New! 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.
A Close Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
An incredibly detailed and focused resource, this cross-curricular unit uses text dependent questions, primary sources, and close reading to help readers interpret and analyze the content and structure of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." The unit is composed of three sections, each of which covers a different aspect of the speech. For teachers, there are detailed descriptions of the purpose of each activity, guiding questions and responses, and appendices with additional activities.
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 plan is all about literacy and science! The lesson plan 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.
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, learners 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!
Using Informational Text Features and Learning Freaky Frog Vocabulary
What kind of text features help children build a strong vocabulary? According to this instructional activity, 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 instructional activity is very well written and includes three worksheets, it is lacking in scope.
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.
Reading and Taking Notes on Colonial Trades
In the tenth lesson of this unit, young scholars learn to categorize information as they continue researching their colonial trade. During guided practice, the teacher models how to read informational text slowly while sorting the information into short bulleted notes. Young researchers are then given the opportunity to practice these skills as they reread text on their specific colonial trade. Finally, learners return to their expert groups to share the notes they have taken with their peers. A great resource for teaching note-taking skills to your class. Note that this lesson builds on the previous two lessons in the unit, though it can be adapted for other content areas as well.
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.
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.
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- Anna D., Student teacher
- Matteson, IL