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TITLE ABSTRACT GRADE DATE

A Daily DEAR Program: Drop Everything, and Read!

The teacher shouts, "Drop Everything and Read!" and students settle into their seats to read books they've selected. This independent reading program is much more than a just-sit-there-and-read experience—it's a program that helps students build the habit of lifelong reading for the love of it. 3-5 
9/30/03

A Getting-Acquainted Activity Using My Teacher's Secret Life

The first days of school are filled with excitement and uncertainy. Here, in this kindergarten lesson, is a creative way for students to become familiar with the teacher and each other. The students will listen to Stephen Krensky's My Teacher's Secret Life, discuss the content, and make predictions about what everyone does when they are away from school. K-2 
9/5/03

A Journal for Corduroy: Responding to Literature

This lesson leads first-grade students to reflect on and respond to literature through journal writing. Students read books in the Corduroy series and interact with a stuffed bear to personalize their experiences. They also record their own adventures with Corduroy, share their stories with the class, and create a class book using the computer. K-2 
9/9/03

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative

The old cliche "A picture is worth a thousand words" is put to the test in this lesson. Distribute or show a picture that tells a story and then encourage students to brainstorm words and ideas about the image before writing a story that tells background on the image or extends details on what has happened. 6-8 
9/23/03

Acquiring New Vocabulary Through Book Discussion Groups

This lesson presents a whole-language approach to a social studies topic (i.e., the Civil War) using the trade book Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco. The approach combines reading comprehension with vocabulary development. The lesson can be extended, modified, and reused for other topics at the teacher's discretion.
3-5 
9/9/03

Action Is Character: Exploring Character Traits with Adjectives

In this activity, students "become" one of the major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using Internet reference tools to compile lists of accurate, powerful adjectives. In class discussion, students support their lists with details from the novel. 6-8 
9/5/03

Active Reading Using The Enormous Watermelon

Students engage in word recognition activities using character names and high-frequency words from the predictable texts of rebus versions of nursery rhymes online and the big book The Enormous Watermelon. Students also identify the main characters in these texts.
K-2 
9/9/03

Adventures in Nonfiction: A Guided Inquiry Journey

Students are guided through an informal exploration of nonfiction texts and child-oriented Web sites, learning browsing and skimming techniques for the purpose of gathering interesting information. They share learned facts with others, develop follow-up questions, and seek answers using Internet search engines in addition to print resources. K-2 
9/5/03

Alaska Native Stories: Using Narrative to Introduce Expository Text

This lesson introduces students to comparing and contrasting fiction and nonfiction texts, and provides integration of literature into content area instruction. Students listen to a Yu'pik tale told by a Native person living in Alaska, reflect on it, and then use expository text to find facts about an animal in the Arctic. 3-5 
9/9/03

Alliteration in Headline Poems

Students will be introduced to the term alliteration. They will be given examples of alliteration and asked to create their own examples of alliteration. As a project, students will be asked to create a headline poem consisting of 25 words that contain at least three examples of alliteration. 6-8 
9/5/03

An Alternative to Testing: Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster

While the text Miss Alaineus: Vocabulary Disaster, provides a delightful romp with words,students will identify with the main character's plight. Turn this fun and confusion into a performance that demonstrates what your students know. Don't test them at the end of a unit, invite them to join in a performance. 3-5
6-8 
9/5/03

Audience, Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages

With the increasing popularity of e-mail and online instant messaging among today’s teens, a recognizable change has occurred in the language that students use in their writing. This lesson explores the language of electronic messages and how it affects other writing. Furthermore, it explores the freedom and creativity for using Internet abbreviations for specific purposes and examines the importance of a more formal style of writing based on audience. 6-8 
9/29/03

Avalanche, Aztek, or Bravada? A Connotation Mini-Lesson

Would you rather drive an Avalanche, an Aztek, a Bravada, a Suburban or a Vue? In this mini-lesson, students examine familiar car names for underlying connotations then proceed through a series of steps, increasing their control over language, until they select words with powerful connotations in their own writing. 6-8 
9/5/03

Avoiding Sexist Language by Using Gender-Fair Pronouns

In this lesson plan, students write a response to a short prompt which includes no information about the participants' gender. Once the writing is complete, students and teacher analyze the narratives for the use of pronouns and what the pronoun choices reveal about language use. 9-12 
9/29/03

Battling for Liberty: Tecumseh's and Patrick Henry's Language of Resistance

This lesson extends the study of Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech to demonstrate the ways Native Americans also resisted oppression through rhetoric and action. Through reading and hearing the speeches of Tecumseh, students develop a new respect for the Native Americans' poltically effective and poetic use of language. 6-8 
9/5/03

Be a Reading Detective: Finding Similarities and Differences in Ideas

This lesson focuses on the strategy of compare and contrast. Students participate in activities that allow them to identify ways in which an author relates ideas and how these ideas can be transferred into a visual representation. Making students aware of how to use and apply specific reading strategies is essential in helping them become successful and comprehensive readers. 3-5
6-8 
9/9/03

Become a Character: Adjectives, Character Traits, and Perspective

In this activity, students "become" one of the major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using Internet reference tools to compile lists of accurate, powerful adjectives. In class discussion, students support their lists with details from the novel. 9-12 
9/8/03

Between the Lions: Exploring Short-Vowel Sounds

Not only is "Between the Lions" an exciting, educational television program by PBS, it also has a captivating website with a variety of activities that students will enjoy. This lesson provides examples of how the "Between the Lions" website can be used by a first-grade class studying short-vowel sounds. K-2 
9/9/03

Biographies: Creating Timelines of a Life

Studying biographies is of interest and value to young learners. This lesson supports students' exploration of sources to create a timeline about the life of a person. The experience requires students work together and research and resolve conflicting information. Extension activities include developing essays from the research. 3-5 
9/5/03

Book Buddy Biographies: Intermediate and Primary Students Working Together

The success of a year-long Book Buddy program hinges on those first few days at the beginning of the year. As intermediate and primary students are first introduced, they have the opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level by creating personalized biographies by interviewing each other, recording responses, putting the information into book format, and illustrating their books. K-2 
9/5/03

Book Clubs: Reading for Fun

Students reading on their own and just for fun? Sure! This lesson explores how small groups of students decide to meet every other day to discuss what they've read in a "just for fun" book club they've organized—and that they control. 3-5 
9/5/03

Book Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards

When students make business cards for characters in books they've read or for the authors of those books, they're forced to think symbolically in order to create a short, simple text that represents the target appropriately—providing a title, relevant images, and other pertinent information. 6-8 
9/5/03

Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama

Students track one character throughout a play (in this lesson, a Shakespearean drama) to determine the character’s education, skills, extracurricular activities, previous employment, and possible references in order to create a resume for that character. 9-12 
9/15/03

Book Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares

Students tire of responding to novels in the same ways. They want new ways to think about a work of literature and new ways to dig into it. By creating comic strips or cartoon squares featuring characters in books, they're encouraged to think analytically about the characters, events, and themes they've explored in ways that expand their critical thinking by focusing on crystallizing the significant points of the book in a few short scenes. 6-8 
9/5/03

Book Report Alternative: Summary, Symbol, and Analysis in Bookmarks

Students love to make bookmarks on the computer because they get to share their ideas with other readers at their school. Teachers love the project becauses it gives students practice in summarizing, recognizing symbols, and writing reviews—all while writing for an authentic audience. 6-8 
9/5/03

