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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (9 - 10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Book Talks
Description: This lesson is designed to give teachers and students an alternate approach to the traditional book report. "Book Talks" enable students to read a book and create a photostory presentation. Students will give example passages from the book and critique the story.


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 12)
Title: A Creative Twist to The Tragedy of Macbeth
Description: A Creative Twist to The Tragedy of Macbeth is a project that gives students an opportunity to express their understanding of Macbeth through their artistic ability. The activity appeals to the learning style of all students by allowing the students to establish their position as the reviewer of the play The Tragedy of Macbeth.


Subject: English Language Arts (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Devil and Tom Walker Newsletter
Description: Students will create a newsletter with information taken from the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker." Students will work in pairs and decide which parts of the newsletter each will be responsible for completing.   The finished newsletter will be published for the class to view.  


Subject: English Language Arts (9 - 10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Analyzing the Poetry of Emily Dickinson
Description: Students examine ways in which life events of a poet influence the poetry written. After researching Emily Dickinson's biography, students analyze her poetry and present a collage depicting one poem. The lesson can be easily adapted to the study of many other poets.


Subject: English Language Arts (9 - 11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: To Kill a Mockingbird: Building Knowledge
Description: As a conclusion to a class study of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, students create models and pictures based on the novel's descriptions to illustrate the effect of setting on plot and character.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: I've Got the Literacy Blues      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will be singing the blues in this lesson in which they identify themes from '' The Gift of the Magi'' and write and present blues poetry based on those themes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Varying Views of America      Add Bookmark
Description: Students work together to analyze three poems about America with varying points of view.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Kate Chopin's ''The Awakening'': Searching for Women and Identity in Chopin's ''The Awakening''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students examine how gender roles in nineteenth-century America affect the choices made by the central character in Kate Chopin's The Awakening. They analyze Edna Pontellier's character development specifically in relation to other characters in the novella and generally in relation to women's roles in 19th-century America.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: 'The Red Badge of Courage'': A New Kind of Realism      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students compare specific excerpts from Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage to first-hand accounts of Civil War battles, in text and images. They also list elements of Crane's style that contribute to the novel's realism. To conclude, they create a first-person account that employs the basic stylistic characteristics of The Red Badge of Courage.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Folklore in Zora Neale Hurston's ''Their Eyes Were Watching God''      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the way African-American author Zora Neale Hurston makes use of closely observed black folk life in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Students read the novel, research Hurston's own life and ethnography, listen to her WPA recordings of folksongs and folktales, and compare transcribed folk narrative texts with the novel itself.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Japanese Poetry: Tanka? You're Welcome!      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, contains three activities which use the Japanese poetic form of the tanka as a prompt for students to reflect on the nature and purpose of different poetic rules and devices. The activities involve a close study of the conventions and thematic concerns of tanka poems, opportunities for students to compose their own poems, and detailed structural analysis of selected tanka.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Foreign Languages,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Chinua Achebe's ''Things Fall Apart'': Oral and Literary Strategies      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to African novelist Chinua Achebe's first novel, Things Fall Apart, and to strategies of close reading and textual analysis. Through this lesson, students learn about Nigerian culture and history and compare African oral storytelling traditions with European linguistic and literary forms.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the Unreliable Narrator      Add Bookmark
Description: Students consider a variety of narrative stances in Edgar Allen Poe's short story, Tell Tale Heart, and Ambrose Bierce's An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. They examine how Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe used narration to create their intended effect in the reader.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Kate Chopin's ''The Awakening:'' No Choice but Under?      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, encourages students to explore the chronological and geographical context of Kate Chopin's The Awakening. This lesson serves both as an introduction to the curriculum unit--with its overarching themes, questions, and objectives--as well as a lesson on Chopin in context.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Philosophy,Social Studies
Title: Profiles in Courage: ''To Kill a Mockingbird'' and the Scottsboro Boys Trial       Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students study select court transcripts and other primary source material from the Scottsboro Boys Trial of 1933, in which two young white women wrongfully accused nine African-American youths of rape. Students then consider how an awareness of this historical event vivifies Tom Robinson's story in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Philosophy,Social Studies
Title: Profiles in Courage: Harper Lee's ''To Kill a Mockingbird''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students read Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird carefully with an eye for all instances of courage, but particularly those of moral courage. They then consider how To Kill A Mockingbird frames issues of courage and cowardice against the backdrop of the American South in the 1930s.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Faulkner's ''As I Lay Dying'': Form of a Funeral      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of five lessons, from EDSITEment, features lessons exploring the narrative voices and social concerns in William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying. In these lessons, students explore Faulkner's place in American literary history, research Faulkner's Southin the context of the historical South, and understand the use of multiple voices in narration.