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Arts & Humanities

 

ART HISTORY

 

Art On Trial (A Mock-Court Activity)
Diane Franken, who teaches at Lincoln Academy of Integrated Arts in Davenport, Iowa, submitted this lesson in which students take on different roles as they determine which work of art will be constructed in their community park. (Grades 3-12)

 

 

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Looking for more arts lesson plans? Education World presents a variety of arts resources that all teachers -- arts teachers and teachers who get headaches thinking about teaching the arts -- can use to liven up instruction. Find dozens of valuable ideas in our Arts Subject Center.
 

Mr. Mascot's Magical Musical Tour
Melanie E. Shaw, who teaches at Vogelweh Elementary School, a Department of Defense school in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland Pfalz (Germany), submitted this lesson in which a class mascot leaves clues. Where in the U.S. or world is it? (Grades 3-12)

Seven Wonders of the World
Priya Ravikumar, who teaches at DAV Public School in Mumbai, Maharashtra (India), submitted this week's lesson in which students explore the Seven Wonders of the ancient and modern worlds. (Grades 3-12)

Plains Indians Pictographs
Laura Wolfram, who teaches at Horace Mann School in Bronx, New York, submitted this week's lesson, in which students design their own pictograph sentences on scraps of "buffalo hide."

Reconstructing Artifacts
Michelle Gay, who teaches at Foley (Alabama) Intermediate School, submitted this fun, hands-on activity, in which students learn about an archaeologist's work. (Grades K-12)

Jah's Mural
Submitted by Clyde Winters
Students study cave paintings of early humans and create their own! (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Tapestry in the Middle Ages
Submitted by Ashlynn J. Neel
Students learn about the use of tapestry in the Middle Ages and then weave their own tapestry. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGES

 

Mi Perro Perdido (My Lost Dog)
Sonya Darnell, who teaches at Pickens (South Carolina) High School, submitted this lesson in which students earn bonus quiz points for following foreign-language directions. (Grades 3-12)

 

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Foreign Language
Resources

Looking for fresh ideas for teaching foreign languages? Education World presents a variety of foreign language resources that teachers can use to liven up instruction. Find dozens of valuable teaching ideas in our Foreign Languages Subject Center.
 

In the Pumpkin (Dans la Citrouille)
Barbara McLaren, who teaches in Ontario, Canada, submitted this lesson for harvest time; students learn foreign language vocabulary words for a variety of vegetables. (Grades 3-8)

3R Activity (Reading-Relating-Responding)
Fatih Durmus, who teaches at Ozel Kasmoglu Coskun Lisesi in Istanbul, Turkey, submitted this week's lesson, which provides a fun cooperative-group reading-comprehension strategy. (Grades 3-12)

100 Famous Quotes Game
Doug Evans, who teaches at Nagoya International Junior/Senior High School in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan), submitted this lesson in which students compete in teams to learn 100 famous quotes. (Grades 3-12)

Tomie dePaola's Adelita: A Bio Poem
Christopher Lucero, an education student at Long Beach State in Long Beach, California, submitted this week's lesson in which students write a bio poem about the main character in Tomie dePaola's Mexican Cinderella story, Adelita. A nice lesson for Hispanic Heritage Month. (Grades K-2)

At the Dinner Table: A Foreign Language Lesson
Adrien Morel, who teaches at E.W. Stokes School in Washington, D.C., submitted this hand-on activity, in which students learn the foreign language vocabulary for a dinner-table setting. (Grades K-3)

Drawing Lesson Improves Communication Skills
Rob Ford submitted this simple, fun partner activity, an art activity challenges students to become better communicators. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

The "Me" Quilt
Judith Rohlf submitted this semi-glyph activity, students share their interests and characteristics by making patches about themselves. The patches are then pieced together to make a class quilt for a wall or bulletin board. The quilt serves as a jumping stone for many other activities. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

What's Happening?
Debbie Brown submitted this lesson in which students play a grammar game in which they practice using verbs and adverbs. Younger students can play the game to learn to identify verbs and adverbs in English. Older students might play the game to practice using verbs and adverbs in a foreign language. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Who in the World Is....?
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this lesson in which students scan the newspaper for information. (Grades 3-8)

Geo-Critters (Geometry Critters)
Loretta Greenough, a student at the University of Idaho, submitted this lesson that integrates literature (The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka) and math as students create geometry critters from four shapes. (Grades 2-5)

Following in Their Footsteps
Patti Stephenson, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri, submitted this lesson in which students read a biography and look for the positive character traits they might "follow" in their own lives. (Grades 3-12)

Comparing-Contrasting With Cookies
Lesley Roessing, who teaches at Ridley Middle School in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, submitted this lesson that offers a fun compare-and-contrast activity using Girl Scout cookies to ready students to write more complex comparisons of characters, literature (Grades 3-12)

Appetizing Adverbs
Laura Graham, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri, submitted this appetizing lesson that teaches the concepts of verbs and adverbs. (Grades K-5)

Vivid Descriptions and Works of Art
Megan Wynne, who teaches at St. Joseph School in Hawthorne, California, submitted this lesson in which students test their vivid-writing skills with an art activity. (Grades 3-12)

Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers
Michele McKinnon, who is interning at Liberty Elementary School in Frederick, Maryland, submitted this lesson, which uses a popular childrens book about Abe Lincoln to teach the five parts of a letter. (Grades K-5)

Snowy Similes
Cindy Behnke, who teaches at Gateway Pointe Elementary School in Higley, Arizona, submitted this lesson in which students work cooperatively to develop an understanding of similes and how they can be used to improve writing. (Grades 3-8)

Treasured Comments
VaRng lesson that teaches the concepts of verbs and adverbs. (Grades K-5)eane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this lesson in which students fill treasure chests with positive, self-esteem-building comments about each other. (Grades 2-5)

A "F"able: Making Plurals
Linda C. York, who teaches at Wateree Elementary School in Lugoff, South Carolina, submitted this weeks lesson, which uses a fable to teach how to make plurals of words that end in f or fe. (Grades 3-5)

Native Americans of Our Region
Julia Snyder submitted this lesson in which students use a variety of reading strategies to learn about Indian tribes native to their region. (Grades 3-8)

Walk In My Shoes
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson in which students write a story from the viewpoint of a shoe. (Grades 2-8)

Preposition House
Colleen Moak, who teaches at Blessed Sacrament School in Washington, D.C., submitted this week's lesson, which helps students visualize how prepositions describe things in relation to one another.

Time Line of the Year
Lynda O'Brien, who teaches at Twin Oaks Home School in Melrose, Florida, submitted this lesson in which students create a timeline of the school year that includes photographs, work samples, much more.