Book Report Alternative: The Elements of Fiction

This versatile lesson encourages students to read a fiction book of their choice, analyze what they have read, write and illustrate an alternative book report identifying key elements of fiction, and share their stapleless book with other students in either pairs or small groups. 3-5 
9/5/03

Book Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology

Integrating technology, research, and the language arts, students work collaboratively on this lesson reviewing books and creating hypertext on the Web. Reading, writing, purpose, and audience are synthesized, resulting in a challenging and creative student project. 6-8 
9/5/03

Book Sorting: Using Observation and Comprehension to Categorize Books

This sorting lesson supports the development of critical-thinking and vocabulary skills through observation and discussion of text illustrations and content. With the whole group and then in pairs, students sort books into three or more groups using their own criteria, then explain in writing how they sorted the books. K-2 
9/5/03

Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Critical Discussion of Social Issues

Students are invited to confront and discuss issues of injustice and intolerance reading a variety of texts, from Young Adult literature to picture books. 6-8 
9/5/03

Bright Morning: Exploring Character Development in Fiction

"If you were going to introduce the character you're reading about to someone who had never read the text, what words would you use to describe him or her?" With this question, students embark on an exploration of character in their reading, identifying traits and pointing to textual support. 3-5 
9/5/03

Building Reading Comprehension Through Think-Alouds

This lesson shows teachers how to use think-alouds in the classroom for improved understanding of texts and as an assessment of reading performance 6-8 
9/9/03

Can You Convince Me?: Developing Persuasive Writing

Within the context of a game, students are made aware of their inherent knowledge of persuasive argument. This lesson develops their understanding of oral argument into the written word. 3-5 
1/28/03

Censorship in the Classroom: Understanding Controversial Issues

In this lesson, students examine media bias and propaganda, and explore the reasons for censorship of controversial books. Using this information, students create an advertising campaign promoting their position for reading or banning books. 9-12 
9/15/03

Character Clash: A Mini-Lesson on Paragraphing and Dialogue

When writers include dialogue in their stories, one of the questions that frequently comes up is how to structure texts that have changing speakers or thinkers. This lesson helps students identify the structures that will clarify their text by using colored markers or online resources. 6-8 
9/5/03

Charlotte is Wise, Patient, and Caring: Adjectives and Character Traits

In this activity, students define the characteristics of adjectives and find examples of the part of speech in a shared reading. Then students "become" one of the major characters in a book and describe themselves and other characters, using Internet reference tools to compile lists of accurate, powerful adjectives. In class discussion, students support their lists with details from the reading. 3-5 
9/5/03

Choose Your Own Adventure: A Hypertext Writing Experience

Working in groups, students will read and analyze Choose Your Own Adventure Stories in text or hypertext format and brainstorm to develop setting, characters, and beginning plots for their own adventures. Working in smaller groups and finally individually, students will develop Choose Your Own Adventure Story Web sites. 6-8 
9/5/03

Collaborative Stories 1: Prewriting and Drafting

Students participate in two small-group prewriting activities to gather ideas for a story to be written collaboratively by the whole class. After listening to the beginnings of several children’s stories, students work in groups to brainstorm plot ideas and story beginnings. Students then write a collaborative story on chart paper, working individually or in pairs to add to the story sentence-by-sentence, honing their teamwork skills and playing off each other's writing strengths. K-2 
9/30/03

Collaborative Stories 2: Revising

Using a story which has been written collaboratively by students, the teacher leads a shared-revising activity to help students consider content when revising, with students participating in the marking of text revisions. K-2 
9/30/03

Comic Makeovers: Examining Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Media

Students explore representations of race, class, ethnicity, and gender by analyzing comics over a two-week period and then re-envisioning them with a "comic character makeover." This activity leads to greater awareness of the stereotypes in the media and urges students to form more realistic visions as they perform their makeovers. 9-12 
9/29/03

Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study

The combination of the simple, yet complex nature of comic strips and comic books make them an excellent source of teaching material, as they explore language in a creative way. In this lesson, students will be examining the genre and subgenres of comics, their uses, and purposes. 3-5 
9/5/03

Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Narrative Structure

A strong plot is a basic requirement of any narrative. Students are sometimes confused, however, by the difference between a series of events that happen in a story and the plot elements, or the events that are significant to the story. This lesson uses comic strip frames to define plot and reinforce the structure that underlies a narrative, as students write their own original narratives. 3-5 
9/30/03

Compare and Contrast Electronic Text With Traditionally Printed Text

The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with the similarities and differences between electronic text and traditionally printed text. Students examine the textual aids included in a textbook and compare them to the textual aids included in an educational website. 6-8 
9/9/03

Composing Cinquain Poems with Basic Parts of Speech

Cinquain (pronounced "cin-kain") is a five-line form, using a wavelike syllable count of two-four-six-eight-two. In this lesson, students learn about cinquain and write simple cinquain of their own. 3-5
6-8 
9/30/03

Composing Cinquain Poems: A Quick-Writing Activity

Cinquain (pronounced "cin-kain") is a five-line poetic form, using a wavelike syllable count of two-four-six-eight-two. In this lesson, students write simple cinquain of their own as a follow-up to a subject they have been exploring in class (for instance, units on animals, community, rainforest, or on a particular picture book, such as Amazing Grace). K-2 
9/30/03

Cosmic Oranges: Observation and Inquiry Through Descriptive Writing and Art

As a jumping-off point for inquiry and research, students use varied methods of observation, including sketching, to write objective and subjective descriptions. 6-8 
9/9/03

Creating Class Rules: A Beginning to Creating Community

On the first days of school, students are led through a process for establishing year-long goals and needs for the classroom. These become the classroom guidelines which are used as a foundation for continuous community-building in the classroom. K-2 
9/29/03

Creative Communication Frames: Discovering Similarities between Writing and Art

Build a comparative frame to explore the creative processes of writing and art as communication. Graphic organizers assist the development of comparative vocabulary and generate discussions of analogy and metaphor in art. Apply to a real or virtual tour of an art gallery to develop narrative, expository, or analytical writing. 6-8 
9/5/03

Creative Writing Through Wordless Picture Books

In this lesson, students develop their own story lines for wordless picture books. Students explore a variety of wordless picture books, develop story lines both orally and in writing, and share their stories with others. Students use an online, interactive Story Map to assist in the development of story lines. 6-8 
9/9/03

Critical Literacy: Point of View

By the sixth grade, most students are able to identify point of view in texts by recognizing writing in the first person, second person, and third person. In this lesson, students learn to look at texts from different viewpoints. Was the "big bad wolf" really bad? Throughout the lesson, students are encouraged to view texts from different angles. 6-8 
9/15/03

Critical Media Literacy: Commercial Advertising

Students investigate the influence of advertising on their daily lives. Choices of clothing, music, and other products can be attributed to what adolescents see and hear on television, radio, and other media. In this lesson, students develop a critical eye toward advertising and investigate the hidden messages that are presented. 6-8 
9/9/03

Critical Media Literacy: TV Programs

Television programming has a huge impact on the lives of children. This lesson focuses on the stereotypical and racial messages that are portrayed through television programming with a focus on situational comedies. 6-8 
9/9/03

Critical Reading: Two Stories, Two Authors, Same Plot?

