The Old Woman Who Named Things 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 will help you teach students how to refer to text evidence when answering questions about a story, write an opinion paper, and correctly use rules for capitalization as they read ''The Old Woman Who Named Things'' by Cynthia Rylant.

Learning Objectives

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

  • summarize the plot of The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
  • identify capitalized words and name why the word is capitalized
  • express an opinion on the pros and cons of owning a dog

Time Length

30-60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.


  • allowed
  • bumpers
  • clever
  • faithfully
  • hinges
  • kennel
  • outlive
  • tolerate


  • Copies of the book The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
  • Markers/crayons
  • Paper
  • Pencils

Reading & Discussion

  • Read the story The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant, pausing throughout the story to discuss the following questions:
    • Why does the old woman name things?
    • What kinds of things does the old woman name?
    • Why doesn't the old woman want to keep the puppy?
    • What does the old woman do for the puppy every day?
    • What happens that makes the old woman sad?
    • Why is the dog named Lucky?
    • What does the old woman learn by the end of the story?

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