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ALEX Lesson Plans


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: Who's That Guy? The Great Gatsby Characterizater Analysis
Description: Students will use evidence from the text to write a character analyis of one of the minor characters in The Great Gatsby.  Using small group discussion, a writing frame, and an interactive character map, students will analyze the protagonist in the novel. This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (11)
Title: Jump at 'de Sun!  Let's become Zoraheads!
Description: Students will learn about Zora Neale Hurston as the beginning of a unit on Their Eyes were Watching God.  Using the essay "How it Feels to be Colored Me," students will discuss the use of metaphors in correlation to Hurston's life.  Students will also construct a poem using metaphors pertaining to their own lives.  This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (11), or English Language Arts (11), or Social Studies (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 (11), or English Language Arts (11)
Title: Personification with "Grass" by Carl Sandburg
Description: Students will be reading the poem "Grass" and identify the main idea and supporting details with a partner.  Students will then write a poem using personification.


Subject: English Language Arts (11), or English Language Arts (11), or Social Studies (9 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Research Project: American Heroes - Collaborative Education
Description: This lesson is designed to help students of all backgrounds learn to work together in groups to complete a research paper assignment. This is a collaborative based lesson plan that challenges students to work together to complete the assignment as a warm-up to the individual research paper required at the end of the term. It is a technology-based lesson with student presentations and student guided research. It is a cross curriculum based lesson with areas of history and technology integrated within the lesson's content.


Subject: English Language Arts (11), or English Language Arts (11), or Social Studies (9 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Holocaust Research Project
Description: Students will create a slide presentation in cooperative learning groups proving that the Holocaust did indeed occur.


Subject: Business, Management, and Administration (9 - 12), or English Language Arts (9 - 12), or English Language Arts (9 - 12)
Title: Pennies for your Future!
Description: This is a hands-on activity that is designed to guide students through the process of finding and applying for scholarships. Students will use word processing software to write and submit a scholarship that is applicable to them.  This lesson plan contains a financial aid component. Authors: Mona Coan and Stefanie Weaver


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Writing a Persuasive Essay
Description: In this lesson students research opposing viewpoints on controversial issues and develop their own position papers. Though primarily for English classes, this lesson could be easily adapted for an interdisciplinary unit with social studies or science classes.


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 English Language Arts (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: American Historical Fiction Journal
Description: In this American literature (1900-2000) creative research paper project, each student creates an original work of American historical fiction using his/her knowledge of the research process. Students identify and address the ways culture, technology, and social customs are reflected in American literature from 1900 to the present.


Subject: English Language Arts (11), or English Language Arts (11), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Dead Poets Society: Socratic Seminar Discussion
Description: As a springboard to an eleventh grade poetry unit, students view the movie Dead Poets Society and participate in a Socratic seminar of the themes, symbols, and life questions raised by the film. Student groups research and present one of the poems used in the film.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Exploring the Power of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Words through Diamante Poetry      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the ways that powerful and passionate words communicate the concepts of freedom, justice, discrimination, and the American Dream in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s '' I Have a Dream'' speech.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Black Poetry Day is celebrated.      Add Bookmark
Description: Books and webpages are gathered that focus on the work of African American poets and students explore the resources and find a poem to contribute to a poetry reading.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: On this day in 1935, Elvis Presley was born.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students visit the National Archives to read a letter written by Elvis Presley to President Nixon. The Letter Generator is used to write a letter to a current artist suggesting a meeting with the President.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: The Chinese New Year starts today.      Add Bookmark
Description: Today is the first day of the New Year on the Chinese lunar calendar.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Langston Hughes was born in 1902.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine the poem '' Dreams'' and identify metaphors in each sentence. Groups of students then compose poems with metaphors for dreams.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Paying Attention to Technology: Exploring a Fictional Technology      Add Bookmark
Description: Students complete a short survey to establish their beliefs about technology. They compare their opinions to the ideas in a novel that depicts technology (such as 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 ).
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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: 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
Title: Poet Emily Dickinson was born in 1830.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students discuss Dickinson's poem '' This Is My Letter To The World'' and use it to focus on how audience affects voice.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Walt Whitman's Notebooks and Poetry: The Sweep of the Universe      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students read the poetry of Walt Whitman to determine how he attempts to combine universal themes with individual experiences and feelings. Additionally, students reflect on how Whitman used his experiences in the Civil War in his poetry.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts - History - Arts - Music - Arts - Visual Arts - Language Arts - Writing (composition) - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Geography and History in Songs      Add Bookmark
Description: This Xpeditions lesson has students look at some historical paintings on the Internet and describe the things the paintings reveal about the places depicted. They then write paragraphs explaining what they have seen and learned from one of the paintings.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: The ''Secret Society'' and Fitzgerald's ''The Great Gatsby''      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students explore the nature of the secret society implied in The Great Gatsby through a close study of the text, an examination of Fitzgerald's letters and other statements, and a consideration of class, wealth, and status during the turbulent 1920 s. Students combine critical thinking, textual analysis, and imaginative writing skills to write a credo for the secret society implied in The Great Gatsby.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Jackie Robinson was born on this day in 1919.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read messages sent to the White House from Jackie Robinson and discuss his role as an athlete and a civil rights activist, as well as the role of athletes in society.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Gold was discovered in California in 1848.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read letters from the Gold Rush and follow up by writing an imaginary letter to a family member about their experience using the Letter Generator.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Avoiding Sexist Language by Using Gender-Fair Pronouns      Add Bookmark
Description: Students engage in a brief writing assignment that concretely illustrates how language and gender stereotyping interact causally.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Folklore in Zora Neale Hurston's ''Their Eyes Were Watching God''      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the way African-American author Zora Neale Hurston makes use of closely observed black folk life in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Students read the novel, research Hurston's own life and ethnography, listen to her WPA recordings of folksongs and folktales, and compare transcribed folk narrative texts with the novel itself.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
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: Author Joel Chandler Harris was born in 1848.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students study how regional dialect is written phonetically by reading a segment of Harris' story, as well as two others, and compare them using the Interactive Venn Diagram.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama      Add Bookmark
Description: In this alternative to the traditional book report, students respond to a play they have read by creating a resume for one of its characters.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated in 1957.      Add Bookmark
Description: After viewing some footage from the actual event, students jot down thoughts and feelings of the Little Rock Nine. Students then write a bio-poem that might have been written by one of these students on this historic day.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Amelia Earhart completed her solo flight from Honolulu to Oakland in 1935.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students explore the definition of a hero and use the interactive Venn diagram to identify the most common characteristics of a hero.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: A Christmas Carol was the first book transmitted over radio!      Add Bookmark
Description: Students write a script for A Christmas Carol on a level that primary students can read and perform. Older students record the performance and create a website to showcase photographs.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: On the Road author Jack Kerouac embarked on his first cross-country road trip in 1947.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students read a section from On the Road that deals with cross-country travel and reflects Kerouac's unique writing style. Students then attempt to write a narrative using Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness style.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Actor Sidney Poitier was born in 1924.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students do a journal entry about barriers that have been broken?such as age, race, and gender?that might impede them in the future, and how they can break through those barriers.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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



Subject: Language Arts
Title: Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus.      Add Bookmark
Description: Students make believe that the year is 1955 and they just heard about Parks' arrest. Students write newspaper editorials with their points of view on segregation.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



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: 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



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