Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Closer Look

Sandi King
Bay District Schools


Using literature to stimulate recall, students and Curious George learn that objects are composed of many parts. Students group objects by their physical characteristics and various compositions. Magnifying glasses will be used.


The student knows that objects can be grouped according to their physical characteristics (for example, shape, color, texture, form, size).

The student knows that objects are composed of parts that are too small to be seen without magnification (for example, rocks, cookies, string, paper).


- The book
Rey, Margret, and Alan J Shalleck. [Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop]. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1989.

- The book
Berenstain, Stan and Jan. [The Bears' Picnic]. New York. Beginner Books. 1994.

- Slices of various types of breads – breads with obvious differences in grains and textures, one per student (or group if cooperative groups are used)

- Bread packages with lists of ingredients

- Magnifying glasses, one per student (or group if cooperative groups are used)

- Worksheet, A Close Look at Bread, for each student - from the associated file

- Teacher-made transparency from the worksheet, A Close Look at Bread

- Overhead projector

- On-line Student Web Lesson, Packing for the Park (See Weblinks.)


1. Locate and preview the book [Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop] by Margret Rey and Alan J. Shalleck. (See Materials.)

2. Locate and preview the book [The Bears' Picnic] by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

3. Bring slices of bread of various types. The purpose is for students to see the various components that make up the bread. Be sure to have the bread bag and list of ingredients. You may want to pre-group the slices into baggies so that students receive a sample of many types of breads. Bread can be obtained by asking for donations from local bread stores, or parents could be asked to send specific kinds.

4. Locate magnifying glasses for each students, or for each group if working in cooperative groups.

5. Download worksheet, A Close Look at Bread, from the associated file. Duplicate this worksheet for each student.

6. Make a transparency of the worksheet, A Closer Look at Bread.

7. Locate an overhead projector.

8. Preview the on-line Student Web Lesson, Packing for the Park. If the audio version of this lesson is desired, be sure to download each page of the Web lesson in advance to speed student time at the computer. The preparation for audio can be time consuming, but this is a one time only procedure.

9. Download, preview, and duplicate the Summative Assessment #1, Our Picnic, from the unit plan's associated files. You will need one per student. The link to the unit is available in the Extensions section.

10. Many of these activities can be used with the Language Arts blocks. For more information on the use of these blocks see the following book.
Cunningham, Patricia M., et al. [The Teacher's Guide to the Four Blocks]. Greensboro, NC. Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, Inc.. 1999.

11. For assistance in finding the books suggested for this lesson, go to Sunlink on the Web at This site allows you to find the schools in each county that have a specific book. Follow these instructions: (1) Type the URL in the address line of your browser. The URL is (2) Click the button for Begin Your Search. (3) Click the part of Florida for your county. (4) Click your specific county. (5) Type the title of the book. No other information needs to be typed here. (6) Click the Find It button. (7) Click the title of the book that appears to receive the Full Record. At the bottom of the Full Record is the location of the book. (8) Request the book from the school shown.


1. This is lesson plan two of seven for the Unit Plan, Our Picnic, The Study of Matter. The activities described in this lesson plan are for DAY 3 OF THE UNIT. If you are interested in completing the unit, please see the Extensions section for further information.

2. Review the groups and characteristics that were established for the items for the students' picnic from Day 2 of the unit.

3. To gain the students' attention and stimulate recall, read [Curious George Goes to an Ice Cream Shop] by Margret Rey and Alan Shalleck. (See Materials.)

4. List on a chart or the board, the various items added to the sundae that Curious George made. As the items are listed, have the students discuss how these items changed the characteristics of the sundae. Your purpose is to have the students discover that the sundae is made of many parts. Some of those parts can be seen and some cannot, but it takes all the parts to make this kind of sundae. If some of the parts are left out, the sundae will not be exactly like the one Curious George made. Objects are composed of many parts. (Some components of the ice cream that students recall may be the banana, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and so on. Some of the components of the ice cream that students may also include are the milk, sugar, etc., of which the ice cream is made.)

