Waste Not, Want Not

6th - 12th

Discuss the causes and effects of droughts with this New York Times lesson. Middle schoolers read the article "New to Being Dry, the South Struggles to Adapt," and discuss the possible solutions for water waste. They prepare public information campaigns to raise awareness about water conservation in their community. Use this lesson to address how an author of informational text addresses opposing viewpoints.

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Javaid Khan, Jennifer Rittner

Cross-Genre Lesson: Exploring a Thematic Idea of Informational and Literary Texts

Let the synthesizing begin as your learners trace and explore thematic ideas through informational and literary texts that concern Ramses II and the fall of Saddam Hussein. Learners begin by examining an encyclopedia article concerning Ramses and progress to “Ozymandias” by Shelly, and an article from National Geographic of the same topic but of a different tone. Readers compare the three texts and finalize the persona of Ramses. They also develop a theme from the three texts. Learners connect the themes through a photograph of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue in a Bagdad city square. From that, they analyze hubris of the leaders.  Everyone in the class is challenged with argument and synthesis essays. 

End of Unit 1 Assessment: Inferring and Synthesizing (From Two Texts) About Life in Colonial America

Close your colonial America unit with a performance-based assessment. Class members will show their proficiency in several skills including using details to back up inferences, determining the meaning of words in context, and synthesizing information from two texts on the same topic. Wrap up with a reflection. The end to a strong unit, this assessment is designed for the Common Core and should build effectively off of instruction from the past eight lessons.

End of Unit 2 Assessment: Working with Two Texts - Reading, Listening, Summarizing, and Synthesizing

As a summative assessment for this unit on colonial trade, fourth graders listen to and read informational texts in order to demonstrate their ability to take notes, write summaries, and draw connections. Young scholars first listen as the teacher reads aloud a text about a New York merchant, taking categorized notes on the information they hear. Next, students independently read a piece of writing about shipbuilders, once again taking notes using the provided graphic organizer. Finally, they use their notes to answer multiple choice questions, write a summary about shipbuilders, and write a paragraph describing the interdependence of these two trades. The lesson provides a complete assessment of the listening, reading, and writing skills developed by pupils during the course of this research-based unit.    

Documenting Research: Sorting and Recording Information About the Wheelwright

Fourth graders practice using a graphic organizer to record their notes and answer text-dependent questions while supplying evidence of how they found their answer. They focus on a machine called the wheelright, which was commonly used back in the colonial period. As they read the text, they use a graphic organizer, embedded in the plan, in order to organize the information. They also complete two short essays about the wheelright, and the impact it had on life in the colonial village. An answer key is provided. Terrific lesson!

Grade 3 Literacy in Science: Animal Adaptations

I've always feel that the best lessons or units are ones that employ multiple content areas as a way to foster a complete topical understanding. Third graders research and study animal adaptations and then use their findings to write narratives that include scientific criterion. This lesson is all about literacy and science! The lesson is completely designed for addressing Common Core standards and breaks down the relevance of each task in relation to the standards they meet. Worksheets, rubrics, multiple web links, and helpful teaching tips are all provided.

The Information Around Us

First graders discuss ways that signs, maps, pictures, etc. convey information. They listen to a teacher prepared tape recording of sounds that carry information and discuss what can be learned from each sound. Students record an interview with an adult. They discuss ways information is communicated outside of school. Students use a multimedia activity on the computer to explore the ways a computer can communicate information.

Using Informational Text Features and Learning Freaky Frog Vocabulary

What kind of text features help children build a strong vocabulary? According to this lesson, headers, pictures, and the glossary will accomplish this task. The class uses text features such as headers to unpack new vocabulary words. They create vocabulary journals in which they will write what they think the definition of each new word is. The next day, the teacher will go through the journals to determine which words the children should focus on. While the lesson is very well written and includes three worksheets, it is lacking in scope. 

Lesson Plan for Nonfiction Comprehension: Skimming Text

Students practice identifying relevant information by using textbook elements (headings, illustrations, photographs, graphs, diagrams, maps, etc.) as signs or clues in locating essential information that can help them answer given questions.

Performance Art and The Waste Stream

Students research local waste management services, discuss findings, give opinions about what they have found, offer solutions and ideas, and create performance art, design art works, and fine art works to convey information on waste stream management.

Does Art Imitate Life?

Write what you know, sound advice for any writer and something many famous authors are known to have done. Use these materials to explore how Shakespeare's life influenced his plays. This resource is packed with readings, video segments, and graphic organizers that will allow your class to gather and organize textual evidence on this subject, culminating in a written opinion piece. Although much of the resource focuses on Shakespeare and his play The Tempest, there is also a link to a website containing biographical information on a wide range of authors so you can adapt this lesson to the author and works of your choice. Note: See the Lesson Activities page for lesson procedure. 

Be the first to comment

Join Lesson Planet Community, our free teacher discussion forum, to share ideas about this resource, and more.

Join the Conversation

Featured Testimonial

Kimberly K.
I am an enrichment teacher that works with 21 teachers. Using Lesson Planet, I am able to find amazing lesson plans at a moments notice that help to enrich their multiple grade levels. I continue to be astonished by the wealth of lessons and reproducibles.
Kimberly K.
Bourbonnais, IL