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Faulkner's ''As I Lay Dying'': Family Voices In ''As I Lay Dying''      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, introduces students to William Faulkner's use of multiple narrative voices in his novel As I Lay Dying. Students examine the Bundren family through the subjective evidence provided by a multiplicity of characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Faulkner's ''As I Lay Dying'': Burying Addie's Voice      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, introduces students William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying. Students consider the role of Addie Bundren, the effect she has on the other characters, and the impact created by Faulkner's use of multiple narrative perspectives on revelation of character and exploration of themes.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Faulkner's ''As I Lay Dying'': Concluding the Novel      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, introduces students to William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying. Students consider the novel as a whole, reflect on its symbolism and the author's purposes, and discuss possible interpretations of the novel and its characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Faulkner's ''As I Lay Dying'': Crossing the River      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, introduces students to William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying. Students consider the symbolism of the river crossing in this novel and how Faulkner's use of multiple narrative perspectives relates to the author's thematic concerns.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Letters from Emily Dickinson: In Emily Dickinson's Own Words -- Letters and Poems      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, helps students learn how to develop a distinctive voice in writing, and then to modify that voice for different audiences. Students read Emily Dickinson's poetry in context with her personal correspondences to help them grasp how Dickinson perceived herself and her poetry, and consider the ways in which a writer constructs a supposed person.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Letters from Emily Dickinson: Responding to Emily Dickinson -- Poetic Analysis      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, challenges students to explore Dickinson's poem Safe in their Alabaster Chambers, both as it was published and as it developed through Dickinson's correspondence with her sister-in-law Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson. By reading the manuscripts, students gain insight into the process of Emily Dickinson's craft. At the same time, they are able to rethink the commonly held notions that she was a recluse who wrote purely in isolation.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Censorship in the Classroom: Understanding Controversial Issues      Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine propaganda and media bias, research a variety of banned and challenged books, choose a side of the censorship issue, and support their position through an advertising campaign.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring Cross-Age Tutoring Activities With Lewis and Clark      Add Bookmark
Description: Interaction and adventure draws high school and elementary school students together as they analyze stories about the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Become a Character: Adjectives, Character Traits, and Perspective      Add Bookmark
Description: Students '' become'' one of the major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using lists of accurate, powerful adjectives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama      Add Bookmark
Description: In this alternative to the traditional book report, students respond to a play they have read by creating a resume for one of its characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Spend a Day in My Shoes: Exploring the Role of Perspective in Narrative      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students imagine spending a day in someone else's shoes. After reviewing the characteristics of narrative writing, they then write narratives from that person's point of view.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Unlocking the Underlying Symbolism and Themes of a Dramatic Work      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson plan invites students to consider characters from Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. Students explore a selected character and write poems about objects associated with that character.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Weaving the Multigenre Web      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze the elements of a novel in many different genres and then hyperlink these pieces together on student-constructed Websites.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Making Connections to Myth and Folktale: The Many Ways to Rainy Mountain       Add Bookmark
Description: Following the model of N. Scott Momaday's The Way To Rainy Mountain, students write three-voice narratives based on Kiowa folktales, an interview with an Elder, and personal connections to theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Seuss and Silverstein: Posing Questions, Presenting Points      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will enjoy this blast from the past as they read the works of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein to analyze the way social issues are addressed in selected works.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Renaissance Humanism in Hamlet and The Birth of Venus       Add Bookmark
Description: After reading Shakespeare's Hamlet, students identify, analyze, and explain how elements in Botticelli's painting Birth of Venus and examples from the play illustrate the philosophy of Renaissance Humanism.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts - Reading - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Reading Between the Lines      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from Xpeditions, helps students evaluate news stories by determining their sources and recognizing biases or viewpoints. In order to become well-informed adults, it is a good idea for students to develop the habit of reading the news and keeping informed on important topics, such as geography, the environment, and world events. With the overwhelming amount of information available both in print and online, it is important that students learn to read news stories with a critical eye.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Hawthorne: Author and Narrator      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students come to recognize the difference between a narrator and an author, and explore the impact of an author's personal history on his or her creative life, particularly in the context of American society. The focus is on Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Mark Twain and American Humor      Add Bookmark
Description: In lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students analyze the use of literary conventions and devices to develop character and point of view in Mark Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. They investigate the purposes and significance of literary humor and examine Mark Twain's storytelling style in relation to that of other American humorists.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Perspectives on the Slave Narrative      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to one of the most widely-read genres of 19th-century American literature and an important influence within the African American literary tradition even today. The lesson focuses on the Narrative of William W. Brown, An American Slave(1847), which, along with the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass(1845), set the pattern for this genre and its combination of varied literary traditions and devices. Students learn about the slave narrative and its importance in the abolitionist movement, gain experience in working with the slave narrative as a resource for historical study, evaluate the slave narrative as a work of literature, examine the slave narrative in the context of political controversy as an argument for abolition, and explore themes of self-actualization and spiritual freedom within the slave narrative.