This three-session lesson focuses on characterization. Students determine how a character's traits reveal particular character traits, using a list of adjectives as a guide. Then, they write descriptions of those characters. Characters from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone are used for modeling.
Students write an analysis essay to identify and explain the rhetorical strategies utilized in a famous speech that make it an effective argument.
This lesson describes how to use selected fiction and nonfiction literature and careful questioning techniques to help students identify factual information about animals. Children first identify possible factual information from works of fiction which are read aloud, then they listen to read-alouds of nonfiction texts to identify and confirm factual information. This information is then recorded on charts and graphic organizers. Finally, students use the Internet to gather additional information about the animal and then share their findings with the class. The lesson can be used as presented to find information about ants or can be easily adapted to focus on any animal of interest to students. Resources are included for ants, black bears, fish, frogs and toads, penguins, and polar bears.
This lesson uses familiar words from The Gingerbread Man to help early readers learn letterâ€“sound correspondence. Students begin with a teacher-conducted shared reading of the story. As students listen, they read the words in the refrain along with the teacher. After the third hearing of the story, students choose their favorite words from the story and identify the sounds that the letters make in the words. Students conclude the lesson by using the newly learned words in an online story of their own creation. To further reinforce letter-sound correspondence, students play an online interactive Picture Match game.
After studying utopian literature, students design their own utopian society, publishing the explanation of their ideal world on a blog. As they blog about their utopia, students establish the habits, practices, and organizing social structures that citizens will follow in their utopian societies. They begin by brainstorming ideas about what a perfect society would be like and then, in groups, begin to plan their project. Next, they become familiar with the blogging process, including legal guidelines and the specific site they will be using. Over several class sessions, students work on their blogs comparing their work to a rubric. Finally, after students visit one another's blogs and provide constructive and supportive feedback, they reflect on their own work. The lesson plan includes alternative handouts for classrooms where computer or blog access is limited. In this alternative, students complete the same basic activities, but publish their work using a Flip Book.
This project could be used as a Book Report alternative or as a creative way for students to express their comprehension of a short story. Students would create a book cover as a single page, or as a complete book jacket. Teachers could identify the particular information they would require for the full project to be placed in certain sections of the jacket.
This sorting activity addresses critical-thinking skills, observation and categorization processes, and reading comprehension and writing skills, while at the same time providing teachers with a vast array of diagnostics through observation of student interaction and conversation. Students work as a class to sort books, first according to their covers and then according to their topics. They explore whether books could be included in multiple categories and whether some groups could be broken down further. Next, students work with a partner to sort twelve books. They orally explain their sorting criteria, and then record in writing what categories they used and why. Students may also compare and contrast two books using an online Venn diagram.
The lesson and activities teach students to recognize and explore bias and media stereotyping and be able to identify and analyze propaganda techniques in magazine and//or TV advertising.
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This mini unit walks students through the question/discovery process of nonfiction literature. The first lesson encourages students to wonder while reading. Then students research to find the answers to their questions. They explore ways to show/write their new learning. As a class the kids work to publish 1 or 2 classroom books on the research topic. This is a great way to introduce the nonfiction unit and then let each student write thier own question book based on the process they used with the class book.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" demonstrates that even the smallest punctuation mark signals a stylistic decision, distinguishing one writer from another and enabling an author to move an audience. In this minilesson, students first explore Dr. King's use of semicolons and their rhetorical significance. They then apply what they have learned by searching for ways to follow Dr. King's model and use the punctuation mark in their own writing. Note that while this lesson refers to the "Letter from Birmingham Jail," any text which features rhetorically significant use of semicolons can be effective for this minilesson.
After scaffolding and modeling of the GIST summarizing strategies, students practice getting the GIST of a piece of text, and then write a brief summary of the text.
After discussing the importance of descriptive language, as well as speaking and listening skills, students practice describing a series of objects. They then take turns reaching into a bag to describe a hidden object, using only their sense of touch. After five clues are given, the other students try to guess what is in the bag, based on the descriptive language used by their classmates. Finally, after the hidden object is guessed or revealed, students discuss additional ways to describe the object. Students can continue to play the game independently, using an online interactive, or with their parents outside of class.
In this video, a father helps a teen prepare for an interview with his mother. While you view the video, watch for demonstrations of these tips as the interview process moves from planning to completion.
This online tool gives teens the background information they need to take a closer look at a favorite epic hero (such as Simba or Batman) or to create a hero of their own using an interactive graphic organizer for the Hero's Journey.
Using Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, students learn a simplified method of analyzing a literary work through psychoanalytical criticism. Students identify plot and theme, and then identify characters from the story with their psychological personalities (Id, Ego, and Superego). Students then develop an argument supporting the character identification. Finally, using explicit textual evidence, students write an analytical essay supporting their position.
This lesson provides an introduction to the language and poetics of the epic poem Beowulf. Although this lesson assumes students will read Beowulf in translation, it introduces students to the poemâ€™s original Old English and explains the relationship between Old, Middle, and Modern English. Students are introduced to the five characters in the Old English alphabet that are no longer used in Modern English. As a class, they translate a short, simple phrase from Old English, and then listen to a passage from the poem being read in Old English. Next, students are introduced to some poetic devices important to Beowulf. They learn about alliteration by reading an excerpt from W. H. Audenâ€™s modern English poem â€œThe Age of Anxiety,â€ then listen for alliteration in the Old English version of a passage from Beowulf. Finally, students explore the poetic functions of kennings, compounds, and formulas in Beowulf.
Through the use of nonfiction, students are encouraged and challenged to learn more about favorite animals and to document their findings with graphic organizers. Students begin their inquiry by comparing fiction and nonfiction books about animals, using a Venn diagram. They list things they want to know about animals on a chart. As a class, students vote on an animal to research. They revise their question list, and then research the animal using prompts from an online graphic organizer. After several sessions of research, students revisit their original questions and evaluate the information they have gathered. Finally, students revise and edit their work and prepare to present their findings to an authentic audience.
Students are introduced to the literary device of onomatopoeia and explore how the technique adds to a writerâ€™s message. Students brainstorm a list of onomatopoeic words and then find examples of the technique in Edgar Allan Poeâ€™s poem, â€œThe Bells.â€ Once they find examples, students reflect on how the onomatopoeic words add to the poem and the writerâ€™s message. They then apply their knowledge of the technique by choosing sound words in response to sounds they hear in an online tool. Following the lesson, students can look for additional examples of the literary device in their reading or look for places to add onomatopoeia to their writing.
The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive (opinion/argument) essay or debate. Students begin by determining their goal. They then identify three reasons to support their argument, and three facts or examples to support each reason. The map graphic in the upper right-hand corner allows students to move around the map, instead of having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed. The students can then take this map and transform it into a written persuasive piece.
With this resource, students will identify elements of setting development within multiple texts as well as recognize picture books as model texts that exemplify multiple literary elements. The lesson has a writing component where students apply the elements of setting development to revisions of their own writing.