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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (7)
Title: Not just another book report....Book Trailers!
Description: After completing a novel study, students will demonstrate their understanding of theme by creating a book trailer in iMovie.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 10)
Title: Is this FAKE?
Description: Students will take a trip back in time and look at the lifestyles and classes of people in the late 1800s. Using a WebQuest, text, and graphic organizers, students will learn about the class systems in the 1800s and how the use of symbolism increased the point of interest within the story. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


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 closely 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: What are YOU made of? A study of the character of Roger from Langston Hughes' "Thank You, Ma'am"--Part 1 
Description: Students will analyze the character's motives, actions, thoughts, feelings, quotes, goals, desires, and other characters' opinions based on evidence within the text. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: 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: Character Education (K - 12), or English Language Arts (7)
Title: Thinking Hobbit
Description: This is an introductory lesson designed to stimulate student interest in reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The lesson familiarizes students with the physical traits and social codes used to guide hobbit behavior, and then looks at the Plus, Minus, and Interesting ideas (PMI), as well as the influencing factors, that might shape a hobbit's thoughts when faced with the prospect of going on an adventure.


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 (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.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Star Wars creator George Lucas was born in 1944.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use the Hero's Journey interactive to describe how Luke Skywalker meets each stage of his journey, and then brainstorm other works that use the formula.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Postmodern Picture Books in Middle School      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze the structure of a postmodern picture book, Black and White, to uncover how authors create unexpected plots and connections and form relationships between words and illustrations.
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
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: 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: 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: Writing a Flashback and Flash-Forward Story Using Movies and Texts as Models      Add Bookmark
Description: Using the film The Sandlot, students are introduced to the literary devices of flashbacks and flash-forwards. They then write their own stories using those devices.
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: 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: 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, 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: 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,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: Creative Writing Through Wordless Picture Books      Add Bookmark
Description: Students are exposed to wordless picture books and begin developing story lines, both orally and in writing, using an online, interactive story map.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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