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Walt Whitman's Notebooks and Poetry: The Sweep of the Universe      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students read the poetry of Walt Whitman to determine how he attempts to combine universal themes with individual experiences and feelings. Additionally, students reflect on how Whitman used his experiences in the Civil War in his poetry.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the idea of democratic poetry by reading Whitman's words in a variety of media, examining daguerreotypes taken circa 1850, and comparing the poetic concepts and techniques behind Whitman's I Hear America Singing and Langston Hughes Let America Be America Again. Finally, using similar poetic concepts and techniques, students have an opportunity create a poem from material in their own experience.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the Unreliable Biographers      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students become literary sleuths, attempting to separate biographical reality from myth. They also become careful critics, taking a stand on whether extra-literary materials such as biographies and letters should influence the way readers understand a writer's texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Pioneer Values in Willa Cather's ''My Antonia''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students learn about the social and historical context of Willa Cather's My Antonia. They work in groups to explore Cather's commentary on fortitude, hard work, faithfulness, and other values that we associate with pioneer life.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: 'The Red Badge of Courage'': A New Kind of Courage      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the values of courage and patriotism in Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. They closely read Chapter 23 and compare it with a more traditional tale of combat and a systematic look at an early reviewer's accusations. Using their new understanding, students are asked to select one of three published endings to The Red Badge of Courage best suited to their understanding of Crane's exploration of values in the novel.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Critical Ways of Seeing ''The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' in Context      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, asks students to combine Internet historical research with critical reading. They then produce several writing assignments exploring what readers see in Huckleberry Finn and why they see it that way.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Style: Defining and Exploring an Author's Stylistic Choices      Add Bookmark
Description: Students find examples of specific stylistic devices in sample literary passages then search for additional examples and explore the reasons for the stylistic choices that the author has made.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Style: Translating Stylistic Choices from Hawthorne to Hemingway and Back Again      Add Bookmark
Description: After exploring the styles of two authors, students translate passages from one author into the style of another. They then translate fables into the style of one of the authors.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson uses concrete poems to explore the connection between a poem's layout and its meaning. While appropriate any time of year, the lesson is especially topical near Columbus Day.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: From Courage to Freedom: Frederick Douglass's 1845 Autobiography      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment unit of three lessons, students read Frederick Douglass's 1845 slave narrative, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. They analyze Douglass's vivid first-hand accounts of the lives of slaves and the behavior of slave owners to see how he successfully contrasts reality with romanticism and powerfully uses imagery, irony, connotative and denotative language, strong active verbs, repetition, and rhetorical appeals to persuade the reader of slavery's evil. Students also identify and discuss Douglass's acts of physical and intellectual courage on his journey towards freedom. This curriculum unit incorporates primary source material from EDSITEment-reviewed Web sites. The curriculum unit introduces three individual lesson plans.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: From Courage to Freedom: Slavery's Dehumanizing Effects      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students read Frederick Douglass's 1845 slave narrative, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. They explore Douglass's argument that slavery is not only dehumanizing to the slave, but to the slave-owner as well.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Word Maps: Developing Critical and Analytical Thinking About Literary Characters      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read '' After Twenty Years'' by O. Henry, use a word map to identify characters' qualities or traits, discuss the characters' feelings and actions, and reflect upon these in journals.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Introducing the Essay: Twain, Douglass, and American Non-Fiction      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students read and analyze essays by Frederick Douglass and Mark Twain. They explore the various methods for writing essays and their basis in rhetorical tradition. They also learn effective strategies for writing essays and argumentative prose. They study the persuasive appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos, and then apply these rhetorical strategies to essay writing projects of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Recognizing Similes: Fast as a Whip      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students build on their basic understanding of similes and begin to engage with similes on a deeper and more abstract level. They read excerpts from the work of Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, and Toi Derricotte in order to gain an understanding of similes. They then create their own similes in order to learn how to apply this tool to their own writing projects.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Stephen Crane's ''The Open Boat''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students examine the relationship of man and nature as portrayed in Stephen Crane's short story, The Open Boat. This story remains one of Crane's best works and a wonderful example of American literary naturalism. As they study the story, students critically examine the relationship of man and nature in the story, learn about third-person omniscient point of view, conduct in-depth character analysis, and explore the depth of emotion evoked by Crane.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Crane, London, and Literary Naturalism      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students learn the key characteristics that comprise American literary naturalism as they explore the work of Stephen Crane and Jack London, who wrote about city life, social class, industry, and in two memorable short stories, the callous indifference of nature. Students explore Crane's The Open Boat and London's To Build a Fire. Two additional pieces of literature appropriate for use with this lesson are suggested.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Literary Humor      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students study Nathaniel Hawthorne's story, Dr. Heidegger's Experiment. They then compare it to the work of other American literary humorists in order to gain perspective on each writer's brand of humor.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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