Sumi’s first day of school

book cover image

Author(s): Joung Un Kim & Soyung Pak

Indigo: Not Available (N/A)

Social Justice focus: Discrimination against different cultures; bullying

Synopsis: The story follows Sumi, a young Korean girl, on her first day of school in a new classroom. Sumi doesn’t speak the same language as her classmates and the story goes through everything that she feels throughout that first day. The social justice issues that this book deals with are discrimination against different cultures as well as bullying.

Lesson Plan: Amber Bauman

Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)

Consecutive and Concurrent Programs

Unit/Topic: Social Justice

Grade: 5

Lesson: What is the focus of this lesson in relation to the unit?

Discrimination and bullying

Curriculum Areas: What are possible connections to other curricular areas?

Language, Health and Physical Education

Curriculum Expectations: What Overall and Specific Expectations will be addressed?

Grade 5 Language Arts


Reading 2: recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning.

Writing 3: use editing, proofreading, and publishing skills and strategies, and knowledge of language conventions, to correct errors, refine expression, and present their work effectively.


2.3 Text Features: identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts.

3.6 Proofreading: proofread and correct their writing using guidelines developed with peers and the teacher.

Grade 5 Health and Physical Education


Healthy Living 3: demonstrate the ability to make connections that relate to health and well-being – how their choices and behaviours affect both themselves and others, and how factors in the world around them affect their own and others’ health and well-being.


3.2 Personal Safety and Injury Prevention: explain how a person’s actions, either in person or online, can affect their own and others’ feelings, self-concept, emotional well-being, and reputation.


Learning Goal(s): What are students expected to know, do and understand? We are learning to….

  • We are learning to use features of the text, such as pictures to help us make predictions about the text, as well as to help us understand the text
  • We are learning to peer edit by following a checklist of things to look for
  • We are learning to understand and explain how our actions can make other people feel by writing ourselves into situations similar to what Sumi experienced on her first day of school

Success Criteria: How will students know they have met the learning goal? I can….

  • I can look at a picture and predict what is going to happen in a story
  • I can edit my classmates’ work by using a checklist to help guide what I look for
  • I can explain the affect that my actions have on other people and the way that they can make people feel


  • The use of technology
  • Option to create a comic book instead of writing out a full story
  • Option to create a skit to act it out instead of writing

Minds-on: How will I connect to prior and future learning? How will I engage students and set the context for learning?

Minutes: 5-10 minutes

Task: Class discussion- have you ever been to a place where you couldn’t speak the language? How did you feel? How did you communicate? Looking at the cover of the book, what do you think Sumi is going to go through on her first day of school?  After class discussion read the book.

Assessment: Anecdotal notes- learning skills (how well do they listen to each other, do they respect the ideas of other students, do they listen when others are talking)


Action:How will I introduce new learning / reinforce prior learning / practice learning / scaffold learning?

Minutes: 40 minutes

Task: Think about your first day of school, write about how it would have been different if you were in a place where you didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language OR write about how it would have been different if you were in a place where you knew people and spoke the language.

Think about what the other students say to you, how they act around you etc. How do those things make you feel?

Assessment: Peer editing checklist, checklist of things that they need to cover in their writing


Consolidation: How will I reflect on the learning goal? How will I have students reflect on the learning goal?

Minutes: 10 minutes

Task: Class discussion- What was it like putting yourself in a different situation from what you had on your first day of school? How would you feel now if you experienced the things that Sumi did? What can you do to ensure that no one at school feels how Sumi did?

Assessment: Exit card- answer the question: why is it important to treat everyone with respect not only at school but in your everyday lives?

MATERIALS: Sumi’s First Day of School Ever by Soyung Pak

REFLECTION: Questions to determine the success of your lesson:

  • Were my students successful in meeting the learning goals and success criteria? How do I know?
  • Did my instructional decisions meet the needs of all students? If not, what are my next steps?
  • What worked well and why?
  • What will I do differently in the future when teaching this lesson? For the subsequent lesson?
  • What are the next steps for my professional learning?


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Social Justice Picture Books Copyright © 2019 by Ruth McQuirter, editor and Gurbinder Kaur, contributing editor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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