Fourth Grade Lesson

Lesson Plan

Designer: Sandra Garcia

Grade Level and Group Size: Fourth Grade ~ 34 Student

Length of Lesson/Time of Lesson: 45-60 minutes

If needed, the lesson may be continued the next day.



Language Arts

Listening and Speaking



Purpose of Lesson:

1) Identify alternative family structures that promote diversity.

2) Multiple perspectives of what makes a family (how it’s viewed within us and the world around us).

3) Identify an understanding of how love within different family structures may be similar.  


Themes: Diversity, family, same-sex parents, acceptance, traditional families, non-traditional families, differences


Standards Addressed:

Reading Standards for Literature-  Key Ideas and Details

1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

3.Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

9. Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.


Listening and Speaking- Presentation of Knowledge of Ideas

4.  Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.


Writing Standards- Text Types and Purposes

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

     b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic

9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Learning Objective(s):

SWBAT identify alternative types of family structures.

SWBAT compare and contrast the text by using their own inferences about the book, And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

SWBAT  discuss and respond to different themes in the book in both a small and whole group setting.

SWBAT articulate in writing their thoughts about family structures using the depth and complexity icons organizer.

SWBAT choose one of the icons to elaborate on their writing with the use of text evidence.


Materials Required:

And Tango Makes Three by J. Richardson and P. Parnell

Depth and Complexity Icons Organizer


Context for Learning:

Students will be organized in groups of three to aid small group discussion. The discussion will take place in both a small and whole group setting after the book has been read aloud. Written work will be completed independently to allow for key ideas and details to be organized with intent and careful though when reflecting on their understanding.  


Anticipatory set:

Students will view a picture of your family. They will listen to the structure of your family and the relationship with each member.  Explain why they are significant to your family structure. Give students time to reflect on their own family structure. Followed by the introduction of the essential questions.


Essential Questions:

What makes a family?

How are all families similar in the way they love?

How are family structures different and unique?


How can people accept other families’ differences?


Learning objective: Today we will examine a family structure. We will use the depth and complexity icons to analyze and write about the family structure while keeping in mind diversity and acceptance.  We will use text evidence and make inferences to make connections to the real-world and text.


Preteach or Reteach:

  1. Introduction to the book and authors.
  2. Introduction to essential vocabulary:


Family/Extended family














The teacher will read the book, And Tango Makes Three aloud in a whole group setting. At the end of the book, the teacher reinforces the idea that all families are different, but also share similarities. The teacher emphasizes the idea that all families are unique and special.  Students are then given time to jot down key details and ideas about the text in their notebooks. Followed by a small group discussion regarding the text and how it relates to the essential questions. The teacher will model how to take notes by using the essential questions as a guide. Once students complete their notes independently, they are giving time to discuss and respond to the essential questions with their group. Next, it is followed by a whole group discussion where students share their ideas and details gathered from the text. Teacher writes down information on a chart for later reference.   


Guided Practice:

Teacher introduces exercise(activity) students are to complete, in order to accomplish their writing assignment. Students use the depth and complexity icons organizer to analyze the text and to reflect on their understanding of the concept of family. Teacher demonstrates how to write their ideas in complete sentences as they pertain to a specific icon (multiple perspectives, ethics, details, and over time). Students are encouraged to use text evidence when applicable. The teacher moves around the room to determine the level of mastery and to provide individual remediation as needed.


Check for Understanding:

Teacher asks for volunteers to read their sentences that contain their ideas and details which make connections to the real-world and text. If their sentences are off-topic for the specific icon, clarify, and reteach.  


Independent Practice:

Students are to choose one of their depth and complexity icons to elaborate on the topic. They are to write a paragraph or more about how the specific icon relates to the text and the real world. Students use the sentences they have already written in their organizer but add more details while applying text evidence. They must keep in mind the diverse structures of families and the essential questions posed at the begin of the lesson. Students writing does not have a set number of paragraphs to promote their self-reflections of whether their writing touches upon all the ideas and details that connect the text to the depth and complexity icon. Students use their writing packets for revision and proofreading.



Assessment of Learning Objective(s):

The teacher will formally asses students writing with the use of specific writing criteria for their ideas and details about the family.


  1. The ideas about family are relevant to the specific icon and are conveyed in their writing.
  2. Paragraph/s draw upon details in the text and refer to specific characters in the story.
  3. Writing conveys ideas about family in a concise and clear manner with text support, analysis, and reflection.
  4. Paragraph/s have minimal grammatical and mechanical errors which allow for the reader to read with understanding.



On the back of their depth and complexity icons organizer, students will write three ideas they learned from the lesson and its importance to the real-world (society).

If they complete their work, early students may search other examples (books) of family structures in their MyOn app. and begin to read the books.


Depth and Complexity Icons Organizer:


Image result for depth and complexity icons


Image result for depth and complexity icons

      Multiple Perspectives

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Image result for overtime depth and complexity icons

               Over TIme