This resource accompanies our Rethink 6th Grade ELA course. It includes ideas for use, ways to support exceptional children, ways to extend learning, digital resources and tools, tips for supporting English Language Learners and students with visual and hearing impairments. There are also ideas for offline learning.
The Adventurers of Sojourner presents a third-person narrative account of the Mars Pathfinder mission, which included the deployment of a small science rover named Sojourner. In this CCSS lesson, students will explore this history through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments.
In this lesson plan, 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. Students are introduced to the idea of the alphabiography through passages from James Howe's Totally Joe. Students then work with the teacher to create guidelines for writing their own alphabiographies. Students create an entry for each letter of the alphabet, writing about an important event from their lives. After the entry for each letter, students sum up the stories and vignettes by recording the life lessons they learned from the events. Since this type of autobiography breaks out of chronological order, students can choose what has been important in their lives. And since the writing pieces are short, even reluctant writers are eager to write!
In 1937, pilot Amelia Earhart planned to be the first to succeed in a dangerous flight. However, her journey was plagued with many obstacles, and controversy continues to surround the theories that attempt to explain her mysterious disappearance. In this CCSS lesson students will explore her life through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments. Included are sample writing tasks.
In this middle school lesson from Teaching Tolerance, students will explore the calendar to determine why different religions celebrate different holidays and establish what factors school and government leaders should consider when deciding whether public schools should be closed for religious holidays. Students will work in groups to create solutions for school calendars that respect all students and beliefs.
In this 14 day unit plan students read, research, draw conclusions, and write beginning level argumentative essays comparing/contrasting major world religions.
Students use Shakespeare's Secret, a featured title on the Teachers' Choices Booklist (International Reading Association, 2006), as a springboard to exploration of the controversy regarding the authorship Shakespeare's works. The novel makes liberal use of the historical details surrounding William Shakespeare's life, and exposes students to the possibility raised by some theorists that Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the works that have long been attributed to the Bard. Students explore the historical references in the novel and generate questions for further research. As they research these questions on suggested websites, they organize their findings with the help of the ReadWriteThink Notetaker. Then they work in small groups to create and present short dramatic skits that creatively connect the novel with the historical facts.
In this lesson, students will understand excerpts from an autobiographical work and retell scenes from the book. They will also collaborate to convert segments of the text into dialogue, creating a brief play about Susie King Taylor's involvement in the Civil War.
Beneath Blue Waters comes from the trade book with the same title, focuses on the layers of the ocean, and takes students to the deepest zone in a three crew member, submersible called Alvin. In this CCSS lesson students will explore this story through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments.
This lesson sets the stage for high-interest reading with a purpose through a biography project. Students work together to generate questions they would like to answer about several well-known people, then each student chooses one of these and finds information by reading a biography from the library and doing Internet research. Students create a graphic organizer (a web) to organize the facts they have found and share what they have learned about their subjects through oral presentations. Students evaluate themselves and their classmates by using a rubric during the research and graphic organizer-creation process and by giving written feedback on one another's presentations.
In this lesson, students perform a close reading of an informational text to learn about the history of the Blackstone Canal.
This lesson provides an introduction to the use of factual information in creative writing. Students first examine texts to identify how a published author incorporates facts in fiction writing by reading and questioning the books Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly (Cronin). After conducting inquiry on their own to gather facts on a topic decided upon by the class, students use their facts to write several diary entries collaboratively, entries which will contribute to a class book modeled on the mentor texts. Finally, students peer review each other’s work, and revise and edit their own writing before using the Multigenre Mapper interactive to publish their work.
Through this lesson, the teacher will model the think-aloud strategy for students. Components of think-alouds will be introduced, as well as type of text interactions. Students will develop the ability to use think-alouds to aid in reading comprehension tasks.
Who owns what you compose? Who controls what happens with the words, images, music, sounds, videos that you create? What rights do you have to use other people’s compositions? This unit plan focuses on helping students find answers to these questions. Students explore a range of resources on fair use and copyright then design their own audio public service announcements (PSAs), to be broadcast over the school’s public address system. Students begin by completing a survey about fair use. Students discuss their responses to the survey and then research facts about fair use and copyright. Next, students become familiar with PSAs before writing and producing their own announcements, which are shared with other students. Work can also be published as podcasts on the Internet.
Students examine books, selected from the American Library Association Challenged/Banned Books list, and write persuasive pieces expressing their views about what should be done with the books at their school.
This article describes scientists Ken and Molly Glanderâ€™s research on the eating habits of howler monkeys in Costa Rica. In this CCSS lesson, students will explore this story through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments.
In her poem "Nikki-Rosa," Nikki Giovanni describes specific moments from her childhood. The images she recalls are more than biographical details; they are evidence to support her premise that growing up black doesn't always mean growing up in hardship. In this lesson, students explore what Jago calls the place "where life and art intersect" by carefully reading and discussing Giovanni's poem. They explore their own childhood memories using an interactive tool and then write about these memories, using Giovanni's poem as a model.
Chuck Close is an American artist who overcomes many obstacles in his life, both unexpected and self-induced. He overcame his first obstacle early in his childhood when he didnâ€™t let his learning disorder stop him from becoming an artist. Later in his career, doctors told him his career was finished, but Chuck found a way to continue painting without full use of his body. In this CCSS lesson students will explore this story through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments.