Language Arts Teacher Resources

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Introduce young readers to informational texts with a well-designed, ready-to-use, and Common Core-aligned unit. Young readers will learn a variety of skills while studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). As the first lesson plan in this unit, the primary focus of the lesson plan is learning to use the norms of class discussion as well as close reading practices. Your young readers will learn and practice strategies such as rereading, annotating, identifying key vocabulary, and summarizing. Making use of great instructional strategies, this unit is a must see! Note: The level of text complexity for this module would most likely make it appropriate for older grades as well.
Explore multiple perspectives through a jigsaw activity that will improve your pupils' understanding of the characters in Esperanza Rising as well as their understanding of strikes and human rights. Tapping into prior knowledge, and previous notes taken on these topics, class members will first add to their information about their assigned character, then meet in expert groups, and last, but not least, get together with their original group of three and cross-share information. Wrap up with an exit ticket that asks learners to take a stance and use evidence to support their answers.
Here is the second part in a series of lessons where your class will return to their discussion of human rights and study of the primary source document the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Before continuing to read, they will need to understand why and how this document was written. First, show and discuss a video from UNICEF to demonstrate the need for such a document. Then have groups construct a timeline of events leading up to its creation. As with other lessons from this module, the lesson fosters great higher-level thinking skill such as asking questions and evaluating cause and effect. 
Lesson 10 in a series of human rights lessons focuses on the skills of finding evidence and summarizing. Your young readers work to compare the two texts they have read in this unit: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and “Teaching Nepalis to Read, Plant, and Vote”. Groups start by nicknaming articles from the UDHR with names like "right to marry" or "right to vote". After reviewing and summarizing the UDHR articles with nicknames, groups will work to match these various rights with instances in “Teaching Nepalis to Read, Plant, and Vote”. To wrap-up the lesson, individuals will write a short opinion piece on rights that were upheld or violated using the firsthand account as evidence. Note: See the additional materials to find an index for all of these lessons. 
Set up your class to read Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, through a class read-aloud and exploration of the setting. The detailed lesson outlines each step. First, class members read over the first few pages and focus on the setting, brainstorming ideas and talking with classmates to visualize the scene. Next, pupils form groups of three and jigsaw short informational texts, sharing with each other and then the class. Learners also use sticky notes to mark evidence in class and for homework.
Delve into Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan with close reading and evidence-based, text-dependent questions. Part of a unit series, this well-sequenced, Common Core designed lesson draws on material from the previous day and from homework so that pupils begin the day with prior knowledge, and then move into more complex response work. The focus is on multiple readings, small group work, and close reading. Class members discuss the text, respond to questions, and continue to mark evidence with sticky notes.
How do you know what a character's personality is like if an author doesn't tell you? With a focus on character development in Esperanza Rising, pupils complete a jigsaw activity to analyze the actions of Mama, Abuelita, and Miguel. Once group members have shared with their expert group and their own group of three, they compare and contrast the other characters to Esperanza. Class members must make inferences using author details and character behavior. During this well-sequenced lesson, learners will complete a quiz, participate in a jigsaw activity, create posters and charts, and write briefly for an exit ticket, and close with a discussion about human rights.
Continue working through Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan, by looking into language choices and discussing text-dependent questions. Pupils converse in small groups and as a class about plot, setting, and figurative language. Using sticky notes, called evidence flags in the plan, class members mark evidence that corresponds with a series of questions. Create a class record of figurative language, and close with an independent writing assignment about Esperanza's life in California. Meet Common Core requirements as you delve into this text.
Explore point of view and more with a Common Core designed lesson. Pupils experience different points of view by representing one of two characters from Esperanza Rising during a partner discussion. They must use evidence from the text that supports their side during the discussion. But before this, the teacher leads the class through a close reading with text-dependent questions. Small groups are allowed to converse about each question. The questions ask learners to determine the meaning of words using context clues and examine metaphors. Wrap up the lesson with an exit ticket and a debrief. 
Engage further in Esperanza Rising with a focus on close reading and metaphor. Class members zero in on the tenth chapter, examining characters and big ideas. Pupils discuss the text in small groups and as a whole class, and participate in a give-one-get-one activity, using their sticky notes to mark pieces of evidence that they want to share. As a final assignment, writers compose a response to a final question that sums up the lesson. An effective Common Core designed lesson.
