Wonder Bundle #4: Strange Dreams

May 30, 2017

Carol Varsalona

After a night of frustrating technology glitches, I wrote a post, Whoosh!, and decided to engage in a deep breathing technique to fall asleep. Little did I know that sleep was at least an hour away. Despite the breathing and trying to quiet down my mind, I lay awake until I was so exhausted that dreams took over. Have you ever experienced this?

Being in and out of sleep caused dreams to flash in rapid movements. A dream journal would have been a good resource to record the sleeptime happenings, as noted in Wonderopolis' Wonder of the Day, #988 - Have you Ever Had Crazy Dreams?


While last night's three day learning experience on Memorial Day, created as a Wonder Bundle, is floating around cyberspace, I am switching gears to concentrate on the phenomenon of dreaming. I thought I would capitalize on last night's experiences. Let's hope that the Wonderopolis superheroes can rescue my stray lesson floating in the clouds so I can rest assured that yesterday's work time was not wasted.

Three-Day Wonder Bundle for ELA

Title: Dreams


5th grade students will:

  1. Engage effectively in collaborative conversations with diverse partners; express ideas clearly and persuasively, and build on those of others.
  2. Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to meaning of informational texts.
  3. Create a poem, story, play, or art work related to the text read, digitals examined, and/or the personal experience of dreaming.

Big Idea:

Dreaming is a phenomenon that happens during sleep. Dreams may be based on how we feel before sleep, what we are worrying about, what we are hoping for, or our connections with our to do list. Remembering our dreams can be a way to spark creativity or get in touch with our emotions.


Learning Standards Based on New York State's Revised ELA Learning Standards:

  • 5.R.7: Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to meaning of literary and informational texts.
  • 5.W.4: Create a poem, story, play, art work, or other response to a text, author, theme, or personal experience.
  • 5.SL.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners; express ideas clearly and persuasively, and build on those of others.

Link to the Wonder of the Day: #988 - Have you Ever Had Crazy Dreams?

Lesson Content:

Warm Up / Anticipatory: 13 minutes

  1. The class will watch the video, "Night Sky" by Alex Rivest. Using timelapse photography. The video creator shows the night sky from five continents. The areas photographed were Maine, Hawaii, California, Iceland, Italy, Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Ghana.
  2. In partnerships, students will discuss their interpretation of the video.
  3. Alex Rivest stated that he "dedicated (the video) to the parents who allow their kids to dream." Students will discuss why they thought this was Alex's purpose for creating this video and what his quote means to them.
  4. Partners will collaboratively sketch their own vision of the night sky as they see it and post the drawing on a Dream Journal Wall or in a shared Google Doc.


Investigation & New Learning - Day 1: 30 minutes


  1. Partnerships will read the sub-heading under the title, the tags, and examine the photographs. They will discuss how visual, print, and multimedia elements contribute to the understanding of the informational text about to be read.
  2. Each partner will have the choice to read the Wonder of the Day individually, listen to it being read, or read the piece together.
  3. Partners will discuss the main points and the most important details that help them understand the text. They will post their work to the Dream Journal Wall or Google Doc.
  4. Partners will individually take the Did You Get It! Test Your Knowledge challenge.

Word Knowledge:

  1. Partners will read the 14 Wonder Words and circle the words they felt were difficult to understand in the digital created by Word Art (below).
  2. Each partner will take the Wonder Word Challenge.


Reflection: Exit Slips - 2 minutes

  1. Students will write their reflection on how well they learned today's content and drop it into the appropriate Exit Slip container: I'm Just Learning, I'm Almost There!, I Own It!, I'm A Pro!


Investigation & New Learning - Day 2: 45 minutes

Creativity Stations - Maker Space Activities:

Students will work in partnerships or triads to:

  1. Review various models of text related to the topic of dreams.
  2. Teams will choose one project based on the topic of dreams to create a poem, story, short video, or art work.
  3. Students will reflect at the end of the day if their multimedia end products effectively contribute to the topic of dreams.
  4. Teams will create a timeline for completion of their projects by the beginning of Day 3.



Investigation & New Learning - Day 3: 43 minutes

  1. Students will work in partnerships or triads to complete their maker space projects at the creativity stations.
  2. Teams will place their poem, story, short video, or art work in the Dream Gallery.
  3. Each team will present their process for creating their end product.

Review/Check for Understanding: 2 minutes

  1. Teams will rate their collaborative efforts with a Fist of Five protocol and provide reasons on why they chose the score.

Lesson Note:

  1. The power of choice allows students to become creators of content, not just consumers of information and to collaboratively amplify their voices.
  2. Extension Activities for the home or extra time in school are provided by Wonderopolis in the Try It Out section at the bottom of the WOD.


Since the creation of this lesson plan, I wrote another blog post, Strange Dreams, with a poem that can be accessed here. In response to my poem, a college, Kevin Hodgson, interpreted my dream in a video format, Further Dreaming. I am grateful to Kevin for this amazing gift of photos and audio to accompany my words.



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