Bun Bun Button Lesson Plan

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

''Bun Bun Buttons'' tells the story of a girl who loses and finds a special toy. By concentrating on its prepositional phrases, this lesson plan guides students through the book with discussion, games and written assignments.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify some endangered animals of the world
  • define 'endangered' and 'conservation'
  • demonstrate acquired knowledge of one endangered animal species


  • Warm-up and Instruction: 15-20 minutes
  • Activity 1: 15-20 minutes
  • Activity 2: 15 minutes
  • Activity 3: 15-30 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.


Form and use prepositional phrases.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Vocabulary List

  • Narrative
  • Preposition
  • Prepositional phrase


  • Bun Bun Button by Patricia Polacco
  • Whiteboard space for multiple groups
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Cards (at least one per student) printed with prepositional phrases found in the book. Some examples include:
    • in the old blue chair
    • next to her pillow
    • into her chest
  • Cards (one per student) printed with short passages from the book (including images). These will be used for a recount activity.


  • Begin the warm-up by reminding students that a narrative is a story. Ask:
    • What is special about a narrative? {A narrative tells events in order.}
    • What can make a narrative really exciting? {Lead students to the idea of details adding meaning to the narrative.}
  • Tell your students that details can be added using descriptive words, like adjectives and adverbs, as well as using prepositional phrases. Say:
    • Which is more interesting: 'Victoria walked' or 'After the movie, Victoria walked to the car in a funny way because her foot had fallen asleep.'
    • Can anyone identify the prepositional phrases in the second example?
  • Tell the students that prepositional phrases tell 'when,' 'how' and 'where' as they show the relationship between a noun and another word. In this way, they can make a story (or narrative) much more interesting.
  • Instruct students to watch carefully for prepositional phrases in the story you are about to read.


  • Begin reading Bun Bun Button. Pause after the first page. Ask:
    • Has anyone heard a prepositional phrase yet?
    • What was it?
    • What was its purpose--to tell when, where or how?
  • Tell the students to keep listening carefully for the prepositional phrases. As you read, allow students to raise their hand each time they identify a prepositional phrase.
  • When students raise their hands, call on a volunteer to identify the prepositional phrase, which two words it connects and what the purpose of the phrase is. This will lengthen the time for reading the story, so you may want to limit the interruption to once per page.
  • Finish reading the book. Discuss:
    • Can someone summarize the story for us?
    • Has something you really liked ever been lost and then found again?
    • How did it feel?
    • Did the author do a good job of expressing the true feelings a person goes through when they lose something they love and then find it again?
    • Did the prepositional phrases help add interest to the story? Would it have been just as interesting without them?

Activity 1- Act It Out

  • Divide students into groups of four or five.
  • If there is room, give each group room at the board. If there is not enough room, give each group a small whiteboard and markers to use.
  • Give each student a prepositional phrase card.
  • In turns, students should attempt to draw their phrase without using words or sounds. The others in the group must guess the phrase.
  • Keep playing until everyone has had a turn to draw their phrase.
  • Extension: If you do not have the ability to offer whiteboard space, or if you would like a twist on this game, you could have students act out their prepositional phrases instead (similar to charades).

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