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ALEX Lesson Plans


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 (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: African American Poet Research
Description: Students will research the life of an African American poet using print and online resources. Students will present their findings by writing a research paper and creating a PowerPoint presentation.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Giver - Authority
Description: A unit lesson using the book The Giver by Louis Lowry that will have students be researchers and recorders in the process of finding information on Utopian societies, cults and authority. Students will complete a Powerpoint, Glogster, essay or news broadcast by the conclusion of the essay.  


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: How to Make Something Simple...Hard
Description: Students will have completed a unit of forces and motion prior to the current unit of study on simple machines (lever, inclined plane, screw, wedge, pulley, wheel and axle). Students will review the functions and examples of simple machines and view example Rube Goldberg machines. Students will create a compound machine out of all six simple machines to complete a simple task of their choosing. The machine should meet the limitations given in the rubric and be able to be demonstrated at school. Students will complete a PowerPoint slide show about the history of Rube Goldberg machines and write an expository essay about their finished machine.


Subject: Arts Education (6 - 8), or English Language Arts (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
Description: Students will learn basic information on a specific element found on the Periodic Table. Students will produce a reference book appropriate for a third or fourth grade child on the topic of the element the student is assigned. The book will include all of the basic information about the element while making the elements appeal to a young audience.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


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 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Newspapers: Facts and Opinions
Description: In order to sharpen a student's understanding of the differences between facts and opinions, this lesson incorporates both the close reading of a newspaper and the writing of a factual article and a letter to the editor.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What about Steinbeck's The Pearl?
Description: In this three week unit on the novel The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, students examine and discuss the characteristics of a novel, compare and contrast the novel to folk tales and short stories, write chapter summaries and essays, and conduct Internet research to prepare slideshow presentations on related topics, including both those reflecting cultural differences of the novel's characters and those issues involving the economic principle of supply and demand.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Heroes in Greek Mythology
Description: This lesson examines the characteristics of Greek heroes and leads students to recognize references to Greek mythological heroes found in literature and culture today. Students will present analyses of heroes by defending their favorites in a slideshow presentation nominating them for selection to a Heroes' Hall of Fame.


Subject: English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Appreciation of Literature Through Knowledge of Newbery Books - A Unit for the Librarian or Language Arts Teacher
Description: Students will select a Newbery Medal Award book to read. They will complete one of three projects to reflect understanding of the chosen book. Their projects will be presented to the class in an effort to entice other students to read the book. This is a creative way to present a booktalk.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: On this date in 1901, Andrew Carnegie gave $5.2 million to New York City libraries.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write expository and persuasive pieces with the help of the Persuasion Map and Essay Map interactives, and compare the essential features of the two modes of writing.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Charles Lindbergh began his transatlantic flight in 1927.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students consider what is meant by the phrase '' Human Hero,'' think of people who fit into the category, and read a biography of a selected hero.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiered in 1967.      Add Bookmark
Description: After thinking about TV shows, books, and movies from their childhood, students write about what they remember and revisit how they feel about it at an older age.
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: Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read a poem by a Native American, explore Native American culture and then create a Website that explains words and phrases from the poem.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
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: 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: 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: 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: Children's publisher John Newbery was born in 1713.      Add Bookmark
Description: Each student chooses a book that is special and writes a short story about why it deserves special mention. Students can plan the pages of their own stories and then make a Stapleless Book or use the ReadWriteThink Printing Press.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8



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: 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: Persuasive Essay: Environmental Issues      Add Bookmark
Description: How can we convince others to agree with us on important issues? In this lesson, students explore relevant environmental issues and gather information to write persuasive essays.
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: 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: 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: 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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