Space Travel Brochure
Karen Hoskins, who teaches at Barksdale Elementary School in Clarksville, Tennessee, submitted this week's lesson in which students create brochures that promote travel to other planets. (Grades 3-12)

Book Buffet
Patti Stephenson, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence Missouri, submitted this idea that she uses to pique student interest in reading books from a variety of genres. (Grades 3-12)

Listen and Guess Vocabulary Game
Susan Person, who teaches at Piqua (Ohio) Junior High School, submitted this game that builds vocabulary and provides a fun break too. (Grades 3-12)

Whittling Out Haiku
Elizabeth Jackson, who teaches as Sweetwater (Texas) High School, submitted this week's lesson in which pictures inspire haiku writing and sharing. (Grades 3-12)

Animal Diaries
Mary Pat Mahoney, who teaches at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students write a diary from an animal's perspective. (Grades 3-12)

Fortune Cookies Motivate Writing
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson in which a fortune cookie motivates student writing. (Grades 3-12)

Foreign Language Lip-Sync Karaoke Contest
Tina Matic, who teaches at Oxford Academy in Cypress, California, submitted this week's lesson in which a lip-sync contest provides an unforgettable foreign language lesson. (Grades 6-12)

Traveling Community Journal Project
Pauline Finlay, who teaches at Holy Trinity Elementary School in Torbay, Newfoundland (Canada), submitted this week's lesson in which students' traveling journals teach them about communities and cultures. (Grades 2-8)

Our Dinopals With WordArt
Marci McGowan, who teaches at H. W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, New Jersey, submitted this lesson in which students listen to a Jane Yolen story then create a dinopal of their own. Included: Easy tech integration activity for first graders. (Grades K-3)

Beanie Baby Biographies
Mary Pat Mahoney, who teaches at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine, Texas, submitted this lesson in which students develop a biography for a Beanie Baby. (Grades K-5)

Back-in-Time Travel Brochure
Brett Sidle, who teaches at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep in Orchard Lake, Michigan, submitted this lesson in which students learn about history by creating back-in-time travel brochures. (Grades 6-12)

A Seashell Lesson: Writing for Detail and the Scientific Process
Jayme Steighner, who teaches at Gregory Elementary School in Wilmington, North Carolina, submitted this lesson in which seashells are used to teach students about the importance of including detail in their (science) writing. (Grades 3-8)

Puzzling Clue Vocabulary
Elizabeth Eaton, who teaches at Savanna Ridge Elementary School in Fort Pierce, Florida, submitted this lesson in which students "puzzle" over the connection between clues as they review or build vocabulary. (Grades 3-12)

Hog Dog Writing
Barb Frye, who teaches at Titusville (Pennsylvania) Middle School, submitted this lesson in which a hot dog is used as a metaphor and assessment checklist for good student writing. (Grades 3-8)

Showing and Telling: The "Outburst Writing" Activity
Colin Bridgewater, who teaches at The American School in London (London, England), submitted this lesson in which he stages an elaborate ruse in order to teach kids an important lesson in good writing.

Packing Nouns
Sharlene McIntyre, who teaches at Arthur Williams Middle School in Jesup, Georgia, submitted this lesson, which reinforces students' knowledge of nouns. (Grades 3-8)

Drawing a "Life Map"
Lindsay Bigham, who teaches at Liberty (South Carolina) Middle School, submitted this lesson in which students create "life maps" of their lives. This can be used as a prewriting activity for writing autobiographies. (Grades 3-12)

Oreo Cookie Writing
Mark A Schneberger, who teaches at Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Community College, submitted this lesson in which Oreo cookies teach a valuable less about good writing. (Grades 3-12)

Stir Up a Character Analysis Recipe
Mary Pat Mahoney, who teaches at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students stir up character analysis "recipes" for characters in literature/history. (Grades 3-12)

Game Board Review
Kris Gazdziak, who teaches at Naperville (Illinois) Central High School, submitted this week's lesson, which provides a great review game for all grades, all subjects. (Grades K-12)

Wall of Peace
Mary E. Noyes (with Barrie Citrowske), who teaches at Minneota (Minnesota) Public School, submitted this week's lesson in which students' essays are used to build a classroom Wall of Peace. (Grades 5-12)

My Alphabetical Autobiography
Leah Bivins, who teaches at Colfax Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson, which challenges students to create A to Z autobiographies. (Grades K-12)

Picture a Tarantula
Leigh Lewis, who teaches at Wynne (Arkansas) Junior High School, submitted this week's lesson. Students draw a picture of a spider based on a detailed description. How close will their drawings come? (Grades 3-8)

3R Activity (Reading-Relating-Responding)
Fatih Durmus, who teaches at Ozel Kasmoglu Coskun Lisesi in Istanbul, Turkey, submitted this week's lesson, which provides a fun cooperative-group reading-comprehension strategy. (Grades 3-12)

Cooperative Group Spelling Game
Jane York, who teaches at Chimneyrock Elementary School in Cordova, Tennessee, submitted this week's lesson, which offers a fun and active game that can be used to reinforce spelling or vocabulary words. (Grades 3-8)

Fear Factor Fun
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this lesson in which students create and write vivid descriptions of new "Fear Factor" stunts they create. (Grades 3-12)

Character in a Bag
Miranda Babin, who teaches at Southdown Elementary School in Houma, Louisiana, created this lesson in which pairs of students use clues from a paper bag to cooperatively develop a mystery character and produce a PowerPoint about the character. (Grades 3-12)

100 Famous Quotes Game
Doug Evans, who teaches at Nagoya International Junior/Senior High School in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan), submitted this lesson in which students compete in teams to learn 100 famous quotes. (Grades 3-12)

Celebrate Abe Lincoln: A Primary Timeline Activity
Martha Leslie, who teaches at Centennial Elementary School in Graham, Washington, submitted this lesson in which students create simple timelines based on the life of Abe Lincoln. Other projects include painting Lincoln portraits. (Grades K-2)

Interviewing Famous Leaders in History
Lisa Auanger, a teachr at Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Virginia, submitted this lesson in which students research famous leaders (e.g., U.S presidents, Roman emperors, English monarchs) and create a realistic interview based on that research. (Grades 5-12)

Sequencing The Mitten
Nicole Tyminski, who teaches at McKinley Elementary School in Westfield, New Jersey, submitted this week's lesson, which teaches sequencing skills using The Mitten by Jan Brett. (Grades K-2)

Filling in the Holes, 20 Years Later
Glenda Smith, who teaches at Glenpool (Oklahoma) Middle School, submitted this week's lesson in which students draw conclusions about what the main characters in Louis Sachar's Holes will be doing 20 years into the future. (Grades 3-8)

