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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts Education (4), or English Language Arts (3 - 4), or English Language Arts (3 - 4)
Title:  Sequence Flower Reports
Description: This is a hands-on book report project. It will be an extension activity that occurs after the reading of the stories The Secret Gardens and/or The Gardener. Paper flowers will be designed and put together by each student. Story events will be composed on the flowers parts.


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 6), or English Language Arts (4 - 6), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Living in the Wild
Description: In this lesson, students will compare and contrast how the Prehistoric Americans lived off the land at Russell Cave and how Sam Gribley from "My Side of the Mountain" lived off the land. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4)
Title: A Father's Life at Russell Cave
Description: In this lesson, students will learn about a father's life at Russell Cave and learn about different writing genres. This lesson plan is made possible through the ALEX and the U.S. National Park Service Partnership.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Yo! The Slaves Have Gotta Go!
Description: In this lesson, students will explore the events leading up to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Students will work collaboratively to research and report their findings.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4)
Title: Soaring with Literary Elements and Devices
Description: In this lesson, students will observe literary elements and devices in a variety of chapter books. Students will be paired with a partner and allowed to choose one book to identify literary elements. Using digital cameras and a computer, students will find pictures of objects that are related to their book. Lastly, students will use their photos to create a reading display board and a podcast that will include each literary element, pictures, objects, and the actual book. Students will be required to present their display board and podcast to the class. Attached podcast also discusses how to conduct a Reading Fair.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Edible Cell
Description: As part of the study on Life Processes, the students will watch a video clip at Cells Alive to see a model of the cell and its componenets. The students will use edible products to create an animal cell. Each product will represent a component of the cell. This will be done whole group.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Aunt Chip and the Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Pollaco Summarizing, Sequencing and Publishing
Description: In this lesson, students will read and summarize the book by pages. After publishing, students will use their slides as sequencing exercises. This lesson plan can be adapted for any grade level or book.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? Examining Character Motivation
Description: During this unit, students will ask “Why do we do what we do?” They will read different novels to analyze character motivation. Throughout the unit they will debate whether they think characters made smart choices and why. They will also become more familiar with story elements.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Author Study
Description: During this lesson, students will learn more about their favorite authors by researching them on the Internet and presenting to the class, school, and community. Students will see that authors are real people thereby developing an appreciation for reading and writing.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Story Elements
Description: During this lesson, students will analyze what distinguishes the stories they love. Reading and reviewing their favorite books will help students begin to identify elements of a story. Students have the opportunity to navigate the Internet and create a presentation to demonstrate what they have learned about elements of a story.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or English Language Arts (3 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Newberry Award
Description: This unit will introduce the history of the Newberry Award to students. The selection process will be discussed. Students will also visit websites and the library to select a Newberry book to read. Finally, students will give book talks to accompany slideshows they have created.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: The Underground Railroad
Description: The Underground Railroad of the 1800's inspired talented writers of all ages. This lesson will integrate some of these famous writings to encourage students to develop their questioning techniques for analysis of literature while furthering their knowledge of this era in American history. As an extension of this study, students will create a class quilt to illustrate the depth of their research.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Rabbit Tales
Description: During this lesson students will be exposed to different types of writing. Students will have the opportunity to create their own story based on the characteristics of the literature they have read. Students will also learn the history of trickster tales and their significance.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Retelling is Fun! Retelling Activities for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Description: The purpose of this lesson is to get students involved with retelling activities, including writing a narrative and dramatic play.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Exploring the World of Cinderella Tales
Description: Students will read three different Cinderella tales, including tales from Africa, China, and America. Upon completion of a Venn diagram comparing the similarities and differences of these tales, the students will complete and present multimedia presentations showing their results.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Figurative Language
Description: This lesson used a slideshow presentation to explain the difference between similes and metaphors. Students are challenged to identify these figurative elements in literature and then create some themselves.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Multimedia Book Report
Description: This lesson gives students a clear understanding of how to create a slide show presentation using PowerPoint. The students will use this information to create a slide show book report.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (3 - 4), or English Language Arts (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Character Education - Integrity
Description: The purpose of this lesson is to identify some of the skills and attitudes that are essential for solving problems effectively. This lesson will be implemented as part of a character education unit on integrity. The meaning of integrity is investigated and discussed through the use of research skills, open-ended discussions, digital photography, and cooperative learning experiences.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 4), or English Language Arts (3 - 4)
Title: "Hot Dog" Book Reports
Description: Students will use a Makes Sense Strategies Think-sheet to learn to identify the characters, setting, main idea and details of a book read.


