Unicorn Day: A Thematic Approach to Distance Learning

Engaging the students over Zoom with Theme days, like Unicorn DayThe end of our year is fast approaching and my kids are getting restless through distance learning. Who can blame them?  After 9 weeks of this, it is starting to wear us all down.  So I decided to take a bit of a thematic approach to things this week and, so far, it is a hit!  I will be doing theme days each week, so come back every day to read about the lessons I did (and pick up the digital links so you can do the same)
Unicorn Day 🦄
Unicorn Day schedule and linksI started the week with a unicorn theme.  Why?  Well, because I saw that Mystery Science had this mini-lesson entitled "Are Unicorns Real?" and that got my brain turning.  So I set out to find (or create) a few assignments that went along with the unicorn theme.

Over Zoom, I began my lesson by reading the book Unicorn (and Horse).  I found it on Epic but you can get it here on Amazon with my affiliate link if you would like to use the actual book.  Before we began reading, I asked the students to listen for things the author mentioned that were different about the two main characters (Unicorn and Horse) and what character traits they had in common.  We read the book together over Zoom, pointing out character traits as we went.  Then, the students were asked to work on a Double Bubble Map, comparing and contrasting the two characters.  
Distance learning Unicorn Day response to literature

Next, using this free resource from Proud to be Primary, we did a directed drawing of a unicorn together.  When I am doing these drawings over Zoom, I like to keep them simple and to the point.    This one was easy enough for my students to follow along with me without getting tripped up on over complicated steps.

Using a science video on Unicorn Day to grab my students interest via Distance LearningWe then continued with the Mystery Science mini-lesson I mentioned above.  (this link is active until June 30, but I will update the link if it gets changed come fall.)  We watched the video together and, afterwards, we talked about a bit of the evidence presented in the video.  I asked them to tell me what the video was discussing as far as reasons unicorns might have been thought to be real.  I then used the questions that Mystery Science added and put them on this slide so my students could turn them in.

Finally, I wrote a nonfiction comprehension passage for my students to read and respond to.  They were to use the RACE strategy to answer three rather simple questions from the text.

Are Unicorns Real?  Comprehension passage (FREE)

And that is it!  All in all, this took us a total of 30 minutes on Zoom and then the kids had the rest of the day to complete the independent assignments.   If you would like to do this in your room, you can pick up the files and digital links I used here :)

Come back tomorrow for more files to go along with our ALIEN DAY!


  1. This is a great idea for 3rd graders! My girls love unicorns. I will keep this Fall. We had already explored the Mystery Science earlier in the year.
    Thanks for sharing this engaging lesson.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to do it with my 5th graders in hopes that I get some more participation!

  3. I love this! Did you end up doing the Alien Day! I’d love to see that, too!


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