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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 6), or Social Studies (3 - 5)
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 (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.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Reading, Writing, and Sounder
Description: The activities included in this lesson plan require the reading of William Armstrong's Sounder. This technology-based lesson fosters critical thinking and includes journal writing, student-led discussions with another class via video conferencing, vocabulary development, and persuasive writing.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Escape to Freedom
Description: Students will read Number the Stars by Lois Lowrey. This novel about World War II, the Holocaust, and heroism, provides the topic for an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary lesson. Students will utilize their skills in technology and research to learn why there are dictators like Hitler, followers like the Nazis, and people from all walks of life who endanger their lives for the good of others.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Identifying Sequence of Events Using Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Description: After listening to a reading of Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck, students use graphic organizers and comic strips to practice sequencing. In a fun activity, small groups follow directions to make oobleck.


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What's in Your Secret Garden?
Description: After reading F.H. Burnett's The Secret Garden, students create their own secret gardens and design a slideshow presentation of their gardens to share with the class.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: An Author Study: Christopher Paul Curtis and his novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Description: This five-day lesson will introduce the students to the author of the novel as the beginning of a unit. The students will conduct research to obtain biographical information about the author and read/analyze summaries and critiques of the author's writing. Finally, the students will create brochures or flyers to highlight the author as a guest at a mock author's conference.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: "What Happened Next?"--Sequencing With The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
Description: This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn and practice the skill of sequencing. Students also improve in comprehension skills, previewing and predicting skills, and drawing conclusions.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Internalization of Vocabulary Through the Use of a Word Map      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Choosing, Chatting, and Collecting: Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Get the Gist: A Summarizing Strategy for Any Content Area      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Student Contracting      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using a Word Journal to Create a Personal Dictionary      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Poems That Tell a Story: Narrative and Persona in the Poetry of Robert Frost      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Arts,Language Arts
Title: Childhood Through the Looking-Glass      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Boston Tea Party: Costume Optional?      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Constitutional Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have Met      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Constitutional Convention: What the Founding Fathers Said      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Why Do We Remember Revere? Paul Revere's Ride in History and Literature      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Expository Escapade Detectives Handbook      Add Bookmark
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



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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Finding Figurative Language in The Phantom Tollbooth       Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: Contemporary Proverbs      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Beyond the Story: A Dickens of a Party      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Scaling Back to Essentials: Scaffolding Summarization With Fishbone Mapping      Add Bookmark
Description: Students work in pairs and groups as they complete fishbone maps that highlight main ideas and relevant details from a cause-effect text and then write summaries of content area texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reading and Analyzing Multigenre Texts      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Timelines and Texts: Motivating Students to Read Nonfiction      Add Bookmark
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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Girls Read: Online Literature Circles      Add Bookmark
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



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: 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



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