Spring Lesson Unit on Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Lesson Plan Overview and Objectives
Duration: 30 – 60 minutes
Prior Knowledge: This lesson builds on vocabulary development, fluency, sequencing and word recognition skills previously taught.
The following materials or supplies are needed for this lesson plan:
- Ask the children to bring stuffed bunnies to class to listen to the story.
- Large carrot with green top for game
- One copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- Small bowl of radishes, cut into slices
- Small bowl of blackberries, one for each child
- Bread, one small piece for each child
Teaching the Tale of Peter Rabbit
Read the book to the class. Show the cover and tell them who the author is; point to Beatrix Potter’s name as you say the words. Ask them what they think will happen during the story. As you read, pause and ask open-ended questions like:
- What are the names of Peter’s brothers and sisters?
- How did Peter get into the garden?
- What do you think will happen next?
Continue through the story in this manner, asking the children to make predictions based on what they hear and see.
Use the radishes, blackberries and bread to illustrate portions of the story. For instance, while reading about Peter nibbling the radishes, show the children the bowl of radishes. Pass the bowl and let each child try a piece.
Ask them: "Which do you like better, the radishes or the blackberries?" Why? Use the other food items in a similar fashion to add multisensory learning to the lesson.
Discussion Questions and Application
Here are some suggested discussion questions for this story. Asking open-ended questions encourages more children to respond. Guide the discussion to help the children learn the difference between right and wrong behavior.
- Was Peter happy with his radishes?
- How many of you liked the radishes? (blackberries, bread)
- Were you surprised when the Mr. McGregor chased Peter?
- What happened next?
- What did Peter do when he could not get back home?
- Peter did something naughty; what was it?
- Have you ever done anything naughty?
- Who had blackberries and bread for dinner?
- What happened last in the story?
Lesson Extension Teaching Activities
Play the “Hot Potato” game but instead of a hot potato, have a “hot carrot." Help the children sit on the floor in a circle pattern. Play the song “Three Blind Mice” while the kids pass the carrot around the circle. Stop the music at random intervals. The person holding the carrot when the music stops leaves the circle and play continues. Repeat until only one child remains or until attention spans wane.
Try some or all of these books to reinforce the elements of this lesson plan.
- Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter
- The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
- The Tale of Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter
By the end of this spring lesson unit on Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, the children know about the world of Peter Rabbit. They have sampled some foods that may have been unfamiliar, and played a game. The concepts of doing right versus wrong is introduced and explained.