Perfecting My Pal's Poe Paragraph
Kathryn Donlin of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (Pennsylvania) submitted this week's lesson in which students study the opening paragraph of one of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, the use some of the same elements Poe used to create their own great opening paragraphs. (Grades 9-12)

Meaty Words
Angie Morris, who teaches at Bellflower (Missouri) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson, which focuses on choosing the "meaty words" when summarizing a piece of text; a good introductory lesson to note-taking too. (Grades 3-8)

Get the Ball Rolling: Fun With English-Language Idioms
Cindy Kimbrell, who teaches at Rusk Elementary School in Midland, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students think about multiple meanings of some English-language idioms. (Grades 3-12)

The Cowboy Life
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson in which students choose from a wide variety of activities aimed at "spurring" interest in cowboy life and the Old West. (Grades 3-8)

Amusing Animal Adaptations
Jeana Carlson, who teaches at Navarro Elementary School in Bryan, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students write creatively as they use their knowledge of animal adaptations. (Grades K-5)

Take Five: Writing a Color-Coded Paragraph
Brenda Armstrong, who teaches at Ann Whitney Elementary School in Hamilton, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which a traffic light's colors serve as a tool for writing strong paragraphs. (Grades K-4)

Tomie dePaola's Adelita: A Bio Poem
Christopher Lucero, an education student at Long Beach State in Long Beach, California, submitted this week's lesson in which students write a bio poem about the main character in Tomie dePaola's Mexican Cinderella story, Adelita. A nice lesson for Hispanic Heritage Month. (Grades K-2)

A Symbol of Myself
Tammy Buehler, who teaches at Forest Park Elementary School in O'Fallon, Missouri, submitted this week's lesson in which students create a clay "symbol of myself." Nice open house display idea. (Grades 3-8)

The Perfect Teacher
Linda Mauriello, who teaches at Salem High School in Conyers, Georgia, submitted this week's lesson, which offers a fun activity that will help teachers drive home the concepts of mutual respect and high expectations. (Grades 9-12)

Faces Bingo
Laura E. Lambert, who teaches at Marion C. Seltzer Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio, submitted this week's lesson in which students match classmates' name cards with their pictures on a bulletin board. (Grades K-2)

"Me" Resource
Julianne Z. Cugini, who teaches at St. Louise de Marillac School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson in which students create "Me" entries for a dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, newspaper... (Grades 3-8)

Summer Camp in the Classroom
VaReane C. Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this lesson, in which students team up to create summer camping adventures. (Grades 3-12)

Sports and Hobby Math
Melissa Thomas, who teaches at Dacula (Georgia) Middle School, submitted this lesson, in which students write about ways in which they use math in a favorite sport or hobby. (Grades 3-12)

Invent a Holiday
Katrina Stroup, who teaches at Alcorn Central School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this lesson, in which students create a new holiday worth celebrating. (Grades 3-12)

Mother's Day Trip
Rox-Anne Cox, who teaches at Albia Community School in Albia, Iowa, submitted this lesson in which students send their mothers on a special Mother's Day trip. (Grades 3-8)

Writing a Character Sketch
Pauline Finlay, who teaches at Holy Trinity Elementary School in Torbay, Newfoundland (Canada), submitted this lesson, in which students use a graphic organizer to learn to write a character sketch about someone they know. (Grades 9-12)

Pizza Biography
Jennie Griffin, who teaches at Rockvale (Tennessee) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create pizza box biographies.

Poetry Shopping Spree
K. Pittman, who teaches at Pickens (South Carolina) High School, submitted this lesson in which students go on a "poetry shopping spree."

In Search Of Wisdom: An Interview With An Elder
Leah-Rae Bivins, who teaches at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, submitted this lesson, in which students interview an elder, then write and present a narrative in that person's voice. (Grades 6-12)

The Power of Mental Images: Visualizing Literature
Stiles X. Simmons, who teaches at Mann Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan, submitted this week's lesson, in which students learn and practice a new reading strategy: visualization. (Grades 3-5)

Grab a Story and Go!
Kamese Fogg, an education student at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, Maryland, submitted this shared-writing activity emphasizing the importance of continuity in short-story writing. (Grades 3-12)

Picture This!
This lesson, in which students write text for picture books, was developed from ideas presented by teachers Kellie Slaughter of Belmont Hills Elementary in Smryna, Georgia, and Katrina Stroup of Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi. (Grades K-8)

The ABC Project
Beverly Thomas, who teaches at the Alief Hastings Ninth Grade Center in Houston, Texas, submitted this week's lesson, in which older students create ABC books for younger students. (Grades 3-12)

Spell, Shoot, and Score
Cynthia Mackel, who teaches at Rosemont Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, submitted this week's lesson in which students play a fun game to review their spelling word lists. (Grades K-5)

Plains Indians Pictographs
Laura Wolfram, who teaches at Horace Mann School in Bronx, New York, submitted this week's lesson, in which students design their own pictograph sentences on scraps of "buffalo hide."

Hands-On Outlining
Jessica Maroney, who teaches at Armstrong Elementary School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, submitted this week's lesson, which offers a fun hands-on activity to engage students as they learn about outlining. (Grades 3-8)

Team Up for Sports Marketing
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create and market their own sports franchises. (Grades 3-12)

Spelling Relay
Caroline Lowther, who teaches at Captain James Cook Elementary School in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), submitted this week's lesson, in which students participate in a spelling relay contest. (Grades K-12)

Red Square, Red Square, What Do You See?
Susanne Shorday DiMarco, who teaches at Abington Presbyterian Nursery School in Abington, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create a book in the style of Eric Carle that reinforces color and shape awareness. (Grades PreK-2)

Writing Descriptions of "My Favorite Place"
Michael Pratley, who teaches at Frankfort (Michigan) High School, submitted this lesson, in which a special exercise helps students focus on imagining and then write excellent descriptions. (Grades 3-12)

ABC Book of Tongue Twisters
Marci McGowan, who teaches at H.W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, New Jersey, submitted this lesson, in which students study alliteration and create a class ABC Book of Tongue Twisters. (Grades K-8)

Spelling Clue Race
Miriam Arvinger, who teaches at Guilford Middle School in Greensboro, North Carolina, submitted this week's lesson, which provides a motivating way to review spelling words. (Grades 3-12)

Spelling Review Game
Andrea Hazen, who teaches in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson, in which students play a fast-paced BINGO-like game to review the week's spelling words. (Grades K-8)

Aesop's Fables
Michelle Stiglitz, who teaches in Staten Island, New York, submitted this week's lesson, in which students use Aesop's fables as a backdrop for a lesson in citizenship and letter writing. (Grades 3-8)

The Great Kapok Tree: Teaching About Conflict in Literature
Karen Garcia, who teaches at Parkview Elementary School in Opa-locka, Florida, submitted this week's lesson, in which students use The Great Kapok Tree and a graphic organizer to illustrate the role of conflict in literature. (Grades 3-8)