In this lesson, students read two short stories with the same title ("The Luncheon") that have been written by two famous authors. Students compare and analyze both stories to find differences and similarities among the characters and the plot and draw conclusions as literary critics. 9-12 
9/15/03

Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus

Assisting young students in Web research is vital to their literacy development and gives them confidence as they approach digital text. In this lesson, based on the teaching strategies of Sutherland-Smith, teacher modeling and step-by-step handouts guide young explorers through a cyber scavenger hunt. 3-5 
9/23/03

Daily Book Boosts

Each day at the end of their "official" reading time, students give "Book Boosts," one-minute raves about books they've read. These "Book Boosts" are easy ways to suggest a multitude of titles to students, and they act as a way for students to have something to think about as they read. 3-5 
9/23/03

Deeper Reading Response: A Template for Teachers

This lesson involves an enthusiastic read-aloud of a storybook to engage students in expressive and performative reading responses. The types of responses, as identified by Lawrence R. Sipe, include dramatizing, talking back, critiquing/controlling, inserting, and taking over. While this lesson uses specific examples, the response framework can serve as a template for other lessons. K-2 
9/9/03

Developing a Definition of Reading through Analysis in Middle School

Students will interact with a variety of different texts to uncover a broader meaning of reading. 6-8 
9/5/03

Developing a Living Definition of Reading in the Elementary Classroom

Using the guiding question, "What is reading?", this lesson invites students to interact with a variety of different texts as they attempt to uncover the skills necessary to successfully interact with the text. Based upon the discussion that follows, students will create a living definition of reading. 3-5 
9/5/03

Did You Say Spiders?

This spider unit focuses on students' development of cooperative learning and inquiry-based skills. Students read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, and then work in cooperative groups using the Internet to research and synthesize important information about spiders. Technology is used for vocabulary instruction and to create a multimedia presentation. 3-5 
9/9/03

Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems

This lesson uses concrete poems, which relate the placement of the words on the page to the meaning of the poem, to explore the connection between a poem's layout and its meaning. While an enjoyable activity any time of year, the lesson is especially topical near Columbus Day. 9-12 
9/22/03

Doodle Splash: Using Graphics to Discuss Literature

Taking advantage of students’ natural tendency to doodle, students keep a doodle journal while reading short stories by a common author. In small groups, students combine their doodles into a graphic representation of the text that they present to the class while discussing their story. Students also do individual graphics and, ultimately, write group essays analyzing the author’s themes. 6-8 
9/5/03

Dr. Seuss's Sound Words: Playing with Phonics and Spelling

Boom! Br-r-ring! Cluck! Moo! — you're bound to find exciting sounds everywhere. Whether you visit online sites that play sounds or take a sound hike, ask your students to notice the sounds they hear then write their own book, using sound words, based on Dr. Seuss's Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? K-2 
9/5/03

Draw a Math Story: From the Concrete to the Symbolic

When students draw first, write second, and then use equations to symbolize their stories, they start from the concrete and move to the symbolic, helping to improve reading comprehension as well as mathematical understanding. Students' higher-level thinking skills are developed by comparing, sequencing, writing and drawing to support their reading, and using symbols to represent meaning. K-2 
9/5/03

Draw a Story: Stepping from Pictures to Writing

Students draw a series of pictures that tell a simple story that includes character action, problem and solution. They ‘read’ their story to others, transcribe it into writing, and create an accordian book with the drawings and writing. The activity supports the transition from oral to written storytelling. K-2 
9/5/03

Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites

This introductory lesson exposes students to a variety of online texts about Anne Frank and the Holocaust prior to more extensive study of these topics. Students are encouraged to cooperatively examine Internet sites as a primary source of information, and then share their impressions and opinions of the various sites. 6-8 
9/9/03

E-pals Around the World

This lesson provides teachers and students with an exciting way to build literacy skills in the classroom. Students learn appropriate formats for writing friendly letters and e-mail messages. Not only will students develop their reading and writing abilities, but they will also learn about other cultures, languages, and geographic areas. 6-8 
9/9/03

Escaping Slavery: Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

This lesson uses the picture book Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson and an interactive website to enhance third- through fifth-grade students' understanding of the Underground Railroad and slavery, development of reading comprehension skills, and application of mapping skills. 3-5 
9/16/03

Exploring Cross-Age Tutoring Activities with Lewis and Clark

In this lesson, cross-age tutoring is a catalyst for interaction between high school and elementary students as they explore the journey of Lewis and Clark. Using the book How We Crossed the West and online interactive activities, students synthesize knowledge from collaborative sessions to write and share adventure stories. 9-12 
9/18/03

Exploring How Section Headings Support Understanding of Expository Texts

We cannot assume that students understand how section headings can help them organize and understand content-specific information in expository texts. This lesson provides a model, practice, and assessment in the sorting and categorizing of main concepts through the awareness and understanding of section headings. Connections to the outline format are made through extension activities. 3-5 
9/9/03

Exploring Literacy in Cyberspace

This lesson introduces students to the concept of intermediality—the ability to critically read and write across varied symbol systems—to help them broaden their notions of texts and literacies. Students will read print articles and online texts, and record their active reading responses to reflect their different reading experiences. 9-12 
9/15/03

Exploring World Cultures Through Folk Tales

Providing students with the opportunity to read about different cultures helps increase their global understanding and fosters tolerance of cultural differences. In this lesson, students read folk tales from Japan, Wales, and Kenya and depict the stories visually for purposes of retelling. Students also research the countries and share a brief synopsis with the class. 3-5 
9/9/03

Expository Escapade—Detective’s Handbook

Students will combine reading in the detective fiction genre with expository writing. Embedded in this unit are reading and writing skills such as defining, editing, explaining, illustrating, justifying, revising, supporting, and validating. 6-8 
9/5/03

Fairy Tale Autobiographies

Students will work in groups to read and analyze fairy tales, brainstorm for events in their lives that could be changed into fairy tales, develop setting, characters, and plot for their fairy tale, write, illustrate, and compile their fairy tales into group books. 6-8 
9/5/03

Fairy Tales from Life

With the help of the teacher, students will read fairy tales and identify common elements. Choosing common situations and working in small groups, students will draw storyboards of their fairy tale and then write the fairy tale. Project will conclude with class presentations. 3-5 
9/23/03

Family Message Journals Teach Many Purposes for Writing

Family Message Journals are tools for learning, thinking, and self-expression. By writing several messages with varied purposes, students begin to experience that journal writing can serve many purposes—it can help them remember; make sense of new information and ideas; and recognize, develop, and share personal thoughts and reactions. K-2 
9/5/03

Figurative Language Awards Ceremony

Figurative language enlivens a text, providing visuals in the minds of readers. This lesson will have students listening to and reading selected texts as they seek out their favorite literary devices. 3-5 
9/5/03

Finding Figurative Language in The Phantom Tollbooth

This lesson is an exploration of figurative language using the novel The Phantom Tollbooth and various Web resources. Students examine figurative language in the story and create a chart representing the literal and figurative meanings of words and phrases. 6-8 
9/9/03

Flying to Freedom: Tar Beach and The People Could Fly

Reading with an awareness of intertextuality helps students respond in a dynamic manner to multicultural literature. Students explore themes of liberation and racism as they examine the connections, as well as the disjunctions, between two award-winning children's books. 3-5 
9/9/03

Folktale Frenzy: WebQuest Writing

This folktale unit supports 6th through 8th grade students’ exploration of the many subgenres of folktales: trickster tales, fairy tales, fables, tall tales, and legends. The unit focuses heavily on the use of technology as a learning tool as students work together to create WebQuests for their peers to explore. 6-8 
9/5/03

