Jim Murphy, The Great Fire - Grade 6


The Great Fire by Jim Murphy provides the text for a study of the Chicago fire of 1871. The plan is designed as a close reading activity so that all learners have the same background information require for writing. Richly detailed, the plan also includes photographs of Chicago, historic and contemporary articles, and directions for an argumentative writing assignment. A great resource.

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Choral Response
3 days

Face to Face with the Great Depression

Students develop an analytical perspective of how historians record, preserve, and interpret data. For this US history lesson students read and interpret personal accounts of the Great Depression. They discuss how interpretation affects popular understanding of an event, time, or place.

How Hard Were the Times? Investigating the Meaning and Significance of the Great Depression

Students examine causes and effects of Great Depression and its significance on twentieth-century life, analyze value of various types of historical information, specifically primary sources, and relate events, issues, problems, and solutions of past to present.

A Reading Guide to Island of the Blue Dolphins

Reading Island of the Blue Dolphins with your class? This reading guide, though not a complete lesson plan or curriculum, will provide you with all the information you need to develop an excellent literature unit for this award winning book. Starting with background information about Scott O'Dell and his writing of the story, this guide moves on to provide a plot summary, character and setting descriptions, key vocabulary, important themes, and chapter related guiding questions. Also included are potential writing topics and extension activities, making this a complete resource for teaching this story. Consider reading this historical fiction novel as the class is learning about Native American cultures to allow for interdisciplinary connections.

Introduction to Writing Traits and Writing Strategies

Intended for an audience of teachers, this presentation lays out the six traits of writing, the writing process, and the teaching process for traits and strategies. If you are trying to understand the writing process more fully, you might consider looking over this resource. The fonts can be distracting, but the content is present.

Writing Organization

Upper elementary learners generate sequencing and web graphic organizers while planning expository and narrative writing. They work in teams to complete webs in order to improve a short story and organize a report. Small groups discuss their ideas and then share with the class.

Hints for Writing a Conclusion

Writing the conclusion of an essay can often seem like a superfluous or daunting task. Support your young writers in understanding the various types and purposes of a conclusion paragraph, such as summarizing key points of a paper or encouraging readers to take action. This handout in fact offers eight great hints for writing an effective conclusion paragraph!

The Great Chicago Fire Survivors

Students compare and contrast the experiences of two survivors of the Great Fire of Chicago using a Venn Diagram.

The Great Chicago Fire: Did Mrs. O'Leary's Cow Really Cause It?

Students research the Great Chicago Fire and its myths on how it started. They use their critical thinking skills to determine what really happened. They write an essay supporting their opinion on the fire.

Teaching Selected Poems from Jim Wayne Miller's the Brier Poems

Students explore the basic elements of poetry through Appalachian life poetry. For this poetry lesson, students read seven poems from Jim Wayne Miller's the Brier Poems and complete poetry analysis activities for each poem.

The Great Fire Chapter 6: The Ghost of Chicago

In this reading comprehension worksheet, young scholars answer 10 multiple choice questions that pertain to chapter 6 of The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard.

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Lynn C.
As the International Teacher for Miina Härma Gumnaasium in Tartu, Estonia, I teach classes in English that include children from Estonia, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, and even Pakistan besides Britain and the United States. Lesson Planet helps me find many worksheets and lessons that feature hands-on activities, good graphic organizers, clear, simple language and diagrams, step-by-step math explanations. It is basically very useful for helping a teacher with a largely ESL population. Moreover, I must develop my own teaching materials since I follow the Estonian national curriculum PLUS the national standards of the students, which can be difficult to reconcile together -- never mind, trying to find a textbook that suits (and, I might add, English-language texts are not easily obtainable here).
Lynn C., Teacher
Wakefield, RI