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.
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!
The purpose of this project is two-fold: first, to encourage students to make the reading of poetry a creative act; and, second, to help students appreciate particular literary devices in their functions as semaphores or interpretive signals. Those devices that are about the imagery of a poem (metaphor, simile, personification, description) can be thought of as magnifying glasses: we see most clearly that upon which the poet focuses our gaze. Similarly, those poetic devices that are about the sound of the poem (alliteration, consonance, enjambment, onomatopoeia, and repetition) can be thought of as volume buttons or amplifiers: we hear most clearly what the poet makes us listen to most attentively.
What drives changes to classic myths and fables? In this lesson students evaluate the changes Disney made to the myth of "Hercules" in order to achieve their audience and purpose.
This lesson prepares students to be independent and responsible for their own just-right book selections during independent reading time. Using the BOOKMATCH poster, the teacher introduces various criteria that influence book selection, such as length, language, topic, and genre. Students select books for independent reading using several of these criteria. In subsequent lessons, they discuss and evaluate their book choices and are introduced to additional selection criteria. Ongoing support and practice lead to increased awareness of their personal preferences as readers.
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.
This story, set in 1820s Austria, is a series of letters written between a young boy, Christoph, who lives in Vienna and his uncle, a music student who lives in Salzburg. In the letters, Christoph tells his uncle of the strange gentleman, Ludwig van Beethoven, who has rented a room in the boyâ€™s home. In this CCSS lesson students will explore this story through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments.
For this lesson, students are invited to attend a 19th Century party as a character from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. To play this role, students must understand the values and customs Dickens' characters represented in Victorian society. This lesson is divided into three stages: Group Investigative Roles, Individual Characterizations, and Individual Presentations. Students collaboratively research the life and times of Charles Dickens as it relates to a character, and write and present a first-person character analysis.
In this secondary source lesson on ancient Greek civilization, students will explore this story through text dependent questions, academic vocabulary, and writing assignments.
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.
In this alternative to the traditional book report, students have to really understand a character from a book they have read in order to successfully communicate the essence of the character using a few words and symbols on a business card. They begin by discussing the details commonly found on business cards and looking at samples. They think about how font, colors, and logos can be used to represent their characters, as well as the taglines, products and services, and other details that could be included. Students then use planning sheets to think through the elements they want to include on their business cards before creating the final version using a word processing program on the computer.
Students examine graphic novels and comic books and discuss the important components of the genre, such as captions, dialogue, and images. They then use an online tool to create a six-panel comic highlighting six key scenes in a book they have read. By creating comic strips or cartoon squares featuring characters in books, students are 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.
In this lesson, students are given the opportunity to be imaginative as they create illustrated postcards that depict one of the settings of their novel choices featuring journeys. Furthermore, they communicate about the importance of the settings as they write the text of their postcards.
In this lesson, students are introduced to familiar characters, from literature and from popular culture, whom readers first encounter as adults, but whose childhood stories are only told later. Students first discuss Merlin from the stories of King Arthur before reading Jane Yolen's Merlin and the Dragon. They then discuss the characteristics and stories of other familiar literary characters who are first introduced as adults. Then, in groups, students plan their own versions of a childhood for a selected character, and describe that childhood in the form of a short story, journal entry, or time capsule letter. This lesson uses Jane Yolen's Merlin and the Dragon to model the concept, as well as several examples from literature and popular culture. A suggested booklist is also provided.
Facebook-like pages used as book reports provide students a unique format to review several elements of fiction typically found in a traditional book report. Through the sharing of their Facebook-like pages in class, students will have suggestions for future reading.
Students work in groups to read and discuss a book, keeping track of their feelings and opinions about the book, as well as facts and quotations, as they read. Students then decide which parts of their review they wish to annotate, with each student in the group responsible for one topic. Each student writes about his or her topic, including bibliographic information.
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.