Appalachia IU

Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 is one of 29 PA Intermediate Units participating in the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Unit’s OER implementation. This group provides a space to collaborate, evaluate, share, develop and promote the free and open use of educational resources by and for LEAs in Pennsylvania.
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All resources in Appalachia IU

Plots: Grasping Freytag’s Pyramid Published

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This seminar focuses on the standard plot line. More than just a beginning, middle, and end, plot lines follow an arc with identifiable actions along the way. In short stories, plays, novels, movies, etc., the Freytag Pyramid structure is recognizable. Throughout this seminar, you will use prior knowledge of plot lines to connect to new reading, along with creating your own plot line with identifiable parts.StandardsCC.1.3.9-10.CAnalyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.CC.1.3.9-10.EAnalyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it and manipulate time create an effect.CC.1.3.9-10.HAnalyze how an author draws on and transforms themes, topics, character types, and/or other text elements from source material in a specific work.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Problem Based Module: “Free” to Explore the World? Published

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In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there is no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all of the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or and articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

From Fiction to Facts of Life Published

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Fiction is untrue, but it can be an honest reflection of real life. In this seminar, you will make clear connections between the lives of characters in fiction to the lives of people in the real world. This will require a skill called abstracting in which you find patterns in one area and apply them to a new situation. It will also give you the opportunity to reflect on how fake worlds of literature can help resolve your own personal issues that you face currently and in the future.StandardsCC.1.3.9-10.C - Analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.CC.1.3.9-10.E - Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it and manipulate time create an effect.CC.1.3.9-10.H - Analyze how an author draws on and transforms themes, topics, character types, and/or other text elements from source material in a specific work.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Fact, Opinion, or Just Fiction? Published

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We learn about facts and opinions in elementary school. As we get older, however, sometimes the lines get blurred. For example, “I don’t like mayonnaise” is a fact. My opinion is that mayonnaise is gross. When developing an effective argument, it is important to know the difference between a fact, an opinion, and what’s just fiction (made up/fake). In this seminar, you will refresh your working knowledge of facts and opinions and, more importantly, understand their impact in written and spoken arguments.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.H: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity of reasoning and relevance of evidence.CC.1.4.9-10.C: Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well-chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.CC.1.4.9-10.G: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Argument: Build It With Care Published

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Argument is a familiar concept to most people; however, to win an argument, or at least, to argue points effectively is not so easy. In this seminar, you will learn the basic concepts surrounding argument and, in turn, develop an argument utilizing components that set you up for success. Remember, argument does not mean yelling at someone because you think you’re right; argument refers to logical thinking with clear points, building toward a specific outcome.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.H: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity of reasoning and relevance of evidence.CC.1.4.9-10.C: Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well-chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.CC.1.4.9-10.G: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Problem Based Module: Guns for All? Published

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In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there are no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

The Art of Language Published

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The words we choose to communicate with can be quite tricky. In fact, great writers are considered artists because of their language skills. In this seminar, you will learn how to enhance an argument by choosing your words carefully and “playing” with the language. Rhetorical devices (a fancy term for “persuasive words”) will be a significant aspect of your artful language.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.H: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity of reasoning and relevance of evidence.CC.1.4.9-10.C: Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well-chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.CC.1.4.9-10.G: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Are You Being Formal Enough? Published

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In this seminar, you will learn how writers use a formal style of writing when reporting about research. You will also learn about the difference between subjective and objective reporting and how writers must be precise in the research process. The bottom line is writers must know the correct words, the placement of those words, and the appropriate “level” of those words when writing in a research setting.StandardsCC.1.4.9-10.KWrite with an awareness of the stylistic aspects of composition. • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms of the discipline in which they are writing.CC.1.4.9-10.XWrite routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.CC.1.4.9-10.RDemonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

When Passive Voice Is Preferred Published

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Without realizing it, we often write in what is called active voice. That simply means someone or something does something in a sentence: “The boy threw the ball to his teammate.” In certain situations, however, the active voice is less preferred and, instead, passive voice is used: “The ball was thrown by the boy to his teammate.” Sound a little clunky? It should. That’s why it is used far less often than the active voice. When researching and writing about research, however, passive voice is the preferred style since it places emphasis on the object, not the person doing the action: “Thirty houses were destroyed by the wildfire.” In that sentence, the focus is on the houses, the victims of the fire. In this seminar, you will become more familiar with active vs. passive voice, and how research writing prefers the latter.StandardsCC.1.4.9-10.KWrite with an awareness of the stylistic aspects of composition. • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms of the discipline in which they are writing.CC.1.4.9-10.XWrite routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.CC.1.4.9-10.RDemonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Problem Based Module: The College Debt Crisis Published

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In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there are no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Be Clear, Not Cloudy Published

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A researcher often reports his or her findings in the form of academic writing. To do so, the researcher must use a particular writing style, being as clear as possible. Unlike other types of writing where adjectives and descriptive phrases are encouraged, research writing emphasizes simple sentences striving always for clarity. In this seminar, you will learn about clear, concise writing and how to choose precise words to say only what needs to be said. StandardsCC.1.4.9-10.KWrite with an awareness of the stylistic aspects of composition. • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms of the discipline in which they are writing.CC.1.4.9-10.XWrite routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes and audiences.CC.1.4.9-10.RDemonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Persuasive Techniques in the Media Published

