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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8)
Title: Narratives & Grammar:  There's More to the Story
Description: For this lesson, a mystery, a type of narrative realistic fiction, will be composed.  Since strong adjectives and adverbs will support a mystery, they will incorporated into the writing.  What should a good narrative contain? This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Constructing Narratives: A Unit Plan for Taking Apart and Reconstructing Stories
Description: This lesson is designed as a project-based unit plan that will take students through the narrative process from deconstruction to construction.  After initial discussion, students will use the Interactive Story Map feature at Read Write Think to deconstruct a short story.  Students will use pictures to put together a PowerPoint-based storyboard that other students will use to construct a story.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 9), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Poetry and Music Fun with Chris Daughtry
Description: This language arts lesson grabs students' attention by incorporating a popular musician. The lyrics to "Over You" include vivid language that makes identifying figures of speech intriguing. The students will identify similes, metaphors, and hyperbole within the lyrics. The students will analyze the lyrics and create an MP3 file or podcast with their analysis.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 10)
Title: Hands, Hands, Hands - Writing a Narrative Essay from the Perspective of a Particular Hand
Description: The teacher will show pictures of six hands to students.  (See attachment)  After a brainstorming session, students will choose one hand that illustrates a particular story from their life.  Then, students will write a two page narrative essay about this story.  These stories will be posted on a class blog to allow for feedback and discussion from classmates.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Marshmallow and Pretzel Sensory Writing
Description: This language arts lesson applies hands-on materials to help students apply the sensory details need for writing. It also incorporates writing skills for comparing and contrasting. In addition, students will utilize Thinkfinity Interactive to write poetry using sensory words.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What’s Going On and Where Am I?
Description: In this lesson, students write a descriptive essay about an historical event as seen through the eyes of an alien from a different planet and time. The lesson encourages the use of colorful and exciting adjectives, adverbs, and verbs in the essay.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 9), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Oral Presentation of Favorite Celebrity
Description: Using the Internet to research facts about a favorite celebrity, students gain the organizational and oral presentation skills needed to successfully deliver an effective speech and slideshow presentation.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Narrative Writing: The Autobiographical Incident
Description: After organizing their thoughts using a graphic organizer, students write a narrative essay which relates an autobiographical incident. Students present their essays in a slideshow which allows their classmates to practice predicting an outcome as they guess the ending of the narrative. Some of the essays will be included in a class newsletter created by the students.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Languages Other Than English (Foreign Languages) (6 - 8), or Social Studies (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: A Guided Tour of Paris
Description: Students will play the role of a Paris tour guide. Traveling on the Paris Metro System, students will guide tourists through the city to point out the location and important facts of major historical landmarks.


Subject: English Language Arts (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: All About Us: Writing and Presenting Poetry
Description: In this lesson students write a poem about their class and classmates. Students then transfer their poems to individual presentation slides which are combined with their classmates' slides to create a class slideshow presentation. This presentation can be printed to create a class ABC book.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Biography Presentations
Description: With this extensive hands-on, interdisciplinary, technology-based multimedia project, students will compile data about a famous or notable person using media center resources and the Internet. Students will also participate in an interview scenario.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Using Graphic Organizers to Develop a Character Analysis
Description: This hands-on, technology-based lesson enables students of all ability levels to organize the traits of main characters and to develop a character analysis. Students choose two main characters from myths, legends, or fables to create both a slideshow presentation and a newsletter demonstrating their conclusions.


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), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Scrapbook Book Report
Description: After reading independently a novel or biography, students in this creative writing activity demonstrate their understanding of characterization and point of view by creating the main character's personal scrapbook.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Digital Autobiography
Description: In this lesson, students will create original poetry and prose and will assemble a written autobiographical booklet in a middle school language arts class. After all poetry and prose are written, students will create a digital slideshow to give a multimedia dimension to one or more of the selections.


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,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
Title: Celebrate Halloween!      Add Bookmark
Description: Students research information on Halloween, create masks or costumes from a text they are reading, or write a narrative essay describing their best Halloween ever.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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: Imagine That! Playing with Genre through Newspapers and Short Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: Students identify genre characteristics for short stories and newspaper articles then practice both genres by turning a short story into a news article and an article into a short story.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 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
Title: Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm important events and people that might serve as the beginning of an interesting piece of writing. They then use the Bio-Cube to plan their writing and write an essay about a memorable person.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Teaching Voice with Anthony BrownesVoices in the Park       Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne to determine how an author keeps an audience interested by creating voice and to applying that knowledge to their own writing.
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: 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: A Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative      Add Bookmark
Description: The old clich ' , , , '' A picture is worth a thousand words'' is put to the test when students write their own narrative interpretations of events shown in an image.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Character Clash: A Minilesson on Paragraphing and Dialogue      Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn about paragraphing conventions in dialogue by revising their own writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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,Social Studies
Title: Listening to History      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of four lessons, from EDSITEment, is designed to help students tap the resource of family stories and local history by conducting oral history interviews with family members. Through a series of classroom activities, the lessons introduce students to the riches historians can discover in firsthand recollections, help them choose a topic and prepare for a productive family interview, provide tips for conducting and recording the interview, and offer suggestions for sharing their family stories in a historical narrative or report.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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



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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Patriot Day is celebrated today on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write about the name '' Patriot Day'' and how it marks the anniversary of a huge disaster. An alternative assignment could be to ask students to record their reflections about 9/11.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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