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Lesson Plans (53) A detailed description of the instruction for teaching one or more concepts or skills. Podcasts (5) A program (audio or video) made available in digital format for playback or download over the Internet. Learning Assets (1)


ALEX Lesson Plans


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Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Giver - Authority
Description: A unit lesson using the book The Giver by Louis Lowry that will have students be researchers and recorders in the process of finding information on Utopian societies, cults and authority. Students will complete a Powerpoint, Glogster, essay or news broadcast by the conclusion of the essay.  


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Subject: English Language Arts (8)
Title: Teaching Tolerance and DiversityThe Diary of Anne Frank
Description: The aims of this unit are to develop an altruistic attitude which enriches the life of the student through enhanced insight into different social patterns and ways of life. I want my students to be reflective thinkers who are principled, open-minded, caring, and balanced communicators. Students will be given the opportunity to use a multimedia tool of their choice to illustrate the knowledge gained through the reading of Anne Frank. Topics for the project will include, but are not limited to; modern day genocide, discrimination of any group of people, diversity in the community and the attitudes presented by the community, and how different cultures impact varying social patterns.


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Subject: Arts Education (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Inventions Using Simple Machines Project
Description: Students will have completed a unit on the six simple machines (lever, inclined plane, pulley, wedge, screw, and wheel and axle) before beginning this project. Students will choose to investigate an invention composed of one or more simple machines that has already been invented, or they will choose to build a device composed of one or more simple machines. The invention must be safe to operate and it should be one that can be demonstrated at school. It should be one that students use themselves in everyday life. It should not be complicated.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Expressing Yourself With Poetry
Description: Two classes at different schools or across the hall share dramatic poetry presentations as part of a poetry unit. Students listen to poetry, practice reading poetry, and (if practical) participate in a distance learning program on poetry. Students then produce a Poetry Alive program that will be shared with another class through video conferencing or video tapes.


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Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Integrating Grammar and Literature through Digital Storytelling
Description: In this lesson students create digital stories in cooperative groups using multimedia tools to demonstrate comprehension of the elements of grammar, literature, and technology introduced in the lesson. Students become actively involved in literature, recognize an author's intent, and examine the importance of word choice in writing. This lesson incorporates sentence manipulation, the elements of fiction, storyboarding, and the production of a slideshow presentation.


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Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (8)
Title: "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes
Description: By linking the experiences of the character Charlie Gordon to other characters and to themselves, students demonstrate through class discussion and journal writing their understanding and interpretation of the short story "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes.


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Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Riddles in the Dark
Description: Riddles can be challenging to solve and even more challenging to write. After reading the riddles used by Gollum to try to ensnare Bilbo in chapter five of Tolkien's The Hobbit and those used by Bilbo to outwit Gollum, students use their wit and cunning to author a riddle pop-up book.


