Unit Title

Making Connections & Inferring: Tour Builder



Designed by

Angela Spitzman & Colleen McCabe

Time Frame

October - November 2015

Stage 1- Desired Results

Establish Goals

Common Core State Standards English Language Arts

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3: Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.7: Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.

 ISTE Standards for Students

  1. Creativity and Innovation

        Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using


  1. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
  2. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression

2. Communication and Collaboration

        Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support

            individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  1. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety  of digital environments and media
  2. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.


Learners will be able to....

What kinds of long-term independent accomplishments are desired?

  • Use context clues to determine the setting of a story
  • Summarize key events of a story
  • Practice the comprehension strategies of summarizing, inferencing, and making connections
  • Extend a story by applying knowledge of comprehension strategies
  • Determine an effective use of technology to present their ideas to their audience



Learners will understand that...

  • Readers use strategies to construct meaning.
  • Authors write with different purposes in mind.
  • A text’s features, structures, and characteristics facilitate the reader’s ability to make meaning of the text.
  • We make connections to ourselves, other text, and life in order to make us better readers.
  • We can achieve a deeper understanding by making strong connections to the text.
  • Our background knowledge can help us make connections from the known to the unknown.
  • Readers make connections and judgments about literature by using relevant information from the text to write a personal response.

Essential Questions

Learners will keep considering...

  • How does an organized story structure help in understanding other story elements?
  • How can what I already know help me understand the reading?
  • How do we show the connections we make?
  • What makes a scene engaging to the viewer?
  • How can I work effectively with a partner?
  • Why is it important to understand the setting, events, and characters of a story?


Learners will know…

  • Narrative elements such as setting, plot, events, and characters
  • How to brainstorm and create new scenes connected to the book they read in small groups
  • How to create new scenes or recreated scenes digitally through various apps chosen by the learner
  • How to edit scenes in a program similar to iMovie or student choice
  • How to upload animations to YouTube

Learners will be skilled at...

  • Using the comprehension strategies of summarizing, making connections, and making inferences
  • Using apps to create new scenes connected to their original story
  • Identifying the setting, plot, events, and characters of a story
  • Uploading scenes to YouTube to be shared with their partner

Stage 2- Evidence


Learners will show that they understand by evidence of…

using Tour Builder to create a tour of the selected book (summary) or an extension (sequel) to the story.

GRASPS Task written in student-friendly language:


Use context clues, connections, and prediction strategies to summarize or extend a selected story.


Students took on the role of movie script writers to create new scenes based on their books read in small groups.


Students will post their completed project on their blog for reflection and feedback by fellow peers, teachers, and family.


An entertainment company has hired a group of screenwriters to create a sequel (extension) to stories read in class.


Students will create a digital story tour that includes 3-5 scenes “pinned” on Google Earth. Each scene will include an original illustration, video, or photo which either summarizes or extends the story.


Learners  will show they have achieved Stage 1 goals by demonstrating their understanding through the Six Facets of Understanding...


Students develop a tour in Google Tour Builder to show animations and illustrations of scenes they created using various apps in their iPads.


Students develop a storyboard of new scenes based on the book read in class and determine how to animate and illustrate those scenes.


Students design and develop new animations and illustrations based on their storyboards that show extensions of the books read in class.

Have perspective

Students investigate which apps and presentation styles they prefer to present their scenes and stories, and also investigate what kind of presentation styles audiences prefer to watch.


Students imagine they are screenwriters tasked with creating animations and illustrations, based on books read in class, specific to audience preference.

Have self-knowledge

Students reflect on their own progress of creating and developing scenes. They evaluate their work ethic and what it was like to work in small groups to reach a common goal. Students share their reflections (what went well, what would they do differently) in their blog posts for others to read and comment on.

Stage 3- Learning Plan

Time Frame

Learning Events

Progress Monitoring


Week 1 (10/26)

Introduce project overview to class.

Read selected book for each group during Reading Rotations meeting.

Students gather connections, questions, and setting details.

Guide a small group discussion to clarify any questions or wonderings.

Students begin analyzing (in pairs) their group’s respective book to complete story and setting summary OR story extension.

Present Tour Builder to the class.

Tour Builder Tutorial

Week 2 (11/2)

Students create 3-5 scenes (must include beginning, middle end if a summary OR a new ending if a story extension) using photos, illustrations, animations, and videos.

Students begin creating Tour Builder presentation, selecting logical location pin placements for their story.

Week 3 (11/9)

All scenes added to Tour Builder  and presentations completed.

Students post their tour to their blog with reflection (see overview for questions to answer in reflection).

Gather student feedback - written and verbal (record video clips).

  • Coaching
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Students to share tour with teacher so that they may assist with progress

Resources / Materials:

  • Google Doc Project Overview for Students
  • Google Tour Builder
  • Selected setting rich books:
  • Uptown by Bryan Collier
  • Once Upon a Time by Niki Daly
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judi Barrett
  • It Takes a Village by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
  • New Shoes for Silvia by Johanna Hurwitz
  • iPads
  • Macbooks
  • Blank Paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors