This resource accompanies our Rethink 8th 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.
Students will read a text and then they will demonstrate their new vocabulary knowledge through appropriate use of the words in context and with accompanying illustrations. They will create of an ABC book through individual and small-group activities. Students will take an active role in their learning by identifying the content area vocabulary they want to research. This lesson can be implemented in any content classroom.
Students participate in a fishbowl discussion about various legal situations related to the "age of responsibility" and contribute their ideas and arguments on the matter to a Learning Network Student Opinion blog post. This resource from the New York Times discusses what standard(s) society should use to determine when a youth should be treated as an adult.
- New York Times
- Christopher Aceto and Holly Epstein Ojalvo
- Date Added:
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 the life of an African American poet using print and online resources. Afterwards, students present their findings by writing a research paper and creating a PowerPoint presentation.
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 this video, students work in small groups to determine what it takes to make the conclusions of their essays stronger. The students read sample conclusions and rank them from weakest to strongest. The use of arguments and textual evidence in these samples allow students to revise their own essay conclusions modeled by the strongest conclusion.
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 activity, 4th and 5th grade AIG learners will read a book of choice featuring characters who are gifted in some way. Students will then use the bibliotheraphy questions to create a presentation showing how they identify and do not identify with the characters and events of the book.
While the resource is targeted to upper elementary school students, it could be modified to use with middle school students.
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.
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.
Students will create a travel brochure for either their home town or a city they would love to visit or move to as soon as possible. This activity will help them learn to research and document information in appropriate spaces.
The following unit incorporates multimedia and classroom activities to encourage students to explore and interact with poetry by first writing letters to important historical poets as practice for writing letters to the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors, a group that represents poetry in America at its best.
In this lesson, students will learn how to use primary sources, and work in groups to create murals about the events and trends of a decade of the twentieth century. Students will focus their research on a specific category relating to the culture of that decade, and then depict their findings in their murals.
Students begin by brainstorming a list of items that combine different ways of expressing ideas—such as a poster or DVD. After the lists are shared, list items are identified as texts (audio texts, video texts, etc.) Students then create an inventory of significant texts that they have engaged with over a specified period of time, and discuss why it is important to interact with a variety of different types of texts. With this start, they create a working definition of literacy that they refine and explore as they continue their investigation of the texts that they interact with at home, at school, and in other settings.