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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 be 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)
Title: I Am Not My Hair:  A Lesson in Self-Image
Description: Featuring the India.Arie song "I Am Not My Hair," this lesson takes students through the pre-writing, production, and editing phases of an informative essay. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8)
Title: Drill and Kill No More - Incorporating Verbs, Adverbs, and Prepositions Within the Context of Argumentative Writing
Description: The technique known as "Drill and Kill" is not effective for the retention of grammar skills. Students are more apt to remember grammar skills when the skills are taught in connection with writing. The following lesson demonstrates a better way. Yes, the skills must be taught first; however, the “dril,l skill and kill” method is only 15% of the lesson. The first thing you must do is correlate the different genres of writing with the grammar concepts that go with them. This lesson will show teachers how to teach adverbs, verbs, and prepositions within the context of an argumentative paper. 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 - 8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Expressing Yourself With Poetry
Description: Two classes at different schools or across the hall share dramatic poetry presentations as part of a poetry unit. Students listen to poetry, practice reading poetry, and (if practical) participate in a distance learning program on poetry. Students then produce a Poetry Alive program that will be shared with another class through video conferencing or video tapes.


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 (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.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


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: Book Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology      Add Bookmark
Description: Students work in groups to create annotated book reviews with links to topics of interest related to their book.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: Shared Spelling Strategies      Add Bookmark
Description: Students increase their spelling accuracy and retention, while preserving fluency, by using sound, sight recall, and analyzing strategies instead of memorizing words, as they deal with spelling during drafting.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Reciprocal Revision: Making Peer Feedback Meaningful      Add Bookmark
Description: Interpreting art is a subjective process. In this lesson, students write written responses analyzing a work of art and use feedback from their peers to revise or confirm their initial responses.
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: Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use Internet search engines and Web analysis checklists to evaluate online resources then write annotations that explain how and why the resources will be valuable to the class.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: An Exploration of Text Sets: Supporting All Readers      Add Bookmark
Description: Students create text sets on a high interest topic and use the texts to practice three strategies for reading for information.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Write letters that make things happen!      Add Bookmark
Description: In a small group or as individuals, students write letters related to a unit of study or particular topic they have studied.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students make mental '' snapshots'' of a natural setting, then capture the details of their setting by writing and then creating a class booklet of the nature walk.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: E-pals Around the World      Add Bookmark
Description: With e-pals, students develop real-life writing and social experiences, learn the format of a friendly letter and parts of an e-mail message, and discover other cultures, languages, and geographic areas.
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: Picture Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use picture books as framing texts for research, freeing them from the language of encyclopedia sources and allowing them to focus their attention on the content of their papers.
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: 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: Timelines and Texts: Motivating Students to Read Nonfiction      Add Bookmark
Description: In an effort to help motivate students to read nonfiction, students are challenged to use a timeline to help them name the year when certain products were invented.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: Inside or Outside? A Minilesson on Quotation Marks and More      Add Bookmark
Description: Students often question whether a punctuation mark goes inside or outside the quotation marks, especially when writing dialogue. This lesson helps students identify the conventions and apply them to their text.
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
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: Exploring Free Speech and Persuasion with Nothing But the Truth       Add Bookmark
Description: Students read Avi's Nothing But the Truth and examine the First Amendment and student rights, and then decide whether the rights of the novel's protagonist, Philip, are violated.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Creative Communication Frames: Discovering Similarities between Writing and Art      Add Bookmark
Description: Graphic organizers assist the development of comparative vocabulary and generate discussions of analogy and metaphor in art as students go on a real or virtual tour of an art gallery.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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