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Learning/Teaching Activities
Outcomes and Assessments
Materials Needed
Extending the Lesson
Lesson created by:

Heather Gonzalez-Rubio

from Pierce Elementary
in Ridgecrest, CA
KERN County

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More Class Lessons for Early Reading Success 2000

Mind Mapping & Paragraph Writing
Prior to doing this activity students, will have read the story TREE HOUSE by Lois Lowry either in guided reading groups or read silently. Students will work in groups of 4 at the computer using Inspiration software to make a mind map focusing on the adjectives describing the appearance of each girl’s tree house. The mind map will be used as a pre-writing tool for a paragraph comparing and contrasting the two tree houses.

Grade Level: 3

Curricular Area:
Reading and Writing

Class Time Required:
2 hours (Estimated)

Language Standard Reading Strand 2.3.3

Extract appropriate and significant information from the text, including problems and solutions.

Language Standard Writing Strand 2.3.5

Create a single paragraph: Develop a topic sentence. Include simple supporting facts and details.

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Learning and Teaching Activities:
After reading TREE HOUSE by Lois Lowry, the students will make a mind map with at least five features of the tree houses. They will then write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the features in a simple paragraph with a topic sentence and supporting sentences. Students will hand write the draft and then type the edited and revised paragraph on Alpha Smart keyboards to be uploaded to the computer for publishing in a word processing program of their choice.

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Outcomes and Assessment:
Based upon the standard, students will be able to extract important information from the text and organize it on the mind map. Based upon the writing standard, students will produce a paragraph comparing and contrasting the tree houses with a topic sentence and a minimum of three supporting sentences.


Students must have a minimum of five features of the tree house on the mind map and a paragraph with topic sentence and three supporting sentences to demonstrate they have met the objective. Download sample mind map attached.

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Materials Needed:
pencils, paper, computer, Alpha Smart keyboards, textbook,

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Resource 1
  • Resource: Inspiration software
  • URL/Publisher: Inspiration Software, Inc.
  • How Used: Mind mapping
Resource 2
  • Resource: Open Court Reading Level 3, Book 1
  • URL/Publisher: SRA McGraw Hill
  • How Used: reading
Resource 3
  • Resource: AppleWorks
  • URL/Publisher: Apple Computer, Inc.
  • How Used: word processing

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Ideas for extending the lesson:
Draw and plan your own tree house. List all the things you might want in your tree house. Illustrate the paragraph you wrote.

Write a paragraph telling which tree house you might like to use for a sleep-over and tell why.

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