Fourth Grade - Literature - Overview - May
 

Sayings and Phrases

Students are introduced to four sayings this month--Shipshape, Run of the mill, As the crow flies and Blow hot and cold. They hear about the origins of the sayings and are given opportunities to respond to the sayings through discussion and independent and group work.

The lesson on Shipshape asks students to identify places that need to be kept neat and tidy, and in the lesson on Run of the mill they are asked to find exceptions to the norm. Students use maps with a bird's eye view to assist them in recognizing that the shortest routes are available As the crow flies. Blow hot and cold presents a discussion of things that frequently change to round out this final month's study.

The lessons are not interdependent and may be presented in any order.
 

Stories

"The Enchanted Tapestry (Brocade)" and Gulliver's Travels are read this month. Suggested versions are provided for both, as are a number of activities. Several of the activities are related to other pieces of literature, therefore providing opportunities for additional reading. A brief adaptation for students of the chapter concerning Gulliver's travels to Lilliput is included.

Either the story or the novel may be used first, however "The Enchanted Tapestry (Brocade)" should be used after the students have completed their study of China through the World History lessons.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Blow hot and cold
 

Objectives

Brainstorm things that are always changing.

Hear and use the saying correctly.
 

Materials

Copy of the saying Blow hot and cold on sentence strip or chart paper
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

The meaning of the saying and an example of its use is found on pp. 78-79.

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. The meaning may be found on p. 61.

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. The meaning may be found on p. 7.

Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. The example in the lesson comes from the definition on p. 130.
 

Procedure

Begin the class by asking students to think of things that are always changing. Challenge them to make a list of as many as they can. After a minute or two, allow them to share their lists with a partner. Ask: Were there any of the same things on both of your lists? If so, what were they? Write these on the board and then ask students to share the other responses they have listed, adding these to the board as well. Possible responses are: the news--what we see on television, read in the paper, etc.; movies; the length of hair and finger and toe nails; the cost of certain things; what we are thinking--our minds; what we learn; what people tell us; the weather.

Point out that some of these things change more quickly than others--most specifically what we are thinking and the weather. Ask students if they have ever set out for school on a bright sunny day to find rain is pouring by dismissal. Ask: Has the weatherman ever predicted a heavy snow and not a snowflake fell? Has the day ever started out warm and gotten colder, or started out cold and gotten unseasonably warm? Tell the students that sometimes people will say that if you don't like the weather you should stick around because it will be changing shortly.

Display the saying Blow hot and cold. Tell students that this saying came about as a reference to one of the determiners of weather--the wind. The wind is always changing, sometimes bringing warm air, sometimes bringing cold. Remind students that sayings usually mean more than what is obvious and this saying is no exception. Blow hot and cold has come to refer to the other thing that frequently changes--our minds.

Ask the students if there is anyone who has never changed his or her mind. Point out that as thinking beings we make decisions, weigh facts and sometimes change those decisions. We also change our moods because of the things we are thinking about. Tell the students that some people change their minds frequently. They make a decision then change it; then change it back and so on. A person who does that could be described as blowing hot and cold.

Read the following scenario to the students or provide one of your own.

"Have you decided if you are going to try out for the team?" Clinton asked Robert.

"No," Robert replied. "I blow hot and cold on the subject. One minute I think I'd enjoy being on the team and the next minute I worry about keeping up my schoolwork while making it to the practices."

Invite the students to provide a scenario of their own using the saying. Help them to use a dialogue that makes the saying part of the conversation.

End the lesson by asking students if they think it is physically possible for a person to blow hot and cold. Allow a few minutes for discussion and examples. If no one is able to show that it is indeed possible, ask the students to tell what happens when we blow on our hands when they are cold (we blow warm air and warm them up). Next, ask what happens when we are served hot soup and we blow on it to cool it (we cause air currents to move over the hot liquid). Point out to students that it can be correct to say that people do blow hot and cold.
 
 
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - As the crow flies
 

Objectives

Compare time and distance involved traveling two different routes with the same starting point and destination.

Identify the animal best able to take shortcuts.

Explain why the phrase as the crow flies can be a very accurate description today.
 

Materials

Copy of the saying As the crow flies on sentence strip or chart paper

Map grid for transparency (attached)
 

Suggested Books

Hartman, Gail. As the Crow Flies. New York: Bradbury Press, 1991.

Very basic picture book that shows five geographical areas from the perspectives of a crow, eagle, rabbit, horse, and gull.

