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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (6)
Title: Glog a Plot
Description: Students will use the Web 2.0 tool Glogster at glogster.com to create a book report, or the tool may be used to create a summary poster for a short story. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 7)
Title: What Next? There’s a Hoarder Living Next Door!
Description: This interactive lesson provides students with an opportunity to evaluate how the use of language and wordplay emphasize the theme presented in Shel Silverstein’s humorous poem, "Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout, Wouldn’t Take the Garbage Out." Students will close read the poem and explain how the use of alliteration, hyperbole, and strong imagery assist in revealing the tone, characters, and theme. By the end of the lesson, students will have a conceptual knowledge of the distinction between alliteration and hyperbole and be able to identify explicit examples from the text.  This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6)
Title: Socratic Seminar About Non-Conformity
Description: Students will participate in a Socratic Seminar to discuss the idea of non- conformity as a relative theme in the novel Stargirl.  Students will refer to text annotations and class discussions (completed TPFASTT optional) to make contributions to the student led discussion.   This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or 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 English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Christopher Paul Curtis and His Books: Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Description: This interdisciplinary lesson on two books by C.P. Curtis features students in one classroom (or group) reading one of the books while the other class (or group) reads the other novel. Each class then divides into groups and researches the time period of its novel and develops presentations designed to encourage the reading of the second novel. These presentations are then presented to the other class.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or 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.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Reading Buddies
Description: Students will increase reading and writing proficiency and heighten interest in reading through this Reading Buddy program. During this two-week unit each middle school student will use technology tools to create an original holiday theme book and present it to an elementary student in the community. The student will also read aloud a library book and develop a hands-on activity to coincide with the theme.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Identifying the Elements of Plot in a Short Story
Description: Students become motivated readers as they read, comprehend, and interpret a short story. Students present plot diagrams in slideshows and additional information about the author in a brochure.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: From Here to Narnia
Description: This lesson will provide eighth grade Language Arts students with an inquiry-based research project based on C. S. Lewis' classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The student will determine the author's purpose in writing this story. This will be accomplished by researching material using the Alabama Virtual Library and Gale Resources.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Critical Discussion of Social Issues      Add Bookmark
Description: Through a series of picture book read-alouds, students engage in critical discussion of complex issues of race, class, and gender.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Poet's Voice: Langston Hughes and You      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of seven lessons, from EDSITEment, introduces students to a poet's voice. Students develop a general definition of voice in poetry, and analyze and appreciate the poetic voice of Langston Hughes in particular. Included are writing and discussion activities, in which students either write a poem expressing their own voice (as developed in a journal), or write about one of the qualities of Langston Hughes's poetic voice (as explored in class discussion).
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: Using the Four-Square Strategy to Define and Identify Poetic Terms      Add Bookmark
Description: How do poets play with language? Students will explore some answers to this question as they search through poems for examples of alliteration, assonance, simile, and rhyme.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Scaffolding Comprehension Strategies Using Graphic Organizers      Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn collaborative strategic reading (CSR). During and after reading, students apply four reading strategies preview, click and clunk, get the gist, and wrap-up and use graphic organizers for scaffolding.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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: In 1870, the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad was completed.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students access the National Park Service website and look at the webpage '' The Last Spikes.'' Students explore different accounts of what happened as the railroad neared completion and discuss the nature of ceremonies.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Press Conference for Bud, Not Buddy       Add Bookmark
Description: Students read Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, demonstrate comprehension of the story by involving themselves in discussions, and analyze the characters in preparation for a class '' press conference.''
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Pictures in Words: Poems of Tennyson and Noyes      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore how poets Tennyson and Noyes use words to paint vivid and memorable pictures. They describe how word pictures emphasize or qualify the meanings of their poems.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The Big Bad Wolf: Analyzing Point of View in Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Was the Big Bad Wolf really all that bad? This lesson encourages students to analyze multiple viewpoints, view texts from different angles, and recognize gaps in narrative.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Mathematics
Title: Can It Be?      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 The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, and then explore and interpret the concept of averages.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: The Statue of Liberty: Bringing the ''New Colossus'' to America      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students learn about the effort to convince a skeptical American public to contribute to the effort to erect a pedestal and to bring the Statue of Liberty to New York. The activities in this lesson guide students through an investigation of primary historical documents and an analysis of the poem The New Colossus, written by the nineteenth-century poet Emma Lazarus.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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: Using QARs to Develop Comprehension and Reflective Reading Habits      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are introduced to question-answer relationships (QARs). Using the QAR strategy, students identify different types of questions and learn how to determine the appropriate response for each question type.
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: The Reading Performance: Understanding Fluency Through Oral Interpretation      Add Bookmark
Description: Students discuss prosody, gain a new appreciation for literature intended for oral performance, and participate in activities that instill the value of technology in shaping their appreciation of literature.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: Language Arts
Title: Ursula K. LeGuin was born on this day in 1929.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine realistic and non-realistic elements of a familiar fantasy story of their choice.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Guided Comprehension: Monitoring Using the INSERT Technique      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 monitoring.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein was published in 1974.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are introduced to a Silverstein verse and asked for their impressions. They then draw that they imagine when they read one of his lines and then write a line or two to continue the passage.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Today is World Poetry Day.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read and respond to Billy Collins' poem '' Introduction to Poetry.'' Students then write about a favorite poem and imagine the perfect way to read it.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: He Said/She Said: Analyzing Gender Roles through Dialogue      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze dialogue tags used with male and female characters in a book they have read. They then evaluate the message the dialogue tags convey about gender roles.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Jack London's ''The Call of the Wild'': ''Nature Faker''?      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students analyze Jack London's The Call of the Wild. They take a stand on whether London can be called a nature faker and on what he is attempting to communicate through his portrayal of Buck. They support their stands with historical evidence or evidence from the text. Finally, students write an essay, complete with hypothesis and textual support, on London's approach to the animal story in The Call of the Wild.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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: 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
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: 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: Guided Comprehension: Self-Questioning Using Question-Answer Relationships      Add Bookmark
Description: Guided comprehension moves your students beyond decoding to become independent readers. Generating questions to guide reading helps readers make connections with the text and supports independent comprehension of new texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Analyzing Advice as an Introduction to Shakespeare      Add Bookmark
Description: Popular culture provides an introduction to Shakespeare's poetic devices in this lesson, which asks students to explore an excerpt from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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