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Picture This: The Ugly Duckling!

Kindergarten Reading, ESL

by Sharon Schellenberg July 22, 2015

Your students have probably heard of The Ugly Duckling, but have they ever tried to put the events of the story
in order? In this simple sequencing lesson, young readers match illustrations to text and put them into the
proper order.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to retell stories by properly sequencing text and images.

Materials and Preparation Key Terms

The Ugly Duckling interactive story text--the words that make the story illustrations--the
Ugly Duckling story cards pictures that go with the text sequence--the order of
Ugly Duckling sequencing boxes events
Glue sticks
Colored pencils


Ugly Duckling Story Cards
Ugly Duckling Sequencing Boxes

Introduction (5 minutes)

Gather the students.

Display the title page of The Ugly Duckling interactive story.
As you display the cover of the story say: This is the story of "The Speedy Worm."
Wait for the students to object, then say: Oh, you're right! This is the story of "The Angry Goldfish!"
Wait for the students to correct you. Ask the students to explain how they knew the story was about "The
Ugly Duckling."
Let students know that today, they'll be using pictures and words to put this story in order.

Beginning: * Point to the picture and remind students that a picture in a book is called an illustration.

Review that the illustrations and the words in a book go together to tell a story.

Intermediate: * Review the defitions for the words illustration, author, and illustrator.
Ask students, "How can you tell what a story is about before you read the book?"
Provide sentence stems to support students as they answer the question: "I know the story is about ____
because I can see _____ ."

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Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

Invite the students to recall the name for someone who draws the pictures.
Explain that the artist who draws the pictures can also be called the illustrator. Explain that pictures can
also be called illustrations.
Open the interactive story to the first illustration. Invite the students to describe what they see on the
Read the text on the page and then proceed to the next page.
Continue this process while calling on different students to describe the illustrations and then predict
what the text will say. Mute or pause the narration as the students contribute.


Beginning: * Provide a visual for the vocabulary words illustrator, Illustration, and author and display on
the classroom word wall.

Pair students up with a partner who speaks the same home language to describe what they see on each

Intermediate: * When calling on students to describe illustrations, provide students with sentence stem:
I see a ___.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

Explain to the students that they will be pointing to pictures as you read the story again.
Give every student the Ugly Duckling story cards sheet.
Explain that the pictures are all mixed up. Tell your students to think about the words that you read and
point to the pictures that match your words.
Read the story aloud, pausing after each main event. Watch to ensure that your students put their fingers
on the correct pictures as you read.


Beginning: * Pair students together for the activity.

Provide students with a graphic organizer that is numbered 1-9.
Cut out the images from the Ugly Duckling Story Card Sheet
Pass out the first three images to the class.
Re-read the beginning of the story and ask students to place the image that matches the words you read
into the number one box in their graphic organizer.
Repeat with the remaining two images for numbers two and three.
Pass out the next set of images and repeat process for boxes four-nine.
Intermediate: * Pass out a labeled graphic organizer that is numbered 1-9.
Re-read the beginning, middle, and ending again and pause after each section to ensure student

Independent Working Time (15 minutes)

The students will use the Ugly Duckling sequencing boxes to match illustrations with corresponding text.
Have them cut out the Ugly Duckling story cards sheet and glue them into the boxes with the correct
Explain that the numbers in the text boxes will help them put the illustrations in order. Model how to do
the first one.
Remind your students to lay all of the illustrations out in their text boxes before gluing. This will help
them avoid frustration if they get one or two out of order.
Walk around the room and observe the students. Offer support when needed.

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Beginning: * Have students use their graphic organizer to match the words with the images from the
Ugly Duckling Story Cards to sequence the story.
Ask students to place each card in the matching text box and to wait before gluing their cards to the
Intermediate: * Provide students with visual vocabulary cards to use as supports for challenging words
on the Ugly Duckling story cards sheet.


Enrichment: Students who finish their sequencing assignment early may color the pictures. Students in
need of a greater challenge may write and illustrate their own short story instead of coloring.
Support: Give simple clues to help struggling students figure out which illustrations go where. If needed,
pull these students aside for another short reading of The Ugly Duckling.

Related Books and/or Media

BOOK: The Ugly Duckling Returns by Tony Bradman

Assessment (5 minutes)

Call on every student during the reading of the story. Each student should be asked to describe
something in the illustrations.
Assess how well students describe the characters and action in the story. If a student focuses on the
wrong details, such as the color of the sun, prompt the student to describe what is happening in the
During guided practice, check for students who hesitate to point at the pictures. Slow down to give every
students a chance to find the right illustration before moving on.
Sit near struggling students and observe them to identify common areas of difficulty.
Take note of students who need further instruction.


Beginning: * Collect student work samples to assess whether students were able to correctly sequence
the story.
Allow students to make changes as needed and then glue their story cards onto their text page.
Intermediate: * Have students check their peers work by pairing ELs with non-ELs to practice reading
aloud the illustrations together to check if their story is in the correct sequence.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

Invite your students to think about the lesson.

Invite the students to describe the key terms.
Ask them to think about the sequence of the story.
Invite them to describe events that happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Encourage your students to retell the story to their families when they get home.


Beginning: * Refer back the the key terms, (text, illustration, retell, sequence) and ask the students to
give a thumbs up if they know what each term means.
Pair ELs with ELs of similar language background if able for a pair share using the sentence frame: In the
beginning of the story ____, then ____, and finally ____.
Intermediate: * Ask students turn and talk to share the story sequence in their own words using the
sentence stem: In the beginning, ____ in the middle, ____, and in the end, _____.
Have students share out with the group.

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