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

An explanation of the saying and a illustration of its use are included on pp. 79-80.

Macaulay, David. Rome Antics. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

A homing pigeon deviates from her "standard pigeon procedure" to take a tour of the city of Rome as she delivers an important message; wonderful illustrations. A map of Rome from the perspective of "as the pigeon flies" is included.

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. The meaning may be found on p. 60.

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. The meaning may be found on p. 6.

Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. P. 58 contains a definition as well as a reference to airline and beeline.

Spears, Richard A. NTC's Super-Mini American Idioms Dictionary. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group, 1996. This definition, on p.14, reminds that one must assume that crows fly in a straight line.

Teacher Resource

Buckley, Susan and Elspeth Leacock. Hands-On Geography. New York: Scholastic, 1993.

Contains wonderful reproducibles of overhead views of a town (Geotown).
 

Procedure

Begin the lesson by telling the students that they are going to do some activities with maps. Explain that they will be determining the best routes to use to get to a particular place. Ask a volunteer to explain what is meant by route (a course, way or road). Point out that there can be delivery routes, paper routes, bus routes, etc.

Display the first example on the transparency or draw a similar picture on the board. Tell the students that it is map of a city block. Explain that buildings A, B and C are houses and D, E and F are stores. Tell the students that this map is not to scale; the buildings and the sidewalks, roads and alley are not in the correct proportions.

Ask a student to show the route he or she would take going from house A to store F. Require that sidewalks be used for this trip. (The route would be to go west on Elm St., north on 7th Ave., and then east on Water St.) Next, invite a student to take the shortest or fastest route to store F from house A, do not require this student to use the sidewalks. (The fastest and shortest route would be a diagonal from the back of house A to store F.) Ask the students what they would call the second route (a shortcut). Ask the students if they have ever taken a shortcut. Write the word on the board and point out the two words that make up shortcut (short and cut) and ask the students to tell what is cut short (time and distance).

Next, display the second map. Tell the students to imagine that they have been out for a drive and their car has broken down at point A. They need to use the phone at the boat house at point B to call for a tow truck. Ask a volunteer to show the fastest way to get to the boat house. Point out that there is a lake between the two points. (Students could select either a southeast/west route or a north/west/south/southeast route.) Ask: What would be the fastest route to take if the lake was not there? (a diagonal across the area of the lake from point A to point B)

Ask the students to look at the two maps and come up with a statement about the shortest routes that could be taken if there were no obstacles (like the lake). Have them phrase it in this form: The shortest route between two points is (a straight line). Write this statement on the board and then point out that while this was not possible for humans to do in the second situation, it would be possible for a certain kind of animal to do. Ask: Which animal could travel from point A to point B across the lake? (a bird) Point out that birds are not restricted by an obstacle like this, they simply fly over it.

Display the saying As the crow flies. Read the saying to the class and tell the students that it is used when people tell the distance to a place. Explain that someone might say "The next town is two miles away as the crow flies, but you have to drive about three miles because the road has so many twists and turns." or "It is about a mile to my cousin's house as the crow flies, but you have to walk two miles because you have to go around the lake." Tell the students that the saying as the crow flies means approximate distance without any obstacles adding to the overall length of a route. Remind students, too, that this saying depends on the bird (crow) flying in a straight line. Discuss whether that usually happens.

Ask the students to identify obstacles that would add distance to a route (a body of water, mountains, valleys, buildings joined together without breaks in between, etc.). Have students note the difference in obstacles faced in a rural area as opposed to those faced in an urban setting. If possible, share the book Rome Antics and point out the obstacles that the pigeon faces and the time and distance that would have been involved if a person had were taking the same trip on foot.

End the lesson by asking the students to consider why it might be more appropriate to use this saying today rather than many years ago. Ask: Do people travel today as the crow flies? (yes) How do they do it? (airplane, hang glider)
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Run-of-the-mill
 

Objectives

Explain the meaning of run-of-the-mill.

Identify words that indicate an item is not run-of-the-mill.

Brainstorm extraordinary examples of animals and items that are typically run-of-the-mill.
 

Materials

Copy of the saying Run-of-the-mill on sentence strip or chart paper

Copy of the "One of a Kind" worksheet (attached) for each student (or pair or group)
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

An explanation of the saying and an example of its use are included on p. 83.

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. The definition may be found on p. 76.

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. The definition may be found on p. 11.

Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. The origin of the saying is found on p. 936.
 

