Education Standards

Grade 4: Unit 1- Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Lesson 1 REMIX


This lesson opens the unit and prepares learners for the structure of the instructional routines. The anchor text for this lesson is, Words Set Me Free by Lesa Cline-Ransome. This literary nonfiction text chronicles the story of Frederick Douglass' early life and includes events that influenced both his life and those of others. The students should listen for examples of how actions speak louder than words. The initial read will allow students an opportunity to comprehend on a literal level. The subsequent readings provide opportunities for students to analyze and interpret figurative language throughout the book. Specifically, the students will identify how similes and metaphors enhance the reader's understanding of the life of Frederick Douglass. Students will routinely write in a response log to demonstrate understanding of the theme of this unit, Actions Speak Louder than Words. In addition, students will use their knowledge of figurative language in their writing.

Lesson 1 Day 1


  • Build background by reading all lesson plans, texts, and resources.

  • Prepare a sample/demonstration learning log as a model.

  • Choose example idoms to explore from Super Silly Sayings That Are Over Your Head: A Children's Illustrated Book of Idioms. (Option 1) OR Copy idiom cards (provided as a resource)

  • Preview and read suggested website(s) and webtools ( youtube video/dotstorming)

  • Set aside classroom space to collaboratively build a unit bulletin board/display:

    • Key points of historical figures
    • A timeline
    • new language


In what ways do actions speak louder than words?


Reading: Informational Text

RI.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RI.4.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including and why, based on specific information in the text.

RI.4.5 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


Speaking & Listening

SL.4.1 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.



L.4.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Read the following scenarios and watch the video:

  1. A boy tells his class his family recycles all the time. The next day his classmates notice he throws away his papers in the trash can, not the recycle bin. 
  2. A mom tells her friends that she only feeds her family healthy food. At school the next day, her daughter has chips and candy in her lunch. 
  3. Video: ("Kindness Boomerang" by Life Vest Inside from
    Life Vest Inside - Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"


Discuss the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" with a partner.  Think about the scenarios and what you viewed in the video.

Think of examples in your life where people's actions spoke louder than their words.  Share your examples on the discussion board (Padlet) provided by your teacher.


Lesson 1 Day 2

This could be a separate day or a continuation of Day 1 depending on if you choose to use the Idiom Mini Lesson.

In what ways do actions speak louder than words?

Read the stroy, Words Set Me Free, by Lesa Cline-Ransome or listen to the story below.

(Video: "Words Set Me Free" by Scouters CYOTv on

Words Set Me Free
  • As we read, pay close attention to how this text relates to our theme - Actions Speak Louder Than Words. ​​​​​​​
  • After reading, discuss the following:
    • What examples did you find in the text that illustrate or connect to our theme?

    • In what ways do actions speak louder than words?


Based on Frederick Douglass's actions in the text, what two qualities would you use to describe him as a person?