Found Poems/Parallel Poems

Using a descriptive passage from a piece of literature they are reading, students will write found poems. Then they will underline key words, and using these key words, and following the format in their found poems, they will write their own parallel poems. 6-8 
9/5/03

From Fact to Fiction: Drawing and Writing Stories

Involving students in drawing activities prior to writing helps them to visualize what they want to express in their writing. Drawing before writing makes writing an easier process. In this lesson, students learn story elements, use graphic organizers, and access the Internet to gather factual information about frogs and toads. K-2 
9/15/03

From Stop Signs to the Golden Arches: Environmental Print

Teachers have long surrounded young students with a print-rich environment within the classroom, but the purpose of this lesson is to bring the print-rich environment of the community into the classroom through the use of environmental print, enabling emergent readers to delight in the realization that they are indeed readers. K-2 
9/5/03

Generating Rhymes: Developing Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness instruction is an integral part of any early reading program. This lesson incorporates song and poetry to help students recognize and generate simple rhymes. K-2 
9/25/03

Get the Reel Scoop: Comparing Books to Movies

In today’s culture, students are bombarded with movies based upon literature. Instead of assuming that students will watch the movie rather than reading the book, let’s take advantage of this phenomena by asking students to compare and contrast books with their movie counterparts and write for variety of authentic purposes. 3-5
6-8 
9/5/03

Get Writing With “Weekend News!”

This "weekend news" writing activity gives students the opportunity to recall personal events and write about them. The writing is done in a nonthreatening environment, which helps students develop writing fluency and apply what they already know about spelling and other language conventions. Students create a set of criteria with which to self-assess their writing. K-2 
9/9/03

Getting the ig in Pig: Helping Children Discover Onset and Rime

This phonics lesson offers a clear instructional format for teaching onset and rime. The ig rime is demonstrated through the use of literature, independent and cooperative learning, critical thinking, and hands-on activities. Instruction is conducted in both an explicit and implicit manner. K-2 
9/10/03

Giant Story Problems: Reading Comprehension through Math Problem Solving

Students solve "oversized" story problems using drawings, equations, and written responses, helping them understand the links between the language of story problems and the numerical representations of matching equations. The activity also includes oral language and reflective writing, thus bringing together a variety of language experiences into mathematics work. K-2 
9/5/03

Gingerbread Phonics

The Gingerbread Man, a familiar folk tale, is used to help early readers learn letter-sound correspondence in a meaningful context. Students then use their new skills to write an online story. K-2 
9/9/03

Graffiti Wall: Discussing and Responding to Literature Using Graphics

Students respond to literature in a variety of ways. Here teachers can tap the students' desire to doodle and draw by having them create a Graffiti Wall, using graphics to discuss a piece of literature that they have read in common. After doing both group and individual activities, students write essays analyzing some element of their novel. 9-12 
9/10/03

Graphic Life Map

This is a prewriting activity for personal memoir or autobiographical writing. Students brainstorm for important memories, create graphics or symbols for their most important memories, and construct a life map on tag board or construction paper, connecting drawings and captions of high and low points with a highway. 6-8 
9/5/03

Growing Readers and Writers with Help from Mother Goose

Children can learn rhythm and rhyme from nursery rhymes. But those same poems can be used to help young students make connections to letters, sounds, and word chunks. Let Mother Goose help children grow as readers and writers! K-2 
9/5/03

Guess What's in the Bag: A Language-based Activity

"Guess What's in the Bag" gives students opportunities to interact and play with language. It challenges them to develop and use descriptive language when communicating. This lesson helps not only the speakers, but also the listeners who process the clues given and make predictions about the item in the bag. K-2 
9/5/03

Have Journal...Will Travel: Promoting Family Involvement in Literacy

This project is designed to engage families in shared literacy activities. The students take turns taking home a book bag that includes a stuffed toy, a book, art supplies, a topic to discuss with their families, and a journal to share their thoughts and ideas. Through the experience they build positive memories of literacy activities. K-2 
9/9/03

Heroes Around Us

In this lesson, students collaboratively define heroism and discover that heroes can be everyday people who perform brave and noble deeds, often in service to others. Readings and reports on the lives of those honored as heroes reinforce the concept that anyone can become a hero.
6-8 
9/9/03

Hey Diddle, Diddle! Generating Rhymes for Analogy-Based Phonics Instruction

First-grade teachers can use analogy-based phonics (i.e., learning words based on word families) before other phonological skills, such as rhyme, are in place. This lesson focuses on an informal assessment of students' identification of rhyme in the context of a poem and manipulation of online picture cards. K-2 
9/15/03

Honoring Our Veterans Through Poetry Prewriting

This lesson uses the informational power of the Internet for a prewriting activity. Through various Internet sites, students gather information about the history and celebration practices associated with Veterans Day. Following the prewriting activity, students write content-rich poems that honor our veterans. 6-8 
9/9/03

How Big Are Martin's Big Words? Thinking Big about the Future

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tells of King's childhood determination to use "big words" through biographical information and quotations. In this lesson, students explore information on Dr. King to think about his "big" words, then they write about their own "big" words and dreams. 3-5 
9/29/03

In the Poet's Shoes: Performing Poetry and Building Meaning

In this lesson, students analyze a variety of poets and their poetry by reading and listening to their work. Students then use information gathered from Internet resources to select a favorite poet and perform one of their poems for the class. 6-8 
9/5/03

Inside or Outside? A Mini-Lesson on Quotation Marks and More

Does that period go inside the quotation marks or outside them? When a writing activity includes dialogue, you're guaranteed to hear that question more than once. This lesson helps students identify the conventions and apply them to their text. 6-8 
9/23/03

Introducing Each Other: Interviews, Memoirs, Photos, and Internet Research

Students read, write, speak, listen, and research as they interview a partner and write an article, write a personal memoir, take partner photographs, and use the Internet to find pictures and information illustrating their partners’ interests. Results are shared in the form of a poster and a classroom presentation. 6-8 
9/9/03

Inventing and Presenting Unit 1: Analyzing Nonfiction and Inventing Solutions

Students design, build, and test inventions to solve problems they have identified. All data is recorded using commonly accepted scientific principles, and students propose in writing an appropriate speech for sharing the results of their experimentation. Final speeches, including graphs, brochures, PowerPoint Slides, and demonstrations, are presented before combined classes. 6-8 
9/9/03

Inventing and Presenting Unit 2: Effective Speeches and Building the Invention

Students design, build, and test inventions to solve problems they have identified. All data is recorded using commonly accepted scientific principles, and students propose in writing an appropriate speech for sharing the results of their experimentation. Final speeches, including graphs, brochures, PowerPoint Slides, and demonstrations, are presented before combined classes. 6-8 
9/23/03

Inventing and Presenting Unit 3: Persuasive Speaking and Invention Promotion

Students design, build, and test inventions to solve problems they have identified. All data is recorded using commonly accepted scientific principles, and students propose in writing an appropriate speech for sharing the results of their experimentation. Final speeches, including graphs, brochures, PowerPoint Slides, and demonstrations, are presented before combined classes. 6-8 
9/9/03

Investigating Animals: Using Nonfiction for Inquiry-based Research

Primary students are intensely interested in nonfiction, informational text, especially when they investigate favorite animals. Students need ways to document their discoveries. This lesson provides the means to do this as both whole-group experiences and paired experiences between kindergarten students and their upper-grade buddies. K-2 
9/9/03