Procedure

Display the saying Run-of-the-mill and ask students if they have heard it before, and if so, in what context. If students are unfamiliar with the saying, provide the following scenarios or one of your choosing.

"How was school?" Mrs. Walker asked her son.

"Today was just a run-of-the-mill day," Michael answered, "but tomorrow our class is going to the Science Center. I can't wait!"

"Aren't you going to go shopping for a graduation dress with the rest of us?" Lisa asked Sharonda.

"No, my aunt is going to design and make one just for me," Sharonda replied. "My aunt says the occasion is too special for just a run-of-the-mill dress."


Ask the students to determine what the description run-of-the-mill indicated in each scenario (ordinary, average, typical, expected). Point out that for Michael a run-of-the-mill day meant an average day and for Sharonda, run-of-the-mill meant the dresses that were available to everyone.

Ask the students what might have happened to make Michael's day not so run-of-the-mill. Possible responses could be a field trip, a special assembly or visitor, early dismissal, class won a contest, etc. Then ask what might be said about Sharonda's new dress. Possible responses are made-to-order, original, one of a kind, specially designed for, hand made. Write the student responses on the board. Tell students that when people are looking for an extra-special, out of the ordinary item they usually look for those descriptions to be included. Other words that tell that an item is more than average or not typical, are "individually prepared," "homemade," and "home cooking."

Explain that the expression run-of-the-mill comes from the production at a mill being caused by the steady flow of water moving the wheel. Tell the students that water typically powered mills before electricity was discovered and began to be used. A mill produced a quantity of flour or fabric or other products by this same process. (You may wish to draw a simple water wheel for students to see and also explain that wind used by a windmill is also a way for a mill to function.) Tell the students that if something was handmade it was not made at the mill and was not run-of-the-mill. Since handmade items are done one at a time; we say that they are individually created and are not mass produced.

Tell the students that they may sometime hear someone remark that a particular thing is not run-of-the-mill. That means that they are referring to something that could be considered ordinary but is, in reality, out of the ordinary. For example, houses may be run-of-the-mill, but a house made out of aluminum cans is not; dogs may be run-of-the-mill, but a talking dog is not; bicycles may be run-of-the-mill, but a bicycle covered completely with reflectors is not. Tell students that many characters and items from literature fit into a not so ordinary category, in fact they are actually one of a kind. Distribute the sheets titled "One of a Kind." (Students could work in pairs or small groups, or independently.) Tell the students that they should look at the first column for the name of a typical animal or item and then in the second column they should write the name of an extraordinary animal or item and the name of the story it comes from. If students have additional time, challenge them to write their own examples of the typical and extraordinary on the back of the worksheet.

After students have had time to complete their worksheets, ask them to share their responses and write these on the board (or use a transparency of the sheet). Congratulate students for thinking of examples that are out of the ordinary.
 

Possible responses to the worksheet are:
rabbit - White Rabbit - "Alice in Wonderland," Peter Rabbit,
bear - Winnie-the-Pooh, Three Bears,
frog - Frog Prince
spider - Charlotte- "Charlotte's Web," Anansi (Anancy)
pig - Wilbur - "Charlotte's Web"
horse - Pegasus - Greek and Roman Mythology
mirror - the Queen's mirror - "Snow White"
fish - fish - "Fisherman and His Wife"
lamp - Aladdin's lamp
shoes - glass slipper - "Cinderella," Dorothy's ruby shoes - "Wizard of Oz"
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Run-of-the-mill
 

Name _____________________________________
 
Run-of-the-mill One of a kind
rabbit
bear
frog
spider
pig
horse
mirror
fish
lamp
shoes

 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Shipshape
 

Objectives

Identify places that must be kept shipshape.

Use the term shipshape correctly.

Relate the term shipshape to the saying A place for everything and everything in its place.
 

Materials

Copy of the saying Shipshape on sentence strip or chart paper
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. The definition may be found on p. 11.

Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. The definition may be found on p. 985.
 

Procedure

Ask the students if they have ever been riding in a car or bus that made a sudden stop. Ask: What happened to you when the car (or bus) made this sudden stop? (fell forward, seat belt pulled tight, got moved around) Ask: What happened to any loose objects that might have been there? (thrown about, fell, broken, etc.) Now ask if any students have ever been out on a boat when the water was very choppy and the waves were moving up and down. Let those students tell the class about the experience or if no one can share, tell the class that it is very much like being on a roller coaster ride or being bounced about on a trampoline. Ask students to report or predict what would happen to loose objects on a choppy boat ride (bounce about, fall, break spill, etc.).

