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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Social Studies (6)
Title: Life Then and Now
Description: Students have read the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and will compare and contrast the relationship of the blacks and whites in 1930s to the relationship of blacks and whites in 2013. 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), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What Was So Depressing About the Great Depression?
Description: This lesson focuses on the effects of the Great Depression on American life in the period from 1929-1940. Students learn about changes in art, music and literature that symbolize life of the everyday man. Students also learn about the causes that lead to the Great Depression.


Subject: 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 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: Today is Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko's birthday.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students revive elements of the oral tradition by writing about something funny that happened to them recently, sharing with classmates, and discussing the changes that occur during the retelling of the stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: National Public Radio began broadcasting in 1971.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students make predictions about the content of some of NPR's programs, then listen to the programs and report on the contents and discuss with the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Author Garc -a M rquez was born on this day.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students take place in a collaborative creative writing activity to begin to understand the hallmarks of the literary style known as magical realism.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



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: ' Black Beauty'' author Anna Sewell was born in 1820.      Add Bookmark
Description: Through Sewell's novel, students explore the cruelty to animals and extend the discussion to current events, eventually presenting the information.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites      Add Bookmark
Description: An Observation and Inquiry Sheet guides students as they analyze and compare their reactions to the value, engagement, and credibility of three websites related to Anne Frank and the Holocaust.
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: 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: 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: Book Report Alternative: Summary, Symbol, and Analysis in Bookmarks      Add Bookmark
Description: Students make bookmarks on computers and share their ideas with other readers at their school, while practicing summarizing, recognizing symbols, and writing reviews all for an authentic audience.
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,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: 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: 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
Title: Cosmic Oranges: Observation and Inquiry Through Descriptive Writing and Art      Add Bookmark
Description: Students will eat up this lesson about oranges as they practice the skills that help them investigate and make detailed observations for descriptive purposes.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Heroes Around Us      Add Bookmark
Description: Students select, read about, and report on a hero and then identify how their hero matches certain criteria and characteristics. Hero reports are then compiled into a class book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Story Character Homepage      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze personal homepages, as well as a character in a book they have read, and then create a homepage for the character.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Using Word Webs to Teach Synonyms for Commonly Used Words      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use word webs to choose synonyms for generic adjectives and to learn to adjust their word usage for different contexts.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm the superstitions they know and small groups research one of the superstitions to determine its origin and meaning or purpose. Students can write about the superstition using the Mystery Cube interactive.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Who Were the Foremothers of Women's Equality?       Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, introduces students to the achievements of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the foremothers of women's equality. By studying a variety of primary historical materials, students also learn about some of the lesser-known activists who fought alongside Stanton and Anthony in the formative Women's Rights Movement.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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
Title: Myth and Truth: The First Thanksgiving       Add Bookmark
Description: By exploring myths surrounding the Wampanoag, the pilgrims, and the '' First Thanksgiving,'' this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed myths regarding the Wampanoag Indians in colonial America.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are encouraged to think about why people challenge Harry Potter books, do a Web Quest that allows them to research the issue, and decide whether the books should be banned from the public library.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Action Is Character: Exploring Character Traits with Adjectives      Add Bookmark
Description: Students must '' become'' a character in a novel in order to describe themselves and other characters using powerful adjectives.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 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: Battling for Liberty: Tecumseh's and Patrick Henry's Language of Resistance      Add Bookmark
Description: Students study Patrick Henry's '' Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death'' speech and the ways Native Americans also resisted oppression through rhetoric and action.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Avalanche, Aztek, or Bravada? A Connotation Minilesson      Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine familiar car names for underlying connotations then proceed through a series of steps, increasing their control over language, until they select words with powerful connotations in their own writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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
Title: Proverbs: At Home and around the World      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, students work with proverbs from home and from around the world, exploring how these maxims are tied to a cultures values and everyday experience.
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: Arts,Language Arts
Title: Childhood Through the Looking-Glass      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson from EDSITEment explores the vision of childhood created by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. Students begin by looking at Carroll's photographs of the real Alice for whom Carroll imagined his story and compare the image of childhood that he captured on film with images of children in our culture. Then students read Alice in Wonderland with special attention to the illustrations that Carroll made for his book, and explore the relationship between words and pictures by creating an Alice illustration of their own. Next, for contrast, students compare Carroll's vision of childhood with that presented by the Romantic poet William Blake in his illuminated Songs of Innocence and Experience. Finally, students consider the interplay of image and text in their own favorite children's literature and how the vision of childhood presented there compares to their experiences as children. Several pieces of literature appropriate for use with this lesson are suggested.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs      Add Bookmark
Description: By critically analyzing popular television programs, students develop an awareness of the messages that are portrayed through the media.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Proverbs: Contemporary Proverbs      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson challenges students to craft more apparent meanings for traditional maxims by updating proverbs from around the world and writing proverbs of their own.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Critical Media Literacy: Commercial Advertising      Add Bookmark
Description: By looking at advertising and mass media critically, students begin to understand how the media oppresses certain groups, convinces people to purchase certain products, and influences culture.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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: 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
Title: Using THIEVES to Preview Nonfiction Texts      Add Bookmark
Description: Students become '' thieves'' in this lesson as they use a previewing strategy to '' steal'' information from textbooks and other nonfiction texts before actually reading them.
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: Peer Review: Narrative      Add Bookmark
Description: This minilesson guides student in using the PQP technique Praise - Question - Polish to offer concrete and useful peer review feedback.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Choose Your Own Adventure: A Hypertext Writing Experience      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze '' choose your own adventure'' stories and brainstorm to develop setting, characters, and plots for their own adventures stories and related Websites.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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