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The media has one job: to sell you something. That something could be a product, such as a new cell phone, or it could be something less tangible, like a belief or a value. Depending on the TV shows you watch, the internet sites you visit, or the highways you drive on, the media will try different ways to convince you to buy or buy into something. Knowing the techniques the media uses will help you to think for yourself and make thoughtful decisions about the products and ideas being “sold” to you. In this seminar, you will strive to accurately identify the ways in which the media persuades you. You might not grasp the persuasion at first, but as you complete the tasks in this seminar and, especially, analyze the perspectives of those trying to sell you ideas or products, you will become better at identifying the persuasive tactics of the media and, in turn, be able to make sensible decisions accordingly.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.DDetermine an author’s particular point of view and analyze how rhetoric advances the point of view.CC.1.2.9-10.HDelineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity of reasoning and relevance of evidence.CC.1.2.9-10.FAnalyze how words and phrases shape meaning and tone in texts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

The Media’s Audience Published

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This seminar focuses on the media and their intended audiences. Being able to identify persuasive techniques is essential, but knowing whom those techniques are aimed at is especially important for consumers. Maybe the audience is you, your parents, or a particular group, such as athletes or the elderly. In this seminar, you will practice identifying the targeted audience in various commercials and campaigns, so you are better prepared to make smart consumer decisions. StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.DDetermine an author’s particular point of view and analyze how rhetoric advances the point of view.CC.1.2.9-10.HDelineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity of reasoning and relevance of evidence.CC.1.2.9-10.FAnalyze how words and phrases shape meaning and tone in texts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Problem Based Module: Is the Media to Blame? Published

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In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there is no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all of the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or and articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Social Media and Politics Published

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This seminar will challenge you to think about ways in which the media taps into your mind for social and political reasons. In the social realm, the media appears to be your friend, linking you to friends (and even strangers) with like-minded interests. In politics, the media pushes and pulls you in different directions, trying to bend your beliefs or reinforce them by any means necessary. It’s important to know the strategies involved, as well as the dangers that come along with the media’s influence on our personal and political lives. In this seminar, you will learn about ways in which the media tries to persuade you with specific strategies (especially in political ads or commercial advertising). Later in the seminar, you’ll get a chance to use those strategies to “sell” a particular idea or product. Also, this seminar will show you some of the dangers in the media, enlightening you about your online identity and social capital.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.DDetermine an author’s particular point of view and analyze how rhetoric advances the point of view.CC.1.2.9-10.HDelineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing the validity of reasoning and relevance of evidence.CC.1.2.9-10.FAnalyze how words and phrases shape meaning and tone in texts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Problem Based Module: Voting: A Not-So-Simple Process Published

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In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there are no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Citing Sources in Nonfiction Published

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This seminar will guide you through the process of quoting others, through direct quotes and indirect quotes. You will also learn about citations, which provide information on the source being used. Remember, when researching and writing about your findings, you should do so responsibly, knowing when to quote, when to paraphrase, and how to build a list of sources to reflect your research. The people, places, and events you research deserve accurate reporting. This seminar will help you do all of this confidently.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.B: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and conclusions based on an author’s explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.CC.1.2.9-10.C: Apply appropriate strategies to analyze, interpret, and evaluate how an author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.CC.1.2.9-10.I: Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Nonfiction Text Structures Published

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In this seminar, you will learn about various text structures in nonfiction writing and be able to identify which type an author is using. Understanding these structures will help you determine an author’s purpose and allow you analyze (break down) the author’s message or main points. As you get better at identifying different text structures, you will notice these patterns and apply them to different types of writing: articles, recipes, speeches, etc. Some of this information may be a review; that’s a  good thing. Be sure to apply that prior knowledge to new experiences here, looking for patterns that seem familiar to you. As you recognize those patterns and apply them to new situations, you will be using a skill called abstracting, which helps you understand new or confusing concepts.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.B: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and conclusions based on an author’s explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.CC.1.2.9-10.C: Apply appropriate strategies to analyze, interpret, and evaluate how an author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.CC.1.2.9-10.I: Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

What’s the Truth? Published

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Fiction, as you probably know by now, is the type of writing that an author creates, including imaginary characters and conflicts. In other words, it’s fake. Nonfiction, the type of writing you will focus on here, is factual, and addresses the real world and real things that are happening in it. More and more, however, nonfiction can be challenging to analyze as writers can slide their opinions into their writing. This becomes a challenge for the readers: What is the truth and what is merely an opinion? In this seminar, you will learn about objectivity and subjectivity, and why it’s necessary to be able to make inferences based on a writer’s claim in nonfiction reading. Don’t worry if some of those terms don’t make sense yet; you will learn about them soon enough.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.B: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and conclusions based on an author’s explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.CC.1.2.9-10.C: Apply appropriate strategies to analyze, interpret, and evaluate how an author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.CC.1.2.9-10.I: Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains

Problem Based Module: Communication Barriers Published

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In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there are no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Deanna Mayers, Bonnie Waltz, Tracy Rains