• Beach Scene

    Edward Henry Potthast, Beach Scene. Crayon on Bristol paper, 11 1/8 x 15 1/8 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Tell a Story 1-2-3

English Language Arts


2: Tell a Story 1-2-3

3 30-minute lessons


How do details in an illustration help a reader with understanding?

I can identify key details in the text.
I can identify the setting.
I can identify the front cover of a book
I can identify the back cover of a book
I can recognize the title page in a book

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Opening Conversation

Elicit prior knowledge by talking about the details on the cover of Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom; identify the front cover, back cover and title page.

  • Have you seen a tree like this before? If so, where?
  • What do you think the name of this tree is?
  • What else do you notice about the tree?

Take a picture walk through the text to engage students in conversation about what they think the story is about.

Go back and discuss what kind of tree it is: “Where you would see a tree like this?”

Read Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom. Discuss the details in the story.

Show the painting Beach Scene.

“Turn and talk to your partner about the details you see in this painting. Share with the class the details you notice in the painting. “

  • Where is this painting taking place? What details do you see that tell you that?
  • Have you been to a beach before? What details in the painting are the same as the beach that you visited?
  • In Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom, there is a coconut tree. Do you see a coconut tree in the painting? Do you see any trees? Why do you think the artist decided not to include any trees?


Create a setting for the coconut tree. What details are in your setting? What other details could you add to your setting? Add at least two more details to the setting that you created.

Mentor Texts for Teaching Setting

  • When the Fireflies Come by Johnathan London
  • The Secret Short Cut by Mark Teague
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • Plaidypus Lost by Janet Stevens

Differentiation and Modifications:

Beyond Grade Level: Draw a setting with a coconut tree and details relative to the story. Label some details in the setting.

At Grade Level: Draw a setting with a coconut tree some details. With teacher support label 2 details in the setting.

Below Grade Level: Draw a coconut tree and with teacher support add more details and discuss.


Formative assessment: Students can discuss the concept of setting and identify visual details that reveal the setting

Materials Needed

drawing paper, crayons, chart paper, dry erase markers


numbers, counting, alphabet, letters, order, sequence, coconut tree, setting

Artwork in this Lesson

  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
    • Edward Potthast | Beach Scene

Texts in this Lesson

  • Martin and Archambault: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom