Grade: Elementary
Subject: Literature

#3944. Let's Get Along

Literature, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Mar 11 21:02:13 PST 2007 by Kristina Davenport (
University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene, USA
Materials Required: Smoky Night, by Eve Bunting. Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1994.
Activity Time: 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: culture, getting along with others, listening and talking skills

The purpose of this lesson is to enhance the students' listening and talking skills, while teaching them the value of getting along with people they do not know. The students will be able to:
1) understand key vocabulary: rioting, hooligan, culture, nationality, race, difference, shelter
2) write and share information about a peer.
3) compare and contrast themselves with a peer.
4) write 5 reasons why getting along with people is valuable.

Smoky Night, by Eve Bunting. Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1994.
Paper and pencils.
Picture from National Geographic Magazine.

Anticipatory Set:
The teacher holds up a picture from National Geographic of a person from a different culture, dressed in ethnic attire. Then, the teacher asks students to think about what they know or think about this person, and write down their ideas and feelings. After one minute, the students share what they wrote.

1) As a class, discuss the vocabulary words and write their definitions on the board.
2) Read the book Smoky Night, stopping at pre-determined spots to discuss questions such as: "How do you think the boy feels when he sees the rioting from his window?" "What does it mean when the boy says, 'Mama says it's better if we buy from our own people?" "Why do you think the boy can't understand Mrs. Kim's words?" "What do you think is the most important lesson from this book?" "Why do you think some people don't like other people that they do not know?"

Guided Practice:
1) Teacher draws a Venn Diagram on the board, and together the students brainstorm ideas about similarities and differences between themselves and the person in the National Geographic picture.
2) As a class, discuss the consequences when people do not get along with each other.

Check for Understanding:
Students independently write five reasons why getting along with others is valuable. Some students share their examples with the class.

Independent Practice:
1) Students take turns asking each other five questions about the other person that they do not know.
2) They record their questions and answers on paper.
3) Students will share their interviews with the class.

Teacher holds up the picture from the National Geographic and asks the class to journal the following questions: 1) If you could ask this person any question, what would it be? 2) How do you feel about this person now, compared with how you felt when we started this lesson?

For a student with a general reading disability, the teacher should provide the student with four key words to listen for during the reading of the story. The student could also be provided a list of vocabulary words to learn the day before the story.