Survivor in the Classroom
Mary E. Noyes, who teaches at Minneota Public School in Minneota, Minnesota, submitted this week's lesson, which presents a series of challenges to students. Could your students survive? (All grades)

Using the Senses to Write Descriptively
Joanna Wolanski, who teaches at Evergeen Elementary School in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, submitted this lesson, in which students learn to improve their writing by including information from all five senses. (Grades 3-8)

Famous African-American Fabric Portraits
Doris Metcalf, who recently retired from the Florence (Alabama) City Schools, submitted this lesson, in which students create a fabric-portrait exhibit of famous African Americans. (Grades 6-12)

Abraham Lincoln: An Internet Buddy Activity
Peggy Chauncey Cramer, who teaches at Hamilton Elementary School in Kentwood, Michigan, submitted this week's "Internet buddy" lesson in which younger and older students team up to learn about Abraham Lincoln. (Grades K-8)

When A Story Met A Sandwich
Kym Rodriguez, who teaches at Kalles Jr. High School in Puyallup, Washington, submitted this lesson, in which a sandwich serves as a metaphor for good writing! (All Grades)

Human Nature: Good or Evil?
Patricia Rose Pflaumer, who teaches at Abington (Massachusetts) High School, submitted this week's lesson, in which students debate the question Is human nature inherently good or inherently evil? (Grades 6-12)

Fractured Fairy Tales
Linda Bray, who teaches at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this week's lesson, in which students write their own fractured fairy tales in the style of Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. (Grades 3-8)

Paper Bag Book Report
Linda Bray, who teaches at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this week's lesson. Students promote community literacy by creating "paper bag book reports" and workers at a local grocery store pack customers' groceries in them! (Grades 3-8)

Comparing Cinderella and The Rough-Face Girl
Submitted by Kellie Replogle, a soon-to-be teacher from Holland, Ohio
Students in grades 1-3 use a Venn diagram to compare two popular children's stories -- Cinderella and the native tale The Rough-Face Girl.

Acrostic Book Report
Submitted by Marci McGowan, H. W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, New Jersey
Students use the letters in a book's title to write an acrostic book report. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)

Comparing Two Poe Classics
Submitted by Alexis H. Groah, Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester, Virginia
Students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two classic stories of Edgar Allan Poe.
(Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Mystery Lessons
Submitted by VaReane Hesse, Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School
Students assume the identity of private investigators as they read, solve, and write mysteries.
(Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Survival Experts
Submitted by VaReane Heese
Students create brochures to educate others about safety during a natural disaster.
(Grades K-2, 3-5)

Shaving Cream Spelling
Submitted by Catina Stewart
Engage students in spelling practice by having them write their spelling words in shaving cream.
(Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Sharing Under the Sea
Submitted by Danielle Walchesky
Children need to learn to share and express their feelings appropriately. This lesson fosters communication, builds social skills, and stresses the use of polite manners.
(Grades Pre-K-2)

Fraction Spelling
Submitted by Spring Charles
Students create fractions to represent the number of vowels and consonants in each spelling word.
(Grades K-2, 3-5)

Getting-to-Know-You List Poem
Submitted by Ruth Henck McCreery
Students construct and illustrate a list poem that expresses personal likes and dislikes.
(Grades 6-8)

Desktop Spelling
Submitted by Tara Snider
Students have fun while reviewing spelling words.
(Grades K-2, 3-5)

Persuasive Writing -- Commercial Style
Submitted by Tara Snider
Students develop persuasive writing skills as they write TV commercials.
(Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Call Me
Submitted by Crystal Schweickert
What is the real story behind all those 10-10 numbers we see advertised on TV? In this WebQuest project, students write essays to persuade their families to use a particular long-distance phone plan. Students will compare a 10-10 plan to a regular long-distance plan. They will develop equations and graphs for both of the plans and use this information to support their essays.
(Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Biographical Poems
Submitted by Monique Arnold
Students learn about themselves by researching others. They also learn that they are not all that much different from the people they research! (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Drawing Lesson Improves Communication Skills
Submitted by Rob Ford
In this simple, fun partner activity, an art activity challenges students to become better communicators. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Paul Revere, American Patriot
Submitted by Steven Vetter
Students learn about Paul Revere by examining first-person accounts, works of historical fiction, a popular narrative poem, and other resources. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Creating and Presenting Haiku With Kid Pix
Submitted by Denise Stumpf
Students learn about the history and characteristics of haiku and use Kid Pix to present original haiku. (Grades 3-5)

Memorializing September 11, 2001
Submitted by Doris Metcalf
Students design monuments honoring the memories of people killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. (Grades 3-12)

Proverbial Picture Pages
Submitted by Doris Metcalf
This lesson uses African proverbs to inspire creative thinking and creative writing. (Grades 3-12)

Has the Cat Got Your Tongue?
Submitted by Jacqueline Miller
Students work to improve their enunciation skills and to communicate effectively by taking part in a tongue-twister speaking competition. Then they write tongue twisters all their own! (Grades 3-5)

Clear the Cobwebs!
Submitted by Pam Gregory
This lesson provides a fun way for students to brush up on material after a weekend or before a test. (Grades K-12)

A Mirror Into History
Submitted by Monique Arnold
Students write biographical poems about historical figures. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Fiction Elements in Hatchet
Submitted by Iylene Dew
Students create PowerPoint Presentations as they read Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Holiday Card Grammar
Submitted by Kristi Collins
Students brush up on grammar while recycling old holiday cards. (Grades 9-12)

Story Totems
Submitted by Angie Cook
Students write stories about animal ecosystems and paint animal pictures on narrow wooden boards. (Grades 9-12)

Autobiographies: A 'Jigsaw Puzzle' Prewriting Strategy
Submitted by Carla Kinnard
In this lesson, students use pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to help organize written autobiographies. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Create a Holiday
Submitted by Lorri Vaccher
Students work cooperatively to design new holidays. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Vocabulary Zoo Game
Submitted by Brandyn Petraschuk
This lesson provides a fun way of focusing students' attention and building vocabulary. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)

Should We Celebrate Columbus Day?
Submitted by Trevor Shaw
This lesson involves students in examining all sides of the Columbus debate. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Making Sense of Islam
Submitted by Clyde Winters
In this lesson, students cooperatively in learning about the Muslim people of today. (Grades 9-12)

Knighthood and Chivalry
Submitted by Carla Kinnard
Students prepare for their own initiation into knighthood. (Grades 9-12)

