By Dawn Wright, September 30, 2009

Grade Level

  • PreK-1


  • City of Neighborhoods

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts

Lesson Time

100 minutes for classroom activities


This lesson idea stemmed from my class’s writing component.  The students are emergent writers, and as such the students require a great deal of attention and guidance.  I wanted to address the problem of students constantly asking the teacher how to spell a word.  The design process will aid the students in their discovery of the mechanics of spelling, and the Kinder-Pictionary will help students spell words independently.  The students will be able to write a simple sentence and possibly create compound sentences.  The design process will take place when the students are in their groups.  The small groups will ask each other questions, to find out what types of words they would like to see in the Kinder-Pictionary and how the pictures should be created.  The teacher will have a whole-class discussion on what is expected in their groups, and the teacher will model how the interviews should happen.

National Standards

Language Arts

Standard 6. Level I. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts

1. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of familiar literary passages and texts (e.g., fairy tales, folktales, fiction, nonfiction, legends, fables, myths, poems, nursery rhymes, picture books, predictable books)

Standard 4. Level I. Gathers and uses information for research purposes

2. Uses a variety of sources to gather information (e.g., informational books, pictures, charts, indexes, videos, television programs, guest speakers, Internet, own observation)

Visual Arts

Standard 1. Level I. Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts

1. Knows the differences between art materials (e.g., paint, clay, wood, videotape), techniques (e.g., overlapping, shading, varying size or color), and processes (e.g., addition and subtraction in sculpture, casting and constructing in making jewelry)

2. Knows how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses from the viewer

3. Knows how different media (e.g., oil, watercolor, stone, metal), techniques, and processes are used to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

4. Uses art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner


Students will be able to:
  • design a page in a dictionary, based on the responses of their peers
  • gain an understanding of what their partners perceive an object to be
  • create a sentence independently


computer with Internet access and printer


  • teacher-created materials
  • printer
  • crayons
  • pencil
  • paper
  • markers
  • laminator
  • book binder


  • dictionary: a reference book containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them
  • Internet: a series of interconnected networks allowing communication of data among millions of computers worldwide
  • materials: things needed for doing or making something


1. The teacher will explain to the students what a dictionary is, and show an example. 

2. The teacher will inform the students that they will create their very own dictionary, but it will only have words and pictures (as opposed to written definitions, etymologies, usage, etc.); it will be a Kinder-Pictionary.  The teacher will explain that the students’ Pictionary will act as an aid to help them during writing time. 

3. The teacher will model what the students will do, and will explain that this will be a center activity, and that each day the teacher will work with a small group to facilitate the creation of the Pictionary. 

4. Now the teacher will ask the whole class what type of words they would like to see in their Pictionary, and will collect these words on a list, so that each group can have four to five words, a word for each student in the group to work on. 

5. The teacher will then put the students’ words in a hat. Each student will pull out a word and bring it their group. Each group will have a different set of words.

6. Each student will select a person in their group to interview.  The teacher will help the students to both read the interview questions and answer them. 

7. After the interview questions have been answered, the teacher will model how to create a picture based on what the person shared, using the answers from the interview.  

8. Students will use the design interview sheet to guide them through the interview, and to draw his or her picture, as draft piece.  The final copy will be on the word dictionary form. 

9. After the teacher has reviewed the student’s drawing, the original interview partner will discuss whether or not the picture represents what they wanted.  The student will write the word at the top of the page and draw or have a picture printed from the computer beneath the word.  (Note: If a student wants a picture printed, the teacher will assist the student with printing a picture.)

10.  Once the pictures are okayed by the interviewee and the teacher, the final copy will be laminated, and each groups’ laminated pictures will be bound into a book.

11.  During writing time, the students will use their Kinder-Pictionaries.  The groups may share their books. 



Assessment will be based on the student’s understanding of what their partner wanted.  The student is expected to be able to write the word on the line, and draw or obtain an appropriate representation of the word.  The lesson will be differentiated by having non-writers trace the words, or if a student cannot draw what his or her interviewee wants, the teacher can help this student find a picture on the Internet.

Enrichment Extension Activities

A good extension of this activity could be to have the students create gifts for the person they interviewed, and have a student ask a few more questions, to gain an understanding of the student’s personal life.  The student can also interview a family member at home and create a gift for the person they interviewed, based on the interview; the teacher and student will decide what the student should create as a gift.

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