Grade 1: “The Mysterious Tadpole” by Steven Kellogg


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Reading Literature

RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

RL.1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

RL.1.10 With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.


W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

W.1.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Speaking and Listening

SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.1.2 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

SL.1.4 Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.


L.1.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.1.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.1.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.



This Grade 1 lesson titled “The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg” and cited on has an ELA/Literacy suggested instructional time of 5 days of at least 20 minutes/day. In this lesson, students listen to a literary text read aloud and use literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to understand the central message of the text. For the first reading, the teacher reads the entire book with minimal interruptions. The teacher then reads the book in three “chunks”, asking students to discuss text-dependent questions and vocabulary to extend their comprehension and analysis of the text. For the culminating task, students are asked to write an informative/explanatory essay based on a writing prompt that includes a topic sentence, at least two details from the story for support, and a concluding sentence.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the teacher notes and preparation materials will require familiarity to be used effectively. There does not appear to be discrete instruction on the writing or language standards listed above. Additional supports may need to be provided for students who are ELL or who have disabilities. While there are assessment guidelines and a writing sample in the lesson plan, a CCSS-aligned rubric should be created to elicit direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate all of the major targeted standards. The text is not included in the materials; it will need to be secured.


This lesson is a good example of how to focus on challenging sections of a complex informational text. It engages students in a productive struggle through text-dependent questions and other supports that gradually build toward independence. Instruction focuses on building students’ academic vocabulary in context throughout instruction.   The lesson plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Materials include: the text-dependent questions with annotated teacher answers, suggested vocabulary from the book that merits attention, extension activities, a sample completed chart of “public notes”, and a detailed explanation of what makes this read-aloud complex.