Utah Lesson Plans
Elementary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lower Elementary
Lesson Plan, UEN
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Education Standards

1st Grade - Act. 12: The Little House

1st Grade - Act. 12: The Little House


After reading the story "The Little House", students will discuss changing patterns and then create a seasonal mandala.


After reading the story "The Little House", students will discuss changing patterns and then create a seasonal mandala.


  • paper plate and cup to trace around
  • 81/2 x 11 inch piece of white drawing paper
  • crayons or markers
  • ruler and pencil
  • scissors

Additional Resources
Various pieces of fruit (banana, kiwi, apple, etc.) can be cut for the students to observe the mandala pattern on the inside, then the fruit can be used for tasting.

Background for Teachers

This lesson is a great way to introduce students to cycles and patterns. The literature selection for this activity is designed to be used first as a shared reading experience. It can then be used to teach word patterns and repetition in language cycles of time in math, and cycles of change in science.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.

Process Skills
Problem solving

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn
Pass around a silver dollar that is about 100 years old. Ask: "Did you notice how worn out the silver dollar is? What do you think it looked like when it was new?" "How much do you think you could buy with it when it was new?" (Let them know that a new car cost about $200.00.)

Instructional Procedures

  1. Invitation to learn activity
  2. Refer to patterns on inside of book jacket for changes over time.
  3. Read the story The Little House by Virginia Burton
  4. Discuss the book so students can identify changing patterns throughout story and make a list of these patterns.
  5. Create a seasonal mandala.

Instructions for Making a Seasonal Mandala
A mandala is an ancient form of art that is found in every culture. It is a circle with a cross in it. Some are very elaborate and others are very simple. The mandala represents wholeness and interconnectedness of all things.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Trace around the paper plate to create a circle on the white piece of paper. Draw lines across the circle separating it into four equal sections.
  2. Make a dot where the two lines cross in the center. Trace around a smaller cup to form a circle in the middle of the paper.
  3. Draw something in the small circle that could be observed in every season--rain, cloud, sun, tree, flowers, etc.
  4. Next, have students write Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter in each section of the circle.
  5. Have students draw a picture showing how the center object would change in each season. (An example would be an apple in the middle surrounded by four trees: one in bloom, one with tiny apples, one with ripe apples, and one without leaves.)



Possible Extensions/Adaptations
Nature Walk--Find a special place where you can go several times in the school year to observe changes. Take photos or write in journals to record information throughout the year. (Show field trip kits.)

Winslow Homer--Study "Snap the Whip," a painting by Winslow Homer.

Games--Teach students how to play games children played 100 years ago, like Cats Cradle, Jump Rope Chants, Snap the Whip, Red Rover, marbles, etc.

Venn Diagram--Make a Venn Diagram of games students play today compared with games their parents played. (See family connections activity.)

Family Connections
Have a homework assignment where students interview their parents or grandparents asking them questions such as:

  • What games did you plan in first grade?
  • What was your favorite subject in first grade?
  • What was your school like in first grade?
  • What did you do at recess time in first grade?
  • What did you have for school lunch?

Assessment Plan

The seasonal mandala that students make will show how well they understand the concept of seasonal patterns.