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Author Study - Tomie de Paola

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Keywords: Bill and Pete, Tomie de Paola, author study, Ancient Egypt, sensory friendly, Universal Design for Learning, Thinking Maps, BrainPop, Autism, ADHD, mastery, math, ELA, reading, writing, arts and crafts
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Social Studies, Social Skills, Autism, Geography, Geometry, Science, Special Needs, Writing, History, Music, Reading, Math, English/Language Arts
Grades K through 2
NETS-S Standard:
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Community School of Citrus County, Inc., Lecanto, FL
Planned By: Kelly Jones
Original Author: Kelly Jones, Lecanto

In this thematic study, students become familiar with three of Tomie dePaola’s books. These books can be implemented in all subject areas. This unit is created with a fun, energetic feel to provide encouragement for emergent and/or struggling readers. This unit was written for a rual school’s ESE self-contained K-5 classroom. The class I was teaching during the creation of this unit were working with ACCESS points and many were working at 2 or more years behind their chronological academic peers. Some students use assistive devices to interact with content and to complete tasks (switches, augmented mouse and keyboard, communication boards, PECS, supportive seating for physical/occupational therapy, etc.). Most of the activities were created with a first grade level in mind, however, some are little higher and others are a little lower. The idea is that the whole class, regardless of academic level, would be able to participate with assistance and enjoy learning. Volunteer helpers can be brought into the classroom for students that need moderate assistance.

Student-Centered objectives
I can recognize Tomie dePaola.
I can Identify similarities between the Bill and Pete stories.
I can help show and/or tell about Tomie dePaola and his stories.
I can point to Egypt on a map and/or globe.
I can choose books to help me learn more.

Bill and Pete (1978) G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York
Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile (1987) G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York
Bill and Pete to the Rescue (1998) Puffin Books: New York

Suggested Schedule
Day 1: Intro (Friday)
Day 2, 3: Bill and Pete (Monday, Tuesday)
Day 4, 5, 6: Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile (Wednesday. Thursday, Friday)
Day 7, 8: Bill and Pete to the Rescue (Monday, Tuesday)
Day 9: Wrap it up day (Wednesday)
Day 10 Assessment day and parent share night (Thursday)
Day 1
• The three books, Bill and Pete, Bill and Pete Go down the Nile, and Bill and Pete to the rescue.
• Folders or manila files
• Coloring supplies
• Crocodile/bird/Egypt/alligator stickers for completed papers
• BrainPop Jr.
Day 2
• Worksheets using Bill and Pete word bank
• Little toy crocodiles and birds. If none can be found substitute colorful craft feathers instead.
• Books and magazines from the library about crocodiles, Egyptian coursers or plovers, and symbiotic relationships.
• BrainPop and BrainPop Jr.
Day 3
• Inexpensive supplies for hygiene store (toothbrushes, hairbrushes, wash clothes or poufs, fun soap, etc)
• Play money and cash register
• BrainPop Jr.
Day 4
• Worksheets using Bill and Pete Go down the Nile word bank.
• Jewel-like counters (these could be transparent circle counters)
• Flour, salt, and bowls for mixing dough. Prepare to be messy. Prepare for about 3-4 cups of flour, 1-2 cups of salt per group.
• Cardboard for topographical representations of Egypt
• BrainPop Jr.
Day 5
• Crossword puzzle
• Record sheet for math activity
• Doll dressed in simple smock
• Toilet paper
• Rulers
• “Mummies Made in Egypt” episode of Reading Rainbow
• Paint for representations
• BrainPop
Day 7
• Toy crocodiles from day 2, or feathers
• Rulers
• Books and magazines about crocodiles and alligators
• Invitation cards and decorating supplies
• BrainPop/BrainPop Jr.
Day 8
• Map that shows Egypt and United States
• Rulers
• Recycled paper for confetti
• BrainPop/BrainPop Jr.

Day 1:
Introduce students to Tomie dePaola. Explain that is a writer and illustrator of many children’s books. (Bring books to display, put them in class library) Introduce students to the Tomie dePaola website and explore as a class through a projector. Allow students opportunities to view the website independently during center rotation times.
Show the three featured books.
Lead discussion on what might happen in the books.
Talk about main characters (Bill and Pete). Hand out folders or manila files to be used as portfolios for assessment, one for each child. Encourage students to decorate their folder with their name, the title of the study (Bill and Pete), and appropriate illustrations.
Students use BrainPop to explore authors, themes, Egypt and other related ideas.**

** Please note that students frequently use myBrainPop to access information, synthesize and make connections, as well as demonstrate their understanding through games, written responses, and thinking maps.