Remind students that people may live on a boat. Sailors live on boats for long periods of time and sometimes families choose to take long trips of several months or a year on board a boat. In some parts of the world like Japan, for instance, people live on boats for their entire lives. Ask the students what they think people who live at sea (out in the open water, not protected by a harbor) do to keep their belongings from bouncing about with the waves (put things in cabinets, store them away, find ways to keep them from falling).

Congratulate students who determined that it is necessary to store things and keep them orderly. Ask them to imagine how the kitchen (called the galley) of a ship would look if the dishes, pot, pans and utensils were not put away. Display the saying Shipshape. Tell the students that this is what we say when everything is in order; when it is very neat and tidy. Point out to the students that instead of asking them to put their things away, you could simply ask them to make their desks shipshape and it would mean the same. Invite students to use the word in a sentence as part of a direction (command) or observation (This room certainly looks shipshape now that you've cleaned up all your books and games.)

Remind students that there are certain places that really need to be shipshape all the time. Have them consider that because of the work that is done in that place or the limited amount of space that is available, it is important that everything be kept neat and tidy. Ask students if they could think of examples. Have one or two students answer and then challenge them to work in groups of four and come up with a list of examples. (Possible answers are listed below.)

After teams have had sufficient time to work, call the class back together for students to share. List their responses on the board as they are suggested and ask students to tell whether it is the work done there, the limited space, or a combination that requires that the particular place named be kept shipshape. Finally write the following saying on the board: A place for everything and everything in its place. Ask students to relate this saying to shipshape (when things are put in their proper places, everything is shipshape). Invite students to share any other saying(s) they may know related to keeping things in order.
 

Places that need to be kept shipshape
space ship
emergency room
submarine
sports team
locker room
mobile home
concession stand
kitchen
library
doctor's office
dentist's office
eye doctor's office
airplane
pharmacy
factory
church
assembly line
nuclear facility
television or movie sound set
lab for drawing blood, doing tests
a house when visitors are expected (for sale)

Additional Activity
Organizer

Have each student design an organizer for the object (or objects) that he or she has the most difficulty keeping neat and tidy. Tell the students that the creation may be fantastic (mechanical, costly to build) provided it is functional. It must fit within a reasonable amount of space to keep shipshape the area where it will be kept.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - The Magic Brocade

Note: This lesson should be used after the World History lessons on Ancient China.
 

Objectives (according to the activity selected)

Recall the elements of a folk tale and find evidence of each in the story.

Identify setting, characters and problem.

Identify references to red in the story (optional).

Recall the use of the number three in various pieces of literature (optional).

Predict how the story would have changed if certain elements were changed (optional).

Recall (or hear) other stories where a picture or stitchery has come to life (optional).
 

Materials

Classroom-size map of the world

A copy of the story (see Suggested Books)

A piece of tapestry or brocade or a photograph of one

Picture of a loom
 

Suggested Books

Demi, retold and illustrated by. The Magic Tapestry: a Chinese Folktale. New York: Henry Holt, 1994. A gold framed illustration is included on each page of this rather grisly retelling. Fourth graders will handle the language and vocabulary in this book easily.

Heyer, Marilee, retold and illustrated by. The Weaving of a Dream: A Chinese Folktale. New York: Viking Kestrel, 1986.

San Souci, Robert D., retold by. The Enchanted Tapestry. New York: Dial, 1987. Beautifully illustrated in watercolors and colored pencils by Lázló Gál, this is an excellent read aloud and independent selection as well.

Related stories with artwork that comes to life

Demi. Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. NY: Henry Holt, 1980.

The evil emperor tries to use the paintbrush for his own personal gain. His plan backfires when the paintings come to life.

Levine, Arthur, retold by. The Boy Who Drew Cats: A Japanese Folktale. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1994. Wondrous tale of a young boy whose drawings at first get him into trouble, but then ultimately save him.

Weaving magic

Yagawa, Sumiko, retold by. The Crane Wife. New York: William Morrow, 1981.

After Yohei helps a wounded crane, a beautiful woman appears and begs to be his wife. Three times she weaves fantastic silken fabric on her loom.

Three sons

Goode, Diane, illustrated by. The Good-Hearted Youngest Brother. New York: Bradbury Press, 1981. The good manners of the youngest brother provide the opportunity for him to solve a riddle and break a spell. Wonderful illustrations in this English translation by Emöke de Papp Severo from Hungarian.
 