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Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Using Graphic Organizers to Develop a Character Analysis
Description: This hands-on, technology-based lesson enables students of all ability levels to organize the traits of main characters and to develop a character analysis. Students choose two main characters from myths, legends, or fables to create both a slideshow presentation and a newsletter demonstrating their conclusions.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Girls Read: Online Literature Circles     
Description: In this lesson designed especially for girls, students read a work of realistic fiction and get to know strong female protagonists through online literary circles and writing activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Internalization of Vocabulary Through the Use of a Word Map     
Description: Students practice with words and develop both definitional and contextual knowledge through two agents purposeful sequencing of steps and collaboration with peers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Choosing, Chatting, and Collecting: Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy     
Description: Students identify interesting words from Shakespeare's plays and add them to a classroom vocabulary collection.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Get the Gist: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area     
Description: Gist is a summarizing technique that can be used in any content area. Students will learn and apply the strategy while doing online research and writing activities on news stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Student Contracting     
Description: Students develop learning contracts that focus on language arts education. This lesson includes a basic student contract format, sustained silent reading (SSR) extension activities, and literature response activities.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology     
Description: Students read a poem by a Native American, explore Native American culture and then create a Website that explains words and phrases from the poem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using a Word Journal to Create a Personal Dictionary     
Description: Students will be the definition of vocabulary experts as they use the skills they learn in this lesson to track, define, and ultimately master unfamiliar words.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Arts,Language Arts
Title: Childhood Through the Looking-Glass     
Description: This lesson from EDSITEment explores the vision of childhood created by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. Students begin by looking at Carroll's photographs of the real Alice for whom Carroll imagined his story and compare the image of childhood that he captured on film with images of children in our culture. Then students read Alice in Wonderland with special attention to the illustrations that Carroll made for his book, and explore the relationship between words and pictures by creating an Alice illustration of their own. Next, for contrast, students compare Carroll's vision of childhood with that presented by the Romantic poet William Blake in his illuminated Songs of Innocence and Experience. Finally, students consider the interplay of image and text in their own favorite children's literature and how the vision of childhood presented there compares to their experiences as children. Several pieces of literature appropriate for use with this lesson are suggested.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Boston Tea Party: Costume Optional?     
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains three activities for students to study the events of the Boston Tea Party of 1776 and reflect upon the methodology by which historians reconstruct the past. The activities involve a close study of primary sources describing the Boston Tea Party and a consideration of the effect of bias in both primary and secondary historical sources.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Constitutional Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have Met     
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains four activities for students to examine the contributions and perspectives of some of the less-renowned of the Founding Fathers in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. The activities involve a biographical study of four of the Founding Fathers (Ellsworth, Hamilton, Paterson, and Randolph), oral presentations arguing for their significance in the events of the period, and a puzzle to match characteristic quotes with the Founding Father responsible for uttering them.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Constitutional Convention: What the Founding Fathers Said     
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains four activities for students to examine debates of the Constitutional Congress, and to reflect on what we can learn from them about democratic statesmanship. The activities involve a close study of transcripts of the debates themselves, a dramatic recreation of some of the debates, and a discussion of how democratic ideas were developed through these debates.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Why Do We Remember Revere? Paul Revere's Ride in History and Literature     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students examine the essential differences between Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's account of Paul Revere's ride and historical fact. They then reflect on why this event is so significant in American cultural history. The activities involve a study of the historical context of both Revere and Longfellow, a discussion of Longfellow's poem and its central themes and historical references, and an analysis of the ride's iconic status for the developing American nation.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Industrial Age in America: Sweatshops, Steel Mills, and Factories     
Description: In this lesson from EDSITEment, students research working conditions in the Age of Industrialization and examine worker responses to these conditions. They then read arguments for and against modern sweatshops and write a position paper on sweatshops today.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Industrial Age in America: Robber Barons and Captains of Industry     
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students research several industrialists and financiers to attempt to establish a distinction between robber barons and captains of industry. Students uncover some of the less honorable deeds as well as the shrewd business moves and highly charitable acts of the great industrialists and financiers.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Women's Suffrage: Why the West First?     
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students compile information to examine hypotheses explaining why the first nine states to grant full voting rights for women were located in the West. The take a stand, supported by historical evidence, as to whether or not a single theory can explain why the Western states were the first to grant full voting rights to women.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Memories Matter: The Giver and Descriptive Writing Memoirs     
Description: Using The Giver, students discuss the importance recorded history. This provides context for descriptive writing of students own history in a lesson that integrates personal writing, research, and literary response.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Fairy Tale Autobiographies     
Description: Students read and analyze fairy tales from several cultures, identifying common elements. Choosing common situations, students write original fairy tales, using picture books as models and a peer review process.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Expository Escapade Detectives Handbook     
Description: Students create a Detective's Handbook based on a detective mystery they have read. The handbooks include expository and descriptive writing, as well as a letter.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reading and Writing Workshop: Freak the Mighty      
Description: Students use a variety of reading and writing strategies as they read Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies     
