Lesson Plans


Title of Lesson: Deserts: Introduction/Roadrunner

Objective: Students will be able to name the desert (Sonoran) that the story takes place in.

Materials Needed:


1. Read book, pointing out the plants and animals that are mentioned and depicted in the illustrations.

**The U.S. Desert is divided into four areas based on the plants and animals that live in those areas, which is why the plants and animals in this book should be mentioned as being Sonoran Desert dwellers.

2. Teacher leads guided discussion of characteristics of the Sonoran desert based on the contents of the book (meant only as an introduction to the desert).


Evaluation: Students will respond in unison to the fill in the blanks statements about the story said by the teacher.

Title of Lesson: Deserts: Where Is The Desert?/Maps

***Previous experience with direction (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW) in relationship to the classroom is recommended before using this lesson.

Objective: Students will be able to answer questions about directions to where the United States' desert region lies in relationship to the state in which they live using a compass rose.

Materials Needed:



1. Students' map copies are distributed.

2. Turn on overhead and point out the shaded part. Explain that the desert areas in the U.S. vary because of the plant and animal life that exists there.

For more information:

3. Have students color in the area that includes desert as you do it on the overhead.

4. Have students point to compass rose. Ask if anyone can volunteer what it is or what it means.


Evaluation: Students complete worksheet (For worksheet questions, click on resource link).

Title of Lesson: Deserts: Story Mapping

***Previous experience with mapping (desks, classroom, schoolyard) is recommended before using this lesson.

Objective: Students will make a story map of Roadrunner terrain using their choice of symbols.

Materials Needed:


1. Story line is drawn/written out to include all events and objects.

2. Students draw a shape (map border) that they envision the area the roadrunner covered in the day in the story makes. Teacher should direct them to put their pencils down where the story starts, and draw a light line to each place the roadrunner goes.

3. Students choose symbols to represent plants, other animals' territories, rock formations, horse and/or jeep trails.


*Students create symbols for these, label those symbols, and put into a key on a corner of map.

4. Students carefully plot out where each event occurs, coordinating their chosen key symbols to each location (for example, a horse may be used for the horse trail, a pincushion for a pincushion cactus, etc.) in order, with a pencil before adding color.

Evaluation: Map key is used properly and map is readable (can be explained) by student.

Title of Lesson: Deserts: People And The Desert

Objective: Students will write a story extension of the book about the person in the jeep or the person on the horse, which includes at least three adaptations/survival skills a person would need to survive in the desert.

Materials Needed:


1. Reread the part of the story where the horse passes through the scene and the part where the jeep passes through the scene.

2. Brainstorm as a class about the people's presence.

3. Students use brainstorming ideas and information to write a story. They need to include at least three survival activities the person in the jeep or on the horse would need to do while in the desert.

Evaluation: Students' stories are checked for at least three survival skills a person would need to exist in the desert.

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