blog stats
NumberFix: Math/Writing Lesson based on the Scaredy Squirrel Series

A Writing Across the Curriculum Lesson from NumberFix
Math Topic: telling time Students Write: complete sentences about time

Navigating WritingFix:

WritingFix Homepage

NumberFix Homepage

Writing Across the Curriculum Homepage

The Perfect Day with Scaredy Squirrel
writing about telling time in primary math classrooms

This writing across the curriculum lesson was written by NumberFix Coordinator, Holly Young, who designed it for first grade learners. Check out Holly's Making Mathematicians website.

This lesson was proposed to NumberFix using this template. If you have a math/mentor text lesson you'd like to have published, fill out the template and send it to Holly Young, our NumberFix Coordinator: We'll send you an NNWP Print Publication if we post your lesson here!

Lesson Overview & Objective:

This lesson focuses first graders on applying telling time and writing complete sentences using appropriate times of the day. The lesson should take approximately 70 minutes to teach.

Essential Understandings for this Lesson:

  • I can write and tell time.
  • I can write complete sentences with a capital letter and a period.

Writing skills to stress while teaching this lesson:

  • Word Choice (using precise nouns to assist the reader’s understanding; incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing; using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting)
  • Conventions (spelling skills; punctuation skills; capitalization skills)

Materials List:

Setting the Stage:

Students need some background work on telling time to the ½ hour before this lesson. Students should also be introduced to writing capitals at the beginning of a sentence and a period at the end.

Some focus questions that I asked students to discuss with a shoulder partner before reading the mentor text were, “Are you afraid of anything?” and “Why are you afraid of it?”

Teacher Instructions:

  • After reading the Scaredy Squirrel Poster as a class, read Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt to the students. On the pages where Scaredy Squirrel shows his daily schedule (and updated schedule), I focused the students on the squirrel’s written schedule.
  • After reading the book, I brought the students together and asked them to think about their perfect school day. I asked them, “What activities would you like to do all day?” I had the students work in partners and discuss what they would like to do on their perfect day.
  • I drew a large doughnut shape on the board. In the center, I wrote, “The Perfect School Day.” I went around the room and asked students to provide an idea on what they would do on their perfect day. I wrote their ideas in the outer ring so that students would know how to write and spell their ideas. After the space was all filled up, I asked the students to discuss their perfect day in partners again using any ideas that are on the board.
  • I passed out the differentiated tiers of this lesson to the students. I gave each student the handout that best fit their particular skill level.
    • Tier 1 handout is for students at grade level. It has clocks with no hands drawn in and it has a sentence stem started.
    • Tier 2 handout is for students above grade level. It has clocks with no hands drawn and no sentence stem.
    • Tier 3 handout is for students below grade level. It has clocks with hands drawn in for them (they must determine the time), and it has a sentence stem started.
Low Example
Medium Example
High Example
(Click images to see them in larger form.)
  • Students were instructed to design their perfect school day using the ideas from the board brainstorm and marking important times of the day. Working with individual students, I noticed that some students were not choosing times of the day that would happen at school. This was a great time to discuss how the clock represents actual time.
  • When students were finished, I asked them to read their perfect school day to another person. We shared a few outloud with the class.


WritingFix Homepage NumberFix Homepage  Writing Across the Curriculum Homepage
© WritingFix. All rights reserved.