Oh No! Duck for President - Imagine That!

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT use information gained words in text to demonstrate understanding of the plot.

Big Idea

Put the images on the mountain!



I chose this book because my students LOVE this series (the previous book is Click, Clack, Moo!). It has a clear plot line with a great climax and there are lots of great images for the students to work with. I will use it as a read-aloud because the concepts and voice comes through more clearly when I read it. Due to the higher level of the text, students who comprehend literature in the grades 2–3 text complexity band, with scaffolding as needed, are challenged to engage in this higher level text. (RL.2.10)

"Imaging" is the term that my district uses for "visualizing". In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author, creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.

Reflection: What went well

3 minutes

Lesson in focus

3 minutes

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)


Common starting point

  • We’ve been talking about imaging.  Today we’ll add another way that imaging helps us:" It makes us understand the plot of the story better.  (I add this to the strategy poster.)
  • “The story today is about a funny character that you may have seen before. We read the book Click Clack Moo last year."


This lesson was developed to address the Common Core Standard 2.7 (using information gained from the illustrations and words in a print to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot) because it is crucial that students in 2nd grade begin to understand the words and pictures provide evidence of changes in the story. Specific to this story, students look at the plot development to understand how the story elements are organized and understand how the problem is followed by events, the story climaxes and then a solution is provided by the author. Imaging is an important reading strategy that can be employed to help students understand plot development. Instead of simply reading the story and showing the pictures, students are engaged in creating mental images as the story is read (the teacher hides the pictures and reads only the words). This engages them as active participants in the story and encourages them to check their images against the author's illustrations to verify or correct their thoughts.

I am working on imaging/visualizing throughout this unit by helping students realize that this powerful reading strategy can really deepen comprehension. Take a look at some of my other lessons, utilizing the 'Imaging/Visualizing' poster mentioned in the materials section: Imagine That-Make a Picture in Your MindPictures in the Snow-ImagingPicture This-Lost and Found on a MountainExtend Your World, and Imagine What An Inchworm Would Say.

Teacher's Turn

15 minutes

Set the purpose

  • "Today we'll review the idea of a plot and talk about how it makes a “plot mountain”.
  • "We'll use imaging to make story scenes to put into the plot."
  • "Then we can retell the story using the images and the parts of the plot."


Explain (put the pieces on the plot mountain as you talk)

  • "The duck is one of the characters that reappears in this story and he's still on the farm, that's the setting.
  • "In this story, duck decided to be president, which is the problem (draw the beginning of the mountain).  He has to 'fight uphill' (draw the plot mountain going up) to become President. There are some events and then there's an 'Oh, no.” (draw the peak of the mountain). We call that 'oh, no' moment the climax of the story.
  • "Then at the end of the story, there's a solution to the problem" (draw the other side of the mountain).


  • "I brought some characters and event squares. I’ll read and then we’ll create an image with the pieces."
  • Read through the page that says "The animals have chores to do (read the list too).  DON'T SHOW THIS PAGE TO THE KIDS.  Review the characters and setting.  Since these are the characters and setting, I’ll put those at the bottom of my ‘mountain’."
  • "I'll use my imaging - I'll add a cow sheep and pig to the duck picture and a list."


Guided practice

  • Read through the page that says "Duck did not like to do chores (read the sign on the page too)."   Is that the problem of the book?  Can you help me create an image with the square? Let’s put that at the beginning of the ‘plot mountain.”  
  • Draw a duck and the sign and some animals and a sign.
  • Here' is one of my student's depiction of the problem.


Students Take a Turn

20 minutes
Explain the task
  • "Now let's finish the rest of our mountain to complete our plot. What happens after the introduction and the problem?  Yes, the events, problem, climax and solution." (refer to the mountain)
  • "You'll be using images to help you understand how the plot develops."
  • "I’ll read and pause at pages with and event, climax and solution and you'll draw an image." 
  • "Remember to listen to the words - that's where we find the clues and evidence for our images."


Read the text   


I drew pictures at the same time and put them up backwards on the board so the kids didn't copy. Here's what I drew for the problem, solution and climax.

  • (events) Read through the page that says, "Farmer brown demanded..."  kids draw the images.
  • (events) Read through the page that says, "The governor demanded..."  kids draw the images.
  • (climax) - Read through the page that says, "On Election Day..."  kids draw the images. Take a look at one of my student's picture of the climax.
  • (solution) - Read through the end of the book and kids draw the images. Here is a picture of another student's climax and solution.
  • Stop after the pages and review what is happening. Have the kids draw an image and glue it on the ‘plot mountain.”
  • This was a completed student worksheet.
  • When we were done - this was the completed whiteboard.


Formative Assessment - Watch as students use images

  • As students draw, walk around and check. Ask them why they are making certain images - what words did they hear/i.e. what is the evidence for their images?
  • How is the plot changing?  What happens at the climax of the story?
  • Do they need to change the images when they see the illustration? 

Share What You've Learned

15 minutes

Review the ideas

  • "Have the kids ‘turn and share’ with a partner.  Their goal is to see what images are the same and what are different. You can share too."
  • "Discuss as a group – how did the plot develop?  What was the climax or high point of the story?  How did the events lead up to this?"
  • "Did the group like the solution?"


This discussion is the first my class will take part in about plot development. Understanding that the plot changes over the course of a story and that is has organization are foundational skills. Students are doing ‘close reading’ as they analyze how the author develops the plot and uses events that rise to a climax and a solution to wrap up the story.


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

For students with language challenges, this lesson should be accessible because the reading is done by the teacher or on the Elmo for the class. The reading level is 2.8, so it is within the 2nd graders' reading level, but I find that they can focus on the reading strategy more fluently when the story is read to them. 

For students with higher abilities, it would be worth challenging them to justify their thoughts with higher level language. "Can you tell me 'why' you drew that?  What was your reasoning?"