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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: Collaborative Quilting with a Novel
Description: This lesson uses several strategies for scaffolding learning after reading a novel. The students work collaboratively to create Facebook profiles, Instagram profiles, plot diagrams and many other activities to evaluate their comprehension and analysis of a novel. This lesson gives students the opportunity to take charge of their learning by giving them choice. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: Slithering Snake Don't Mess With Me
Description: This lesson encourages students to evaluate how the setting influences the characters interactions sand how that motivation propels the plot in Rudyard Kipling’s, Rikki-tiki-tavi. They will also evaluate the effectiveness of Kipling’s use of personification. During this lesson, students will, students will annotate the text through coding, create trading cards for the characters , compose an exposition, and produce a brochure based on a focused research assignment.  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 (7)
Title: Life Lessons: Understanding Theme
Description: Students will learn how life lessons are conveyed through texts to connect, analyze, and evaluate how authors use theme as a literary element and comprehend various texts. Using a graphic organizer and specific texts students will analyze various components of theme and understand its impact in real life situations. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: "Thank You Ma'am": Defending or Prosecuting Roger
Description: Students will write a three paragraph letter to a judge either in defense of or prosecution of Roger from the short story "Thank You Ma'am." Students will engage with the text as they cite evidence in support of their arguments. Students will get to present their letters to a mock jury and try to win their case for or against Roger. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: A Note of Thanks: Explanatory Writing
Description: The students will compose a thank you note using the following RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) model. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.  


Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: Round Robin Poetry Analysis
Description: Poetry lesson using music lyrics and traditional poetry. The lesson involves identifying vocabulary, imagery, analysis, and interpretation of poetry. Students work collaboratively to develop the meaning of poetry. Specifically, this lesson highlights Langston Hughes's poetry and the Harlem Renaissance. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or English Language Arts (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Persuasive Strategies and Tuck Everlasting
Description: This lesson is a persuasive strategy lesson plan for Tuck Everlasting. It allows the student to incorporate technology in the development of an original thirty second commercial.


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 - 7), or English Language Arts (6 - 7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Camelot Times: Writing a Newspaper
Description: As part of a unit on Arthurian literature and medieval culture, students imagine they are reporters living in the realm of King Arthur and create newsletters/newspapers based on their study and research.


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 (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Taking the Mystery out of Writing a Mystery
Description: This mystery-writing lesson focuses on the structure of a short story and the elements of a mystery in particular. Students complete the entire writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Students demonstrate the ability to write in a different voice for a different audience by rewriting their own mystery stories as a news article. Students then work together to create a newsletter about all the students' mysteries.


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 (7)
Title: Using Fairy Tales to Teach the Elements of a Short Story
Description: Familiar fairy tales are used as guides to help students analyze the elements of the short story: plot, theme, setting, point of view, and character.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Interactive Reading Project
Description: Students are motivated to read and learn to discuss literature by discussing books they are reading via e-mail.


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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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