Story Maps and Boxes
Submitted by Patricia A. Fry
Students create story maps to share information about books they have read. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Communication Comparisons
Submitted by VaReane Heese
Students use online and print resources to research different methods of communication, use graphic organizers to compare the methods, and share their findings with classmates. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Use Boolean Search Terms to Shorten Web Searches
Submitted by Mary Carter
Students learn to use Boolean search terms and make Web searching more efficient. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Learning About Trees
Submitted by Ana Villaviencio
Young students study trees and write descriptions of trees to include in a class book! (Grades K-2)

Watch The Birdie
Submitted by Mary Carter
Students complete a unit of activities about birds. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)

Research, Writing, and the 'Isms'
Submitted by Paula Guhin
Students collaborate in pairs to research any of these art styles: realism, impressionism, post-impressionism, expressionism, fauvism, cubism, futurism, or surrealism. They create original short stories, poems, or personal essays and illustrate the written work with artwork in the style of their chosen "Ism." Using desktop publishing, students edit their work into book. Each participant receives a laminated, bound copy. (Grades 9-12)

Yummy Venn Diagrams
Submitted by Joe Kirstein
Try a fun writing activity using cookies and crackers! (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Pen Pal Letters to Soldiers Overseas
Submitted by Diane O'Malley
Students write letters to soldiers overseas with correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Students learn three facts about the geography of the area where the pen pal is located and about the pen pal. (Grades 3-5)

On the Track With NASCAR
Submitted by VaReane Heese
Students will learn about stock car racing while developing skills in language and math. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

The "Me" Quilt
Submitted by Judith Rohlf
In this semi-glyph activity, students share their interests and characteristics by making patches about themselves. The patches are then pieced together to make a class quilt for a wall or bulletin board. The quilt serves as a jumping stone for many other activities. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Create - A - Story
Submitted by Miriam Arvinger
Students use characters, settings, and plots to write original stories. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

What's Black and White and Read Later?
Submitted by Denise Dejonghe
Students learn what makes "lasting news" as they work in groups to create a newspaper about the year in which they were born (1986, 1987, or 1988). (Grades 6-8)

My First PowerPoint Presentation
Submitted by Jean Napier-Faeih
Students integrate technology, language arts, and art to create a PowerPoint presentation. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

Are You Ready for Some Football?
VaReane Heese
Students improve basic language and math skills while learning some facts about football and famous players. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

Biome Bazaar
Submitted by Kimberly Emanuel
This lesson simulates a field trip in which students visit various biomes and perform several sensory activities to learn about the world's ecological communities. (Grades 6-8)

Author, Author
Submitted by Albert Baggetta
This plan that can be used over the entire semester or throughout the year as an extra cC84B4Bit plan that helps familiarize your students with the classic authors, encourages organization and strategy. Kids love to collect, and if you capture their attention early enough they might even do it on their own. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Poetry: A Picture of Your Feelings or No, Virginia, Poetry Doesn't Have to Rhyme
Submitted by Sue Atkins
After a series of lessons on poetic elements, a review presentation is given. The class goes on a field trip. Students paint a picture and write a poem about most memorable spot on the trip. (Teacher's note: We visited a rock mine to see the contrast between a mining operation and an on-site nature trail.) (Grades 3-5)

Applying Character/Setting to Play Readings
Submitted by Elyssa Waldman
Students identify two elements of a play (character/setting) in the text of a book. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Adjectives in Poetry
Submitted by Joanne Hughes
Students will read selected poems from the book Beast Feast by Doug Florian.Students will be asked to identify at least two to three keyword facts about each beast highlighted in the poems. (Grades 3-5)

Highway of Words
Submitted by Cindy Folga
Reading is similar to driving. Both require sign awareness. This lesson will enhance the students' awareness of reading and allow them to hear the difference between a reader who follows signs and one who does not. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

If I Had Been at Ellis Island
Submitted by VaReane Heese
Students explore and share feelings about what it might have been like to enter the United States as an immigrant. (Grades 3-5)

"The Giving Tree Gives"
Submitted Theresa Santiago
This lesson is a language arts activity that helps Pre- Kindergarten to grade two children, Special Ed students, and Bilingual (LEP) children learn about poetry and science. (Grades Pre-K, K-2)

Does The Type of Mulch Used Affect Plant Growth?
Submitted by Nadine LaMonte
Does the type of mulch used affect plant growth? Use cypress mulch, cedar mulch, and pine bark. The control group is the type of plant used. The variable group is the type of mulch used. The experiment lasts for at least seven days. (Grades 3-5)

What's All the Fuss About Harry Potter?
Submitted by Brenda McPherson-Fry
Students discuss what makes the Harry Potter books popular and/or controversial, create a questionnaire to learn why Harry Potter fans find the books fascinating, practice online writing skills by sending e-mail messages to friends who are Harry Potter fans, and write a screenplay based on a selected chapter of a Harry Potter book. (Grades 6-8)

Peanut Butter and Details
Submitted by Erin Braslawsky
Each student will write the directions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and ask another student to follow the directions and make the sandwich. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Writing Newsletters!
Submitted by Joanne Hughes
Students listen to the teacher read the book Deadline! by Gail Gibbons and learn about newspapers. The class brainstorms differences between newspapers and newsletters. The students are then asked to choose a favorite topic and create the front page of their own newsletter. (Grades 3-5)

"Lighthouses"
Submitted by Joanne Hughes
In this lesson the students will learn about the differences between fiction and non-fiction books. The students will listen to the book Beacons of Light by Gail Gibbons and work in cooperative groups to identify different characteristics and facts concerning lighthouses and their history. Once the students listen for information they are ready to play a trivia game. (Grades 3-5)

Creature Feature Poetry Keyword Search!
Submitted by Joanne Hughes
Students are asked to listen for facts as the teacher-librarian reads four pre-selected poems out loud. Students will create a poster listing at least three keywords about each creature feature in the poetry. (Grades 3-5)

Create Your Own Business!
Submitted by Clyde Winters
In this lesson students learn how to work in cooperative groups to create their own businesses. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Left Brain vs. Right Brain -- Which Side are You On?
Submitted by Glenn Day
Following a lecture and student discussion about the right and left hemispheres of the brain, students determine whether they are right-brain dominant or left-brain dominant -- and what that means. (Grades 9-12)

Spelling Kickball!
Submitted by Debbie Martin
This easy way to review spelling words in a kickball game format is perfect for those days when students need to get up and MOVE! (Grades K-2, 3-5)

King Tutankhamun: Was It Murder?
Submitted by Madeleine Decker
This WebQuest is designed to engage students in Internet research while learning about the history of ancient Egypt. Students will read, take notes, and answer questions about a linked site. They share this information with their cooperative group and develop an essay or modify to create a PowerPoint about the results of their investigation. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Awesome Adjectives Postcards
Submitted by Mitzi L. Vicars
Students create a postcard by illustrating a place they would like to visit and using ten adjectives in a short message describing the pictures. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Move the Sounds
Submitted by Jill Garofallou
Using kinesthetic, visual and auditory modalities, students create and read words using cut out letters. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

