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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or English Language Arts (7), or Science (7)
Title: Shrinking Cell
Description: Students explore the form and function of cell organelles by using the interactive CELLS Alive website. Students create their own cell models by drawing them, writing an essay to compare and contrast plant and animal cells, then making a hands-on project model. 7th grade students make models of both the plant and animal cells using permanent markers and #6, square, clear, plastic, nacho tray, and #6, round, clear, plastic, salad trays, or lids. The CELLS Alive website is used for reviewing the organelles of the cell. After punching holes for hanging the models, the teacher shrinks the plastic cells in a toaster oven. The student models are displayed in the classroom.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 (7), or English Language Arts (5 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Understanding Comics
Description: Using the book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud as the primary resource, this unit focuses on comics as a tool for communication. Students participate in activities which include journal and essay writing, a graphic organizer, and a distance learning field trip.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Who's Who on Olympus and Why Should I Care?
Description: References to mythology extend far beyond the basic exploration of a genre. This unit will serve as an exploration of the creation myth across cultures, an introduction to the major Greek gods and goddesses, and an opportunity to link mythology to today's world. Students will research and create a newsletter on a creation myth and the culture from which it came. They will also plan and present a slideshow presentation about a major god or goddess of ancient Greece, including allusions to him/her in today's world.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 7), or English Language Arts (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Camelot Times: Writing a Newspaper
Description: As part of a unit on Arthurian literature and medieval culture, students imagine they are reporters living in the realm of King Arthur and create newsletters/newspapers based on their study and research.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (7 - 8), 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.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or 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


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Once Upon a Fairy Tale: Teaching Revision as a Concept      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use fractured fairy tales to practice revision and editing as separate activities when they write their own versions of fairy tales.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Character Clash: A Minilesson on Paragraphing and Dialogue      Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn about paragraphing conventions in dialogue by revising their own writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: E-pals Around the World      Add Bookmark
Description: With e-pals, students develop real-life writing and social experiences, learn the format of a friendly letter and parts of an e-mail message, and discover other cultures, languages, and geographic areas.
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: Literary Characters on Trial: Combining Persuasion and Literary Analysis      Add Bookmark
Description: Students stage a mock trial for a literary character, with groups of students acting as the prosecution, defense, and jury.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Every Punctuation Mark Matters: A Minilesson on Semicolons      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze stylistic choices and grammar use in authentic writing, focusing on the use of the semicolon in Martin Luther King Jr.'s '' Letter from Birmingham Jail.''
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares      Add Bookmark
Description: Students must think critically to create comic strips highlighting six important scenes from a book they have read.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: ABC Bookmaking Builds Vocabulary in the Content Areas      Add Bookmark
Description: V is for vocabulary. A content area unit provides the theme for a specialized ABC book, as students select, research, define, and illustrate a word for each alphabet letter.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: Inside or Outside? A Minilesson on Quotation Marks and More      Add Bookmark
Description: Students often question whether a punctuation mark goes inside or outside the quotation marks, especially when writing dialogue. This lesson helps students identify the conventions and apply them to their text.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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The Malone Family Foundation
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