It Doesn’t Have to End That Way: Responding to Literature

This activity enhances story time by encouraging students to reflect on and respond to literature. They attempt to predict the way in which they think the story will end and create an illustration that reflects their predictions. This lesson challenges students to develop an ending that connects to previously given information. K-2 
9/9/03

It's Too Loud in Here! Teamwork in the Classroom

This lesson meets first- and second-grade students' natural need to socialize when creating meaning about the world. The cooperative learning activities allow students to collaborate and develop an understanding of teamwork while developing classroom rules. It's okay to be LOUD in this lesson! K-2 
9/15/03

Launching Family Message Journals

This lesson introduces Family Message Journals, a tool for encouraging family involvement and supporting writing to reflect and learn. First and second graders are led into composing through demonstration, guided writing, and finally independent writing of messages that they will bring home for family to read and write a reply. K-2 
9/9/03

Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom

The lead of a story is the beginning, and yet it can be the end if the reader is not entranced immediately. This lesson examines types of leads in promininent children's literature and asks students to try their own hand at writing leads. 3-5 
9/9/03

Leading to Great Places in the Middle School Classroom

Teaching revision strategies can be fun and inviting. This lesson examines leads in promininent young adult literature and asks students to try their own hand at writing leads. 6-8 
9/9/03

Learning Centers: From Shared to Independent Practice

n this lesson, a number of literacy learning centers are developed within the context of a shared reading experience, allowing students to practice skills at their own level (both in interest and ability), within the authentic context of a rich literacy experience. K-2 
9/9/03

Let's Talk About Stories: Shared Discussion with Amazing Grace

This lesson develops students' reading comprehension and understanding through a variety of interpretive activities. Students become more aware of their personal reactions as they read, develop sensitivity to language, and come to value their own curiosity about a text. K-2 
9/9/03

Letter Poems Deliver: Experimenting with Line Breaks in Poetry Writing

Letter poems make poetry accessible, meaningful, and fun. Letter poems are also an apt medium for exploring a defining characteristic of poetry—line breaks. Students explore letter poems and experiment with writing letters as poems, using the placement of line breaks to enhance rhythm, sound, meaning, and appearance. 3-5 
9/9/03

Letter Recognition and Sound Identification

This lesson, which is most appropriate for kindergartners, reviews letter names and their sounds through a group letter recognition activity, a picture book activity, and alphabet practice with several engaging online activities. K-2 
9/9/03

Lights, Camera, Action: Interviewing a Book Character

After reading a novel as a group, students prepare a television talk show that uses the characters from the story as the acting characters on the show. Students develop interview-style questions and answers for a character in the novel, and then act out the interview in class. 6-8 
9/22/03

Listen, Look, and Learn: An Information-Gathering Process

After listening to and discussing the story Score One for the Sloths, primary students will work together as a class group to seek for information on the sloth. This introductory lesson on information gathering features a variety of resources and formats to be used with notes recorded on an information wheel graphic organizer. K-2 
9/9/03

Literature as a Catalyst for Social Action: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges

Students are invited to confront and discuss issues of injustice and intolerance reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts. 3-5 
9/9/03

Literature Circles with Primary Students Using Self-Selected Reading

After reading self-selected books, students respond to reading in a journal and talk about their books daily in small, heterogeneous groups. The teacher guides and assesses students’ work by rotating among the groups, offering suggested response prompts and writing with them in their dialogue journals. K-2 
9/9/03

Literature Circles: Getting Started

Literature Circles are a great way to supplement a reading program in a literature-based classroom. Students create and answer comprehension questions, discover new vocabulary, and examine elements of literature. The students feel ownership in Literature Circles because they are responsible for the meeting. Any genre of literature can be used. 3-5 
9/9/03

Magazine Redux: An Exercise in Critical Literacy

Teachers can use this activity as part of a larger unit on media literacy to help students understand how and why they read and respond to different media forms. This lesson focuses specifically on analyzing the differences between print and online magazines. 9-12 
9/29/03

Making Personal and Cultural Connections Using A Girl Named Disaster

Using A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer, students learn about Africa, Shona traditions, geography, and society. They also develop critical thinking skills and self-awareness as they examine cultural similarities and differences and make personal connections to the story. This lesson is most appropriate for middle school students. 6-8 
9/9/03

Memories Matter: The Giver and Descriptive Writing Memoirs

Students will combine reading with descriptive writing. Embedded in this project are skills such as compiling, composing, defining, describing, illustrating, rewriting, and validating. 6-8 
9/10/03

Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency

This lesson introduces the study of insects in science by using poetry. Students work in cooperative groups to prepare choral poetry readings and present factual information on an assigned insect to the class. The choral poetry readings also serve to increase fluency in ESL students. 3-5 
9/9/03

My World of Words: Building Vocabulary Lists

This lesson uses students' areas of interest both in and out of school to generate personalized vocabulary lists. Working in small groups, students select their own vocabulary words and research their meanings. In a culminating activity that uses text and illustration, each student will create a "My World of Words Journal." 3-5 
12/20/02

Myth and Truth: Independence Day

Most Americans think of the Fourth of July as Independence Day—but is it really the day the U.S. declared and celebrated independence? By exploring myths and truths surrounding Independence Day, this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed stories regarding the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the Independence Day holiday. 3-5 
9/10/03

Myth and Truth: The “First Thanksgiving”

Behind every myth are many possible truths allowing us to discover who we were as peoples and who we are today. By exploring myths surrounding the Wampanoag, the pilgrims, and the "First Thanksgiving," this lesson asks students to think critically about commonly believed myths regarding the Wampanoag Indians in colonial America. 6-8 
9/10/03

Name Talk: Exploring Letter-Sound Knowledge in the Primary Classroom

Invites primary students to share their letter/sound knowledge in a small group and gives teachers an opportunity to assess knowledge in a meaningful context. Working with name cards, students share observations about their names and the names of their classmates. Extensions are appropriate for a range of primary-aged students. K-2 
9/10/03

Name That Chapter! Discussing Summary and Interpretation Using Chapter Titles

Students name chapters in novels that they are reading, creating a cumulative list for the novel as they proceed. Sample titles are discussed and debated before the class settles on a choice. In the process, students actively explore reading comprehension, summary, accuracy, and connotation. 9-12 
9/8/03

Native Americans Today

Through this lesson, teachers can use children's nonfiction books and the Internet to help their students develop accurate, substantive information about Native American people in the present day. 3-5 
9/10/03

Novel News: Broadcast Coverage of Character, Conflict, Resolution, and Setting

This twist on readers theater invites students to prepare original news programs based on incidents in a recent reading. Along the way, students explore standard literary elements of character, conflict, resolution, and setting. 9-12 
9/29/03

Paul Revere: American Patriot

In this series of lessons that allow curricular integration, students explore the life and legend of Paul Revere. Revere was an American patriot in the Revolutionary War period and was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride." Websites that describe Paul Revere's life, his well-known ride, and his occupation are investigated and discussed. Information from these sources is then used for center activities and projects. 3-5 
9/29/03

Peace Poems and Picasso Doves: Literature, Art, Technology, and Poetry

Students and teachers employ think-aloud strategies as they read literature, compose poems, and create artwork related to the theme of peace. This unit is designed for collaborative teaching among classroom, art, and technology teachers, and school librarians. A single educator can also teach this unit 3-5 
9/9/03

Peer Review: Narrative

"I liked the story about you and Paul. I think you should add a little more detail and you should change the end two sentences so it will sound better." Sound familiar? This student response to a peer's draft is all too typical. The PQP technique—Praise–Question–Polish—encourages student writers to find and correct their own errors, using self-editing knowledge to empower them as writers, rather than asking them to make others' corrections. 6-8 
9/10/03

Pencil Pages: Getting to the Point When Researching Information

Students examine the structure and organization of the "Pencil Pages!" website and compare it with the conventions of print text. Drawing upon prior knowledge, students predict whether eight statements about pencils are true or false. They use their understanding of online text conventions to verify their predictions. 3-5 
9/9/03

Persuasive Writing: What Can Writing in Family Message Journals Do for Students?

