This lesson is just too much fun! The idea stemmed from me wanting to work with the kids on words that start with ‘qu’. These words aren’t terribly common and whenever my young students use them, I inevitably read, cwiet for ‘quiet) and kween for ‘queen’ etc.
I used this lesson at the Duke Lemur Center on a day we were learning about the Crowned Lemur. But, it can definitely be used with ANY characters in ANY setting. And later I realized it can make for a great Valentine’s Day Fairy Tale!
For that reason, I’m going to write a general lesson guideline and not use the exact lesson I used for the Crowned Lemur.
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use. Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7
Now for the lesson!
- Brainstorm a list of words that start with “qu”. Write the students’ responses on the board. Add your own words to the list.
- Tell the general storyline: A king is in desperate need of a queen, but he is very picky. Explain that all of the reasons he doesn’t like a woman have to begin with “qu.” And the reasons he DOES like a woman also have to start with “qu”. Explain that he doesn’t like the first two women. Then, he likes a woman that doesn’t like him. Finally, he finds a woman he loves. She loves him too.
- Brainstorm “qu” reasons a king may like or dislike a woman.
- Explain to the students that the story can be normal or really funny. It’s funny if a very picky king finally falls in love with a woman who is quirky or quacks when she laughs. The story is also funny if he simply meets these quirky woman time after time but then finally meets a lovely woman whom he falls in love with. The story can go any which way!
5. Show the five sections
- Introduction (time, place, king, problem)
- Describe the first two women that he doesn’t like.
- Describe the 3rd woman that he likes, but doesn’t like him.
- Describe the 4th woman that he marries.
Now to write!
I guided the students through the following steps. They were free to use their own words. I also reminded them that ANYTHING could happen in their story as long as they followed the steps to keep their story organized. I’ve written examples in italics just for your own guidance.
- Write the time, location and name the king.
Long ago in the land of Quail, there lived a king named Quinn.
(The location and king’s name do not have to start with qu but can if the students want).
- Describe the king’s qualities.
Quinn was a very picky king. He always found something wrong with every woman he met.
- Write the problem.
The people living in Quail were deeply worried that he would never marry.
- Write about the first woman he met and didn’t like.
One woman that he met was too quiet. She hardly spoke. And when she did speak he couldn’t hear what she said!
- Write about the 2nd woman he met and didn’t like.
Another woman ate way too quickly. As soon as she received her food, it was gone in 60 seconds. Food was all over her face, dress and hands. And she left a mess at the table.
- Write about the 3rd woman he met and liked, but who didn’t like him.
One day, he met a woman who was quite lovely, eating quail for lunch. He liked her immediately. But later she complained that he asked her too many questions. She refused to talk with him after that.
- Write about the king’s feelings at this point in the story.
The king was very disappointed. He had never liked a woman before. He also started to worry that he would never get married.
- Write about the 4th woman that he met and liked. She liked him too!
Then, one day, a woman from the next town over brought him a most beautiful quilt. At first she quivered when she spoke and then quacked when she laughed. The king found her to be most delightful! He smiled. She smiled back.
- Write the ending to the story.
They married and lived happily ever after. The people of Quail were so happy to have a queen!
Once the students completed their story, they began working on their “Q-U-Queen” art accent.
GAMES that we played
Silly Sentences using words that start with ‘qu’
Word Scramblers (Use ‘qu’ words. Here’s a list of ‘qu’ words you can print out and use..)
Taboo (using the PEOPLE cards)