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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: More than The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Description: Although Christopher Paul Curtis 's The Watsons Go to Birmingham is a read for Social Studies and English Language Arts in Grades 6-8, it can easily addressed as a reading assignment for grades 9-12 depending on the end result(s) desired of the teacher.  The study of Curtis' novel can be the primary text to foster a journey from poetry to fiction to music to history to food and finally, to writing.  This novel makes references to the bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church and the four little girls who perished that Sunday morning.  This is a good lesson to study history, geography, and writing. Various discussions may arise in relationship to bullying, sibling rivalry, growing up, and Civil Rights. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan. 


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: Never Forget Birmingham's Morning Glories
Description: Although The Watsons Go to Birmingham is a great read for Social Studies and English Language Arts students in Grades 6-8, it can easily be addressed as a reading assignment for grades 9-12 depending on the end results desired of the teacher. Here, the teacher can travel back and forth from poetry to fiction to music to history to food, and finally to writing.  This novel has references to the 16th Street Bombing and the four little girls who perished that Sunday morning.  This is a good lesson to study some history and geography with regard to writing.  This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: Understanding You: Using Understood You in Fiction Writing
Description: In this lesson students will review the use of understood "you" in writing and create their own creative nonfiction essay using understood "you" as the narrative technique. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: Understanding Stream of Consciousness in "Bread" by Margaret Atwood
Description: In this lesson students will explore the impact of narrative technique on a work of stream of consciousness in a modern essay.  By the end of the lesson, students will evaluate how an author uses stream of consciousness and shifts from scene to scene extending the meaning and significance of a motif. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: How will you face DEATH?
Description: This lesson can be tied to "Story of an Hour" through theme and connection to death. This lesson allows students time to think about the inevitability of death, life itself, and the survival extinct. The story is "The Law of Life" by Jack London. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: Characterization Differences Between the Page and Screen
Description: This lesson can be used as a post-reading activity for The Great Gatsby. Students will focus on significant characters from the novel and track their development through the novel using a Character Chart. While viewing the 1974 film The Great Gatsby, they will complete a second Character Chart, analyzing the way the character is developed in the film. Students will then complete a Venn diagram that compares and contrasts the overall characterization between the novel and the film. After this activity is completed, students should be able to effectively see the difference in the character in the novel and how that characterization translates to film.


Subject: English Language Arts (11), or Social Studies (10 - 11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Challenges and New Inventions of the Great Plains Farmer.
Description: Students will work in groups of four to create presentations using their research on a particular farming invention that was created from (1837-1867) and also research specific elements about life on the Great Plains. Each group's presentation will be merged into a final class presentation.


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 12)
Title: A Creative Twist to The Tragedy of Macbeth
Description: A Creative Twist to The Tragedy of Macbeth is a project that gives students an opportunity to express their understanding of Macbeth through their artistic ability. The activity appeals to the learning style of all students by allowing the students to establish their position as the reviewer of the play The Tragedy of Macbeth.


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Is Romance Dead?
Description: As an introduction to the medieval romances, students compare and contrast the medieval rules of courtly love to the modern "rules" of courtship and romance. Students write a compare/contrast essay after group work and class discussion.


Subject: English Language Arts (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Of Mice and Men
Description: This is a technology-based group project. It requires students to use the Internet as well as various types of software to creatively display their knowledge of the novel, Of Mice and Men.


