Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#3818. Tops and Bottoms

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Sep 17 19:58:16 PDT 2006 by Meghan Webb (
Marshall University, Huntington, WV
Materials Required: listed
Activity Time: listed
Concepts Taught: Comprehension Skills, Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

1. Lesson Topic: Comprehension Skills
Language Area(s): Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

2. Grade Level: 2nd Grade

3. Citation Information:
Stevens, J. (1995). Tops and Bottoms. New York, New York: Harcourt, Inc.

4. Tops and Bottoms By: Janet Stevens (Picture Book)

5. Rationale:
This lesson is important because it will teach the students basic comprehension skills that are essential in understanding literature. The students will learn how to find the main idea in a story by participating in various group activities. The students will learn the cause and effect through an educational card game. The students will also learn how to respond creatively by predicting the ending of the story.

6. Content Standards and Objectives:
RLA.2.1.6 use basic comprehension skills to understand a story (e.g. main idea, cause/effect; predicting; drawing conclusions; and responding creatively to texts).

7. Performance Objectives:
Upon completion of this lesson the students will be able to apply their knowledge of basic comprehension skills to identify the main idea of a story. The students will be able to identify how cause and effect is directly associated to the outcome of a story. The students will also use prediction skills to create an alternate ending to the story.

8. Essential Questions:
What types of things can we learn from print?
Is there a moral to every story?

9. Time Required: 3-5 reading block days

10. Procedure:
a. Introduction:

Part I
In order to activate the student's schema for this lesson I will bring in actual samples of vegetables that are mentioned in the book. Some of these vegetables might include carrots, radishes, broccoli, celery, corn, etc. After presenting the items I will give the students a couple minutes to taste, touch, smell, and observe some of the vegetables that are on display. After the students have observed the vegetables that were brought in as a visual aid I will then ask the students to discuss the different tastes, textures, and colors of the items.

Optional: See Vegetable Passport Activity.

Part II
The teacher and the students may engage in a picture walk through at least but no more than of the book. (If the teacher picture walks through the entire book the students will not be able to predict the ending) This picture walk will briefly introduce the students to the characters, setting, and main idea of the story.

b. Lesson Development:

Note: Different activities will be used in order to address each of the elements listed in the CSO RLA.2.1.6.

Part I
Read Aloud
Predicting, Drawing Conclusions, and Responding Creatively to the Text
To address predicting, drawing conclusions, and responding creatively to the text the teacher must first read aloud part of the book to the students. In order for the students to stay engaged in the text the teacher may choose to give each student a character card.

Directions: Whenever a student hears their character mentioned in the story they must raise their hand.

For example: If your character card is labeled "Bear" then you must raise your hand every time that you hear Bear's name mentioned in the text. If your character card is labeled "Hare" then you must raise your hand every time that you hear Hare's name mentioned in the text.

After the teacher has read to of the book aloud to the students he or she may give each student a handout which they will use to predict the ending of the story. The teacher may give the students a specific prompt to creatively write about.

For example:
1. Do you think that Hare will outsmart Bear again? If so, how do you think he will do it?
2. Do you think that Bear will finally outsmart Hare? If so, how do you think he will do it?
3. What type of an agreement do you think that Bear and Hare will come to? Do you think they will agree to tops, bottoms, or something else?
4. What types of vegetables do you think Hare will plant next? Why do you think he would plant this vegetable?
Once all of the students have finished their predictions the teacher may ask the students to share their writings with the class. Once the teacher feels that each student has had an ample opportunity to voice their prediction the teacher may then ask the students to read the ending of the book aloud together. After reading the book, the students and teacher will be able to see if anyone correctly predicted the end of the story.

Note: See Attached Predicting and Creative Writing Activity

Part II
Main Idea
To address the main idea of the story the teacher will ask the students to in completing an idea web. After reading and discussing the book the students should be able to come up with many different possible main ideas and details relating to the main ideas from this story.

Note: See Attached Idea Map Activity

Part III
Cause and Effect
To address cause/effect the teacher will assist the students in playing a game to teach this concept.

Optional: Some possible events from the book that could be used to teach cause and effect:
Cause: Hare had lost a risky bet with a tortoise.
Effect: Hare had to sell all of his land to Bear to pay off the debt.

Cause: Bear agreed to take the top part of the harvest and Hare agreed to take the bottom part of the harvest.
Effect: Bear was outsmarted because Hare planted vegetables that grew underground.

Note: See Attached Cause and Effect Game.

c. Closure
To close this lesson the teacher will give each student a partner which will serve as their reading buddy. Together these two students will work together to select one book that the teacher has provided that relates to the lesson. Some possible books may include topics on farming, vegetables, animals, bears, hares, etc. After the children have read the book, the teacher may give them a piece of construction paper to draw and visually represent things that they learned by reading the book. Each group will then present their artwork to the class in order to share what they learned from reading and working together.

Note: See Attached List of Great Resource Books For This Lesson
Note: See Attached Artwork "Did You Know What We Learned?" Activity.
11. Assessment:
The assessments for this lesson will be represented in the oral discussions that the students have with the teacher and each other as well as by the written activities provided in this lesson.

Listening: The teacher will be able to assess if the students are listening to the reading of the story by their attention and accuracy in holding up the cue card that represent their character.

Predicting, Drawing Conclusions, and Responding Creatively to the Text: The teacher will be able to assess if the students understood predicting by the accuracy of their answers.
Note: See Checklist Attached.

Main Idea: The teacher will be able to assess if the students understood the concept of main ideas by their answers on the idea web. The teacher can orally observe as well as visually observe the students thinking and understanding of this concept by the answers that they provide.

Cause and Effect: The teacher will be able to assess if the students understood cause and effect by their answers and participation in card game.

12. Materials:
Tops and Bottoms By: Janet Stevens
Raw Vegetables
Crayons or Markers
Construction Paper
Various Books for Independent Reading
Predicting and Creative Writing Activity
Idea Web Activity
Artwork "Did You Know What We Learned?" Activity
Uno Cards

13. Special Considerations for Diverse Learners:

If there were any students in my class that needed assistance, I would pay special attention to accommodating my lesson to their educational needs, as well as my regular students' educational needs. If required, I would work one-on-one with the student or assign the student with a "study buddy". I feel that in using these types of services, I will be providing the best possible and least restrictive learning environment for a child with a mild to moderate disability.
If there was a student in my class that had vision impairment I would make sure that they sat near me so that they would be able to see the text. I would also make sure that I orally said all of the directions so that the student would be able to keep up with my instruction. If needed, I would modify the material in this lesson to meet a this child's need by enlarging the text on activities, providing the child with a seat up front, providing the child with a book, and providing the child with special lighting to minimize glare on paper.

14. Integrated Curriculum:
This lesson can be integrated into other curriculum areas such as:

Science: How do vegetables grow? (See attached activity)

Math: The students can graph the rate at which their vegetables are growing. The students can also use pretend money to purchase the items that are needed to grow vegetables. (See attached activity)

Health: The students can talk about the food pyramid and why vegetables are an integral part of it. (See the attached activity)

Art: Art is already included the closure part of this lesson. (See above activity.)

Physical Education: The students can do a jumping jack for each letter used to spell their spelling words. (See the attached spelling/vocabulary words for this activity.)