5. Now that the students have been introduced to this basic principle of atomic theory, students further explore the concept that things are made of smaller pieces, different amounts, and various shapes by investigating a slice of bread. Provide students with a variety of kinds of bread. Pass out magnifying glasses for close examination of the various bread samples. Be sure to include in your samples, breads with obvious grains and breads with color variations.

6. Students identify characteristics of the various bread samples, then group the breads by these characteristics.

7. Students hypothesize why the various samples look different. Emphasize that the ingredients in the breads cause them to look and feel differently. Guide students to ingredients, such as flour (white), rye (dark brown), wheat (light brown), oats (larger grains visible), etc.

8. Complete the worksheet, A Closer Look at Bread available from the associated files. This worksheet should be made into a transparency for the teacher to model the logistics of filling out this form. Used as a whole class activity, completion of the worksheet, along with the modeling by the teacher from the overhead transparency, will provide an opportunity for instructions for completing the tool that will be used on Day 4 of the unit for the summative assessment. This activity has many purposes: (1)Students show understanding of the concept that objects are made of smaller pieces. (2) Students practice managing information (Goal 3 standard1). (3) Students view a model of how to correctly complete this worksheet in preparation for the summative assessment on Day 4. (4) Students receive formative feedback to affirm understanding or to correct misunderstandings.

9. Give the feedback as students progress through the A Close Look at Bread worksheet. Affirm correct responses with statements, such as, Right! We can see the grains in this bread so we know that is one of its parts. For incorrect responses by the students, give corrective feedback, such as, I know we put butter on our bread when we make toast, but can you see any butter in your slice of bread? If we can’t see it, and we are not sure it is there, let’s mark it in the line for ‘This is not in my bread’.

10. Now that students have studied their slices of bread and have identified components that are or are not part of their slices of bread, read the ingredients from the bread packages to the students. Students attempt to identify their breads by listening to the ingredients read. The conclusion that the students should understand is that the breads are composed of many parts, some of which are too small to be seen without magnification.

11. Begin the Student Web Lesson, Packing for the Park. This lesson has two versions, text only or text with audio. Every effort has been made to keep the text at or below first grade readability; however, students using the text only version may need adult supervision. The Student Web Lesson is most effective when used by pairs of students. This pairing allows for student interaction. When students discuss and explain what they are learning, they take ownership of their new knowledge.

12. Orient students to the tool for the Summative Assessment #1 that will be administered on Day 4 of this unit by showing them the test and doing an oral review of the concepts tested. All assessment tools for the unit are available from Beacon Learning Center Unit Plan page. See the Extensions section for further information.

13. Reread [The Bears' Picnic] by Stan and Jan Berenstain and discuss the properties of the picnic items and any other matter from the book. Have students give examples of what the different items are made of. Ask what ingredients/ parts can be seen and which cannot be seen. Be sure students verbalize that some of the ingredients/ parts can only be seen using a magnifying glass. This will serve as a review for the Summative Assessment #1 for the unit.

14. Following this day's lesson is Summative Assessment 1. See the Extensions section for further information on how to obtain this summative assessment.


This lesson plan is the second of seven lesson plans in the Unit Plan, Our Picnic, The Study of Matter. The standards addressed will be formatively assessed as the students complete the worksheet, A Close Look at Bread. Students explain the reasons for their marking the different categories. The teacher will give corrective and affirmative feedback.


1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

2. Students can enjoy creating their own ice cream sundaes from a variety of ingredients brought from home and shared with the class. Your lunchroom may give you various items, such as ice cream cups and various fruits, nuts, and jellies, if you let them know this is for an academic reason. My lunchroom was extremely helpful if I would let them know how I was using the items and gave them about a week's notice. After creating their sundaes, students should discuss what components went in to making their sundaes. Ask inquiring questions, such as the following: Do you know what will happen if I stir this chocolate syrup into my vanilla ice cream?

3. Bring in bread recipes and ingredients, such as one for banana nut bread. Have the students view and discuss the various ingredients. Then you can bake the bread, or sample bread that has been previously made.

Web Links

Students group various objects using their physical characteristics.
Packing for the Park

This site is a teacher resource for locating books in Forida public schools.

Attached Files

A Closer Look at Bread worksheet and formative assessment     File Extension: pdf

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