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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (5)
Title: Who's Who?: Character Analysis Activity
Description: This character analysis activity is a technology based activity. This lesson would be the most beneficial at the beginning of the unit when the class is reading the book "Holes" by Louis Sachar. The students will create FlipCards to organize the main points for each character so they will be able to compare and contrast each of their roles.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Compare and Contrast: Okie Dokie! Let’s Make a Voki!
Description: This lesson is designed to help students compare and contrast two different characters in a story. Students will discuss two of the main characters of the book Shadow in small groups. Students will work with a partner to complete a graphic organizer documenting similarities and differences between Matt and Aman, the two main characters. After students complete a Venn Diagram with their partner, they will independently form scripts (using complete sentences) for their Voki characters.  Students will create and present their Vokis to the class. 


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 (4 - 5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Let's Trade
Description: Dr. Seuss has created many classics that students love. During this lesson, students will get the opportunity to share their favorite Dr. Seuss book and favorite character with their class by creating a trading card. Students will use their creativity to develop a trading card on the computer. At the end of the lesson, students will trade their cards with their friends.


Subject: 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.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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 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
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



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: A Tale of Two Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of two lessons, from Illuminations, focuses on on developing the process of classification, especially an awareness of similarities and differences. The activities use The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella to motivate students to think and reason mathematically.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Pigging Out      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson plan, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, is inspired by children s natural curiosity about fantasy and fairy tales and focuses on the process of classification, especially an awareness of similarities and differences. The activity uses The Three Little Pigs to motivate students to think and reason mathematically.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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: Visualizing Using the Sketch-to-Stretch Strategy      Add Bookmark
Description: Guided comprehension moves your middle-grade students beyond decoding to become successful, independent readers. The sketch-to-stretch strategy encourages students to use '' brain TV'' to help them understand a text through visualization.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Fables and Trickster Tales Around the World      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of four lessons, from EDSITEment, introduces students to folktales, such as fables and trickster tales, from around the world. Students become familiar with different folklore traditions and genres, as well as the process of the oral transmission of culture and history.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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: Q is for Duck: Using Alphabet Books With Struggling Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: A is for zoo? Q is for duck? The alphabet as students know it is transformed when students create a class book that contains clever associations for each letter of the alphabet.
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: Exploring Compare and Contrast Structure in Expository Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Students build their understanding of the terms compare and contrast by participating in class discussions, using Internet resources, working collaboratively, and by visually representing information in a Venn diagram.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Native Americans Today      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson challenges students' views of Native Americans as a vanished people by asking them to compare their prior knowledge with information they gather while reading about contemporary Native Americans.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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,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,Social Studies
Title: Cinderella Folk Tales: Variations in Plot and Setting      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 plot and setting. They then write a narrative--a Cinderella variation--with a plot appropriate to the genre and an original setting.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Historical Fiction to Learn About the Civil War      Add Bookmark
Description: Students in grades 4 and 5 discuss inferential comprehension and visualization as they use a think-aloud questioning strategy to develop a deeper understanding of a historical novel.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846.      Add Bookmark
Description: After exploring an exhibit online, students use the information they learned to write '' A Day in the Life'' narratives that tell about a person, animal, or object they saw in the exhibit.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Montgomery Ward published the first mail-order catalog in 1872.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore how and why catalogs have changed over the years and compare their findings about printed catalogs with online catalogs.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Wartime Poetry: Working With Similes      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze a photograph, brainstorm words to describe the characters' senses and feelings, work in pairs to describe a character's experience, and create a poem using their ideas and similes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Caldecott Medal-winner Virginia Lee Burton was born on this day in 1909.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students discuss similarities in Burton's illustrations and writing style in her many books, in addition to her use of personification.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Mapping Characters Across Book Series      Add Bookmark
Description: Students work on a guided characterization project, using a graphic map to illustrate the ways a character from a book series grows and evolves over the course of the story.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Science
Title: 'Leap, plashless'': Emily Dickinson and Poetic Imagination      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students read and explore one of Emily Dickinson's nature poems, A Bird came down the Walk--through interaction with other art forms. First, they listen to clips of a hymn to help them hear Dickinson's meter. Then, they view 19th-century bird images and describe what they see, just as a poet would. They observe how a poet plays with language and imagery to create a scene by acting out verse lines. Finally, they write a brief poem of their own, using what they have learned and their own observations.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: What's in a Mystery? Exploring and Identifying Mystery Elements      Add Bookmark
Description: Students identify the characteristics of mystery writing, outline a mystery story using a graphic organizer, write and revise their own mystery story, edit each other's work, and share their mysteries.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Once Upon a Time Rethought: Writing Fractured Fairy Tales      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read and analyze fairy tales, identifying their common elements. They then write their own fractured fairy tales by changing one of the literary elements found in the original.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in 1775.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use the Timeline Tool to organize details about Chapman's life, the Venn Diagram to organize information, and the Shape Poems Interactive to create poems about apples or Johnny Appleseed.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Inferring How and Why Characters Change      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will really get into character when they read short stories and analyze the how's and why's of characters behaviors.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Characters in Because of Winn-Dixie : Making Lists of Ten      Add Bookmark
Description: The list of ten things about Opal's absent mother that her father shares in Because of Winn-Dixie serves as inspiration for students to create their own lists describing literary characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Alter Egos and More with Avis '' Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway?''       Add Bookmark
Description: After reading Avi's novel '' Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway?'' , students create an alter ego for themselves and use it to write their own radio show, modeled after the book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Graphing Plot and Character in a Novel      Add Bookmark
Description: In this graphical mapping project, students assign a value to the events, characters, and themes in a novel and think about how the elements of the story are all interconnected.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5



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