Students will be shown an online slideshow to teach homophones. Students will practice correctly identifying and using homophones to enrich their vocabulary. Students will participate in learning activities that promote a better understanding of the correct spellings and meanings of homophones.
This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.
In this unit, students tell their own stories and explore the stories of other Americans. Hearing and telling these stories helps students realize that social studies is not simply the study of history, but an exploration of real people and their lives. Students begin by telling stories about their personal experiences. They then explore the character traits that promote democratic ideals and tell stories about family members who exemplify these traits. Finally, they conduct research and share stories about famous Americans. Practiced skills include reading, researching, visually representing, writing, and presenting.
In this unit, students will use thematically related texts, organized from least to the most complex, to gather a word bank of supporting details and content vocabulary about a concept. Then they use these words as a basis for writing acrostic poems, which support organization of information around a central idea, as the lines of an acrostic poem are held together by the topic or main idea spelled vertically.
A story's lead begins the reader's adventure, yet it can just as likely end that odyssey if those opening words do not immediately interest the reader. This lesson examines examples of leads in children's literature, focusing on strategies such as setting, action, character, reflection, event, and dialogue in a shared reading experience. Students rank several leads from novels as they are read aloud and discuss their rankings. They then generate different leads for a read-aloud book in the classroom, using different strategies for each. Finally, they write or revise a lead in one of their pieces of writing.
This classroom resource includes engaging activities to teach basic grammar concepts while developing vocabulary and spelling proficiency. A list of several amusing and informative grammar-themed picture books supply read-aloud examples for a review of nouns and adjectives and an introduction to gerunds. Students themselves refer to the books from the list of materials, plus appropriate dictionaries and glossaries, as they engage in a word-sort activity that provides practice in the spelling changes that can occur when verbs are turned into gerunds. Diamante poems are introduced through handouts and websites, and students compose original, structured poems in this form—first as a class and then independently—using an online interactive tool. Printable handouts and links are included.
Poetry offers many opportunities for word play and learning about language. But because poetry can seem inaccessible, many students approach poetry writing with trepidation. This lesson for third and fourth-grade students is designed to overcome student fears by using a traditional poem to teach students about alliteration. After reading the book A My Name Is... by Alice Lyne, students use a variety of print and online resources to brainstorm their own alliterative word lists. They then create a poetry link that uses the traditional poem they have read together as a framework for their own poems.
During this lesson, students are introduced to the concept of working dogs and how they help society. Students read a variety of texts, learn relevant vocabulary, participate in purposeful writing, and are encouraged to share their perspectives. An inquiry model called POWER is used, in addition to a vocabulary strategy called Word Storms, which is designed to help students speak and write critically about the texts they read. Most of the resources for the lesson are found online.
Bam! Beep! Zoom! Students are sure to delight in the study of onomatopoetic words through the use of comic strips. In this lesson, students begin with an introduction to onomatopoeia, which describes words that imitate the natural sound associated with an action or object. As a class, students view several comic strips and are guided in identifying examples of onomatopoeia. The group then discusses the purpose of onomatopoeia and its effect in a story before students work individually to find examples of onomatopoeia in other comics. Finally, students work individually or in pairs to create their own comic books that include onomatopoeic language. After presenting their comics to the class, students discuss the use of onomatopoeia and its effectiveness in each comic strip.
Students have an opportunity to create an outstanding Readers Theatre performance within groups to compete for the title of Reading Idol. Students are given scripts to practice their roles within Readers Theatre. Throughout the week, groups practice repeatedly until the performance day. On the performance day, students take turns performing and evaluating their own work and the performances of other groups before voting on a winning performance. All groups are required to create a podcast of their performance. The Reading Idol winners are also recorded by video and uploaded to the teacher's website for others to view.
Circular stories follow a “round” pattern—they begin and end in the same way. Like the cycle of seasons or the life cycle, circular stories follow a predictable series of events that returns to the starting point. Building on students' existing knowledge of plot structure and of cycles in other content areas, this lesson invites students to use a circle plot graphic organizer to explore the structure of this type of story. The cyclical nature of the stories is an excellent match for discussion of prediction and sequencing skills. After exploring the features of circular plot stories and reading a model story, such as Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, students write their own stories individually or in small groups.
In order to fully comprehend reading materials, students need to understand the cause-and-effect relationships that appear in a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts. In this lesson, students learn cause-and-effect relationships through the sharing of a variety of Laura Joffe Numeroff picture books in a Reader's Workshop format. Using online tools or a printed template, students create an original comic strip via the writing prompt, “If you take a (third) grader to….” Students use various kinds of art to illustrate their strip and publish and present their completed piece to peers in a read-aloud format.
A strong plot is a basic requirement of any narrative. Students are sometimes confused, however, by the difference between a series of events that happen in a story and the plot elements, or the events that are significant to the story. In this lesson, students select a topic for a personal narrative and then do the prewriting in comic-strip format to reinforce the plot structure. Finally, they write their own original narratives based on the comic strip prewriting activity, keeping the elements of narrative writing in mind. The lesson uses a version of "The Three Little Pigs" fairy tale to demonstrate the literary element; however, any picture book with a strong plot would work for this lesson.
A piece of math-related children's literature, Sixteen Cows, is used to demonstrate the strategy of problem-posing. After hearing the story read aloud, students are invited to brainstorm some literary and mathematical observations to the story. With the teacher's guidance, students then turn those observations into "what-if" mathematical extensions. These extensions become mathematical problems that students solve, both individually and as a whole class. Since this strategy highlights changing attributes of a story, it underscores for children the range of choices that authors have.
Through a teacher-modeled activity, students learn the importance of finding the words in sentences and paragraphs that contain the facts they need. Students then practice finding these fact fragments in small groups using an online activity. Next, they turn fact fragments into complete sentences written in their own words, moving from teacher modeling, to small group work, to independent practice. Finally, they arrange the sentences they have created into complete paragraphs.
