Language Arts Teacher Resources
Find Language Arts educational ideas and activities
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Close Reading of Thank You, Mr. Falker: Identifying the Superpowers of Reading
Third graders read excepts from the story, Thank You, Mr. Falker in order to gain practice in understanding an unfamiliar story by focusing on the details. They use a worksheet, embedded in the plan, which directs them to certain passages in the book. They go back and re-read them, then complete two worksheets for homework. The first one has them describe the character, setting, motivation, problem, and resolution of the story. The second has them write an essay in which they compose a paragraph that describes what the lesson of the story is - in their minds. An interesting, and thought-provoking language arts lesson!
Close Reading of The Boy Who Loved Words: How Do People Build Their Word Power?
Third graders practice the skills of identifying the main message in a story, describing the main character, and sorting the key details of a story into specific categories. The story they read is, The Boy Who Loved Words. Using a guiding worksheet embedded in the plan, pupils read specific excerpts from the book, then get together as a class to discuss their meaning. They also discuss the main message found in the book, and brainstorm the things they can all learn from the book. An intelligent, and thoughtful language arts lesson plan.
Use These Writing Applications in Your Classroom
Utilizing writing applications in the language arts classroom to help pupils begin and develop their writing.
Linking Social Networking to Language Arts
How to tap into students' social networking experiences to enhance learning in the language arts classroom.
Rereading Portions of the Iroquois Constitution and Eagle Song: "Somebody In Wanted But So"
A new close reading approach is introduced as learners continue with the novel Eagle Song in the twelfth lesson of this unit. This reading comprehension strategy focuses on identifying the character, setting, motivation, problem, and resolution in a text. The teacher first exposes the class to this strategy in a guided practice rereading of the Iroquois Constitution, originally covered in the previous unit. Using a graphic organizer, the class identifies the the specific elements of the writing in order to better understand its meaning. Students then work independently, rereading specific sections of Eagle Song as they practice using this new technique. Though the lesson is specifically designed for this novel, the reading strategy it teaches can be applied to any text.
Central Conflict in Eagle Song (Revisit Chapter 1, Begin Chapter 2)
While continuing to read the book Eagle Song, your class learns to cite specific details when answering questions and to use context clues when encountering unknown words. Young scholars begin by listening as the teacher reads aloud the first pages of chapter 2, before working in small groups to answer text-dependent questions using sticky notes to locate supporting evidence in the book. Next, the teacher models the process of using context clues to define new vocabulary, focusing on the words before and after the unfamiliar term to deduce its meaning. Learners then continue to read the chapter independently, identifying supporting details for the remainder of the text-dependent questions, finally discussing the answers with their group. An excellent lesson that teaches young readers to support their answers to reading comprehension questions with evidence from the text.
Close Reading of Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle: Text Dependent Questions and Vivid Words and Phrases
As 3rd graders continue reading Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle, they focus on the concepts of predator and prey in the fifth instructional activity of this unit. Scholars further develop their ability to answer questions using evidence from the text as they look at the relationship between the bullfrog and other animals in its habitat. To better understand their reading, young scholars focus on identifying vivid language used in the book and the author's reason for choosing these unique words and phrases. Children practice using context clues to find meaning in unfamiliar vocabulary from their reading, and work in groups to act out the new words for the class. A great differentiated instructional activity that supports all learners as they continue to read and form understanding of this informational text.
End of Unit Assessment: On-Demand Paragraph Writing
In a two-part lesson, fourth graders are first assessed on their ability to produce an explanatory paragraph and then participate in a gallery walk, presenting their final constitution paragraphs to their peers. To start, learners write a paragraph explaining how their class constitution solves one of several issues described in a bar graph about bullying. Next, a gallery walk is held in which the class reads and posts comments on each others' writing. As a conclusion to the unit, the lesson nicely summarizes and celebrates the development students have made as young writers.
Explaining the Themes of Eagle Song: (Chapter 8, "Peace")
Your class reaches the end of the novel Eagle Song as young readers focus on determining the theme of this story. Similar to previous lessons in the unit, the teacher begins with a read aloud of the first few pages of chapter 8, before asking young scholars to finish the chapter independently. The class is then reintroduced to the "Somebody In Wanted But So" reading comprehension strategy learned earlier in the unit, using it as a guide for identifying different themes in the novel. Significant teacher support is required during this discussion, as pupils are encouraged to move beyond summarizing the text toward understanding the different lessons it teaches. Children finally work in groups to support each theme with details from the book. A well-rounded lesson that nicely concludes your class's reading of Eagle Song.
How Danny Responds to Conflict (Chapter 5, "The Longest Day")
As they continue to read Eagle Song, learners further develop their reading comprehension skills while working collaboratively with their peers. Following a similar format to previous lessons in this unit, the teacher reads aloud the first few pages of chapter 5 while students work in groups to answer text-dependent questions, supporting their responses with specific examples from the book. Young readers then work independently moving through the rest of the chapter, identifying other significant details in the story as they read. Children then return to their groups to discuss the remaining questions for the chapter, sharing the different supporting details they were able to find. Please note that this unit does not include a lesson for chapter 6 as it involves gang-related issues. It suggests that you either skip the chapter or cover it as a whole-class read aloud and discussion.
