ALEX Lesson Plan


A Note of Thanks: Explanatory Writing

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Tiffany Bishop
System: Tuscaloosa City
School: Eastwood Middle School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33174


A Note of Thanks: Explanatory Writing


The students will compose a thank you note using the following RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) model.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.


 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (7)
1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.7.1]
ELA2015 (7)
2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.7.2]
ELA2015 (7)
4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama. [RL.7.4]
ELA2015 (7)
12. Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events). [RI.7.3]
ELA2015 (7)
15. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others. [RI.7.6]
ELA2015 (7)
21. Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. [W.7.2]
a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison or contrast, and cause and effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.7.2a]
b. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. [W.7.2b]
c. Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. [W.7.2c]
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. [W.7.2d]
e. Establish and maintain a formal style. [W.7.2e]
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. [W.7.2f]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • I can determine the elements of plot
  • I can determine the theme of a text
  • I can write explanatory text to analyze relevant content

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

  • chart paper (anticipation guide)
  • blue or black pens
  • jumbo sticky notes
  • sticky notes
  • card stock paper for thank you note



Technology Resources Needed:

  • laptop
  • projector
  • document camera


Students should have read and comprehended the short story "Thank You, Ma'am" by Langston Hughes.



1. Anticipation Guide

Create a T- Chart on chart paper or white board

(See attachment)

2. Objective Summary

Think about a time that someone did something nice to and for you. Perhaps this person protected you from getting the punishment that you very - well deserved. Write about your experience. Who was involved? What should have happened? How was it resolved?


Following the included rubric, create a Thank You Note (RAFT)

Complete a RAFT

Role Roger

Audience: Ms. Luella Bates Washington Jones

Format: Thank You Letter

Topic: Thank you for providing me with such a unique and unforgettable experience.

P.S. 7.2

(see rubric)


Revisit the Anticipation Guide. Support/Refute your anticipation with textual evidence.

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Assessment Strategies

Assess students with rubric attached.

Before activity, During Activity, as well as After activity will be assessed using attached rubric.


Students could write a similar thank you note to the person they referenced in their before activity, following the same rubric attached.


Students who do not master standards through this activity will be reassessed using an altered assessment method.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.