In this lesson, students are introduced to the vocabulary of film as they go through the process of creating a short original film. This unit provides instruction on key aspects of digital video filmmaking: plotting, script, storyboarding, camera work (shots, angles), and editing (transitions, title, credits, visual effects, sound effects, etc.). Once students are familiar with the techniques and terms introduced in this lesson, they are able to use their new skills to bring other content areas to life through filmmaking.
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.
By "becoming" a character in a novel they have read and making lists from that character's perspective, students analyze the character while also enriching their vocabulary. Students gain a deeper understanding of a character by creating charts linking the character's actions with the character's traits. They explore adjectives through a variety of resources. They then use their analysis of the character and their knowledge of adjectives to create descriptive lists of their own three other characters from the novel.
There is no one poem that represents the experience of African Americans in the United States, yet the history of racism in this country is seared deeply into the lives of many African Americans. “The Weakness” by Toi Derricotte recounts an experience with racism through the eyes of a young, light-skinned African American girl going shopping with her grandmother in a department store in 1945. The poems in The African American Experience offer a number of perspectives from African American poets that add a rich complexity to students’ perceptions of African American lives.
Students will research and discuss a sensitive or controversial issue and attempt to make a decision based on group findings.
This lesson concentrates on Anne Frank as a writer. After a look at Anne Frank the adolescent, and a consideration of how the experiences of growing up shaped her composition of the Diary, students explore some of the writing techniques Anne invented for herself and practice those techniques with material drawn from their own lives.
In designing a lesson to promote effective word choice in students' writing, the object is to start with something familiar. In this lesson, students start by discussing the associations they feel for car names from the 60s and 70s and analyze why those names were chosen. They then work in small groups on one of several possible activities, each exploring connotation in the context of car names.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This language arts lesson offers a hands-on opportunity for students to understand characterization in literature and to connect historical and contemporary culture. Through research and study of Shakespearean England, student pairs get to know about the life of a character in the book Shakespeare Stealer. Students collect props and clues to create a “life box” and a poem about their character. Using props adds a visual and physical dimension to their learning while using words engages mental facilities, making this a whole brain activity. Students must communicate their clues and interpret others clues to reveal character’s identities.
This lesson has students create stories that reflect this kind of reading. Students begin by reading untraditional books that use fragmented storylines, multiple perspectives, and unresolved plots. They apply these same types of strategies to their own writing, which they then publish using wiki technology. In doing so, students practice important literacy skills including searching for information, integrating images into text, and creating storylines that are reflective of the new types of reading found on the Internet. With different on-level literature, this lesson can also be adapted for high school classrooms.
Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) is a technique that teaches students to work cooperatively on a reading assignment to promote better comprehension. CSR learning logs are used to help students keep track of learning during the collaboration process. Students think about what they are reading and write down questions/reflections about their learning. The completed logs then provide a guide for follow-up activities and evaluation methods.