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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Arts Education (1 - 3), or English Language Arts (1 - 3)
Title: Where Did My Sunflowers Van Gogh?
Description: Students will read about the life of Vincent Van Gogh and observe how the events of his life shaped his art.  Students will view various works by the artist and evaluate the changes in them.  Students will then create a still life sunflower portrait interpretation based on the works of Vincent Van Gogh. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: What in the World is Wrong with Sammy? Making Predictions and Create a Story with a new character.
Description: This lesson provides students with the technology-based project researching Guinea Pigs. The trade book, Sammy, the Classroom Guinea Pig, will be used to make predictions.The students will use the facts from their research to create a story about Guinea Pigs and use themselves as a character in the story.


Subject: English Language Arts (2 - 3), or English Language Arts (2 - 3), or Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Play the Dewey Decimal System Game
Description: This lesson introduces the 10 main categories used in the Dewey Decimal Classification System for non-fiction bookshelf arrangement. A slideshow will be presented to students to help them learn details about the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Students will be able to demonstrate what they learn through participating in an interactive game.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Proper Noun Race
Description: During this lesson, students will review nouns and identify common and proper nouns in context. A short story will be written using both types of nouns. An interactive Internet site will be used to reinforce the lesson.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Mathematics (3)
Title: A Math and Language Arts lesson: Introduction to Division
Description: The lesson will help students develop an initial understanding of division and clarify how the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division relate to and are separate from each other. The lesson begins with a brainstorming discussion which builds background and fosters comprehension. A big book, The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins, is used along with manipulatives to provide instruction at concrete and pictorial levels. Students will demonstrate what they have learned by writing a short story incorporating simple division.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Social Studies (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Settling the West: Westward Expansion
Description: During this lesson, students will have the opportunity to experience the westward expansion through literature and the Internet. By creating a brochure and a slideshow presentation, students will become aware of the difficulties people faced through their travels.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Dewey Decimal Classification System Mural
Description: Students will select a book from an assigned section in the non-fiction area of the library. After reading the books, students will write a paragraph that summarizes the content area of the book. Students will illustrate the book that they read. Students will construct a mural by gluing their illustrations under the corresponding Dewey Decimal Classification. Students will make an oral presentation to the class in which they talk about the book they read.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3)
Title: Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
Description: This lesson is part of a week-long unit. It focuses on the pre-reading phase of guided reading. It aims to activate prior knowledge, preview vocabulary, and set a purpose for reading. This book deals with a very sensitive issue that most children know little or nothing about, homeless people. In a non-judgmental way the author shows how a father and son deal with the situation. The story leaves the reader with hope that someday father and son and all other homeless people will again have a home.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3)
Title: Dr. Seuss on the Loose: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
Description: In Dr. Seuss’ first published children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Marco, inspired by the passing of a horse and wagon, imagines a series of increasingly incredible sights on his way home from school. This story provides a springboard for discussing the concepts of honesty, imagination, and creativity and for exploring the difference between dishonesty and creativity. Students will learn to recognize when it is appropriate to weave an elaborate tale and when it is not.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Just Plain Living
Description: Students work through a teacher-prepared Webquest in order to learn about the art, food, shelter, clothing, etc. of the Plains Indians. Internet resources are used to collect information in order to make group presentations to the class. Students have the opportunity to decide among several projects to complete in order to demonstrate what they have learned.


Subject: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Learning about Cinquains
Description: After reading/hearing Junie B. First Grader Cheater Pants by Barbara Park and discussing the concept of cheating, following directions, and poetry, students write cinquains and publish a class booklet.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Larger than Life
Description: Students will write a tall tale narrative including larger than life characters with unusual skills or abilities using exaggeration, humor, surprise endings, and story elements (setting, characters, conflict, resolution).


