Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

A Day in the Life of John Lewis

Subject Area

English Language Arts




After researching and reading about Senator John Lewis, students will demonstrate their comprehension of the informational text, "John Lewis," by illustrating an important day or moment in the life of the senator. Then they will create a description of the illustration in 2-3 complete sentences to accompany the image with citations from the informational texts.

This learning activity was created as a result of the ALEX - Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) Resource Development Summit.

    English Language Arts (2021) Grade(s): 4


    Demonstrate comprehension of literary and informational text by utilizing its content when discussing or writing in response to the text.

    Unpacked Content



    • Comprehension
    • Literary text
    • Informational text
    • Discussing
    • Writing
    • Response


    Students know:
    • Comprehension of text can be demonstrated by referring to the text in discussions or written responses.
    • Informational text is nonfiction text, and literary text is fictional.


    Students are able to:
    • Demonstrate understanding of literary and informational text by referring to the text in discussions.
    • Demonstrate understanding of literary and informational text by referring to the text in written responses.


    Students understand that:
    • They can show that they understood literary and informational text by discussing or writing about specific content from the text.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    1) Students will illustrate characters, settings, and events in a story by using evidence from the informational texts that the class has read.

    2) Students will describe the scene using pertinent details from the text and citing details about the location, people involved, and the time period.

    Activity Details


    • Introduction (5 minutes):

      • Review what students learned in the previous lesson about John Lewis through picture books and AVL articles
      • Explain that in this lesson, students will have the opportunity to draw a picture of an important moment in John Lewis's life.
    • Selection Process (10 minutes):

      • Review with students the biographical maps that they created in the previous lesson and ask them what events stood out to them.
      • Engage students in a discussion about the chosen moment, asking questions to deepen their understanding and encouraging them to share their thoughts and reactions.
    • Drawing Activity (30 minutes):

      • Distribute drawing paper or sketchbooks and drawing materials to each student.
      • Instruct students to choose the moment they find most compelling and draw a picture of John Lewis during that moment.
      • Encourage students to pay attention to details, expressions, and actions in their drawings.
    • Writing Activity:  Descriptions (10 minutes):


      • The students will create a description of the illustration in 2-3 complete sentences that summarize their selected event from John Lewis’s life and cite evidence from the text to support the main idea of the informational texts we have read.

      • Remind them to write clearly and concisely, providing enough details for others to understand the importance of the chosen moment.
    • Gallery Walk and Group Discussion (15 minutes):

      • Arrange the students' drawings in a designated area, creating a gallery walk.
      • Allow students to walk around the room, observing and appreciating each other's drawings.
      • Form small groups and have students discuss their drawings, sharing the moment they chose and why they find it significant.
      • Provide opportunities for students to ask questions and engage in meaningful conversations about John Lewis.



    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Teacher will assess students’ comprehension of informational text by reviewing their illustrated scenes and written descriptions for supporting details and evidence cited from the text.


    Students can continue writing out more details about the illustration.


    Students can verbally point and explain who, what, and where to describe the important details of John Lewis's life.

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    46 to 60 Minutes

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Teacher Preparation: 

    Make copies of the Biographical map created in the last activity https://www.canva.com/design/DAFlue4qrc4/YJoL541enkevQcvS6yQNSA/edit?ut…

    Student Preparation:

    Work completed during the before and during activities.

    The students will need to know the main idea of the informational texts read in the previous related learning activities.

    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    Teacher Materials:

    Student Materials:

    Digital Tools / Resources