My Literacy Lesson Plans/Activity Sheets:
Featured Test Prep Lesson Verb Agreement for Test Takers
Featured Study Guide: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Developing critical literacy skills using this children's classic.
Multimedia Lesson Plans For Robert Frost's Poetry MP3s and MP4s for several poems: "Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening", "The Road Not Taken", "Going For Water", "Now Shut the Windows
Robert Frost Autumn Poetry Robert Frost Audio poetry and printouts.
Mending Wall Lessons These lesson plans focus on a particular Frost poem, "Mending Wall".
The Velveteen Rabbit Audio This page includes my audio read of the public domain work as well as links to various resources.
Kids Multimedia Poetry Presentations
Using audio and video programs to capture the magic of poetry tom s shoes.
Promoting Critical Literacy with The Ugly Duckling An exploration into the themes of The Ugly Duckling. Multimedia teaching tools from a variety of sources around the web.
A Personal Narrative in Two Contrasting Moments Students study a picture book organized around two contrasting moments, also and adapt that structure for their own personal narrative. Activity Sheet
Critical Literacy Lesson for Christina Katerina and the Box Christina Katerina is a wonderfully talented little girl camisetas futbol who can make just about anything from a box (a ship, a racing car, a ballroom). When her friend tries to help, things tend to fall apart. But is her friend simply the clumsy child he first appears to be? What if the story were told from his perspective... Activity sheet for story structure
Questions for The First Woman Doctor Questions about the biography of Elizabeth Blackwell: for discussion, writing, and test prep
Literature-Based Comprehension Lesson for Talkin' About Bessie
Talkin' About Bessie tells of the life of African-American pilot, Bessie Coleman, Here are some new football shirts lesson plans based on the strategies for proficient readers.
Tutoring Game for content and word choice
A stress-free activity for elementary students facing writing assessments. Develop skills in 6-trait writing, using this game, which is played with pretend money.
Shared Reading Lesson (for Hello Math Reader) This is a lesson for children Louis Vuitton Outlet whose miscues are correct phonetically -- but don't make sense in the context of custom soccer jerseys the story.
Mini-Unit on Quotation Marks Quotation marks are among the most difficult conventions for young story writers to master. Cartoons and speech bubbles can make the process a little easier.
Writer's Self Evaluation Published authors often to keep a writer's journal and 'mine' it for best work. This self-reflection invites children to reflect on the drafts in their writing folder and select a favorite piece for revision.
Web Favorites (Free Lesson Plans that are easy-to-use and mostly ad-free)
Personal Narrative Unit Praise-Question-Polish sheet for peer conferencing
'Hooking' the Reader with Effective Leads Study voice by comparing fairy tale retellings
Learn Myth Writing With Jane Yolen Learn Biography Writing from the McKissacs
Activities for The Stories Julian Tells Literature Guides from Author Tracie Zimmer
from Kennesaw University
For the Youngest Readers and Writers
For Younger Students: Sight Word Activities Try Out 'Brand New Readers'
Create a journal or sketchbook
from Art at Home
from the Inernational Reading Association
Featured Lesson Plan:
All Those Secrets of the World: A Personal Narrative in '2 Moments'
Grade Level: 3-5
Subject: Balanced Literacy
Overview and Purpose:
Writing teacher Lucy Calkins encourages students to capture the "small moments" of every day life in their writing. Jane Yolen's All Those Secrets of the World is a stunning example of a published personal narrative that focuses on a few vivid moments. In this mini-unit, students maillot foot pas cher study this piece of literature through their "writers' eyes" and organize their own personal around two contrasting moments.
Three wriitng traits (content, organization, and sentence fluency) are spotlighted.
All Those Secrets of the World
White board or easel, with apropriate markers (if working with more than a few students)
Day 1: If time permits, read All Those Secrets of the World the first time without showing pictures. Children should draw the two main scenes in the story based on verbal/oral imagery. The front of their paper should show what happened when Janey was 4. The back camisetas futbol should show what happened when she was 6.
Discuss. Emphasize that the narrative captured just a couple moments of Janey's life.
Day 2: Reread, showing pictures. Ask children why Jane Yolen might have skipped ahead 2 years halfway through the story. Emphasize that he story focuses on 2 related but contrasting events (when her father left for World War II and when he returned).
Brainstorm contrasting events in childrens' own lives. Use Activity Sheet. Guide children in selecting 2 contrasting events to write about.
Day 3: Students should make a picture of each of their contrasting moments. They should brainstorm feeling words associated with each moment, using activity sheets. (On the back of the activity sheets, they might like to sketch a cartoon strip to help them with events/dialogue for each of their 'moments'.)