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Genre Study of Letters With The Jolly Postman       Add Bookmark
Description: Students read The Jolly Postman, in which a postman delivers letters to storybook characters. They explore different types of mail and categorize letters from the book and their own mail.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Knowing How Words Work Using Semantic Feature Analysis      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of knowing how words work.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



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: Readers Theatre      Add Bookmark
Description: Students develop scripts, perform, and use their voices to depict characters from texts, giving them the opportunity to develop fluency and further enhance comprehension of what they are reading.
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: Biographies: Creating Timelines of a Life      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson students explore a number of sources to create a biographical timeline about a selected person. Students collaboratively research and resolve conflicting information they find during their investigation.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Science Texts to Teach the Organizational Features of Nonfiction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore organizational features of nonfiction science. Students then work together to create a two-page spread using those features to present information about their local environment.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Thundering Tall Tales: Using Read-Aloud as a Springboard to Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Imagination and application are key to this tall tale lesson in which students take what they know about tall tales to spin a yarn of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Technical Reading and Writing Using Board Games      Add Bookmark
Description: Students celebrate a novel they have read and get hands-on experience with technical writing by creating a board game based on the novel and writing the instructions for it.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: On This Day with Lewis and Clark      Add Bookmark
Description: This five-lesson unit, from EDSITEment, is designed to help students appreciate the immensity and mystery of the mission Lewis and Clark accepted. As experts investigating specific subjects assigned to Lewis by President Jefferson, students conduct careful research. Reading brief diary entries of the men of the Corps sparks the interest of students as they relive the discoveries of the original participants.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy for Small-Group Guided Reading      Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn about the process of questioning and using webs to organize information during reading and then practice writing factual and inferential questions.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Making Beds      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children s literature. They listen to the story How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller and then explore the need for a standard unit of measure.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: November is National American Indian Heritage Month.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore Native American heritage through the study of pourquoi tales, write their own original pourquoi tales, and use the ReadWriteThink Printing Press to publish them.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Acquiring New Vocabulary Through Book Discussion Groups      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson employs direct instruction and small-group discussion to help students learn new vocabulary skills while reading Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Question and Answer Books--From Genre Study to Report Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: After exploring several question and answer books on a variety of topics, students research a topic and create their own class question and answer book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Creating a Classroom Newspaper      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write authentic newspaper stories, including learning about various aspects of newspapers, such as writing an article, online articles, newspaper reading habits, and layout and design techniques.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Edward Stratemeyer, creator of book series such as Nancy Drew, was born on this day in 1862.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students select several books from one of Stratemeyer's series to read, discuss shared elements in the books, and use the 3-Circle Venn Diagram to compare story elements.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Snowflake Bentley as a Framing Text for Multigenre Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Using Snowflake Bentley as a model, students create a working definition of multigenre text and then use that definition to create their own multigenre piece about winter or another theme.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Voting! What's It All About?      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore a variety of sources for information about voting. They evaluate the information to determine if it is fact or opinion, and then create a graffiti wall about voting.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: Guided Comprehension: Previewing Using an Anticipation Guide      Add Bookmark
Description: Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of previewing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Shapes Art      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children s literature. They listen to the poem Shapes from Shel Silverstein s A Light in the Attic and then recognize, draw, and describe geometric figures.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Demonstrating Comprehension Through Journal Writing      Add Bookmark
Description: Students demonstrate comprehension by responding to open-ended questions based on the Newbery Honor book Mr. Popper's Penguins, and then draw from the text and their personal experiences to create journals.
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: Investigating Junk Mail: Negotiating Critical Literacy at the Mailbox      Add Bookmark
Description: Students increase their media literacy skills by critically examining and revising junk mail.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Author Lois Duncan was born on this date in 1934.      Add Bookmark
Description: Mysteries are shared with students for them to solve and brainstorm the attributes of a good mystery. Small groups then compose short mysteries using the Mystery Cube.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text      Add Bookmark
Description: Tradition and technology come together in this lesson in which students learn about Alaskan animals through Native American tales and their own online research.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Prediction as a Prereading Strategy      Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn about and apply the prediction strategy while reading a trade book. They use response journals to record questions and responses based on prereading predictions.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Author Study: Improving Reading Comprehension Using Inference and Comparison      Add Bookmark
Description: Reading between the lines can be as crucial to comprehension as understanding the words on the page. Through guided author studies, students experience the benefits and the limitations of inference.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Find favorite book picks in the Children's Choices.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create lists of their favorite books and then the class creates a '' Top Picks'' class booklist. Students can use the Book Cover Creator to create a book jacket for their favorite book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6



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