Lesson Plan Title: The Secret Knowledge of Grown Ups
Original plan submitted by Kristy Jardet who referenced the book 6+1 Traits of Writing:
The Complete Guide Grades 3 and Up by Ruth Culham
• The Secret Knowledge of Grown Ups by David Wisniewski or The Secret
Knowledge of Grown Ups The Second File by David Wisneiwski
• Ideas Project sheets (pp.2-3 of this document)
• Markers or crayons if you wish for the students to illustrate
• Dry erase markers or chalk
• White board or chalkboard
Instructional Objective: Students will write about everyday rules in an imaginative and
• Brainstorm with students the rules they have heard from grown-ups at home and
at school. List these rules on the board.
• Ask students to tell you the reasons for these rules. Allow plenty of time for them
to moan and groan about why parents, school officials, and even you want them to
behave a certain way.
• Announce that these reasons are not the whole truth; there are far more sinister
reasons for all these rules, as revealed in the book you are about to read.
• Read the book or sections from the book The Secret Knowledge of Grown Ups.
• Choose a few of your favorite rules, and read them aloud to students with passion
and voice, pausing to show the pictures that illustrate each “truth”.
• Invite students to rise to the challenge at the end of the book: “Hundreds of
grown-up rules remain. The truth must be told about them all!” It is now time for
students to choose one of the rules they’ve and create their own “top secret truth”
to explain the rule, using the model in the book. You can also use the Ideas
Project sheets on pp.2-3 of this document to further help lay out the assignment.
• Invite students to share their final products in small groups or individually to the
• Display final products in the classroom.
Directions: Identify a rule that parents or teachers try and enforce. State the official
reasons given for the rule, then write your “truth”. Use the format below, as well as from
the book The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups.
Presentation: Project should have related illustrations to promote your “truth”. Projects
will be placed on display.
LOCATION: Sierra Pacific Power Company
DATE & TIME: October 6, 2000, 3:23 A.M.
LOG: Power bills are going up as I speak. Children are dangerously
leaving the lights on, allowing lizards to escape.
RULE 35: Turn the lights off!
REASON: Save electricity and money
The real reason your parents tell you to turn off the lights is because in every light
bulb there are millions of microscopic bulb lizards. If you leave the light on, these
intelligent creatures can melt right through the outside of the light bulb. There are two
kinds of bulb lizards. One of them is called the lost lizard. They are known to hide all of
your toys in their special hiding spots called the “special box”. They carry the key to the
“special box” wherever they go. When you go to tell your mom or dad that you can’t
find your special toy and that you have looked everywhere, your parent goes and finds
the lost lizard, gets the key to the “special box”, unlocks it, gets your toy out of the box,
and puts it in a very obvious spot. This makes it seem like you are blind or didn’t look
hard enough for your special toy. This is not fun!
The other kind of microscopic bulb lizard that could escape is the “wake lizard”.
If you have a hard time falling asleep or can’t sleep at all, the wake lizard is the reason
why. When the light is on, these lizards tend to poke at you. They don’t come out until
you are half-asleep with the light on because they don’t want to be alone. This causes
you to not be able to get sleep. So turn the light off before going to sleep, unless you are
afraid of the dark. But that’s a whole other story!
Class Period Date
The Secret Knowledge of Grown Ups
DATE & TIME:
GROWN-UP RULE #