Description: Students compare a book to its film adaptation, and then perform readers theater of a scene from the book that they feel was not well represented in the movie version.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Writing a Flashback and Flash-Forward Story Using Movies and Texts as Models     
Description: Using the film The Sandlot, students are introduced to the literary devices of flashbacks and flash-forwards. They then write their own stories using those devices.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: Contemporary Proverbs     
Description: This lesson challenges students to craft more apparent meanings for traditional maxims by updating proverbs from around the world and writing proverbs of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues     
Description: How can we convince others to agree with us on important issues? In this lesson, students explore relevant environmental issues and gather information to write persuasive essays.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Childhood Remembrances: Life and Art Intersect in Nikki Giovanni's Nikki-Rosa      
Description: Students explore what Carol Jago calls the place where life and art intersect by reading Nikki Giovanni's poem, Nikki-Rosa, and then writing about childhood memories of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reading and Analyzing Multigenre Texts     
Description: Students develop a definition of multigenre texts by exploring multigenre picture books. They brainstorm what it takes to read these texts successfully and discuss strategies needed to comprehend the texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action     
Description: Students explore the effects of stereotypes by analyzing children's books. Then they create bookmarks that encourage readers to question the assumptions of stereotyped books and to seek out matching, balanced texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Timelines and Texts: Motivating Students to Read Nonfiction     
Description: In an effort to help motivate students to read nonfiction, students are challenged to use a timeline to help them name the year when certain products were invented.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Listening to History     
Description: This unit of four lessons, from EDSITEment, is designed to help students tap the resource of family stories and local history by conducting oral history interviews with family members. Through a series of classroom activities, the lessons introduce students to the riches historians can discover in firsthand recollections, help them choose a topic and prepare for a productive family interview, provide tips for conducting and recording the interview, and offer suggestions for sharing their family stories in a historical narrative or report.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Poems That Tell a Story: Narrative and Persona in the Poetry of Robert Frost     
Description: In this four-lesson unit, from EDSITEment, students read, discuss, and analyze selected poems by Robert Frost. The activities that make up this unit encourage students to draw inferences about a poem's speaker based on evidence contained within the poem and to gather evidence supporting those inferences.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Finding Figurative Language in The Phantom Tollbooth      
Description: Students examine figurative language in The Phantom Tollbooth and create a chart representing the literal and figurative meanings of words and phrases.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: At Home and around the World     
Description: In this lesson, students work with proverbs from home and from around the world, exploring how these maxims are tied to a cultures values and everyday experience.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Teaching Voice with Anthony BrownesVoices in the Park      
Description: Students analyze Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne to determine how an author keeps an audience interested by creating voice and to applying that knowledge to their own writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: He Said/She Said: Analyzing Gender Roles through Dialogue     
Description: Students analyze dialogue tags used with male and female characters in a book they have read. They then evaluate the message the dialogue tags convey about gender roles.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers     
Description: Students use picture books as framing texts for research, freeing them from the language of encyclopedia sources and allowing them to focus their attention on the content of their papers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party     
Description: Students attend a 19th Century Victorian party to celebrate Scrooge's new outlook on life. They research characters from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and assume those personas for the party.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Building Reading Comprehension Through Think-Alouds     
Description: Students learn components of think-alouds and type-of-text interactions through teacher modeling. In the process, students develop the ability to use think-alouds to aid in reading comprehension tasks.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the artistry that helped make Washington Irving our nation's first literary master. They ponder the mystery of what happened to Ichabod Crane, a mystery that now haunts every Halloween.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Social Studies,Language Arts,Arts
Title: The World of Haiku     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the traditions and conventions of haiku, comparing this classic form of Japanese poetry to a related genre of Japanese visual art and composing haiku of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Statue of Liberty: Bringing the ''New Colossus'' to America     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students learn about the effort to convince a skeptical American public to contribute to the effort to erect a pedestal and to bring the Statue of Liberty to New York. The activities in this lesson guide students through an investigation of primary historical documents and an analysis of the poem The New Colossus, written by the nineteenth-century poet Emma Lazarus.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Pictures in Words: Poems of Tennyson and Noyes     
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore how poets Tennyson and Noyes use words to paint vivid and memorable pictures. They describe how word pictures emphasize or qualify the meanings of their poems.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Doodle Splash: Using Graphics to Discuss Literature     
Description: Students keep a doodle journal while reading short stories by a common author. In small groups, students then combine their doodles into a graphic representation of the text.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Big, Bad Wolf...Is This a Fact?     
Description: Reading is revamped in this lesson in which students use a multimedia approach to study the books by Seymour Simon.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites     
Description: An Observation and Inquiry Sheet guides students as they analyze and compare their reactions to the value, engagement, and credibility of three websites related to Anne Frank and the Holocaust.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards     
Description: Students respond to a book they have read by thinking symbolically to create a business card for one of the characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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Subject: Language Arts
Title: Improve Comprehension: A Word Game Using Root Words and Affixes     
Description: Students study common root words and affixes, improve their comprehension and spelling, and make a card game in which they form words with a prefix, root word, and suffix.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



ALEX Learning Assets


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Title: The Outsiders Novel Trailer
Digital Tool: Video: S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders-Book Trailer
Digital Tool Description: This YouTube video introduces The Outsiders, a novel by S.E. Hinton.  It uses audio from an interview with the author to introduce the social themes of the novel.


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