Mini-Lesson Plan Template
Created by: Sandra Roling
Project Name: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Subject Area: Reading/Language Arts
Timeline: These activities can be completed within 2 to 3 days (1-2 hours of computer
lab time on days two and three) depending on the students’ experience with MS Word
and Inspiration applications.
Grade Level: Third Grade
Content Area Objective:
Students will summarize and evaluate the story.
Students will summarize the main idea of the story.
Students will recall and sequence important events from the story.
Students will identify and describe the cause and effect relationships within
Students will engage in oral language, whole group, small group, or
Students will create written and visual materials.
Students will create a cause and effect diagram using Inspiration.
Students will use font attributes, color, white space and graphics to ensure
that the products are appropriate for the defined audience.
Students will produce products, proofread, edit, revise, and publish
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day picture book
Cause and Effect Chain worksheet
White Board and Markers
Individual Computer Disks
Microsoft Word Software
Presentation Unit (TV/Projector/Smartboard)
Activity 1: (Day 1) Teacher will activate prior knowledge by asking the students if they
ever had a bad day. Teacher and students will brainstorm ideas of what things can
happen to you to constitute a bad day. Teacher will chart these on the white board using
a variety of colors. Students will listen to the teacher read aloud the picture book,
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst. After
reading aloud the book, students will be paired to complete the Cause and Effect Chain
worksheet. Students will need to sequence the events of the story in order to help them
complete the cause and effects from the story. Students will present these to the class
After all Cause and Effect Chains have been presented, the teacher will introduce the
project the students will be completing in the computer lab the following day using their
chains. Teacher will put example of Inspiration template on the TV screen for the
students to see as she explains the activity.
Activity 2: (Day 2) Students will create an organized cause and effect diagram using the
software Inspiration. Students will create the diagram with their partner from yesterday’s
lesson. Students need their Cause and Effect Chain worksheet to help them create their
diagram on the computer. Teacher will put an example on the Smartboard in the
computer lab for students to review. Students will add symbols that are relevant to their
information within their diagram. The students will arrange their diagram as a top down
tree and have it centered on the page. Students will use proofreading and editing skills to
check for complete sentences or grammar errors and spelling mistakes within the
diagram. Students will print out final product. Students will fill in the “events” portion of
Activity 3: (Day 3) Students will continue creating their organized diagram using
Inspiration if they did not complete it yesterday. Those who have completed the diagram
will create an individual summary using Microsoft Word. Students will recall the events
that happened in the story and write a half-page to full page summary on Alexander and
the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Students will cover all of the story
elements in their summary, such as characters, setting, plot, problem, and solution.
Students will use proofreading and editing skills before handing in their final printed
draft of the summary.
Additional Extended Activities: (optional)
* Students can visit
http://kennedy-center.org/programs/family/alexander/author.html to learn more
about the author, Judith Viorst. Students can also listen to Ms. Viorst read an
excerpt from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on
this web site by clicking on the “story time” icon.
* A group of students may also visit the connecting website to the site above,
http://kennedy-center.org/programs/family/alexander/game.html and print out a
game board about the story. The pieces for the game board can be found at
Cause and Effect Chain worksheet will be reviewed as a whole class to check
for understanding, but will not be given a graded score.
Inspiration diagram should be graded for completeness of information.
Diagram needs to include three events that produced a cause and effect
relationship from the book. Spelling and grammar will be also be checked.
Word-processing summary should be graded for completeness as well,
making sure all story elements were included in the summary. Again,
grammar and spelling will be scored.
Inspiration diagram and Word-processing summary needs to be printed with a
hard copy to be evaluated.