What's Happening?
Submitted by Debbie Brown
Students play a grammar game in which they practice using verbs and adverbs. Younger students can play the game to learn to identify verbs and adverbs in English. Older students might play the game to practice using verbs and adverbs in a foreign language. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

And the Streets Are Paved With Gold
Submitted by Brenda Dyck
Using the links provided, students explore the immigrant experience at Ellis Island, New York, at the turn of the century, and answer questions that challenge them to use thinking skills from various levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. (Grades 6-8)

Get Rid of It!
Submitted by LuAnn Lawhon
Get Rid of It! is a matching game that can be played with the entire class. The sample game provides drill in phonics, but the game format can be used in any subject area. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

My First PowerPoint Presentation
Submitted by Jean Napier-Faeih
Students integrate technology, language arts, and art and create a PowerPoint presentation. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

Of Mice and Men: Cast the Roles
Submitted by Brian Ausland
Students assume the role of casting directors and use their knowledge of Steinbeck's setting, style, and characterization to create a cast of actors and actresses for a film version of Of Mice and Men. (Grades 9-12)

You've Got (e)-Mail!
Submitted by Cheryl Sexstella-Wright
Students e-mail students in other parts of the world to share information about where they live. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

The Classroom Egg Hunt
Submitted by Judith Rohlf
Students work together to find paper or cardboard "eggs" hidden in the classroom. Although originally designed for ESL students, this activity may be used in language arts or easily adapted to foreign language classes. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

Having a Ball with Cinderella
Submitted by Jean Crotchett
Students read and discuss at least two versions of the Cinderella story, compare the stories using a Venn diagram, and complete a number of cross-curricular activities related to the story. (Grades K-2)

Web Trails: An Online Adventure
Submitted by Kelly Ickes
Students research Iowa's parks and trails, plan a day trip to one of the places they learn about, and write a fiction story based on the information they find. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Summer Shorts
Submitted by Patricia Fry
Students write personal narratives about their summer vacations and present them with a new twist! (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

How Are You Doing With My Crusade? (Women's History)
Submitted by Terrie Lynn Bittner
Students learn about women who fought for change and explore the current status of the battles they fought. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Welcome to My Community!
Submitted by Tasha Noe
Students create a "Welcome to Our Community" brochure to display in the classroom. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)

Create a Living Museum
Submitted by Sharon Sumner
Students research famous people from Missouri, or from their own state, and share the information by portraying that person in a "living museum." (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

It's Raining Cats and Dogs
Submitted by Jacqueline C. Miller
This lesson plan teaches idioms (figurative language) in a creative, fun way. (Grades 3-5)

Apple Adjectives
Submitted by Monique W. Healy
Working in cooperative groups, students will use the Dole internet site to 1) identify and alphabetize apples, 2) make a table, 3) read a table, and 4) construct a bar graph and/or a pie chart. (Grades 3-5)

In Other Words: Using a Thesaurus
Submitted by Cynthia H. Lynch
This lesson is a learning center activity to reinforce lessons on using a thesaurus and on synonyms. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Mapping the Mockingbird
Submitted by Albert Baggetta
This lesson offers a focused approach to studying setting, using To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (Grades 9-12)

My Life in Math Class
Submitted by Brenda Dyck
At the beginning of the school year I assign "My Life In Math Class' to my grade-six math class. This is a writing assignment in which I require students to reflect on their mathematical past. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Should We Celebrate Columbus Day?
Submitted by Trevor Shaw
Students will use inquiry-based learning to gather information about Columbus' impact on the Americas. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Summarizing with Post-It Notes
Submitted by Rox-Anne Cox
This lesson plan helps teach young students how to summarize an informational article. (Grades 3-5)

 

LITERATURE

 

Let's Get Along
Kristina Davenport, an education student at the University of Idaho (Coeur d'Alene), submitted this lesson in which students learn valuable lessons about getting along by reading Eve Buntings award-winning Smoky Nights. (Grades 3-8)

Geo-Critters (Geometry Critters)
Loretta Greenough, a student at the University of Idaho, submitted this lesson that integrates literature (The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka) and math as students create geometry critters from four shapes. (Grades 2-5)

Following in Their Footsteps
Patti Stephenson, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri, submitted this lesson in which students read a biography and look for the positive character traits they might "follow" in their own lives. (Grades 3-12)

Comparing-Contrasting With Cookies
Lesley Roessing, who teaches at Ridley Middle School in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, submitted this lesson that offers a fun compare-and-contrast activity using Girl Scout cookies to ready students to write more complex comparisons of characters, literature (Grades 3-12)

Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers
Michele McKinnon, who is interning at Liberty Elementary School in Frederick, Maryland, submitted this lesson, which uses a popular childrens book about Abe Lincoln to teach the five parts of a letter. (Grades K-5)

A "F"able: Making Plurals
Linda C. York, who teaches at Wateree Elementary School in Lugoff, South Carolina, submitted this weeks lesson, which uses a fable to teach how to make plurals of words that end in f or fe. (Grades 3-5)


Book Buffet
Patti Stephenson, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence Missouri, submitted this idea that she uses to pique student interest in reading books from a variety of genres. (Grades 3-12)

Animal Diaries
Mary Pat Mahoney, who teaches at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students write a diary from an animal's perspective. (Grades 3-12)

Our Dinopals With WordArt
Marci McGowan, who teaches at H. W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, New Jersey, submitted this lesson in which students listen to a Jane Yolen story then create a dinopal of their own. Included: Easy tech integration activity for first graders. (Grades K-3)

Drawing a "Life Map"
Lindsay Bigham, who teaches at Liberty (South Carolina) Middle School, submitted this lesson in which students create "life maps" of their lives. This can be used as a prewriting activity for writing autobiographies. (Grades 3-12)

Oreo Cookie Writing
Mark A Schneberger, who teaches at Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) Community College, submitted this lesson in which Oreo cookies teach a valuable less about good writing. (Grades 3-12)

Stir Up a Character Analysis Recipe
Mary Pat Mahoney, who teaches at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Grapevine, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students stir up character analysis "recipes" for characters in literature/history. (Grades 3-12)

Character in a Bag
Miranda Babin, who teaches at Southdown Elementary School in Houma, Louisiana, created this lesson in which pairs of students use clues from a paper bag to cooperatively develop a mystery character and produce a PowerPoint about the character. (Grades 3-12)

100 Famous Quotes Game
Doug Evans, who teaches at Nagoya International Junior/Senior High School in Nagoya, Aichi (Japan), submitted this lesson in which students compete in teams to learn 100 famous quotes. (Grades 3-12)