Learning from Aionwahta and Danny's Father (Chapter 4, "The Visit")
Fourth graders continue reading and discussing Eagle Song in the thirteenth activity of a literature unit. Starting with small group discussions about different aspects of Native American culture, readers analyze the beliefs held by characters in the story. The teacher then reads aloud the first two pages of chapter 4 as the class works together answering text-dependent questions, being sure to cite specific evidence to supports their ideas. Time for independent reading follows as learners use sticky notes to locate details addressing the remaining questions, before finally working in groups to discuss their answers. A activity that continues to develop students' ability to provide evidence from a book when discussing their reading.
Comparing "The (Really) Great Law of Peace" and Chapter 3 of Eagle Song
Fourth graders gain experience comparing multiple versions of a story as they continue reading the book Eagle Song. After first revisiting the article "The (Really) Great Law of Peace" from the previous unit, the class independently reads chapter 3, using sticky notes to identify specific details showing similarities and differences between the two pieces of writing. Learners then work in small groups to take notes on sentence strips as they create large Venn diagrams comparing the two texts. A cross-curricular lesson plan that supports students in connecting their prior learning about Iroquois culture with the reading of this novel.
Launching Readers Theater Groups: Identifying Passages from Esperanza Rising for Readers Theater that Connect to the UDHR
Teach young readers how to compare two texts and select passages that exemplify a specific theme with Lesson 6 from Unit 3. Begin by modeling how an expert reader selects examples from a text, performing a think aloud on how Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) applies to the character of Mama in Esperanza Rising. Then your class will work in groups to select passages related to their own selected article of the UDHR. Selected passages, UDHR articles, and an exit slip are all included in the resource.
Synthesizing Information: Writing an Apprentice Wanted Ad
Fourth graders view examples of help-wanted ads as they plan and create their own writing in the fourteenth lesson of this unit on colonial trade. The engagement of the class is captured when the teacher shares an actual help-wanted ad for an apprentice printed during colonial times. Learners then analyze a piece of included sample writing as they form a clear understanding of the expectations for their work. Next, young scholars plan their writing using previous research and a graphic organizer before finally writing their own help-wanted ad. A lesson that engages and supports students as they pull together all the research and work they have done in this unit to create a piece of original writing.
Planning and Drafting Explanatory Paragraphs
"I love it when a plan comes together." Building on the previous lesson in this unit, young writers use their graphic organizers to create a draft of their constitution explanatory paragraphs. The teacher models this process for the class, demonstrating how ideas are transformed from an outline into an organized piece of writing. Throughout this process, learners discuss with one another the steps being taken, reinforcing their understanding before working independently to produce their own writing. To conclude, the class pairs up to share their work, writing a compliment about each other's paragraph on an index card as their exit ticket. A great resource that clearly models the process of planning and drafting a piece of explanatory writing.
Researching and Note-Taking: Building Expertise About a Colonial Trade
Building on the previous lesson in this unit on colonial trade, the ninth lesson has young experts continuing their research and writing summaries of the information they find. To begin, children participate in guided practice where they read and summarize an informational text as a whole class, learning to focus on the question words who, what, where, when, and why. Learners then break into expert groups to reread their informational texts, while continuing to take notes and discuss their findings. The lesson concludes with the young researchers writing a summary of their colonial trade, citing specific evidence from their reading. An excellent resource that supports in using research to create a summary of informational text.
The Season of Snow...and Learning
Winter-themed language arts lessons that will keep pupils reading and writing.
Introducing Close Reading: Finding the Main Message and Taking Notes About Rain School
This second lesson in a larger unit is perfect for the beginning of the year because it explicitly teaches 3rd graders how to use close reading skills by identifying unfamiliar words, figuring out the gist, and defining important vocabulary words. Learners work to use key details from the story Rain School to identify the main message, describe the characters and their actions in a story, and participate in an academic conversation with their peers through the use of repeated reading and sticky notes on pages to highlight information key terms. The detailed and specific teacher guide, materials list, vocabulary list, and supporting materials make this plan ready to use and an exemplary resource for 3rd grade classrooms.
Reading Closely to Expand Understanding of Adaptations
Third graders work to determine the main idea, recall key details, and answer questions using an informational text on the topic of animal adaptations. Using the non-fiction text "Staying Alive: Animal Adaptations" (provided) the teacher will read the story aloud modeling fluent reading while the class follows along. Next, independently learners will re-read the story on their own using the close reading routine they worked on in a previous unit. During this process, learners will write down notes and vocabulary from the text to capture the gist of the text and compare their notes with a partner. To help capture the main idea and details from the text, readers will be guided to fill out a recording form (given). This lesson and the corresponding unit provide an organized & structured format to teach the concept of reading for information, comprehending what is read, and answering questions about a text providing supporting details. With the text and recording sheet included, it makes this lesson very easy to implement.
Close Reading of That Book Woman: How Did People Access Books in Rural Areas of the United States?
In this ninth lesson in a larger beginning-of-the-year unit, close reading skills are used independently to find the gist of the story That Book Woman. Rereading for important details is the targeted skill to unlock a deeper understanding of the story and create a richer learning experience. Learners end the activity with the a collaborative discussion of the insightful question, "NOW what do think the lesson of the story is?" Third grade classes will enjoy the diversity of the Appalachian dialect written into the story. Teachers will enjoy the explicit language of the lesson plan that is designed to bring out engaging classroom learning.