Day 2:
Language Arts
Talk about vocabulary for Bill and Pete:
Crocodile, River Nile, aisle, ibis, Cairo, creep, lassoed, peck, butler, adventure
Read and define each word. Use this word bank to create class- and homework sheets.

Do a picture walk through the book as a class, looking at each picture talking about what might be happening.
Read the story, Bill and Pete.

As the story is read a second time, pause to ask questions that will help student’s comprehension.

Question Stems (and possible answers)
Who is William Everett? (the little crocodile, Bill)
Why do the crocodiles call Pete a toothbrush? (Pete cleans Bill’s teeth)
Whom does William Everett live with? (his mother)
Who is his teacher? (Ms. Ibis)
What does she teach her students? (to say the letters, to read the alphabet, then to write the letters and their names)
Why does William Everett change is name? (it was too hard to spell)
What is his new name? (Bill)
Why does the Bad Guy want to catch crocodiles? (to make them into suitcases)
Who saves Bill? (Pete)
What does Bill do to the Bad Guy? (scares him in the tub, eats the Bad Guy’s dinner)
When he goes home, what does he tell his mother? (about his day, the truth, about his adventures)

Use little toy crocodiles and birds for counter during regular addition and subtraction facts practice.
Students then sort little toys into group according to similar attributes. Students record their findings with illustrations. If the class is using feathers, students can glue feathers onto a large piece of paper, grouped according to colors and sizes.

Circulate books and magazines from the school’s library about crocodiles. Use children’s magazines as well as National Geographic (for photos). Help the students create a poster about crocodiles giving some basic facts. Students may work as a team or independently, depending on the dynamics of the class.

The bird that cleaned crocodile’s teeth is called an Egyptian courser. They clean the crocodiles teeth by removing old meat that stuck their and parasite, or little bugs. This is called a symbiotic relationship. This means that both the animals are benefited from their relationship so they have to work together. The crocodile’s teeth are clean and the removal of parasites keeps him healthy. The bird gets a nutritious dinner in a desert land where it may be hard to find food.

The following link has a crocodile print page from National Geographic that can be used in the classroom. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/coloringbook/crocodiles.htmlr>
books on symbiotic relationships:
Stonehouse, Bernard. (2000) Partners. Tangerine Press. Lake Mary: FL.
Kenah, Katharine. (2005) Nature’s amazing partners. Waterbird Press. Columbus: OH.

Day 3
Language Arts
Read the story a third time.
Students retell the story in their own words. They may retell it however they like, using words and pictures or just pictures. Their story must have a beginning middle and an end and must closely match Tomie dePaola’s story.

Social Studies and Math
Begin the lesson by talking to students about basic hygiene especially, good oral hygiene. Pair up with the school nurse or invite a dental professional to come and do a basic tooth brushing demonstration and oral health presentation. Create a store for students with basic, inexpensive, and fun hygiene products like toothbrushes, fun colorful soap, bubble bath, wash clothes or poufs, toilet paper, tissues, toothpaste, and hairbrushes. Include deodorant if appropriate for age level.
Give each student the same amount of money to spend in the classroom’s store. Students can practice being the customer and the clerk, counting money back and using the right currency for the items to be purchased.

Day 4
Language Arts
Introduce Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile. Read and define vocabulary:
Egypt, history, geography, sphinx, Pharaohs, pyramid, sarcophagus, esophagus, museum, and guide. Use this word bank to create class- and homework sheets.
Go on a picture walk as a class. Talk about unfamiliar objects like the pyramid or sarcophagus. Read the story, pausing to ask some questions. Ask students to make connections and comparisons between the first Bill and Pete adventure and this one.

Possible Questions and Answers
What time does this book take place? (beginning of the school year, fall because that is when school starts)
What does Ms. Ibis tell the class the will learn about? (history of Egypt, map of Egypt, the Nile River)
What is the big lion with the woman’s head called? (the sphinx)
What were Egyptian kings called? (Pharaohs)
Where were the Pharaohs buried? (in pyramids)
Where does the class go? (to see the sphinx, the pyramids and the museum)
What do they see? (sand, the pyramids, a sarcophagus, the Eye of Isis, a jewel, a mummy, a river boat the Nile Queen, palm trees, etc.)
Who is the man that is in the car with all the ‘ladies’? (the Bad Guy)
What does he try to do? (steal the jewel)
Who saves Bill? (Pete again!)
What does Pete do? (turn the bad guy into a mummy using toilet paper)

Use jewel-like counters to make a graph. Explain to the children that they can pretend they are archaeologists or treasure hunters and they need to know what jewel they have the most of. Describe the colors using gem terms. Red - Ruby, Blue – Sapphire, Emerald – Green, Amethyst – Purple, Tiger’s Eye – Orange, etc.