Subject: English Language Arts (9 - 11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: To Kill a Mockingbird: Building Knowledge
Description: As a conclusion to a class study of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, students create models and pictures based on the novel's descriptions to illustrate the effect of setting on plot and character.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Shakespeare's ''Macbeth'': Fear and the ''Dagger of the Mind''      Add Bookmark
Description: This EDSITEment lesson is designed to help students understand how Shakespeare's language dramatizes one such emotion: fear. Students work in small groups to perform the so-called banquet scene, in which the newly-crowned Macbeth, while entertaining the lords of Scotland, encounters a ghost only he can see. The twist here is that while there are opportunities for students to analyze Shakespeare's language, the performance itself is done without words. The wordless performance means that students need to develop physical equivalents for the clues to Macbeth's state of mind that are embedded in Shakespeare's poetry.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Character Traits: '' To Kill a Mockingbird''       Add Bookmark
Description: This student interactive, from an EDSITEment lesson, is used by students to identify examples of moral courage and cowardice in key characters from the text of Harper Lee s '' To Kill a Mockingbird.'' Students can print or save the completed chart.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Faulkner's ''As I Lay Dying'': Form of a Funeral      Add Bookmark
Description: This unit of five lessons, from EDSITEment, features lessons exploring the narrative voices and social concerns in William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying. In these lessons, students explore Faulkner's place in American literary history, research Faulkner's Southin the context of the historical South, and understand the use of multiple voices in narration.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Chaucer's Wife of Bath      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson from EDSITEment introduces students to one of the most admired characterizations in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath. Students read Chaucer's description of the Wife in the General Prologue to consider how he represents her, both as the poet of The Canterbury Tales and as a character in his own poem, then read the Wife of Bath's Prologue, where he has her speak for herself, to gain additional perspective on her character. Next, students investigate some of the literary sources that Chaucer drew upon as he created this portrait of a woman with her own ideas about matrimony, and examine evidence about marriage in the Middle Ages and the role that women played in medieval society. Finally, students read the Wife of Bath's Tale and explore the alternative readings of the tale in relation to the character of the Wife of Bath.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Unlocking the Underlying Symbolism and Themes of a Dramatic Work      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson plan invites students to consider characters from Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. Students explore a selected character and write poems about objects associated with that character.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Weaving the Multigenre Web      Add Bookmark
Description: Students analyze the elements of a novel in many different genres and then hyperlink these pieces together on student-constructed Websites.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Philosophy,Social Studies
Title: Profiles in Courage: Harper Lee's ''To Kill a Mockingbird''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students read Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird carefully with an eye for all instances of courage, but particularly those of moral courage. They then consider how To Kill A Mockingbird frames issues of courage and cowardice against the backdrop of the American South in the 1930s.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Philosophy,Social Studies
Title: Profiles in Courage: ''To Kill a Mockingbird'' and the Scottsboro Boys Trial       Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students study select court transcripts and other primary source material from the Scottsboro Boys Trial of 1933, in which two young white women wrongfully accused nine African-American youths of rape. Students then consider how an awareness of this historical event vivifies Tom Robinson's story in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Walt Disney was born in 1901.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students describe female characters in Disney films, discuss their characteristics, and write a thesis statement about them.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Novel News: Broadcast Coverage of Character, Conflict, Resolution, and Setting      Add Bookmark
Description: This twist on readers theater has students prepare original news programs based on incidents in a recent reading, as they explore standard literary elements of character, conflict, resolution, and setting.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Life on the Great Plains      Add Bookmark
Description: In this four-part EDSITEment lesson, students examine the concept of geographic region by exploring the history of the Great Plains. They explore the concept of region and learn how culture and experience influence the perception of regions, investigate the relationships between physical geography and human systems of culture and settlement, trace the history and character of a region as reflected in literature and art, and examine factors that influenced westward expansion in the United States.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Live from Antiquity      Add Bookmark
Description: The goals of this EDSITEment lesson are to gain an appreciation for Greek drama through study of a play by Sophocles, to explore the cultural and historical context of Greek drama and its role in Greek society, and to reconstruct the experience of seeing a Greek drama performed and share that experience in an imaginative report.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Their Eyes Were Watching God was published in 1937.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students brainstorm the kinds of stories they know and where these stories come from. Students return to these questions as they begin reading Hurston's novel.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Dramatizing History in Arthur Miller's ''The Crucible''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this EDSITEment lesson, students consider how Arthur Miller interpreted the facts of the Salem witch trials and how he successfully dramatized them in his play, The Crucible. Students examine some of Miller's historical sources: biographies of key players and transcripts of the Salem Witch trials themselves. The students also read a summary of the historical events in Salem and study a timeline. The students then read The Crucible itself.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Mark Twain and American Humor      Add Bookmark
Description: In lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students analyze the use of literary conventions and devices to develop character and point of view in Mark Twain's The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. They investigate the purposes and significance of literary humor and examine Mark Twain's storytelling style in relation to that of other American humorists.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on this day.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students compare the film versions of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's novels. Students then imagine how a scene in a current novel that they are reading would be filmed.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Jacob Grimm, one of the Brothers Grimm, was born today.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students compare different versions of the fairy tale Cinderella and then rewrite a lesser-known Grimm story and explain the changes they made.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Teaching Plot Structure through Short Stories      Add Bookmark
Description: Students use an online graphic organizer to analyze the plot structure of '' Jack and the Beanstalk'' and three short stories.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Poe's '' The Raven'' was published in 1845.      Add Bookmark
Description: As Poe's '' The Raven'' is read aloud, students note their reactions and discuss the changes or development of their first impressions as the poem continues.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Poet Robert Burns was born in 1759.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read examples of traditional Scottish ballads and use this information to write and perform their own ballads.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson uses concrete poems to explore the connection between a poem's layout and its meaning. While appropriate any time of year, the lesson is especially topical near Columbus Day.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts
Title: 'You Kiss by the Book'': Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson, from EDSITEment, complements study of plot and characterization in Romeo and Juliet by focusing on Shakespeare's use of lyric forms and conventions to spotlight moments in the drama and thereby heighten the impact of the action on the stage. Students examine the first meeting between Romeo and Juliet as an enactment of figurative language in a context of competing poetic styles, explore the use of poetic forms to impart perspective in later episodes of the play, and gain experience in close reading and the interpretation of verse structure and imagery.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Renaissance Humanism in Hamlet and The Birth of Venus       Add Bookmark
Description: After reading Shakespeare's Hamlet, students identify, analyze, and explain how elements in Botticelli's painting Birth of Venus and examples from the play illustrate the philosophy of Renaissance Humanism.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's ''The Yellow Wall-paper''-The ''New Woman''       Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, one of a multi-part unit from EDSITEment, students study the historical context of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, The Yellow Wall-paper. Students focus particular attention on the economic conditions and social roles of 19th-century middle-class women.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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