Teacher Background

A note on the dust jacket of The Magic Tapestry indicates that during research done by the author Demi, she found that the Chinese believe that the weaving of two threads on a loom is the weaving of heaven and earth. If you are able to obtain the book, The Magic Tapestry, to read to the students, be sure to share this wonderful information and Demi's observations regarding it.

During the course of this lesson students may recall the story of "The Magic Paintbrush" that they heard in Second Grade, or they may have heard or read other stories from China such as Yeh-Shen-A Cinderella Story from China, Tikki Tikki Tembo, The Seven Chinese Brothers, or Lon Po Po.

Procedure

Begin the lesson by telling the students that the story they are about to hear takes place in China. Ask a student to come to the map and locate China and then ask students to recall information they know about this country. (Students may recall the dynasties, the Walled City, the discovery and use of silk, printing, use of paper money, gunpowder, fireworks, the seismograph, etc.)

Tell the students that they will be hearing a folk tale from China. Ask them to recall the definition of a folk tale (story that has been told and retold for many generations and not written down). Ask: What are the elements of a folk tale? (magic characters, objects or events, certain numbers like 3 or 7, one character is a royal person, one character is good, one character is wicked, goodness or kindness is rewarded, story may begin with "Once upon a time..." and end with "... they lived happily ever after.") Write these on the board and have the students recall that these are almost identical to the elements of a fairy tale. Tell the students that they should listen for these elements as the story is read.

If possible, display a piece (or a photograph) of tapestry or brocade before reading the story. Tell the students that in this story the tapestry (or brocade) is made of silk. Explain that the silk is woven on a loom to make the cloth (display a picture of a loom if one is available). The silk threads are interwoven to make beautiful pictures. Tell the students that in this story, the pictures in the tapestry are very important so they should also listen carefully for the descriptions of the pictures in the tapestry. Ask a student to recall what other thing they should be listening for (evidence of the elements of a folk tale).

Read aloud one of the versions of the story. After reading ask the students to provide the setting of the story, the main characters and the problem(s) faced by the characters.
 

Setting: house near a forest in China
 

Main Characters: a widow, her three sons Li Mo, Li Tu, and Li Ju, a sorceress,

the Fairies of Sun Mountain
 

Problem: How to get the mother's tapestry from the Fairies of Sun Mountain
 

Take time to discuss the time period in which the story is set. Ask: Did this story take place long ago or did it just happen? How do you know?

Ask the students what they recall about each of the characters. Ask: How much of the story did you have to hear before you could tell something about the differences in the three brothers? (Answers may vary.) Could you predict which brother would be able to get the tapestry back? On what information did you base this conclusion?

Next ask the students to identify the elements of a folk tale found in the story and write these on the board. Possible responses are:
 

Magic characters, objects or events - stone horse, sorceress

Certain numbers - number 3

Three brothers - Li Mo, Li Tu, Li Ju

Three tasks:

1 - Ten drops of blood (or two teeth) on the stone horse

2 - Ride through the flame mountains - may not cry out or show fear or will be burned to ashes

3 - Cross the sea of icy waves - may not complain or shiver or will turn to ice and drop to the bottom of the sea

One character is a royal person - depends on version of story

One character is good - Li Ju cares for his mother and is willing to go on the quest for the tapestry

One character is wicked - the two older brothers, Li Mo and Li Tu, take for themselves the gold coins from the sorceress

Goodness or kindness is rewarded - Li Ju's kindness and devotion to his mother are rewarded when his mother becomes well and the tapestry comes to life and the most beautiful fairy appears

Once upon a time..., ...happily ever after are used - vocabulary may be different but the idea is the same - depends on version of story

Discuss each of the elements with the students, pointing out that because the story was part of an oral tradition there are variations in the way the story is told. Tell the students that if they look at the most basic parts of the story they will see that these remain the same--there is both good and evil at work in the story, goodness is rewarded.

At this point, you may wish to read another version of the story and compare the retellings or end your study of the story here. Additional activities are provided below.
 

Additional Activities
 

The Color Red

The story contains several references to the color red. Read the story again to the students, directing them to listen for and write down any time the color red is mentioned, either directly or indirectly. Let the students do illustrations of the scenes where red is mentioned and accompany each with a phrase from the story containing the reference. Write the words in the phrase with a black marker except for the reference word which would be written in red.