Day 4: Students should draft their narrative.
Day 5: Revisit All Those Secrets of the World, emphasizing specific writing traits. Reread the last sentence of the book -- which is a beautiful example of using sentence structure for emotional impac! Invite children to read that sentence -- or other favorite sentences -- aloud. Emphasize that a big part of effective sentence structure is how things sound read aloud.
Children should evaluate their drafts, using checklist included in Activity Sheets. They should read their own work aloud, to see how it sounds, and conference with an adult and/or peers.
Day 6: Students should rewrite and 'publish' narrative.
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Critical Literacy Lesson: Christina Katerina and the Box Activity Sheet
Introduce title, author, and date of book. Challenge students to figure out how many years ago the book was written. Explain that at the time the book was written, 1971, people were not as sensitive to the effect their words could have on others. One character is called Fats, but, "We'll call him Fred."
Read book. Stop periodically to ask students how they think the characters might be feeling, as well as to invite them to make predictions about what will happen next.
Ask students to describe the conflict between Christina Katerina and Fred. How could they have done better?
Help students understand Fred's perspective. Ask them which of the two characters they know the most about. (Christina Katerina). Who do they know the least about? (Fred.) Brainstorm what they know about him, and what's missing from the picture. Invite children to speculate about what he might be like.
What is Fred trying to do throughout the episodes of the book? Often he is trying to help! Being kind and helpful are important skills. Fred's activites also suggest his interests/talents. He was trying to fix the race car. Might he be a budding mechanic? (Mechanical skills aren't so helpful when it comes to race cars that are made from cardboard boxes. But in the right context they can be very helpful.)
Ask students to brainstorm how the book would be different if told from Fred's perspective. Invite them to write from Fred's perspective. Primary grade students should simply write about a day in Fred's life: one in which he has fun and shows off his own skills. Intermediate grade students may choose to take an episode from the story (the ship, the racing car, the ballrom) and rewrite it from Fred's perspective.
Invite children to again share their thought on the conflict between Christina Katerina and Fred. Do they have any new ideas?
Submit your 'Fred' story.
For free feedback
Extensions/Using Christina Katerina across the curriculum
1. Use activity sheet to understand the structure of Christina Katerina and the Box.
2. The related beginning reader book, A Box Can Be Many Things, can be used as independent reading for emergent readers. The two books can also be paired together to teach text to text comparisons or explore writer's voice.
Art: What can your child make from a cardboard box?
1. Christina Katerinas's mom wanted to throw that box away! She probably didn't have the option to recycle the box. Talk with your child about how the world has changed since 1971.
2. Back in 1971, Christina Katerina and the Box was considered a groundbreaking book because it challenged gender stereotypes -- another interesting topic for discussion.
Another take on Christina Katerina: challenging gender stereotypes
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Shared Reading Lesson: The Silly Story of Goldilocks and the Three Squares (Hello Math)
Background: This lesson was designed one high-needs child (age 7 years, 11 months). Running records revelaed that her miscues tended to be visual/phonetic approximations that did not necessarily make sense phonetically.
Objectives: Child will be able to compare different versions of a fairy tale
Child will use semantic (meaning-based) clues to check difficult words.
Show book and title. Ask if there is anything different or unexpected about the title or the cover illustration. Explain that Goldie Locks is the great-great grandaughter of the original Goldilocks, asnd that the child will notice that Goldie Locks' adventure is a lot like her great-great grandmother's -- but not quite.
Explain that there are some long words in this book, but they will generally be words the child knows. Say, "Here is an example. See if you can catch my mistake: 'The fairy tale Goldilocks is the greet-greet grandaughter of our Goldie Locks'. What's wrong... Ah, very good! 'Greet' does not make sense here. Here's another example: 'The first bowl had noodles that were shaped like tri-angels.' Do you know what I said wrong?"
Explain that even silly stories usually make sense. A lot of the words in this particular story are math words and shape words. Take a moment to brainstorm some math and shape words (anticpatory set).
Read the story. Prompt for semantic (meaning-based) clues.
Stop periodically to help child make comparisons with familiar text. Say "What is the same on this page? What is different?" Offer prompting if necessary: "Did the original Goldilocks find three bowls? (Yes.) Were there noodles in those bowls? (No.)"
At the end of the story, prompt for retelling. Ask child how many similarities s/he can remember -- and how many differences.
Child should write two sentences about what is the same in the two versions, and two sentences about what is different. If needed, offer guidance in the form of fill-in-the blank responses: The original Goldilocks __________. But Goldie Locks _____________.
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