While engaging in the processes of researching, writing, and evaluating short biographical sketches, students can master essential writing skills and enhance their content area learning. In this unit, students discuss standard elements in a biography and examine the characteristics of the genre in a workshop setting. After selecting and researching a contemporary or historical figure using online databases, students practice writing short biographies. They then offer feedback on others' compositions and publish final drafts for reading aloud and displaying in class.
Use literacy skills to make connections among those in your classroom with this lesson that focuses on building classroom community by sharing favorite texts with one another. In this lesson, the class explores environmental print then focuses specifically on a teacher-created display on a favorite book. After exploring the teacher's display, students write about their own favorite book, genre, or author. Students then select one of several options for making a display of their favorite book to share with the class. After creating their own presentations, students share them with the class and complete peer- or self-assessments. The lesson presents a fun way for teachers to share their love of literature with students and for the students to get to know their teachers as a reader.
The proverb says, “You can't judge a book by its cover.” In this lesson plan, students are not judging what is inside the book, but what is on the cover itself. What does it include? Why? What is left off? Why do you think that is? After examining many book covers and dust jackets, students recreate a cover or dust jacket for a selected book; then, they share their creations with their classmates and explain the changes they made or what they chose to keep. Students use a checklist to make sure they have all of the needed components, and the teacher can use the checklist as an assessment piece.
Knowing the elements of a story aids students in their understanding of what is taking place in the book or novel. When students comprehend the story elements of characters, setting, problems, events, and solutions, they become more involved in the story and take a greater interest in details. In this lesson, students use a six-paneled comic strip to create a story map, summarizing a book or story that they've read either read as a class or independently. The story strips that result provide a great way to evaluate student's understanding of important events and elements in a novel. The students enjoy the artistic aspect as well! This lesson plan uses Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are as an example to model the process of creating the story map comic strips; however, any book you and your students have explored recently that demonstrates the elements of character, setting, problem, events, and solutions will work.
Building classroom community is one of the most challenging yet most important tasks for any teacher, and it needs to be reinforced frequently throughout the year. This lesson gives students the opportunity to be innovative, creative, and expressive while building a sense of community. In this lesson, students explore the genre of acrostic poetry and participate in a shared writing experience with acrostic poems. Using the Internet, students explore and investigate the characteristics of acrostic poetry. They then brainstorm positive character traits about one of their classmates using an online thesaurus and compose an acrostic poem. Students use an interactive online tool to write and print the final draft and then share their poem with the class.
Comprehension requires more than knowledge of the basic facts in a reading. Instead, readers need to actively engage in their readings to move toward critical thinking. After reading a piece of literature, students explore their text, searching for literary elements such as characters, setting, figures of speech, and themes. They use the alphabet to organize their findings. Finally, they publish their work in ABC books, using the Alphabet Organizer student interactive.
Think alphabet books are just for kindergarten? Think again! In this lesson, students examine a variety of alphabet books, some with rather complex structures, specifically Mary Elting and Michael Folsom's Q Is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game. Students begin the lesson with a read-aloud of the story in which they guess why the authors chose to represent each letter with a particular word and then summarize the pattern of the book. Using "patterned" or "structured" writing can be very effective with struggling writers, and it also allows advanced students to extend their writing capabilities. Students use the pattern of Q Is for Duck to create their own class alphabet book in which students make clever associations for each letter of the alphabet. This experience will assist even the most reluctant writer in becoming an author.
Diversity is celebrated in this lesson in which students embark on a cultural research project by first reading a variety of alphabet books about world cultures, including D is for Doufu: An Alphabet Book of Chinese Culture by Maywan Shen Krach. They then select a culture to study and work in groups to conduct research into the history and symbols of their selected culture. The unit includes tools for conducting primary interviews and other research techniques. The project culminates with each group writing and illustrating a cultural alphabet book based on their research. Groups share their work with the class and invited guests during a Diversity Celebration.
Writing poetry enables students to reflect on their everyday experiences, express their perceptions and observations, and craft powerful images. In this lesson, students write theme poems using their content knowledge and sensory awareness of a familiar object. Students first learn about the characteristics and format of a theme poem. They then engage in an online interactive activity in which they select a graphic of a familiar object (e.g., the sun, a heart, a balloon), build a word bank of the content area and sensory words related to the object, and write poems within the shape of the object. Finished poems are printed and displayed in class.
This unit introduces poetry forms and craft elements while students explore poetry about everyday topics or themes. Students begin by discussing their varying definitions of poetry, brainstorming all the different types of poems they know, and briefly discussing elements of poetry. In each subsequent session, students are introduced to one form of poetry. This lesson uses concrete/shape, haiku, cinquain, two-voice, and free-form poetry, but the lesson can be easily adapted for any poetic form. Students read examples, define the form, and find additional examples in poetry books. They create their own poetry collection by adding examples, definitions, and their own poems to a writer's notebook. In the final session, students go back through the poems they have collected, looking for examples of five elements of poetry.
Writing poetry is less daunting when students can analyze a model. In this lesson, students first listen to a read-aloud of Flicker Flash by Joan Bransfield Graham in order to understand the concept of shape and theme poems. Students use the interactive Theme Poems tool to create their own poems, then work with a peer to analyze their use of sensory language. Finally, students print and share their poems.
This lesson is a great way to teach both scientific and English content to a class, although the teacher can easily choose another book and subject area. In this lesson, students listen to poems in the book Science Verse by Jon Scieszka. Students then create diamante, acrostic, or theme poems with illustrations. To help increase fluency, students read their poems to the class. Finally, students create original poems using facts they have learned in the current science curriculum.