Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Lesson Plan
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, a Caldecott Award Winner, is a fable with a moral. Students enjoy the discussion and making the Bridge Thinking Map. It was displayed in the library for the whole school to see.
Students will determine the main idea of the story and listen for retelling the story.
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Sims Taback
Set Up and Prepare
Discuss the cover of the book. What is the title? What does the author do? What does the illustrator do? (Sometimes the author and illustrator are the same person.) What is the gold medal for? Discuss more about the Caldecott medal--who wins it the author or the illustrator, etc. Have you seen this medal on other books in the library?What does the man have on? What is an overcoat? How does his overcoat look?
Make a list of the items Joseph makes from the overcoat.
Ask students: What is the most important thing the author wants us to learn from this story? Did this book have a lesson for us to learn? Sometimes we call a lesson that a story wants to teach us a moral. What moral did this story teach us?
Make a Bridge Thinking Map with the students to help them retell this story. When he wore his jacket, he went to the fair; when he wore his vest, he danced at his nephew's wedding; when he wore his scarf, he sang in the chorus; when he wore his necktie, he visited his sister; when he wore his handkerchief, he drank a glass of tea; when he wore his button, he fastened his suspenders.
In the end, what did he have? Nothing, so he made a book.
Supporting All Learners
Our School has a Joseph Has a Little Overcoat doll that is great to use with this story. The students can actually create the new clothes he makes as the garments get more and more tattered. I have the students come up and make the jacket, vest, etc.