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Lesson Plans for Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats

This lesson plan is designed to read the book aloud to kindergarten or first grade students.This lesson is courtesy of Kathy Hann, a dedicated educator in Pemberton Township Schools.


Peter is not pleased by the arrival of his new baby sister. Not only does she seem to infringe upon his noisy playtime, but his parents also have preempted his baby furniture for her use. And worse yet, they have painted it pink! When his favorite chair seems to be the next painting subject, Peter acts. Taking his chair, food and other beloved items, Peter runs away... to the front stoop. As Peter goes to sit down in his baby chair to think, he begins to understand what it means to be a big brother. This timeless story, which is approaching its 30th anniversary (1997), is as charming and insightful as ever. The audiocassette in this tape/book package has one side just for listening; the other side has page cues to use in conjunction with the book.
(Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com).


Students will be able to:
  • discuss feelings
  • discuss sharing when someone new comes into our lives
  • Discuss story elements
  • make and confirm predictions
  • discuss vocabulary words: rascal, cradle, jealous, sharing
  • discuss having a favorite toy and discuss if they would share it if they outgrew it


Materials needed for this lesson plan include:


Before Reading:

  • Look at the cover and model gaining information from the cover. "When I look at this cover, I see that the title is Peter's Chair. There must be a boy named Peter and he must really like his chair for a book to be written about it. I see a boy here, and a pink chair. I wonder why the chair is pink. Something is changing here. I can look at the cover of the book and make some predictions about the story."
  • Discuss favorite toys. If you recall a favorite toy from your past, talk about it. What favorite toys do some of the students in the class have? Why does this toy mean so much to you? Who gave the favorite toy to you?
  • Teacher can discuss how he/she does not play with that toy anymore because of outgrowing students say they outgrow.
  • What happens to things we outgrow? Chart things that students say they outgrow.
  • Discuss the meaning of the following vocabulary words: rascal, cradle, jealous, sharing

During Reading:

  • Take a picture walk. Discuss the pictures - the author uses wall paper on the pages to illustrate where they are in the house. Ask what students think will be happening in the story based on pictures. Chart answers. Tell students you will read the story and check predictions.
  • Ask "I wonder" questions, such as:
    • I wonder why Peter is feeling with everything getting painted pink.
    • I wonder why Peter took his chair.
  • Discus how Peter feels when he couldn't fit in the chair anymore.
  • Discuss how Peter begins to accept change.

After Reading:

Note: competing "Peter's Chair Response Sheet" may be most appropriate in small group rather than whole group

  • Go over chart of predictions. Discuss which predictions were correct. Ask students to help find the place in the book that proves that the prediction was right. Discuss good readers make predictions that are both right and wrong, but then they go back and make sure they know which predictions were right. Because they helped to check which predictions were right, they are all proving they can be good readers.
  • Give out the "Peter's Chair Response Sheet."
  • On the legs of the chair, have students attempt to write the name of each character. Students can also attempt to draw a small picture of the character under his/her name.
  • On the seat of the chair, students can attempt to draw a room in Peter's house. Explain to students that this is called the "setting."
  • On a rung of the chair, students can draw Peter looking "jealous." Explain to students that this is the "problem." Have students try to label the picture with the word "jealous." Encourage invented spelling.
  • On the other rung of the chair, students can draw Peter giving his chair to his parents. Explain to students that this is the "solution." Students can then attempt to write "share."

Possible Extension Activity:

  • When Peter leaves home, he takes his baby pictures with him. Have the children examine Peterís baby pictures and the illustrations of Peter as he appears now. How are the two the same? How are they different? Provide students with envelopes that include a letter asking for parents to send in a baby picture of themselves. Use a digital camera to take a current picture of each student and print out the pictures. If you receive pictures from all the students, you can post the pictures on a bulletin board and attach pieces of yarn to each picture. Have students attempt to match the baby picture with each current picture. Students cannot help matching their own pictures. If all students do not send in a picture, have students draw pictures of themselves as a baby. Students who brought in pictures can look at the photos for help in drawing their pictures. Then students attempt to match drawings with current pictures. This idea was modified from: www.wviz.org/edsvcs/prek/worksheets/Peters-chair.pdf.


  • Student participation in classroom discussion. Are students able to make predictions about story? Can they confirm if predictions are correct?
  • Following directions. Are students able to complete the chair activity?
  • Teacher observation. Can students discuss vocabulary words and use them properly? Can students discuss what the problem and the solution in the story are?

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