Winston of Churchill

Author(s): Jean Davies Okamoto & Jeremiah Trammell

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UHlrqN
Indigo: N/A

Social Justice focus: Environment – climate change

Synopsis: Winston, a polar bear who lives near Churchill, Manitoba, teaches other bears about climate change and its impact on the North. She leads a protest against the habits of tourists who come to Churchill. There are many parallels to Sir Winston Churchill and his leadership in Britain during World War II.

Lesson Plan: Kait Principi

Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)

Consecutive and Concurrent Programs

Unit/Topic: Writing and Media/ Understanding and creating media based on global warming and supporting evidence from the book Winston of Churchill

Grade: 7

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

The focus of this lesson is to challenge students to think on an individual level about how they can contribute to slow the process of global warming. Students will focus on how their individual contribution adds to the bigger perspective (national and international levels).

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

The main curriculum areas for language arts that this lesson will focus on will be the strands of writing and media literacy. The cross curricular strands that will be explored throughout this lesson will be geography and science.

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

Overall expectations:

Language arts:

  • Writing: Generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience.
  • Media Literacy: Identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated.


  • Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Heat in the Environment: Assess the costs and benefits of technologies that reduce heat loss or heat-related impacts in the environment.


  • Physical Patterns in a Changing World: Analyze some challenges and opportunities presented by the physical environment and ways in which people have responded to them.

Visual Arts

  • Creating and Presenting: Apply the creative process to produce art works in a variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works, that communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts as well as current media technologies.

Specific Expectations:

*Students will not be assessed on science, visual arts, or geography expectations. The assessment of specific expectations will focus on language arts*

Language arts:


1.2 Generate ideas about more challenging topics and identify those most appropriate for the purpose.

2.5 Identify their point of view and other possible points of view, evaluate other points of view, and find ways to acknowledge other points of view, if appropriate.

Media Literacy:

1.2 Interpret increasingly complex or difficult media texts, using overt and implied messages as evidence for their interpretations.

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

We are learning to analyze different types of media for the purpose of building widespread understanding of our country’s involvement in the world’s environmental issues.

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

I can… use supporting details from the text to prove my understanding of the author’s message.

I can… connect my ideas on my poster tile to what is happening in the world around me.

I can… collaborate artistically with my fellow students.

MODIFICATIONS / ACCOMMODATIONS: How will I meet the needs of my students? Have I addressed any IEPs?

  • In order to reach every student in my class I will modify by having students on language arts IEPs write fewer than 8 sentences in their paragraphs
  • In order to reach every student in my class I will accommodate by allowing students to capture their responses on their sticky notes and for their paragraphs by using an audio recorder.

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

  • I will connect to prior learning by engaging students to sit in a circle and observe photos related to the topic at hand.

Minutes: How much time will I allocate?

  • I will allocate approximately 20 minutes to this part of the learning.

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

  • Before reading Winston of Churchill, students will gather on the carpet.
  • Students will watch ‘Meltdown’
  • Teacher will lead students in a discussion about what types of information they recognize from the media shown.
  • Teacher will write down on chart paper some of the answers to these questions.

Teacher prompts:

  1. “Why do the polar bears leave their home?”
  2. “How did the polar bear(s) do at their new job?”
  3. “What do the new jobs say about adaptation?”
  4. “What is the significance of the ice cubes at the end of the film?”
  • Students will stay on carpet and listen to Winston of Churchill
  • Students will attain sticky notes from teacher

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

  • By using the teacher prompts, students will be assessed using strategic questioning.

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

  • After students listen to the book and create their own images and write ups that can be added to a larger mural that the class will create.

Minutes: How much time will I allocate?

  • I will allocate 30 minutes for the remainder of the first class.
  • An additional language arts period may be allocated to finish researching, writing a paragraph, and drawing their tile poster.

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

  • Students will go back to their desks and fill out their KWL sticky notes (making sure to leave the ‘L’ sticky note blank until after research and completion of paragraph).
  • Students will add their sticky notes to the white board chart
  • Students will okay their “what I want to know about global warming sticky notes with teacher and will attain an ipad for their research.
  • Students will research individual responsibilities they can take to slow the effects of global warming on our earth
  • Students will take a tile paper for their mini posters and sketch their ideas from their research
  • Students will write their paragraph about their responsibility they will take on in order to remain environmentally friendly.
  • Students will complete their tile poster and hand it in to the teacher to be assessed.

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

Students will be assessed using a checklist that they will fill out upon handing in their projects. There will be space on the checklist for teachers and students to fill out corresponding checks.

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

Students will write an exit card to show their understanding and completion of the task.

Minutes: How much time will I allocate?

I will allocate 5 minutes to consolidate.

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

Students will write their final sticky note about what they will do in order to maintain a healthy environment (this is the ‘L’ portion of the KWL sticky notes). They will add a checkmark to the sticky note if they have finished their assignment and hand it in as an exit card.

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

Teacher uses a checklist to evaluate who is finished their work and who needs more time.

MATERIALS: What resources and materials do I need? Where can I find them? In a perfect world what other resources might I need?

  • chart paper
  • Projector for film
  • Sticky notes
  • Tile poster paper
  • Write up paper
  • iPads

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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