Chickens Don’t Have Fur – Fact vs. Fiction

Presented by: Susanne Bang

Subject Area(s):

Grade Level(s):


This lesson is designed to teach 1st grade students the difference between fact and fiction. It can be used as a collaborative lesson plan for students that are incubating chick eggs in their classroom, or it can be a stand-alone project done with any animal the class chooses. Students will listen to and discuss the book Dogs Don’t Brush Their Teeth by Diane De Groat, then create their own book about things that chickens do and don’t do. Students will create a collaborative class book both in print and digital formats.



This lesson is designed to be collaborative with the classroom teacher. 


Lesson 1

Direct Instruction:

·         Read aloud the book Dogs Don’t Brush Their Teeth by Diane De Groat.  The only words in the book are “Dogs do” and “Dogs don’t”, so the TL will ask students to describe what they see in the pictures.


Modeling and Guided Practice:

·         Students will be asked which pictures show something that a dog really could do, and which ones show images of dogs doing things they couldn’t really do, using the terms fact and fiction.  TL will ask students to come up with some other factual statements about what dogs can and can’t do.


Lesson 2

Direct Instruction:

·         Explain to students that they are going to write a book like the one we read last class, Dogs Don’t Brush Their Teeth.  Students must choose which animal to write about, keeping in mind that all of the students must know some information about the animal if the class is going to write a whole book about the animal.  (Students are likely to choose an animal they are currently learning about in their classroom– in my case: chickens.  TL could also choose a different animal and provide the students with the non-fiction information they need to know to write a story about the animal.)

·         Read excerpts from Chicks & Chickens by Gail Gibbons – a non-fiction book about chickens; and The Chicken Sisters by Laura Joffe Numeroff – a fiction book with chicken characters.    


Modeling and Guided Practice:

·         Discuss the differences between the two books with the students.  Ask students to give examples of sentences that describe some things that real chickens do and don’t do after giving them a topic.  For examples: 

o   What do chickens eat?  

§  Chickens do eat bugs. 

§  Chickens do not eat hamburgers, french fries, and chocolate milkshakes.

o   What do chickens look like?

§  Chickens do have feathers.

§  Chickens do not wear sweaters when it’s cold outside.

·         Explain that students will be writing and illustrating their own sentences about chickens.  Some students will write about what chickens “DO” and the other students will write about what chickens “DON’T” do.  Each student will be told what topic to write about.

Lesson 3

Direct Instruction:

·         During writing time within their classrooms, CT will assign students a topic to write about (e.g., Habitat: Where do chickens live? Appearance: What does a chicken look like? Diet: What do chickens eat? etc.).  For each topic, there should be one “Chickens do…” sentence, and one “Chickens don’t…” sentence.  Students writing “Chickens do” sentences will be instructed to think about what they have learned about real chickens recently.  Students writing “Chickens don’t” sentences will be instructed to think creatively, and remember some of the things chickens do in fiction stories.


Independent Practice:

·         Students will write their sentences.

·         CT will proofread students’ sentences, checking for information accuracy, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

·         Students will use MaxWrite to enter their corrected sentences into the computer, then illustrate them.


Before Lesson 4:

TL will print each student’s drawing and sentence and assemble and bind them together into a book.

TL will also add the students’ images and sentences into a PhotoStory3 file.


Lesson 4

Modeling and Guided Practice:


Sharing and Reflecting:

·         Present the students with their pictures and sentences assembled as a book. (I made a cover and title page with author information.)  CT can keep the finished book in the classroom for students to read on their own.

·         Present the completed digital story version of the student-made Chickens Don’t Have Fur, made with Photo Story 3 software.

·         Class discusses the completed story, fiction vs. non-fiction, and what was learned.

·         Completed PhotoStory can then be shared with families by posting it to the school’s website.

Supporting Files: