The Brand New Kid Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan may be used to help your students answer questions about the text, discuss the anti-bullying message from the story, and identify the various responses of the characters while reading 'The Brand New Kid' by Katie Couric.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Answer questions about the text.
  • Understand the author's message about bullying and inclusion.
  • Describe how different characters respond to the new student.

Time Length

90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.


Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.


Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Lesson Instructions and Activities


  • accent
  • arrange
  • bore
  • checkmate
  • doubt
  • fidgeted
  • fingers crossed
  • focus
  • forlorn
  • pastry
  • shrill
  • squealed
  • strudel
  • taunt
  • wondered


  • Copies of 'The Brand New Kid' by Katie Couric
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic drinking straws
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Tape

Reading and Discussion

  • Preview vocabulary from the story with students.
  • Read 'The Brand New Kid' by Katie Couric aloud, pausing at the appropriate times to ask the following discussion questions:
    • What is the setting of the story?
    • What do Ellie and Carrie think of their class assignment?
    • What do the other students think of Lazlo? Why?
    • What do the illustrations tell you about the students in Miss Kincaid's class?
    • Turn and talk: What would you say to Ricky Jensen?
    • What does Ellie see that makes her think about the way Lazlo must be feeling?
    • What is Ellie's solution?
    • What are some things Ellie and Lazlo do together?
    • How does Ellie react when the other students ask questions about Lazlo?
    • How does Ellie's leadership make a difference in the way the other students behave?
    • Turn and talk: What is something you can do today to help another person?

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