Composing messages with varied purposes helps children discover the power of writing. When students recognize what writing can do for them, motivation to write increases. This lesson engages children in using writing to their families as a persuasive tool to get what they want and need. K-2 
9/10/03

Phoneme Isolation: Building Phonemic Awareness

Phoneme isolation is an important aspect of phonemic awareness and an essential early reading skill. This lesson helps students isolate beginning and ending sounds and connect them with their written symbol (grapheme) through games and chants. K-2 
9/9/03

Phonic Generalizations in Chrysanthemum

Using the book Chrysanthemum, this lesson teaches first- and second-graders the phonic generalizations for ow, aw, and ew. Based on the strategy "Letterbox Lessons" by Murray and Lesniak, students manipulate letters to construct words. Students then apply the strategy by spelling the words, reading the words in selected nursery rhymes, and playing an online, interactive game. K-2 
9/9/03

Phonics Through Literature: Learning About the Letter M

With a balance of teacher-directed, student-initiated, and home activities, kindergarten students learn about phonics and the letter m. This lesson uses children's literature, learning centers, and activities that emphasize interactive learning across the curriculum to encourage students to "monkey around" with their knowledge of letters and sounds in a fun, whole-language environment. K-2 
9/9/03

Playing with Prepositions through Poetry

Through the literature of Ruth Heller, students have the opportunity to play with language, particularly prepositions. Taking those experiences as a reader, they are asked to continue to play with the language in poetry. By moving around prepositions on the Word Mover Student Interactive, students create a poem that will make this grammar lesson more meaningful. 3-5
6-8 
9/10/03

Poetry from Prose

Students and teacher pick a descriptive passage from a piece of prose and select words and phrases from the prose to create a found poem. They may then use found poems for models of parallel poems. The goal of this lesson is for students to understand descriptive writing and recast prose as poetry. 3-5 
9/10/03

Poetry Portfolios: Using Poetry to Teach Reading and Writing

Teach your students about sentence structure, rhyming words, sight words, vocabulary, and print concepts using a weekly poem. These important skills for reading and writing are demonstrated in a whole-to-parts approach using engaging poems, shared reading, and independent activities. K-2 
9/9/03

Poetry: A Feast to Form Fluent Readers

Students examine elements of fluent reading through oral poetry performance. They use the Internet to identify a poem to prepare and perform for the class. The main objective of this lesson concerns improving fluency. 3-5 
9/9/03

Postmodern Picture Books in the Middle School

Students analyze the structure of a postmodern picture book to uncover how authors form relationships between words and illustrations. An online teacher resource explains the intent of the picture book Black and White and provides background information and suggestions for classroom discussion. 6-8 
9/9/03

Powerful Writing: Description in Creating Monster Trading Cards

Description can make a piece of writing come alive. This activity combines art and word play, emphasizing writing for an audience while drawing on multiple intelligences. Peer review and feedback reinforces the revision process as students create trading cards by drawing pictures of monsters and describing and categorizing them in detail. 3-5 
9/10/03

Proverbs: An Introduction

Out of the frying pan and into the fire! A stitch in time saves nine! Look before you leap! In this lesson, students will be introduced to the concept of proverbs and explore how proverbs such as these, meant to convey cultural knowledge and wisdom, are often closely tied to a culture’s values and everyday experience, although their meanings are not always readily apparent to us today. 6-8 
9/10/03

Proverbs: At Home and around the World

Proverbs in one culture are frequently similar to proverbs expressed in other cultures. For instance, the French "Qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf" translates to "He who steals eggs steals cattle"; but your students will likely be more familiar with the American proverb "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile." In this lesson, students work with proverbs from home and from around the world, exploring how these maxims are tied to a culture’s values and everyday experience. 6-8 
9/10/03

Proverbs: Contemporary Proverbs

"Don't store all your data on one disk" is a contemporary update of the traditional proverb "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." Such traditional proverbs are often closely tied to a culture’s values and everyday experience. As a result, their meanings are not always readily apparent to us today. This lesson challenges students to craft more apparent meanings for traditional maxims by updating proverbs from around the world and writing proverbs of their own. 6-8 
9/10/03

QARs + Tables = Successful Comprehension of Math Word Problems

In this lesson, students identify the question-answer relationship (QAR) for word problems that relate to a graphic or table. They then use the QAR strategy to determine the mathematical and cognitive actions required to answer the word problem. This activity is particularly appropriate for fourth- and fifth-grade students. 3-5 
9/9/03

Readers Theater

Readers Theater gives students the opportunity to develop fluency and enhance comprehension through expressive readings of a text. Students become more enthusiastic in the classroom as they witness how texts can come alive through participatory readings. 3-5 
9/9/03

Reading and Writing About Whales Using Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

This lesson uses fiction and nonfiction texts to teach first- and second-grade students about blue whales and the parts of a letter. Students learn how to formulate research questions and incorporate their questions in the form of a letter. They then send their letters to an online scientist. K-2 
9/9/03

Reading and Writing Workshop: Freak the Mighty

This novel study of Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick includes the modeling and practicing of specific reading comprehension strategies, vocabulary and word study, a figurative language activity, and a selection of final projects which can be used for assessment with the accompanying rubric. 6-8 
9/10/03

Reading Everywhere with Dr. Seuss

Using Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham as a model, students create a book and a PowerPoint or HyperStudio slide show to help them see all the wonderful places they can read. Where do you like to read? By the pool? At school? In a car? Beneath a star? Here? There? Everywhere! K-2 
9/10/03

Research Building Blocks: “Cite Those Sources!”

“Cite Those Sources!” is part of a Research Process/Application unit. The focus of this lesson is on creating a bibliography. The unit/activities were created with a School Library Media Specialist about the State of Illinois; however, they can be adapted to any state or other research topic. 3-5 
9/10/03

Research Building Blocks: “Organize This!”