Examples are:

blood and tears woven into the tapestry

the most beautiful fairy dressed in red

ten drops of blood on the stone horse

brilliant red flowers and a glowing sun

red doors on the grand house
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - The Magic Brocade
 

A Change in Plans

Ask the students to think about how the story might have changed if the behavior of the older brothers or some other element of the story had changed. Have them rewrite the story based on one of the following changes (or one of your own):

The two older brothers each agree to go after the tapestry but have difficulties on the trip...

(Li Ju could later save them and the tapestry as well)

The mother includes pictures of all of them in the tapestry that come to life while the Fairies of Sun Mountain have possession of it

(They could all live happily ever after)
 

Three Brothers

Students may be familiar with other tales that involve the fortunes of three brothers--The Good-Hearted Youngest Brother is one. Share the story with the students and discuss any similarities between the tales.

Have the students become investigative reporters who search for number references--specifically three--in nursery rhymes and folk and fairy tales. Students will recall three pigs, three bears, three blind mice, three wishes, three sisters in mythology, three sillies, three tasks, etc. Start a book of three with plenty of space for entries or a hang up a large sheet of paper and invite students to add the triples as they are found.
 

Living Art

Ask students if they recall the story of "Tye May and the Magic Brush" (or Liang and the Magic Paintbrush) that they heard in Second Grade. In this story from China, the paintings that Tye May makes come to life. Tye May makes sure they are used for good purposes, but the evil emperor wants to use them for his own greedy gains. Discuss with students the magic associated with nonliving items coming to life.

Share the book The Boy Who Drew Cats: A Japanese Folktale and show the wonderful illustrations. Ask the students if they think more good or evil results from the pictures coming to life.

Ask students if they recall any other books where pictures that are drawn or painted by one of the characters take on life.
 

Weaving

Tell the students that the Chinese invented the loom and invite them to investigate how a loom works and how the materials produced on it are used. Have students link the use of the loom to other people of the world (Native Americans-rugs, the people of South and Central America-woolen clothing, people of Africa-kente cloth, etc.)

Share the book The Crane Wife or have the students recall it from Second Grade. Discuss the unusual weaving done by the wife in the tale. (Note that she weaves fantastic fabric THREE times.)
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - Gulliver's Travels
 

Objectives (according to activity selected)

Relate difficulties regarding a character's size to other novels and stories.

Identify Gulliver's belongings from the descriptions given by the Lilliputians.

Create a postcard from Gulliver to his family.

Brainstorm synonyms for the words large and small and create sentences to use them appropriately.

Write a thank you note from Gulliver to Glumdalclitch.

Write about first seeing Gulliver from the point of view of a citizen of either Lilliput or Brobdingnag.

Report the news of Gulliver for the newspaper or TV.
 

Materials (see individual activities)

Classroom-size map of the world

A copy of the attached excerpt for each student (optional)

A copy of Gulliver's Travels for read aloud or copies for each student (optional)
 

Suggested Books

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels to Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Charlottesville, VA: Core Knowledge Foundation, 1997. This excellent abridgment by Michael J. Marshall would be perfect for a class or an independent read. Notes and illustrations in the margin help clarify the vocabulary.

________. Gulliver's Travels. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press, 1987. Although somewhat updated, this version without illustrations is best used as a read aloud.

Teacher Resource

The Mailbox Magazine. April/May 1998 Volume 20 Number 2 Intermediate

Pp. 31 and 32 contain activities on Lilliputian Land.
 

Web sites

http://www.jaffebros.com/lee/gulliver/index.html

This teacher use site provides a variety of resources, including illustrations and graphics from early versions of the book which may be enlarged and printed. The illustrations by Rackham are especially nice.

http://www.uwrf.edu/english/luebke/gullver.html

Discussion questions for the novel are provided at this site.
 

Teacher Background

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was born in Dublin, Ireland, where his father had died a few months before his birth. When he was little, his mother returned to England, the place of his parents' birth, and Swift was left there to be raised by an uncle.

He attended Trinity College in Dublin and was later ordained a minister in the Anglican Church. He traveled to England where he wrote many political essays. Later he wrote against the cruel British treatment of the Irish and became a hero to the people of his homeland.