Describe Egypt’s layout, introducing the Delta area of the river. Explain that the Nile River flows north. Make a topographical representation of Egypt using homemade play dough. The dough is made of 2 parts flour, 1 part salt, 1 part water. On a piece of cardboard, students make a representation of Egypt, showing how the land near the water is lower than the land in the plains. After the dough as dried ( not later than day 6) students will paint the water blue, the delta area green, and the surrounding deserts yellow or another sand color. They may add details like pyramids, trees, or other personal touches if time allows.

Day 5
Language arts
Re-read Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile. Talk about the story’s beginning, middle, and end and that the class visits three places, the pyramids, the sphinx, and the museum. Mama crocodile tells Bill it is nice to know about your hometown. As the children where they would visit if they could pick three local places. Write a non-fiction book about the class’s hometown, ensuring the story has a beginning, middle, and an end and talks about at least three different places. Write the book using computer software on the projection screen so the students can watch as you type. When the book is completed, print out a copy for each student to illustrate. (Use black and white clip art or picture symbols for students with limited or very limited motor skills.) Suggestions for the book might be the school, a local park or amusement, or a museum or other historical place. Create a crossword puzzle for students using the word bank words.

Split the students into groups of two or three. Give each group a doll simply dressed in a plain smock, a sheet (one square) of toilet paper, and a ruler. Explain to the students that they will be making a mummy with the doll. First, they must make a prediction as to how many sheets of toilet paper it would take to wrap up the doll so that every part is covered with toilet paper. Students will measure and record the length of the doll, how wide their doll is, and the width of a toilet paper square. They will then make a prediction about how much toilet paper they will use to wrap up the doll. Give students their toilet paper rolls and allow them plenty of time to wrap and then calculate how much toilet paper they used. Students will draw a picture of their finished mummy to include on their record sheet. (If some students are not able to participate fully in this activity, assign jobs to members of each group according to ability.)

Social Studies
As an enhancement to the discussion about Egypt, the students will view the Reading Rainbow episode “Mummies Made in Egypt”. During the video, the video will be paused periodically to allow students to ask questions. Students may write or draw about things that ‘jump out’ to them on the video, things they would like to remember later after the video is over.

Continue to work on representations; they should be dried now and ready to paint.

Day 6
Social Studies
If possible, visit a museum of history on a field trip. Possible locations include a trip to a historic part of the town where the school is located, a local museum, or a museum featuring ancient or historic artifacts (especially one that may have an Egyptian exhibit).

Alternate activity
Language Arts
Student will go on an imaginary field trip to any place in the world. Using books, personal experience, and the internet (with guided help) students will research their destination. They will plan for a whole day trip and write or draw their itinerary, places of interest, and things that they should pack to take along.

Day 7
Language Arts
Introduce Bill and Pete to the Rescue. Explain that this book was written last out of the three books. Read and define vocabulary words: harbor, stowaway, cooed, fortune, stateroom, exotic, bayou, levee, acquaintance, stormed, confetti. Use these words to make work sheets for class and homework.
Go on a picture walk through the book. Hold back the last few pages and record what the students predict will happen at the end of the story. Read the story. Compare the actual ending with the predicted endings.

Use the toy crocodiles from previous lesson as a unit of measurement. Measure books, shelves, pencils, and other classroom objects, including a student. Students record their findings. Review different length and weight units.

Alligators and crocodiles are part of the same species (which is like families for the sake of the students’ understanding), but they have differences. Using the internet, and books and magazines from the school’s library, explain the major differences between alligators and crocodiles.
• Alligators have a rounded snout crocodiles’ are pointier.
• Crocodiles can live in salty water, alligators can’t.
• Alligators and crocodiles have teeth that stick out of their mouth. A crocodiles’ mouth has more that stick up from the bottom.
• Alligators tend to be less aggressive than crocodiles.
• Crocodiles have more dermal pressure receptors on their bodies. These are little dark dots on the skin. These dermal pressure receptors or DPR’s help the crocodile or alligator feel when the water changes, helping it catch prey. Alligators have some too, only on their jaws.

