What are “rules to live by”? How do people formulate and use “rules” to improve their lives? How do people communicate these “rules” to others? In this module, students consider these questions as they read the novel Bud, Not Buddy, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, President Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech, “If” by Rudyard Kipling, and informational research texts. At the start of Unit 1, students launch their study of Bud, Not Buddy, establishing a set of routines for thinking, writing, and talking about Bud’s rules to live by. They read the novel closely for its figurative language and word choice, analyzing how these affect the tone and meaning of the text. In the second half of the unit, students engage in a close reading of the Steve Jobs speech, focusing on how Jobs develops his ideas at the paragraph, sentence, and word level. Students use details from the speech to develop claims about a larger theme. During Unit 2, students continue to explore the theme of “rules to live by” in the novel as well as through close reading of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Students analyze how the structure of a poem contributes to its meaning and theme. In a mid-unit assessment, students compare and contrast how Bud, Not Buddy and “If” address a similar theme. Unit 2 culminates with students writing a literary argument essay in which they establish a claim about how Bud uses his “rules”: to survive or to thrive. Students substantiate their claim using specific text-based evidence including relevant details and direct quotations from the novel. In Unit 3, students shift their focus to their own rules to live by and conduct a short research project. Students work in expert groups (research teams) to use multiple informational sources to research that topic. As a final performance task, students use their research to write an essay to inform about one important “rule to live by” supported with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, and examples.
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The traditional autobiography writing project is given a twist as students write alphabiographies - recording an event, person, object, or feeling associated with each letter of the alphabet.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has partnered with the New York City Department of Education and the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education to develop a set of 9/11 lessons for K-12 classrooms. The lesson plans are divided into multiple themes and across grade level spans. Each lesson draws upon artifacts and oral histories from the 9/11 Memorial Museum collection. They are written for use throughout the school year and across subjects, including Social Studies, History, English Language Arts, and Art. Each lesson is also aligned to the Common Core Standards to ensure relevance in teaching.
Making Evidence-Based Claims ELA/Literacy Units empower students with a critical reading and writing skill at the heart of the Common Core: making evidence-based claims about complex texts. These units are part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Program. This unit develops students' abilities to make evidence-based claims through activities based on a close reading of the Commencement Address Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford University on June, 2005.
In this module, students are involved in a deep study of mythology, its purposes, and elements. Students will read Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief (780L), a high-interest novel about a sixth-grade boy on a hero’s journey. Some students may be familiar with this popular fantasy book; in this module, students will read with a focus on the archetypal journey and close reading of the many mythical allusions. As they begin the novel, students also will read a complex informational text that explains the archetypal storyline of the hero’s journey which has been repeated in literature throughout the centuries. Through the close reading of literary and informational texts, students will learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary. Students will also build routines and expectations of discussion as they work in small groups. At the end of Unit 1, having read half of the novel, students will explain, with text-based evidence, how Percy is an archetypal hero. In Unit 2, students will continue reading The Lightning Thief (more independently): in class, they will focus on the novel’s many allusions to classic myths; those allusions will serve as an entry point into a deeper study of Greek mythology. They also will continue to build their informational reading skills through the close reading of texts about the close reading of texts about the elements of myths. This will create a conceptual framework to support students’ reading of mythology. As a whole class, students will closely read several complex Greek myths. They then will work in small groups to build expertise on one of those myths. In Unit 3, students shift their focus to narrative writing skills. This series of writing lessons will scaffold students to their final performance task in which they will apply their knowledge about the hero’s journey and the elements of mythology to create their own hero’s journey stories.
The purpose of this lesson is for students to practice and improve English conversation, writing, vocabulary, and reading through the lens of the Earth Day holiday (April 22nd). Also, students can brainstorm and share what we can do to preserve the Earth on a global or personal scale.
Use wordless picture book, Mirror by Jeannie Parker, to teach writing skills. Even though this lesson is aligned to 6th grade, it can be used across grade levels.
Students will have to solve the real world problem of locker smell leakage by building an air filter that will cover the vents on the top of a locker. This project goes well with a curriculum on the particle nature of gases and phase changes.