He returned to Ireland and wrote Gulliver's Travels when he was almost 60 years old. In it he makes comments on politics and on life in general. In his later years he suffered from an ear disease that made hearing difficult for him.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - Gulliver's Travels
 

Teacher Note

You may choose to read Gulliver's Travels to your students or use the  excerpt from What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. It is recommended that you select only the voyages to Lilliput and Brobdingnag if you decide to read to the class or have the students read independently.
 

Procedure

Begin the lesson by asking students to recall stories they have read or heard that include a giant as a character (Jack and the Beanstalk, Norse mythology, Tall Tale characters). Ask the students to tell how each of these giants behaved and how he (or she) was usually treated by others. Ask: What do you think it would like to be a giant? Would it be fun? Would it be difficult? Have students recall Alice's predicament when she ate and drank unknown foods in Wonderland.

Next, ask the students to recall stories with very small characters (Tom Thumb, Thumbelina, Alice in Wonderland, Inchkin, etc.). Ask: What were the hardships that these tiny characters faced? Were there positive aspects of being tiny? If students are familiar with recent films featuring the accidental shrinking of people have them discuss the difficulties faced by them with everyday items and full-size people and animals.

Tell the students that the main character they are about to meet has had an opportunity to face life as a giant, a tiny person and a normal sized man. Explain that he did not change sizes like Alice did, but instead was placed in extraordinary situations. Tell the students that this man's name is Gulliver and he is the storyteller of the most unforgettable adventures. Those adventures are collected in a book titled Gulliver's Travels. Write the title on the board. Tell the students that the author's name is Jonathan Swift and add his name to the board as well. Ask the students if they think the story is fiction or nonfiction and ask them to explain why. (Answers will vary and may be related to the reference to giants and small people or the fact that the author's name is different from the main character.)

Display a map of the world and tell the students that the home of Lemuel Gulliver is Nottinghamshire, England and the time period is the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th. Have a student locate the country of England and identify that it is an island. Next ask students to identify nearby bodies of water where Gulliver might travel. Have them predict in which watery setting the story will take place and explain the rationale for their answers.

Next, distribute copies of the attached reading or the book, or begin reading aloud to the class from the novel. Ask them to identify the speaker (Gulliver) and to locate any referenced locations (that are actual) on the map as they are mentioned.

Select activities from the following to enhance the students' enjoyment of the story.

What is That?

Read the  descriptions of objects found in Gulliver's pockets to the students. Remind them that the Lilliputians would view these things as gigantic when in fact they were quite small. After students finish identifying Gulliver's belongings, have them write descriptions of objects found in their own pockets--from a Lilliputian perspective, of course.

The two gentlemen who found the items reported:
 

A large piece of coarse cloth (large enough to be a rug.)

A bundle of white substance, folded, tied and marked with black figures.

A machine of some sort with twenty poles sticking from it--used in the hair.

Several round flat pieces of metal that seemed to be silver. (These were very difficult to lift.)

A silver chain that held a machine which looked like a flattened globe--half silver and half transparent--with strange figures drawn inside. It made a constant noise like the sound of a water mill.
 

Share selections from the following for the perspective of one who is very small:

Norton, Mary. The Borrowers. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1953.

________. The Borrowers Afield. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1955.

________. The Borrowers Afloat. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1959.

________. The Borrowers Aloft. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1961.

________. The Borrowers Avenged. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

Van Allsburg, Chris. Two Bad Ants. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
 

Large or Small

Challenge the students to make lists of synonyms for the words large and small. Suggest that they use dictionaries or take this opportunity to introduce a thesaurus. Have the students write about Gulliver from the point of view of the Lilliputians (Gulliver would be gigantic!) or the Brobdingnags (Gulliver would appear minuscule!). Remind the students that in Lilliput, Gulliver is referred to as the Man Mountain and in Brobdingnag he is called Grildrig which means the same as manikin or "little man." Words to consider for the lists are:
 
LARGE SMALL
gigantic huge tiny petite
humongous gargantuan miniature diminutive
big colossal wee pint-sized
super-sized tremendous microscopic toy
great immense little pocket-sized
towering monstrous doll-sized itsy-bitsy
massive mountainous minuscule midget
enormous grand teensy teeny (-weeny)

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - Gulliver's Travels
 

Wish You Were Here
 

Materials

Heavy weight paper cut in postcard-size pieces

Markers, crayons or watercolors
 

Have the students create postcards from Gulliver to his wife and children. If possible, provide examples of actual postcards for the students to study first. Tell them that one side of the postcard should include a picture (scenery, the people, etc.) and the other side should have a short note from Gulliver about his stay. Remind the students to include an appropriate stamp (the Emperor of Lilliput [or his wife], the Emperor of Blesfuscu [or his wife], the King of Brobdingnag [or his wife], flora and fauna of the area) and to address the postcard to an address of their choice in Nottinghamshire, England.
 