Alligators live in most parts of Florida. Moreover, the southern tip of Florida is the only place where alligators and crocodiles live in the same region.

http://agrigator.ifas.ufl.edu/gators/ The American Alligator
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/cbd-faq-q1.htm Crocodilian Database
http://www.cclockwood.com/gatorcam/kidspage.htm Alligator Fun for Kids
National Geographic (nice Alligator pictures)

Art/Life skills
Students will decorate an invitation card to their families inviting them to Parent Share Night. Cards will already include the date, time, and activity on them; students will use coloring supplies, and glitter or sequins to make their cards special. Cards must go home no later than Day 8.

Day 8
Language Arts
Read the three selected books. As a class, fill in a Venn diagram, showing the similarities and differences in the three books. All three books have Bill and Pete in them, but in only two the books does the duo travel. Provide a handout for students to copy the diagram. The circles will represent the different stories. The statements that summarize each book that to go on the diagram could include the following.
Mama loves Bill.
Bill and Pete are friends.
Bill is in trouble.
The Bad Guy causes trouble.
Pete saves Bill.
Bill and Pete go to school.
Bill meets an alligator.
Bill and Pete see the pyramids.
Pete sits in a cage.
Bill buys a toothbrush.
Bill and Pete eat Bad Guy’s dinner.
Bill tells Mama about his adventures.

Review distances with the class. Show on a map how far Egypt is from Mississippi. Using an atlas or map that has a legend, measure how far it is on the map from one place to the other. When students provide the correct answer, use a calculator to show the true distance. Ask students to describe different ways to get from one place to another. What is the best way to get from Egypt to Mississippi? Students will answer by drawing a picture of their vehicle of choice with a sentence explaining why they chose it. Students may use chose one fictional mode of transportation, but must include one actual way to travel to Egypt.

Social Studies/Life skills
In the story, Bill and Pete to the rescue, Bill, Pete and Papa come home after being gone a long time. They are greeted with a homecoming party! Create an imaginary homecoming party as a class. Split the class into partners; give each group a part of the party planning. Let students be as extravagant as they want to be in their plans. Create confetti using recycled scraps of colored paper of all different textures. Share ways that families greet and show appreciation for each other. Discuss things to consider when planning a get together. Apply some of the students’ ideas to the parent share night. Save the confetti for parent share night, each student can greet or share their confetti throwing with their family.

International greetings: http://www.stjohns.ubc.ca/@sjc/greetings.html

Day 9
Wrap it up day
This is a day to finalize all projects, stories, illustrations, projects, and worksheets. Students will organize them by book and put them into their Bill and Pete folder. Anything that was shared in a group or with a partner can be copied (by hand or copier, whatever is more appropriate for the activity) and added to the folder. Assessments will begin that evening and through the next day.

Day 10
Assessment Day
Students will fill out a questionnaire to assess the unit study about Bill and Pete. The questionnaire will have an ‘I loved it’ box, an ‘I liked it box’, an ‘It was ok box’ and an ‘I did not like it’ box and will be anonymous. It will be read to the class giving each student an opportunity to answer each question. Questions could be about the projects, the worksheets, the field trip, the selection of the books, or the activities. The bottom will have an area for students to express their favorite part of the unit.

As I am finishing assessments for the students’ portfolios, students will have an opportunity to view the Reading Rainbow episode about mummies, use pre-selected internet resources from the unit study, or read a Tomie dePaola book.

Parent Share Night
This is an opportunity for students to share what they have learned and created with their families. They will have a short time to visit the areas of the classroom that display group and whole class work, and each student can share his or her portfolio with its assessment grade. They will also get to throw confetti on their families as a sign of welcome and celebration that they have come to see their work.

Note: this is a lesson plan that targets students with cognitive, neurological, and/or sensory processing disabilities.

This is a thematic Unit. Each lesson or day plan is designed to meet the flexibility requirement needed in a class with many students with disabilities. While it may not be a comprehensive explanation, it is our hope that the idea and level of support provided to our students is clearly communicated.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
All components of academic focus areas are included.
Many and varied. Please see the units flow and how each day and lesson is connected to the others.
Links: www.brainpop.com
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Networked Projectors, Portable, Projector Screens, LCD Monitors, Large Pro Monitors, Student Resources, Integrating Technology, Autism
Other Items: 1 School Supscription to BrainPop and BrainPop Jr., $1356.00 each, total of $1356.00
10 Student Friendly tablet (ex. Kindle Fire, iPad), $500.00 each, total of $5000.00