“Organize This!” is part of a Research Process/Application unit. This lesson focuses on organizing found research information. The unit/activities were created with a School Library Media Specialist about the State of Illinois; however, they can be adapted to any state or other research topic. 3-5 
9/10/03

Research Building Blocks: Examining Electronic Sources

"Examining Electronic Sources," part of a Research Process and Application unit, focuses on selecting electronic resources. The unit and activities, created in conjunction with a School Library Media Specialist, are on the State of Illinois; however, they can be adapted for any state or other research topic. 3-5 
9/10/03

Research Building Blocks: Hints about Print

"Hints about Print," part of a Research Process and Application unit, focuses on selecting print resources. The unit and activities, created in conjunction with a School Library Media Specialist, are on the State of Illinois; however, they can be adapted for any state or other research topic. 3-5 
9/10/03

Research Building Blocks: Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments

"Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments," part of a Research Process and Application unit created in conjunction with a School Library Media Specialist, focuses on taking notes, using materials on the State of Illinois. The lessons can be adapted to any state or other research topic. 3-5 
9/10/03

Research Building Blocks: Skim, Scan, and Scroll

“Skim, Scan, and Scroll” is part of a Research Process and Application unit created with a School Library Media Specialist. The focus of this lesson is searching for information on the State of Illinois; however, it can be adapted to any state or other research topic. 3-5 
9/10/03

Scaffolding Comprehension Strategies Using Graphic Organizers

To facilitate comprehension during and after reading, students apply four reading strategies: preview, click and clunk, get the gist, and wrap-up. Graphic organizers are used for scaffolding of these strategies while students work together in cooperative groups. 6-8 
9/9/03

Seasonal Haiku: Writing Poems to Celebrate Any Season

Students listen to a sample of haiku read aloud. Then, using seasonal descriptive words, they write their own haiku following the traditional syllable and line format. Finally, they publish their poems by either mounting them on illustrated backgrounds that support the images depicted in the poems or completing the leaf interactive. 3-5 
9/11/03

Sentence Quest: Using Parts of Speech to Write Descriptive Sentences

Working with class-generated word lists categorized by parts of speech, students learn the criteria for a sentence by manipulating word cards, then collaborate to write and illustrate complete, descriptive sentences. Finally, students work in groups using descriptive words and phrases to try to create the longest sentence they can. K-2 
9/11/03

Shaquille O'Neal: Using a Basketball Star to Motivate Readers

Using a book written by a celebrity like Shaquille O'Neal can help motivate reluctant readers and spark their interest in reading. Students read Shaq and the Beanstalk and compare and contrast it with the traditional story, Jack and the Beanstalk. Students then write their own version of the story.
3-5 
9/9/03

Shared Spelling Strategies

Students increase their spelling accuracy (i.e., standard) and their retention by "constructing" spelling using sound, sight recall, and analyzing strategies, among others, instead of memorizing lists of words. The aim is to deal with spelling during drafting while preserving fluency. 6-8 
9/11/03

She Did What? Revising for Connotation

Did she walk, skip, amble, dance? In this mini-lesson, students examine the simple sentence "She walked into the room." Students act out ways that the student in the sentence might enter the room, revising the sample sentence to increase the specificity of the word and explore connotation. Students follow this demonstration by selecting words with powerful connotations for their own writing. 6-8 
9/11/03

STAR Search: How Do I Find the Book I Need?

STAR Search provides a set of steps and thinking processes for intermediate students to use in finding a library resource relevant to a specific information need. Modeling and presenting the process will assist students in becoming confident, independent library users. 3-5 
9/11/03

Story Character Homepage

A project for literature circles or class novels to develop understanding of a character. In groups students will look at examples of homepages on the Internet, note what elements most contain, and use them as models to create a homepage for their chosen character. 6-8 
9/11/03

Student Contracting

This lesson will help your students become more engaged and motivated by developing learning contracts in the classroom. Reading and writing is the focus of the lesson; however, contracts can easily be incorporated into all subject areas for a variety of purposes.
6-8 
9/25/03

Student of the Day: Create Sound/Letter Understanding with Names

This lesson uses students' names and other concrete words to teach the conventions and terminology of print. Kindergarten and first-grade students explore each other's names, making comparisons between initial sounds, ending sounds, syllabication, and letter shape. K-2 
5/2/03

Style: Defining and Exploring an Author's Stylistic Choices

Exploring the use of style in literature helps students understand how language conveys mood, images, and meaning. In this activity, students will find examples of specific stylistic devices in sample literary passages then search for additional examples and explore the reasons for the stylistic choices that the author has made. 9-12 
9/11/03

Style: Translating Stylistic Choices from Hawthorne to Hemingway and Back Again

In this activity, students work in small groups to explore the stylistic choices an author makes by translating passages of one author into the style of another, then translating fables into the style of one of the authors they have been reading. 9-12 
9/12/03

Teaching Language Skills Using the Phone Book

What literacy skills are needed to use a phone book? Through multiple activities built around the an everyday text, students will not only learn how the book is arranged, but what the contents are and also how it is used. In the process, students will be using their research and organizational skills to build their own class phone book. 3-5 
9/11/03

Teaching Science Through Picture Books: A Rainforest Lesson

A study of the tropical rainforest is introduced through the picture book Welcome to the Green House by Jane Yolen. This science lesson, which incorporates reading, writing, and technology, is a template that can be used with other books by Jane Yolen to teach about the desert, the polar ice cap, and the Everglades. 3-5 
9/9/03

Teaching Short Vowel Discrimination Using Dr. Seuss Rhymes

Students develop phonemic and phonetic awareness through word study of common short-vowel word families. Students will use Dr. Seuss rhymes to discover and explore the sounds and spellings of different short vowel word families.
K-2 
9/9/03

Teaching Voice with Anthony Browne's Voices in the Park

Well-crafted characters, plots, and settings might attract readers to a story. Without a distinctive voice, however, those elements will not keep a reader interested. In this lesson, students analyze Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne to determine how an author creates voice and to apply that knowledge to writing. 6-8 
9/11/03

Technical Reading and Writing Using Board Games

In small groups students create board games on a novel they have read. They write directions for the games that clearly explain how to play and to create questions and answers based on their novels. They play each other's games (technical reading) and discuss changes and improvments for the directions and the game layout. 3-5 
9/11/03

Text Talk: Julius, the Baby of the World

This lesson helps young readers interact with and interpret text using Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes. The text talk strategy provides students with open-ended questions, which allow them to interpret the language, plot, and characters of the story. K-2 
9/29/03

The Big, Bad Wolf . . . Is This a Fact?

This lesson uses nonfiction trade books to increase comprehension, vocabulary, and research skills, and boost students willingness to read. Activities include sustained silent reading (SSR), book discussions, teacher modeling, journal responses, research, and use of multimedia software to create presentations. 6-8 
9/9/03

The Frog Beyond the Fairy Tale Character: Searching Informational Texts

Students consider their prior knowledge about frogs by predicting whether eight statements are true or false. Students verify their predictions through the guided use of the website The Somewhat Amusing World of Frogs. This lesson is best used for grades 1 and 2 and can be connected to the study of amphibians or to the reading of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad series.
K-2 
9/15/03

The Holocaust: Studying Lessons of the Past

This lesson engages students in an introductory study of the Holocaust. The lesson is intended to begin during the month of April in connection with Holocaust Remembrance Day. Critical thinking is encouraged. Debate and discussions evolve through personal responses to assigned readings. 6-8 
9/9/03

The Reading Performance: Understanding Fluency Through Oral Interpretation

This lesson presents an adaptation of the oral recitation lesson: students talk in explicit terms about prosody and gain a new appreciation for written literature intended for oral performance. Technology activities are integrated to instill the value of technology in shaping students' life-long appreciation of literature. 6-8 
9/9/03

The Two Voices of the ow Spelling Pattern

As part of a Directed Spelling Thinking Activity (DSTA), students investigate the many sounds a single vowel can represent. In this lesson, students who have previously learned about short and long /o/ sounds will now learn that the spelling pattern ow has two different sounds, as in the words wow and low. 3-5 
9/9/03

Traveling Terrain: Comprehending Nonfiction Text on the Web

This lesson provides strategic teaching lessons to students for comprehending nonfiction text found in website format. Strategies include locating specific information, identifying text features of nonfiction text, and generalizing information read to related topics. The lesson centers on a science-oriented website, but can be adapted to other content area websites. 3-5 
9/9/03

