Whirligig Lesson

Author: Laura Grosso
Lesson Plan:


Objectives: Students will create a timeline of Brent’s journey across country in the story.
New York State Learning Standards:
A: Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression.
B: Students will be analyzing the structure and the significance of events in the
book and discussing why the order or events is relevant to the story as a whole.
Anticipatory Set:  Teacher will ask students if they know someone who drinks and then drives. Teacher will initiate a conversation with students about the consequences of drinking and driving.
Teaching: Input
1.      Free Write response to the quotation, “The effects of an act travel far beyond one’s knowledge.” What do you think that this means? How does it relate to the story and/or your real life? Discussion about answers.
2.      Segue into discussion about the following questions: what has happened in Brent’s story? Where did he travel and what did he do in each state? How did his story follow a more specific sequence than the rest of the book? Why does the author do this? 
3.      Students will create a timeline in groups as to what has happened to Brent and in what order. 
Teaching: Modeling
1.   Librarian will explain to students how to complete an interactive timeline at http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/games-tools/timeline-tool-30246.html.
Teaching: Checking for Understanding
1.      Students will discuss important events/moments in the book. One student will record information in the program including the event and a description.
Guided Practice
1.      Teacher and Librarian will observe and assist students as they input information.
2.      Students will print out a completed timeline revealing their understanding of the nonlinear narrative.
1.      Student will present their timelines to the class to review all the important events within the story.
Materials Needed: Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, computers,

Duration: 45 minut