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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (4 - 7)
Title: Interactive Poetry - Learning Poetic Elements and Structure Through Exploration
Description: This is an online exploration poetry lesson.  Students will navigate through the interactive PowerPoint presentation and complete different tasks while acquiring knowledge on the various aspects of poetry. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6)
Title: Live at Five! The Devil's Arithmetic  Newscast/ Podcast
Description: Four to Five person teams will be created to research and present an in-depth TV news special about the Holocaust for the Passover Seder holiday.  Students will conduct research and assume a specific task of their news team to present a main story in a newscast/Podcast. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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)
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 (4 - 6), or English Language Arts (4 - 6), or Social Studies (4)
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 (6), or English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Escape to Freedom
Description: Students will read Number the Stars by Lois Lowrey. This novel about World War II, the Holocaust, and heroism, provides the topic for an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary lesson. Students will utilize their skills in technology and research to learn why there are dictators like Hitler, followers like the Nazis, and people from all walks of life who endanger their lives for the good of others.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Black Poetry Day is celebrated.      Add Bookmark
Description: Books and webpages are gathered that focus on the work of African American poets and students explore the resources and find a poem to contribute to a poetry reading.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Childhood Remembrances: Life and Art Intersect in Nikki Giovanni's Nikki-Rosa       Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore what Carol Jago calls the place where life and art intersect by reading Nikki Giovanni's poem, Nikki-Rosa, and then writing about childhood memories of their own.
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: Social Studies,Language Arts,Arts
Title: The World of Haiku      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the traditions and conventions of haiku, comparing this classic form of Japanese poetry to a related genre of Japanese visual art and composing haiku of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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: Making Personal and Cultural Connections Using A Girl Named Disaster       Add Bookmark
Description: Struggling to survive is one of the many themes explored in A Girl Named Disaster. As students read, they look for connections between themselves and the main character, Nhamo.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: April is National Poetry Month!      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are assigned to be '' poets of the day'' and are provided several models to create, illustrate, and present their different poems to the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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
Title: Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the effects of stereotypes by analyzing children's books. Then they create bookmarks that encourage readers to question the assumptions of stereotyped books and to seek out matching, balanced texts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Doodle Splash: Using Graphics to Discuss Literature      Add Bookmark
Description: Students keep a doodle journal while reading short stories by a common author. In small groups, students then combine their doodles into a graphic representation of the text.
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: 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,Mathematics
Title: The Celebrated Jumping Frog      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from Illuminations, students participate in games and activities that develop concepts of measurement and statistics. Using the story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calveras County by Mark Twain, students simulate a jumping-frog contest and determine the distances jumped. Students then record the distance of individual jumps in centimeters and determine the total distance and the official distance. Students compare the range and median of the total distances with those of the official distances of the group.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
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: Today is St. Patrick's Day.      Add Bookmark
Description: St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by reading Irish folk tales and using the Story Map tool to create a graphic organizer and see what characteristics are unique to Irish tales.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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,Social Studies
Title: Metaphorical Gold: Mining the Gold Rush for Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students research the Gold Rush era to provide authentic background for their own fictional prose. By mining online databases for primary texts and period photographs, students can explore the Klondike Stampede and glean from their visit sufficient period details to help them create their own narratives based on the Gold Rush. While the emphasis of this lesson is on history and research rather than literature, selections from Jack London's The Call of the Wild are used to provide focus and structure for students research in online databases of primary sources, and to serve as models of vivid narrative prose for students own stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reading and Writing Workshop: Freak the Mighty       Add Bookmark
Description: Students use a variety of reading and writing strategies as they read Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts, Social Studies
Title: What Makes a Poem an Epic?      Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from an EDSITEment lesson, prompts students to identify examples of the epic hero cycle from a story with which they are familiar.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: What Am I? Teaching Poetry through Riddles      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore figurative language in poetry by reading and writing riddle poems.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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,Mathematics
Title: Mathematics and Children's Literature      Add Bookmark
Description: In this five-lesson unit, from Illuminations, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children s literature. Five pieces of literature are applied to teaching a wide range of topics in the mathematics curriculum, from sorting and classifying to the meaning of averages.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: K,PreK,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8



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: Read a book! The third week of October is Teen Read Week.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are encouraged to read a variety of books and participate in a book club in celebration of Teen Read Week.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: An Introduction      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are introduced to proverbs and explore how proverbs are often tied to a cultures values and everyday experience, although their meanings are not always readily apparent to us today.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read a poem by a Native American, explore Native American culture and then create a Website that explains words and phrases from the poem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: Poet William Blake was born in 1757.      Add Bookmark
Description: As a class, students brainstorm abstract concepts and personify that concept through a drawing or story told about the character who personifies that concept.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: In the Poet's Shoes: Performing Poetry and Building Meaning      Add Bookmark
Description: Students take poetic license when they interpret William Carlos William's poem '' The Red Wheelbarrow'' to help create a poem of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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