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JMU Elementary Education Program

A. Read Aloud: Dragons Love Tacos

The class is currently in a project based learning unit about cooking and food. The students
are constantly doing activities and reading books about food, and they also cook and eat 2
snacks a day themselves. This lesson fits in with what I know about child development,
because the book I have chosen is appropriate for preschool students, and introduces good
vocabulary for their development as well.

Understand – Know – Do –
The students will begin to understand Students will know the beginning, Students will share about their
cause and effect and learn how to middle, and end of the story. favorite part of the story.
make predictions.

Students will be able to tell me what their favorite part of the story is. A small group of
students will also draw their favorite part of the story.


VA Foundation Block 1:a,c,d,e,g,h
VA Foundation Block 3:d

Book-I will bring
Paper and coloring supplies

1. During small group time, Ms. Donna will tell the students that I will be reading a story to them
2. I will ask the students if they have ever eaten a taco, what kind of taco, what was their favorite
part, did they eat salsa with it?
3. I will ask the students if they have ever heard of a dragon, and what they think about dragons. I
will ask them if they think dragons are mean or scary. I will tell them that maybe we should get to
know some dragons and what kinds of things they like better.
4. I will read the book to them.
1. Stop and ask them to predict the dragon’s face when talking about spicy salsa
2. Ask what kinds of toppings they like on their tacos
3. Review vocabulary “mild” and “spicy”
4. Talk about the term “good samaritan”
5. During the parts of the book that ask the dragons questions, I will ask the students what they
think the dragons will say back.
6. When the dragons accidentally eat the salsa, I will ask the students what they think is going to
7. When the book is over, I will ask the students if they think the dragons did the right thing.
8. I will ask the students what their favorite part of the book was.
9. Later, during centers time, I will ask a few of the students to draw me their favorite part of the
I have asked a variety of questions to different levels of students. For example, asking
students “have you ever eaten a taco?” is universal, whereas asking students whether they
have heard of dragons or not is not as universal. Some students probably have not heard of
dragons and could not tell me what a dragon does, but some students most likely will be able
to. I also am planning on changing some of the harder words in the book to help our English
language learners and students who don’t have as great of a vocabulary.

The biggest issue I anticipate is the students not sitting still to listen to the story. I will remind them to
sit on the carpet and listen, and ask more engaging questions to keep their attention.

Lesson Implementation Reflection

In reality, my lesson went a little differently than I had anticipated. While I signed up for and
discussed with my teacher about doing my lesson in a structured small group time, when I got to school that
day my CT had changed her plans but not really told me. It caught me off guard and was frustrating because
I spent time planning for one thing but had to do another. Overall, though, it was okay because the lesson
was basically the same except for my assessment. Originally, I had wanted to do the assessment of having
the students draw me a picture of their favorite part of the story, but because we were just hanging out in the
library corner, no one wanted to move and go draw at the art station. Instead, I just asked them to tell me
their favorite parts, and we discussed based on that. There were 5 or 6 children listening to the story, and
every one was able to give me a relatively unique response. It seemed that all of the children learned, even if
it was something silly like the fact that dragons love tacos! The students also learned a lot from each other
when I was talking to them before the story, because some had not had a taco before and others told them
what it was like. I also noticed that one student didn’t know what a dragon was before the story, but later that
day on the playground, she was pretending to be a dragon, so she learned about a topic she may be interested
in. In our pre-story discussion, a lot of the children also agreed that dragons are scary, but at the end of the
book, one boy said “I guess dragons aren’t scary all the time!” This could be applied to general life, how
things are not always as they seem at first and how stereotyping or being prejudiced isn’t necessarily true.
If I did this lesson again, I think I would try to ask them less questions. I was nervous so I ended up
stopping a lot and asking questions to make sure they were engaged, but they were engaged without the
questions. It is not a long book, so I would limit myself to 3 or 4 questions and try to make a conscious effort
to let the students come to their own conclusions without a ton of guiding questions. I remember thinking
how I was stopping a lot during the story, but once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t stop. Vicious circle
kind of thinking.
One thing that I definitely took away from this lesson is how badly all young children want to learn.
At first, I had to beg a couple of students to come listen to me, but when I started reading more and more
came over and wanted to listen. As soon as we were done, they immediately asked me to read it again. Then,
after our discussion at the end of the book, pretty much every one of them had another book in their hands
and asked me to read it. I wish we did more whole-group reading in our class because they love it and learn
from it so much. I know that reading is going to be a huge part of my own classroom one day, because
reading and literacy are so important to this age when their minds are so moldable.