Subject: English Language Arts (3 - 5), or English Language Arts (3 - 5)
Title: Who is Little Red Riding Hood Anyway?
Description: This lesson compares and contrasts the traditional Litle Red Riding Hood, by the Brothers Grimm, to Little Red Cowboy Hat, by Susan Lowell.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4)
Title: Can you solve the problem?
Description: During this lesson, students will analyze ways in which the character(s) in stories solve problems encountered. Students will brainstorm in small groups possible solutions to realistic problems in order to enhance connections to problems found in literature. Students will then explore problems/solutions in a selection of picture books.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Using Technology in Teaching Reading
Description: Elementary students, while working on their basal reader story for the week, will use various forms of technology to increase comprehension and other reading skills. (Other strategies may be substituted if some of the technology mentioned is not available.)


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Traveling Terrain: Comprehending Nonfiction Text on the Web      Add Bookmark
Description: Students locate specific information, identify text features of nonfiction text, and write to generalize information on related topics.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring How Section Headings Support Understanding of Expository Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Nonfiction may be dull for some students, but this lesson helps them focus on the main ideas. Through awareness of section headings, students learn to sort and categorize main concepts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use the Semantic Impressions and Possible Sentences strategies to write about Patricia Polacco's books Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Egg, complete a character study, and write using a WebQuest.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Creating a New Book Cover      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore book covers of a variety of books then create a new cover for a book they have read.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Press Conference for Bud, Not Buddy       Add Bookmark
Description: Students read Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, demonstrate comprehension of the story by involving themselves in discussions, and analyze the characters in preparation for a class '' press conference.''
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Examining Story Elements Using Story Map Comic Strips      Add Bookmark
Description: Comic frames are traditionally used to illustrate a story in a short, concise format. In this lesson, students use a six-paneled comic strip frame to create a story map, summarizing a book or story that they've read. Each panel retells a particular detail or explains a literary element (such as setting or character) from the story.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson uses comic strip frames to define plot and reinforce the structure that underlies a narrative. Students finish by writing their own original narratives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: The Elements of Fiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students identify the elements of fiction in a book they have read and share summaries of them by writing and illustrating their own mini-book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Picture Books to Teach Setting Development in Writing Workshop      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use a graphic organizer to analyze setting development in picture books. They then apply what they have learned to their own writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Cinderella Folk Tales: Variations in Character      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students compare and contrast several versions of Cinderella stories told around the world to find differences and similarities in character traits. They define the essential qualities of a Cinderella tale and cite specific examples for support from at least two variations.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Fishing for Readers: Identifying and Writing Effective Opening '' Hooks''       Add Bookmark
Description: Good writers '' hook'' their readers in the very first sentences. In this lesson, students learn how to cast an attention-grabbing hook in their writing to effectively draw in readers' attention.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Writing and Role-Play to Engage the Reluctant Writer      Add Bookmark
Description: What does the world look like through a javelina's eyes? Students become javelinas in this lesson when they analyze a character and write from his or her perspective.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Charlotte is Wise, Patient, and Caring: Adjectives and Character Traits      Add Bookmark
Description: Students find examples of adjectives in a shared reading. Then students '' become'' major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using powerful adjectives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!      Add Bookmark
Description: The teacher shouts, '' Drop Everything and Read!'' and students settle into their seats to read books they've selected. This independent reading program helps students build a lifelong reading habit.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Writing Resumes for Characters in Historical Fiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write resumes for historical fiction characters. They first explore help wanted ads to see what employers want, and then draft resumes for the characters they've chosen.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Hooking a Reader with a Book Cover      Add Bookmark
Description: Students select a book to read based only on its cover art. After reading the book, they use an interactive tool to create a new cover for it.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore      Add Bookmark
Description: In this three lesson unit, from EDSITEment, students examine several examples of helpful animal tales from around the world and consider the relationship between human beings and the land and sea and the beasts that inhabit them. They recognize the motives for and types of aid the animals provide for humans, as well as discuss what happens if the humans are ungrateful for the aid.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Charting Characters for a More Complete Understanding of the Story      Add Bookmark
Description: Character Perspective Charting allows students to compare multiple characters and their points of view to better understand a story.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Comparing and Contrasting: Picturing an Organizational Pattern      Add Bookmark
Description: Using picture books as mentor texts, students learn effective strategies for organizing information that compares and contrasts. Students can then apply appropriate organizational strategies to their own papers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Bright Morning: Exploring Character Development in Fiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students work as a class to explore a character in a book they have read by identifying traits and finding textual references to support their choices.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Evaluating Using the Meeting of the Minds Technique      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the strategy of evaluating, using the Meeting of the Minds technique.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Behind the Scenes With Cinderella      Add Bookmark
Description: Cinderella without castles, coaches, or ball gowns? Students use versions of Cinderella to explore how the setting of a story time, place, and culture affects the characters and plot.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Research Building Blocks: Organize This!       Add Bookmark
Description: In this minilesson, students organize information they compile while doing research for a written report on a selected topic.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring the Subtext Strategy: Thinking Beyond the Text      Add Bookmark
Description: What is it like to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Students find out in this lesson in which they become the characters in Judith Viorst's book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 2,3,4



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies      Add Bookmark
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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