Thank You

Have the students write a thank you note from Gulliver to Glumdalclitch (little nurse), the daughter of the farmer in Brobdingnag who found him. Have the students mention a particular incident (or incidents) that was important to Gulliver (a rescue or a kindness she extended) in the note. Suggest that Gulliver might enclose a gift for Glumdalclitch, too, and have them describe what it is and why he sent it. (She might be fascinated to see children's or doll's clothes from Gulliver's world.) Students could also decorate the border of the note paper with items from Gulliver's life.
 

Point of View

Remind the students that Gulliver's Travels is told from the point of view of the main character, Lemuel Gulliver, ship's doctor. Point out that we are told exactly what Gulliver sees and feels and what happens to him, but we don't know what the other people are seeing and thinking unless Gulliver tells us. Have the students write about first seeing Gulliver from the perspective of a Lilliputian or a citizen of Brobdingnag. Remind them that they must speak and write in the character of the person they are pretending to be. Provide examples or use the ones below.
 

I could hardly believe my eyes! A monster was found on the beach today. I had to go and see him, if it is a him. We think it's a him because he's wearing pants. Of course there's enough material in those pants to make sails for the royal navy for at least five years to come.
 

I had to squint my eyes to see it. A tiny little creature he is, with clothes no bigger than my daughter's doll's. He makes noises too, although everyone has to get very quiet just to hear the squeaks that come out of him. We have to watch all the animals real carefully, cause if a cat or a dog was to see him there's no telling what would happen. We even have to watch out for bees since he's so small they can just about knock him down.
 

Read All About It or TV News

Have students write a news article about Gulliver for the local newspaper in Lilliput or Brobdingnag. Be sure to have them tell who, what, where, when, why and how in their article. Have them include a "photograph" taken at the scene of the story. Remind students that a news article presents facts and not opinions. If possible, read a brief article or two to the class and have the students identify the who, what, when, where, why and how.

After students have completed the news article invite them to turn the facts into a television news report. Students may enjoy being anchorman or anchorwoman for KBIG or WTOY. Have students create pictures that would be shown to illustrate their reports.

Bibliography
Demi, retold and illustrated by. The Magic Tapestry: a Chinese Folktale. New York: Henry Holt, 1994. (0-8050-2810-2)

________. Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. NY: Henry Holt, 1980. (0-8050-0220-0)

Goode, Diane, illustrated by. The Good-Hearted Youngest Brother. New York: Bradbury Press, 1981. (0-87888-141-7)

Hartman, Gail. As the Crow Flies. New York: Bradbury Press, 1991. (0-02-743005-7)

Heyer, Marilee, retold and illustrated by. The Weaving of a Dream: A Chinese Folktale. New York: Viking Kestrel, 1986. (067080556)

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31260-1)

Levine, Arthur, retold by. The Boy Who Drew Cats: A Japanese Folktale. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1994. (0803711735)

Macaulay, David. Rome Antics. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. (0-395-82289-3)

Norton, Mary. The Borrowers. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1953.

________. The Borrowers Afield. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1955. (0152101667)

________. The Borrowers Afloat. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1959. (0152105344)

________. The Borrowers Aloft. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1961.

________. The Borrowers Avenged. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.(0152105301)

San Souci, Robert D., retold by. The Enchanted Tapestry. New York: Dial, 1987. (0-8037-0306-6)

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels to Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Charlottesville, VA: Core Knowledge Foundation, 1997. (1-890517-00-3)

________. Gulliver's Travels. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press, 1987. (1-56138-169-1)

Van Allsburg, Chris. Two Bad Ants. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988. (0395486688)

Yagawa, Sumiko, retold by. The Crane Wife. New York: William Morrow, 1981. (0688004970)
 

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. (0-395-65597-8)

Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. (0-395-59901-6)

Pickering, David, compiled by. Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Cassell, 1997.(0-304-34911-9)

Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. (0-06-270133-9)

Spears, Richard A. NTC's Super-Mini American Idioms Dictionary. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group, 1996. (0-8442-0916-3)
 

Teacher Resource

Buckley, Susan and Elspeth Leacock. Hands-On Geography. New York: Scholastic, 1993. (0-590-49351-5)