Explain how artists use their work to share experiences or communicate ideas.
  • Grade 3: 3.1 Compare and describe various works of art that have a similar theme and were created at different time periods.

Students apply what they learn in the visual arts across subject areas. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills.

Connections and Applications
  • 5.1 Use placement, overlapping, and size differences to show opposites (e.g., up/down, in/out, over/under, together/apart, fast/slow, stop/go).





Student Objectives: Students will be able to locate California, China, Japan, and Korea on a map. Students will compare and contrast fables from different cultures. Students will create a replica traditional facemask from Korea.


Classroom Management Plan: As always, students will raise their hand to speak, and will not disrupt the class. Students that speak out of turn will change their “color” on the classroom behavior chart. In addition, teacher will issue and revoke points on ClassDojo as needed. Students will utilize classroom jobs when passing out papers, answering the door and phone, and returning paperwork as needed. The whole class reward system, “Brownie Points,” is in place, and brownie points will be given or revoked when earned at the teacher’s discretion.


1.     Opening –

a.     We will be studying different cultures and the similarities and differences to our own, from Los Angeles. We will be doing art projects, reading stories, and studying maps to fulfill this objective.

2.     Body of Lesson

a.     Input – Vocabulary

                                      i.     Students will be given the following vocabulary words on the first Monday in order to build fluency throughout the unit (two weeks):

1.              geography

2.              fable

3.              folktale

4.              Korea

5.              China

6.              Japan

7.              California

8.              traditional

9.              culture

10.           immigration

11.           desert

12.           coast

13.           mountain

14.           valley


                                    ii.     Each day they will study these words and complete activities with each word.

a.     Tuesday – write each word using stair steps. For example, “China,” C.Ch.Chi.Chin.China.

b.     Wednesday – rainbow write each word using a different color for each letter. For example, “China.”

c.     Thursday – Write the definition of each word.

d.     Monday – Write a sentence for each word.

e.     Tuesday – Write the part of speech for each word.

f.      Wednesday – Draw a picture of each word.

g.     Thursday – Practice spelling test

h.     Friday – Spelling Test

b.     Model – Map Study

                                      i.     As a whole group, we will look at a world map and answer the following question: Where is it? Students will be given photocopies of California, Korea, China, and the United States. Students will trace each country (or State) and then color the photocopy.

                                    ii.     Students will take each tracing and begin to lay countries on top of each other, answering the question: Which is bigger? For example, Korea vs. California.

                                   iii.     What is there? Students will watch a PowerPoint that describes land regions of California. The land regions of California are desert, coast, mountain, and valley. Students will then look at topographical maps (on the computer) and describe similarities between California and the other countries.

c.     Guided Practice – Fables

                                      i.     Tale of a blind man’s daughter vs. Mulan

1.     Teacher will read two stories to the class:

a.     Disney’s Mulan

b.     Korea’s Tale of a blind man’s daughter

c.     show clips from the movie, Mulan

2.     The class will discuss the similarities and differences using a Venn Diagram on the whiteboard (characters, plot, traits/actions)

                                    ii.     Compare/contrast versions of Cinderella. (Native American/ China/ Korea/ Disney)

1.     Teacher will remind students of the plot of Disney’s “Cinderella.”

2.     Students will break into three groups (predetermined by guided reading groups). Low students will receive “The Rough-Face Girl” a story from Algonquin Indian folklore. The middle group will receive China’s “Yeh-Shin: A Cinderella Story from China”. The high group will read and analyze “The Korean Cinderella.” Each group will describe the characters, their actions, the setting, and the plot using index cards and pencils.

3.     Each group will look at the other groups index cards in a “gallery walk.”

4.     Then, each group will describe their index cards to the other groups.

d.     Check for Understanding – Students will create their own Venn Diagrams comparing the versions of Cinderella in partnerships.

a.     Each culture’s version has different characters, actions, and plot.

e.     Independent Practice – Art project

                                      i.     Students will learn about how Koreans used to tell stories

1.     Teacher will show images of traditional facemasks


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2.     Korean masked dance and drama revolve around four dominant themes or plots. The craftsman Huh Chongkak ("Bachelor Huh") bent over his carving, chiseling the wood into a laughing mask. He had been ordered by the gods to create 12 different masks without having any contact with other people until he was finished. Just as he completed the upper half of the last character Imae, "The Fool," a love-struck girl peeked into his workshop to see what he was doing. The artist immediately suffered a massive hemorrhage and died, leaving the final mask without its lower jaw. This is the creation myth behind the Hahoe type of traditional Korean masks, called "tal." Nine of the Hahoe masks have been designated as "Cultural Treasures" of Korea; the other three designs have been lost over time. Sometimes hours in a public place, using masks to create each character and describe emotions.

                                    ii.     Students will create a replica of a Traditional Korean facemask.

a.     Plastic mask

b.     Sharpie markers

c.     Paper to draw rough draft

                                   iii.     Presentation of face mask

a.     Students will create a story with their masks (in groups)

b.     Tableau (frozen) moments with words

                                                                                            i.     beginning

                                                                                          ii.     middle

                                                                                         iii.     end

3.     Close of Lesson

a.     Closing – Go over the three parts of the unit: geography, fables, and art. Remind students of the differences in size and location of Asia and California. Remind students that different cultures can share similar stories but with vast differences in plot and characters. Review the art of storytelling in Korea.

b.     Assessment(s) – Spelling test/ Venn Diagram/ Presentation of Art Project (Mask + original story)

c.     Reflection – Have the students discuss their favorite parts of the unit. Have each student explain what he/she learned about a specific country or area. (Students may want to use the sentence frame, “I learned that _________ because _________.”

4.     Differentiated Instruction

a.     English Learners – Have sentence frames available if needed during the Venn Diagram. Model how to trace a map and how to put one image on top of another to compare the relative sizes. Review vocabulary each day, as needed.

b.     Students with Special Needs – Have students with ADHD constantly engaged, and when necessary, have them get out of their seat to turn on and off lights for projector, or open the door for visitors. Have students repeat back directions, even when they seem not to be looking, in order to ensure understanding.

5.     Instructional Materials

1.     Assorted Maps

a.     World Map (large)

b.     California (each student)

c.     North/ South Korea (each student)

d.     Japan (each student)

e.     Korea (each student)

2.     Tracing paper

a.     pencils

b.     crayons/ colored pencils

3.     Computer

a.     PowerPoint on California land regions

b.     topographical maps of Japan, Korea, and China

c.     Tale of a Blind Man’s Daughter

d.     Mulan

                                                                                            i.     book version

                                                                                          ii.     clips from the movie

e.     Photos of traditional Korean masks

4.     Overhead projector

5.     White board/ eraser/ dry-erase markers

6.     Cinderella

a.     Disney version

b.     Korean “The Korean Cinderella” by Shirley Climo and Illustrated by Ruth Heller

c.     China “Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story” by Ai-Ling Louie and Illustrated by Ed Young

d.     Native American “The Rough-Face Girl” (Reader’s Theatre 2nd grade) by Rafe Martin and Illustrated by David Shannon

7.     Mask (one per student)

a.     Sharpies of all colors (for each student)

b.     Paper and pencils for rough draft

8.     Sentence Strips

a.     Sentence starters (as needed for ELL)