Celebrate Abe Lincoln: A Primary Timeline Activity
Martha Leslie, who teaches at Centennial Elementary School in Graham, Washington, submitted this lesson in which students create simple timelines based on the life of Abe Lincoln. Other projects include painting Lincoln portraits. (Grades K-2)

Sequencing The Mitten
Nicole Tyminski, who teaches at McKinley Elementary School in Westfield, New Jersey, submitted this week's lesson, which teaches sequencing skills using The Mitten by Jan Brett. (Grades K-2)

Filling in the Holes, 20 Years Later
Glenda Smith, who teaches at Glenpool (Oklahoma) Middle School, submitted this week's lesson in which students draw conclusions about what the main characters in Louis Sachar's Holes will be doing 20 years into the future. (Grades 3-8)

Perfecting My Pal's Poe Paragraph
Kathryn Donlin of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (Pennsylvania) submitted this week's lesson in which students study the opening paragraph of one of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, the use some of the same elements Poe used to create their own great opening paragraphs. (Grades 9-12)

The Life and Poems of Emily Dickinson
Rhiannon Brownlee submitted this week's lesson in which students learn first about the life of Emily Dickinson, then use that information to help them interpret several of her poems. (Grades 9-12)

Fraction Fun WithThe Doorbell Rang
Pauline Finlay, who teaches at Holy Trinity Elementary School in Torbay, Newfoundland, submitted this week's lesson in which the children's book The Doorbell Rang (by Pat Hutchins) stimulates fraction learning and fun. (Grades K-4)

Novel Jeopardy
A Jeopardy-style game is a great way to review the novel students have just finished studying. (Grades 3-12)

Tomie dePaola's Adelita: A Bio Poem
Christopher Lucero, an education student at Long Beach State in Long Beach, California, submitted this week's lesson in which students write a bio poem about the main character in Tomie dePaola's Mexican Cinderella story, Adelita. A nice lesson for Hispanic Heritage Month. (Grades K-2)

Writing a Character Sketch
Pauline Finlay, who teaches at Holy Trinity Elementary School in Torbay, Newfoundland (Canada), submitted this lesson, in which students use a graphic organizer to learn to write a character sketch about someone they know. (Grades 9-12)

Poetry Shopping Spree
K. Pittman, who teaches at Pickens (South Carolina) High School, submitted this lesson in which students go on a "poetry shopping spree."

The Power of Mental Images: Visualizing Literature
Stiles X. Simmons, who teaches at Mann Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan, submitted this week's lesson, in which students learn and practice a new reading strategy: visualization. (Grades 3-5)

Grab a Story and Go!
Kamese Fogg, an education student at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, Maryland, submitted this shared-writing activity emphasizing the importance of continuity in short-story writing. (Grades 3-12)

Picture This!
This lesson, in which students write text for picture books, was developed from ideas presented by teachers Kellie Slaughter of Belmont Hills Elementary in Smryna, Georgia, and Katrina Stroup of Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi. (Grades K-8)

Red Square, Red Square, What Do You See?
Susanne Shorday DiMarco, who teaches at Abington Presbyterian Nursery School in Abington, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create a book in the style of Eric Carle that reinforces color and shape awareness. (Grades PreK-2)

First-Day-of-School Activity: The Kissing Hand
Teachers Amanda Dobson submitted this week's lesson, which uses a popular children's book to help alleviate young students' first-day-of-school jitters. (Grades PreK-2)

ABC Book of Tongue Twisters
Marci McGowan, who teaches at H.W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, New Jersey, submitted this lesson, in which students study alliteration and create a class ABC Book of Tongue Twisters. (Grades K-8)

Make Quiz Time a Fun Time
Lisa Kwisnek, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson that provides a fun quiz game format you might use to culminate your next science, history, or literature unit. (Grades 3-5)

Using Literature to Teach About Bullying
Joanne Hughes, who teaches at Covert Avenue Elementary School in Elmont, New York, submitted this week's lesson, in which students use literature to learn about different types of bullying and different ways of dealing with them. (Grades K-8)

Aesop's Fables
Michelle Stiglitz, who teaches in Staten Island, New York, submitted this week's lesson, in which students use Aesop's fables as a backdrop for a lesson in citizenship and letter writing. (Grades 3-8)

The Great Kapok Tree: Teaching About Conflict in Literature
Karen Garcia, who teaches at Parkview Elementary School in Opa-locka, Florida, submitted this week's lesson, in which students use The Great Kapok Tree and a graphic organizer to illustrate the role of conflict in literature. (Grades 3-8)

A Modern Pandora's Box
Anita Wadhwa, who teaches at Lee High School in Houston, Texas, submitted this lesson, in which students read the story of Pandora's Box and then create modern-day versions of boxes filled with evil and hope. (Grades 6-12)

When A Story Met A Sandwich
Kym Rodriguez, who teaches at Kalles Jr. High School in Puyallup, Washington, submitted this lesson, in which a sandwich serves as a metaphor for good writing! (All Grades)

Human Nature: Good or Evil?
Patricia Rose Pflaumer, who teaches at Abington (Massachusetts) High School, submitted this week's lesson, in which students debate the question Is human nature inherently good or inherently evil? (Grades 6-12)

Fractured Fairy Tales
Linda Bray, who teaches at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this week's lesson, in which students write their own fractured fairy tales in the style of Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. (Grades 3-8)

Using Literature to Teach About Bullying
Joanne Hughes, who teaches at Covert Avenue Elementary School in Elmont, New York, submitted this week's lesson, in which students use literature to explore different forms of bullying. (Grades K-8)

Paper Bag Book Report
Linda Bray, who teaches at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this week's lesson. Students promote community literacy by creating "paper bag book reports" and workers at a local grocery store pack customers' groceries in them! (Grades 3-8)

Comparing Cinderella and The Rough-Face Girl
Submitted by Kellie Replogle, a soon-to-be teacher from Holland, Ohio
Students in grades 1-3 use a Venn diagram to compare two popular children's stories -- Cinderella and the native tale The Rough-Face Girl. (Grades K-5)

Evaluating a Book By Its Cover
Submitted by Steven Vetter, Manatee County Schools in Bradenton, Florida
Students examine and evaluate book covers, then create their own cover for a favorite book. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Acrostic Book Report
Submitted by Marci McGowan, H. W. Mountz Elementary School in Spring Lake, New Jersey
Students use the letters in a book's title to write an acrostic book report. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8)