Help your class transition as the setting in the novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, moves from Mexico to California. Beginning with prior knowledge, and moving into jigsaw research groups, class members add to and create posters and lists of information about California, immigration, and the Great Depression. The teacher can help out with hint cards and by leading discussion; however, most of the information is discovered by class members as they work through informational texts and complete a gallery walk. Close with a writing activity that relates back to the novel. A strong, well-designed lesson.
Make connections between Esperanza Rising and human rights with the activities outlined here. The lesson starts out with a brief quiz and review of the novel. After that, pupils circulate and share quote strips that you give to them. The goal is to match quotes from the novel with quotes about human rights. Class members will also learn what a strike is and connect that knowledge to the novel by completing a note-catcher and discussing the text. All materials are included in an engaging Common Core designed lesson.
Begin class with a short comprehension quiz and review and then move into a new genre: two-voice poems. The lesson provides information about this type of poetry as well as a video example made by eighth graders that you can show your class. After watching and listening, class members can refer to the included transcript as they compose their own two-voice poems comparing and contrasting two characters from the novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Spend some time discussing text features and previous notes about the characters before sending pupils off with their graphic organizers to draft their poems with a partner or small group. Close by sharing golden lines from the poems.
Determining a theme or central idea is greatly emphasized in the Common Core standards. Target that skill though big metaphors and central symbols in Pam Muñoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising. Help your class reach the standard through discussion, close reading, text-based questions, a kinesthetic opinion survey, and a brief writing assignment. Every step is detailed, and every material is provided in this intelligently sequenced plan, which is part of a series.
Now that your class has read all of Esperanza Rising, take the time to tackle big metaphors and themes. Pupils will participate in an activity called Chalk Talk, in which they circulate around the room in small groups and add comments to charts that are labeled with five metaphors in the novel. Conduct a whole-class discussion on this activity, leaving some time to perform the two-voice poems that were written previously. Part of a well-sequenced series, the lesson will help wrap up the novel and big ideas.
When your class members have completed the novel Esperanza Rising, they will be ready to write an expository essay on how Esperanza responds to events and what this says about her character. Set your pupils up for success by starting out with text-dependent questions about the chapter that will be the focus of their writing, in this case chapter five. Then, using the provided graphic organizer, lead them through planning and writing a paragraph that uses evidence effectively. For homework, have them do the same process on their own. A strong scaffolded writing lesson.
Your class continues to explore the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to learning about the background of this text, learners work on the skill of identifying and understanding key academic vocabulary. Your class will do a close reading of a short excerpt on the background of the UDHR, and then begin a set of flashcards for unfamiliar words. Close the instructional activity with a brief writing assignment in which pupils will reflect on what they have learned from the text thus far. Note: This is part of a series of lessons, please refer to the additional materials section to find the index page.  
Here is a mid-unit assessment for a group of lessons studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The first half of this lesson calls for several forms of review. Your class will review the content of the UDHR text by pair sharing their note-catcher, they will review the concept of human rights through a whole-class discussion, and they will review key vocabulary by creating tableaus or visual representations of words. For the second half of the lesson, students will complete a quiz consisting of seven multiple choice questions and one longer free-response question. The focus of this assessment is vocabulary. Note: To find the whole group of lessons, refer to the additional materials section. 
Lesson 6 of this extensive unit finally has your class begin to work their way through specific articles from the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Before examining the rights actually detailed in the document, have your class guess what rights might be included with a "give one, get one" activity. Individuals brainstorm a list of rights they imagine might be in the UDHR, and then walk around, sharing and recording the ideas of their classmates. Afterward, delve into Article 2 with your class, modeling close reading strategies and completing corresponding sections of the note-catcher. Individuals will do Article 3 independently. Note: See additional materials for an index of the unit's lessons. 
A continuation of the previous lesson, which is part of a larger group of lessons on human rights (see additional materials). Here, in Lesson 7, your class will explore more articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After a quick review of vocabulary from earlier lessons, split the class into groups for a jigsaw activity. Each group will be assigned 2-3 specific articles form the UDHR to read and independently complete close-reading projects. After everyone in the group becomes an expert on their given articles, groups will break-up and form new mixed-article groups, which will mean that the kids are teaching each other about their articles! Also included are worksheets to help focus students' thinking about each article.