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Lesson Plan 4 – Breaking Down Walls


Language Arts, Social Studies  



Title – Walls That Tell a Story Unit –
Lesson 4 – Breaking Down Walls (LA)
By – Donna Hennessy
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects –  Social Studies
Grade Level – 5

Walls That Tell a Story Unit

I. Table of Contents

II. Curriculum Web of Activities

III. Narrative Rationale

IV. Timeline for Implementation of Lessons

V. Unit Materials and Resources

VI. Lesson Plans:

      Lesson Plan 1 –

Mapping Walls

      (Math, Social Studies)
      Lesson Plan 2 –

Building the Biggest Walls

      Lesson Plan 3 –

Virtual Exploration of Lascaux Cave


Lesson Plan 4 – Breaking Down Walls – (Language Arts, Other) VII. Unit Comprehensive Assessment

VIII. Culminating Activity-Field Trip

Walls That Tell a Story

VI. Lesson Plan #4

Breaking Down Walls

Lesson Rationale & Context:

      Students have read the book

Talking Walls

    and learned about many of the walls in the book, including the cultures of the land. We discussed what walls have in common and decided that many times walls are a place where community shares information. Today we will be discussing walls as obstacles, which prevent us from reaching our goals and what can be done to overcome them.

Learning Objectives:

  1. SWBAT determine “walls” or obstacles in their lives.
  2. SWBAT brainstorm and evaluate ways to overcome these obstacles.

New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards:

    3.2.(5)A.3 – Language Arts – Writing

    • Generate possible ideas for writing through listening, talking, recalling experiences, hearing stories, reading, discussing models of writing, asking questions, and brainstorming.



      • Book Talking Walls by Margy Burns Knight


    • Brown, grey, white, red and black construction paper
    • Markers

Lesson Procedure:

      Anticipatory Set:

        1. Explain that today we will be trying to identify “walls” or obstacles that we have in our lives. Each child will be creating a brick with the obstacle written on it. We will use these bricks to create a wall within our classroom and hopefully, by the end of the year we will be able to knock down many of our obstacles.
        2. In future lessons, we will work together as a class to brainstorm some ways to knock down the walls brick by brick.

      Main Activity:


        1. Review with the student some of the walls we saw in the Talking Walls book, and remind them how we found out that many times these walls are places to share information with our communities, families, and friends.
        2. Explain that walls are not always a good thing; sometimes they stop us from reaching our goals and dreams.
        3. Teacher will talk about a “wall” in her life and the problems associated with it. Show the class the “brick” that was created. On one side it says “shyness”. The teacher will then put it up on the classroom wall.

        Guided/Joint Participation:

        1. To understand the concept of obstacles, each child will be asked to sit in the large cardboard box and try to read a book. They will each see how difficult this is since there is no light, and it is very cramped.
        2. Children will then sit in a circle at the rug to brainstorm other “walls” people may have in their lives.

        Independent Practice:

        1. Back at their desks, children will continue to brainstorm ideas for their “brick” (which is an obstacle in their life).
        2. Once they come up with their obstacle, they can create their brick using construction paper and writing the obstacle on one side of the brick.


      1. To conclude the lesson, each child will hang their brick up on the wall.
      2. Later in other lessons, more will be done with these bricks (writing an essay on their obstacle, and coming up with ways to overcome their obstacle) but for now, the bricks will be hung on a classroom wall and hung so they resemble a wall.


  • Originally letting the children go inside the box so they can understand the concept of obstacles was created as an adaptation for “Adam”. I realized, however all children would benefit from this activity.
  • For “Adam” I would try to relate this activity to something he knows a great deal about – dinosaurs. I would ask why there are no longer dinosaurs on the earth. Adam may respond there was a huge asteroid or talk about the ice age. Either way, these things were obstacles in the existence of the dinosaur. Maybe this way, he can relate to the concept.


  • The teacher can assess the student on their participation in the group discussion. She can do this by observing the children as they brainstorm and using a checklist to be sure they are all participating, engaged, and are “on-task”.
  • Also, children will be assessed on their ability to identify an obstacle in their life by creating their “brick”.

Narrative of Pitfalls, Solutions, & Reflections:

  • Children could have a hard time understanding the concept of “walls” that they can’t see. Teacher could provide additional examples.
  • Also, children may not be willing to share their obstacles in their lives with their classmates. The teacher would then ask the child to either make it anonymous or to identify an obstacle other children may have.

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