ALEX Lesson Plan


Slithering Snake Don't Mess With Me

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Shonterrius Lawson-Fountain
System: Midfield City
School: Midfield City Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33140


Slithering Snake Don't Mess With Me


This lesson encourages students to evaluate how the setting influences the characters interactions sand how that motivation propels the plot in Rudyard Kipling’s, Rikki-tiki-tavi. They will also evaluate the effectiveness of Kipling’s use of personification. During this lesson, students will, students will annotate the text through coding, create trading cards for the characters , compose an exposition, and produce a brochure based on a focused research assignment. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (7)
1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.7.1]
ELA2015 (7)
2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.7.2]
ELA2015 (7)
3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). [RL.7.3]
ELA2015 (7)
4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama. [RL.7.4]
ELA2015 (7)
18. Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts. [RI.7.9]
ELA2015 (7)
20. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. [W.7.1]
a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. [W.7.1a]
b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. [W.7.1b]
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence. [W.7.1c]
d. Establish and maintain a formal style. [W.7.1d]
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. [W.7.1e]
ELA2015 (7)
23. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.7.4]
ELA2015 (7)
25. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources. [W.7.6]
ELA2015 (7)
26. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation. [W.7.7]
ELA2015 (7)
28. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.7.9]
a. Apply Grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history"). [W.7.9a]
b. Apply Grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims"). [W.7.9b]

Local/National Standards:


  1. Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  2. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  3. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  4. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  5. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Primary Learning Objective(s):

I can analyze the conflict.

I can categorize specific incidents from the text into the phases of plot.  

I can evaluate how the motivation of each character creates suspense and propels the plot.

I can define unknown words using the context and connotations.

I can compose a valid argument that includes commentary and evidence based on the claim that Rikki-tikki-tavi deserves hero status.


Additional Learning Objective(s):

I can make and confirm or refute predictions.

I differentiate internal from external conflicts.

I can draw conclusion based on explicit details presented in the text about the motivation of the characters.


 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Board, Paper, Pen, Projector, Blank copy paper

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer, Projector, Internet access


Teacher should make sure that links are live.

Students should be familiar with the phases of the plot.

Students should understand characterization and motivation

Students should know the difference between primary and secondary sources when conducting research.

Students should be able to compose valid claims and understand the difference between evidence and commentary. 





1.  Give students a blank piece of copy paper as they enter the class.  Ask them to create a life-sized character of a bully by drawing an outline of a person or a stick figure on the paper leaving room to write in and around the outline. Tell what is inside their head and heart, things their hands touch, and where their feet pass. Give students no more than seven minutes to complete this task. Upon completion, let them know that they are going to use this sketch to help them create a character profile.

2.  Review the essential elements of fiction using Flocabulary’s "Five Things" video. The five things are plot, characters, setting, conflict, and theme.  Remind students that complications are challenges that arise, as the conflict is resolved.


1.  Provide students with a copy of the text coding reference sheet and use the codes to annotate and monitor their comprehension during reading. [See attachment.] This will assist students in our discussion on how Kipling uses personification to lure readers into the conflict and make it believable. [See the link to the abbreviated text.]

2.  Allow students to discuss the text as they read it aloud during natural chunks using their coding as a baseline.


After reading

1.  Allow students to Turn and talk to their right shoulder partner about one word they could use to describe Nag and Nagaina. If it is bully, have them then record their names on top of their life-sized character and add in specific details from the text that support their claims previously written.

Did the characters do a good job of presenting the theme? By the way, what are some possible themes? [Whole class Discussion format]

Exit Slip- [Independent] Read the following quote and explain how it supports the theme presented in the text citing at least on piece of text evidence. 


Assessment Strategies

In-class RAFT Writing Assignment

Before assigning the RAFT, allow students to listen to Mariah Carey’s song Hero before assigning. After listening to the song, allow them to use a Venn diagram or t-chart to compare and contrast the hero Mariah Carey presents in her song to Rikki. Cite explicit evidence from both the text and the lyrics. This activity gives them some evidence.

Role-Mariah Carey’s number fan looking to connect her song hero to a text

Audience-Teacher and Peers

Format-Argumentative Essay

Topic- Think about Darzees perception of Rikki. Does he deserve this hero status? Present a valid argument either in support of or against her perception that includes commentary and evidence based on the claim that Rikki-tikki-tavi deserves hero status.

Evaluation- In order to pass this assignment, students must have three text citations that support their claim, they must acknowledge any opposition, and include at least two pieces of commentary. If they do not meet these requirements, they must revise to include these specific requirements. 



[More scaffolding] Conduct research to understand the nature of a mongoose.

1. Create a mongoose shaped bookmark and on it record facts about its feeding habits, life cycle, physical traits, habitats, and fighting techniques. Be sure to appeal to your audience, and consult primary sources and credible sites during research. Add a footprint to your bookmark that provides a brief statement that links to Kipling’s depiction of the mongoose. Think about whether or not Kipling provides an accurate description using Rikki-tikki-tavi. You may wish to compare and contrast each perception using a Venn diagram first.

2.  [Less scaffolding] Conduct research to identify cites in the United States that have an infestation of snakes. What protective measures are being implemented to ensure the safety of the citizens and visitors? Are incidents of attacks more prevalent during certain season, at certain times, etc.? Are they attracted to certain colors or scents?   Display your findings in the form of a brochure. Be creative.  Be sure to consult primary and secondary sources. Students must use the Printing Press online tool to create their brochure.

3.  Symbolize It!

Allow students to create character profiles for Darzee, Chuchundra, Teddy, Nagaina, and Karait using the Trading Card Creator online tool. Have students also create symbols to represent the totality of character for each the characters mentioned.


Review personification by discussing characters from Shrek, The Chipmunks, Madagascar, and Rango. You can also use these films to reteach indirect and direct characterization with the students. You can find great film clips from websites like,, and in the iTunes store.

For those students have a hard time developing their claim, review writing an opinion using OREO and then show them how to tweak it into a claim.

OREO allows students to construct an opinion piece about a given topic in four to five sentences that includes a piece of evidence and commentary.




O-restated opinion

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.