Using a Predictable Text to Teach High-Frequency Words

This lesson uses a predictable text (Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle) to help students learn high-frequency words. After reading the story, students form their own sentences using words from the text. K-2 
9/9/03

Using a Word Journal to Create a Personal Dictionary

Students keep track of unfamiliar words they encounter while reading various texts. Using a word journal notebook, students explore the perceived meaning and the standard dictionary meaning of these words. Students then create a personal dictionary in PowerPoint® using the words recorded in their word journal notebook. 6-8 
9/9/03

Using Children’s Natural Curiosity to Lead to Descriptive Writing

Inspired by the book It Starts with an A, kindergarten students are invited to turn their curiosity and guesswork into a class book, complete with illustrated objects and descriptive language. Students can share this book with family members and peers before adding it to their classroom library. K-2 
11/11/02

Using Folk Tales: Vowel Influences on the Letter G

Using the folk tale genre, students are introduced to the irregular spelling pattern of hard and soft g at the beginning of words. Students use the Internet to find and categorize animal names that begin with the letter g, and they also read a story about a giant. K-2 
9/9/03

Using Picture Books to Teach Characterization in Writing Workshop

This lesson invites students to inquire into the concept of character development through focused experiences with picture books. By demonstrating the connection between reading and writing, students have the ability to envision the revisions in their own writing. 3-5 
9/11/03

Using Picture Books to Teach Setting Development in Writing Workshop

This lesson invites students to inquire into the concept of setting development through focused experiences with picture books. By demonstrating the connection between reading and writing, students have the ability to envision the revisions in their own writing. 3-5 
9/11/03

Using Repetition and Picture Cues to Foster Independent Young Readers

This lesson invites kindergartners to share their knowledge of letters and sounds in a large group setting and gives teachers an opportunity to assess student’s knowledge in this area. Each student contributes a page to make a classroom book that is repetitive in nature. K-2 
9/11/03

Using the Check and Line Method to Enhance Reading Comprehension

Although basal textbooks are often considered a teaching faux pas, they are in fact still purchased and issued to students to supplement lesson materials as well as to reinforce mandated curriculum guidelines. This lesson is intended to assist students in retaining valuable information and grasping difficult concepts addressed in texts. 6-8 
9/9/03

Using the Prediction Strategy to Set Purposes for Reading

The prediction strategy is modeled, practiced, and used independently as students read a trade book. Response journal forms are used by the students to record questions and responses based on predictions made by students before reading. 3-5 
9/9/03

Using THIEVES to Preview Nonfiction Texts

Students are taught how to "steal" information by critically previewing textbooks and other nonfiction texts. This strategy helps students better understand what they read by surveying specific elements identified by the acronym THIEVES: title, headings, introduction, every first sentence in a paragraph, visuals and vocabulary, end-of-chapter questions, and summary.
6-8 
9/9/03

Using Writing and Role-Play to Engage the Reluctant Writer

In this lesson, students use dramatic role-play to further engage their literacy skills. By exploring the characters in a story and writing in role, students use creative means to support their learning and understanding of the writing process. 3-5 
9/15/03

Varying Views of America

Employing collaborative groups and graphic organizers, students analyze three poems: Walt Whitman's “I Hear America Singing,” Langston Hughes' “I, Too, Sing America,” and Maya Angelou's “On the Pulse of the Morning.” Through this analysis, they determine the influence of perspective on individual’s tone and point of view toward the same or a similar experience. 9-12 
9/18/03

Weather: A Journey in Nonfiction

This lesson outlines a research project designed to allow primary students to engage in nonfiction text, both in print and digital forms. The content focus for resources is weather, but the lesson can be adapted to other content areas. K-2 
9/16/03

Weaving the Threads: Integrating Poetry Annotation and Web Technology

This project engages students in meaningful research using poetry as a focal point. Students identify words and phrases in a poem by a Native American and in the process, learn about Native American culture and history. Students create a Web site using the poem as a "launching" space that takes readers into various explanations of words and phrases. 6-8 
9/11/03

What Am I? Teaching Poetry through Riddles

Riddles have a long history dating to antiquity. Riddle poems, which rely upon creative use of metaphor, simile, and metonymy; concrete imagery; and imaginative presentation and description of an object or concept, are an excellent vehicle for introducing students to poetry and poetry writing. 6-8 
9/11/03

What Makes Poetry?
Exploring Line Breaks

Learning poetry's special characteristics helps students understand, appreciate, and compose poetry. One defining characteristic of poetry is use of line breaks. Students explore various poems and why the lines are broken where they are. Then they experiment with varied line breaks and how they affect rhythm, sound, meaning, and appearance. 3-5 
9/11/03

What's in a Name? Teaching Concepts of Letter and Word

The purpose of this lesson is to help kindergarten children understand the concepts of letter and word by using their names as a starting point. Ideas will also be given to help assess student progress in becoming readers and writers. What can you do with names? Just see! K-2 
9/11/03

Who’s Got Mail? Using Literature to Promote Authentic Letter Writing

This activity teaches and reinforces letter writing through read alouds and shared writing. Students discuss and chart letter elements and write their own letters to adults at school. This can lead to ongoing correspondence between adults and students, reinforcing letter-writing skills beyond the classroom lesson. 3-5 
9/11/03

Whole-to-Parts Phonics Instruction: Teaching Letter-Sound Correspondences

In this lesson, students are exposed to whole-to-parts phonics instruction. After a story has been read to, with, and by children, the teacher assists them in analyzing spoken words by focusing on onset and rime. Students use onset-rime analogies to identify words that belong to the same word family.
K-2 
9/9/03

Word Recognition Strategies Using Nursery Rhymes

This lesson uses familiar nursery rhymes to draw attention to words that end with the same letters. Kindergarten and first-grade students are encouraged to create word family lists and compare them to words in different word families. K-2 
9/9/03

Word Wizards: Students Making Words

This lesson is based on an instructional strategy developed by Patricia Cunningham called "Making Words." Students in first and second grade manipulate a set of letters to construct words dictated by the teacher. Students then apply the strategy using an online interactive game. K-2 
9/9/03

Writing a Flashback and Flash-Forward Story Using Movies and Texts as Models

Flashbacks and flash-forwards are common devices used in literature and films. Students will not only see examples of these devices through movies and stories, they will also create their own stories incorporating these literary devices. 6-8 
9/11/03

Writing a Movie: Summarizing and Rereading a Film Script

Writing a Movie is a technique similar to Readers Theater. In writing a movie, students view a short film segment (5 to 10 minutes) and write a description of the segment. Students read their descriptions expressively as the film's soundtrack plays in the background. 3-5 
9/9/03

Writing Alternative Plots for Robert C. O’Brien's Z for Zachariah

The science fiction novel, Z for Zachariah, by Robert C. O’Brien is full of moral dilemmas. As a culminating activity for this novel, students write alternative endings for the novel based around the important decisions made by Ann Burden, the main character. 6-8 
9/11/03

Writing and Assessing an Autobiographical Incident

An autobiographical incident, a story students can tell about an event in their own lives, can be a powerful teaching tool at the beginning of the school year. It is a wonderful way to introduce students to each other because the author shares experiences and feelings about an event. 3-5 
9/11/03

Writing Reports in Kindergarten? Yes!

This lesson encourages young students to see themselves as writers who have a message to convey. Three different types of reports are provided to show just what kindergartners and other young writers can do. Reports in kindergarten? Absolutely! K-2 
9/11/03