Comparing Two Poe Classics
Submitted by Alexis H. Groah, Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester, Virginia
Students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two classic stories of Edgar Allan Poe.
(Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Mystery Lessons
Submitted by VaReane Hesse, Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School
Students assume the identity of private investigators as they read, solve, and write mysteries.
(Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Sharing Under the Sea
Submitted by Danielle Walchesky
Children need to learn to share and express their feelings appropriately. This lesson fosters communication, builds social skills, and stresses the use of polite manners.
(Grades Pre-K-2)

Drawing Lesson Improves Communication Skills
Submitted by Rob Ford
In this simple, fun partner activity, an art activity challenges students to become better communicators. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Paul Revere, American Patriot
Submitted by Steven Vetter
Students learn about Paul Revere by examining first-person accounts, works of historical fiction, a popular narrative poem, and other resources. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Spring Poetry Unit
Submitted by Martha Leslie
Poems and art activities transform primary classroom bulletin boards and serve as a wall-to-wall portfolio of student work -- just in time for parent-teacher conferences. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

Captain Keller's Business Letter
Submitted by Carla Beard
Students use information from The Miracle Worker to write the kind of letter Helen Keller's father might have written to the Perkins Institution in 1887. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Children's Books Teach Diversity, Respect
Submitted by Joanne E. Hughes
Students compare themes, characters, settings, and other aspects of two children's books that teach diversity and respect. (Grades 3-5)

Programs for Shakespeare's Plays
Submitted by Carla Kinnard
Students create theater programs for a performance of any of Shakespeare's plays. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Should We Celebrate Columbus Day?
Submitted by Trevor Shaw
Students examine all sides of the Columbus debate. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Story Maps and Boxes
Submitted by Patricia A. Fry
Students create story maps to share information about books they have read. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Author, Author
Submitted by Albert Baggetta
This plan helps familiarize students with the classic authors, encourages organization and strategy. Kids love to collect, and if you capture their attention early enough they might even do it on their own. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Playing Chaucer's Pilgrims
Submitted by Kathleen Modenbach
Students dress like Chaucer's pilgrims in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales and act out a skit revealing Chaucer's description of each pilgrim. (Grades 9-12)

Applying Character/Setting to Play Readings
Submitted by Elyssa Waldman
Students identify two elements of a play (character/setting) in the text of a book. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

The Printing Press
Submitted by Laurie Donnelly
This lesson emphasizes the importance of the invention of Johannes Gutenberg's printing press during the Renaissance era. (Grades 3-5)

Baseball Fact or Fiction
Submitted by Cheryl Sexstella-Wright
Students learn about the history of baseball while incorporating computer skills, reading skills, and writing abilities. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

A Digital Quilt
Submitted by Lisa Nash
In this activity, which correlates with the book The Patchwork Quilt, by Valerie Flourney, students use digital technology to create squares for a class quilt. (Grades 3-5)

Of Mice and Men: Cast the Roles
Submitted by Brian Ausland
Students assume the role of casting directors and use their knowledge of Steinbeck's setting, style, and characterization to create a cast of actors and actresses for a film version of Of Mice and Men. (Grades 9-12)

Visual Poetry Lets Students 'See' the Words
Submitted by LuAnn Kaiser
In this lesson students create slides depicting visual images in a poem. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

A Walk Through the 20th Century
Submitted by Tammy Bunton
Each student reviews the people, places, and events of a particular decade of the 20th Century, writes a report about that decade, and creates a booth of memorabilia, music, dress, pictures and other artifacts representing the time period. Students share their booths with their classmates, and then invite the entire school to a "Celebration of the 20th Century." (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Should We Celebrate Columbus Day?
Submitted by Trevor Shaw
Students will use inquiry-based learning to gather information about Columbus' impact on the Americas. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

DANCE & MUSIC

Mr. Mascot's Magical Musical Tour
Melanie E. Shaw, who teaches at Vogelweh Elementary School, a Department of Defense school in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland Pfalz (Germany), submitted this lesson in which a class mascot leaves clues. Where in the U.S. or world is it? (Grades 3-12)

Foreign Language Lip-Sync Karaoke Contest
Tina Matic, who teaches at Oxford Academy in Cypress, California, submitted this week's lesson in which a lip-sync contest provides an unforgettable foreign language lesson. (Grades 6-12)

In the Pumpkin (Dans la Citrouille)
Barbara McLaren, who teaches in Ontario, Canada, submitted this lesson for harvest time; students learn foreign language vocabulary words for a variety of vegetables. (Grades 3-8)

Drafting a Recording Contract
Submitted by Barry R. Hill
Students learn about recording artist contracts and write their own contract in negotiation with another group. (Grades 9-12)

What Do You Use to Play the Blues?
Submitted by Clyde Winters
As part of a study of the blues, students will work in groups to design and create a musical instrument and then write a report explaining how their design met the challenge of making music from "found" materials. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

 

VISUAL ARTS

 

Art On Trial (A Mock-Court Activity)
Diane Franken, who teaches at Lincoln Academy of Integrated Arts in Davenport, Iowa, submitted this lesson in which students take on different roles as they determine which work of art will be constructed in their community park. (Grades 3-12)

Appetizing Adverbs
Laura Graham, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri, submitted this appetizing lesson that teaches the concepts of verbs and adverbs. (Grades K-5)

Vivid Descriptions and Works of Art
Megan Wynne, who teaches at St. Joseph School in Hawthorne, California, submitted this lesson in which students test their vivid-writing skills with an art activity. (Grades 3-12)

Preposition House
Colleen Moak, who teaches at Blessed Sacrament School in Washington, D.C., submitted this week's lesson, which helps students visualize how prepositions describe things in relation to one another.

Time Line of the Year
Lynda O'Brien, who teaches at Twin Oaks Home School in Melrose, Florida, submitted this lesson in which students create a timeline of the school year that includes photographs, work samples, much more.

Space Travel Brochure
Karen Hoskins, who teaches at Barksdale Elementary School in Clarksville, Tennessee, submitted this week's lesson in which students create brochures that promote travel to other planets. (Grades 3-12)

Fortune Cookies Motivate Writing
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson in which a fortune cookie motivates student writing. (Grades 3-12)

Back-in-Time Travel Brochure
Brett Sidle, who teaches at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep in Orchard Lake, Michigan, submitted this lesson in which students learn about history by creating back-in-time travel brochures. (Grades 6-12)

Drawing a "Life Map"
Lindsay Bigham, who teaches at Liberty (South Carolina) Middle School, submitted this lesson in which students create "life maps" of their lives. This can be used as a prewriting activity for writing autobiographies. (Grades 3-12)

My Alphabetical Autobiography
Leah Bivins, who teaches at Colfax Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson, which challenges students to create A to Z autobiographies. (Grades K-12)

Picture a Tarantula
Leigh Lewis, who teaches at Wynne (Arkansas) Junior High School, submitted this week's lesson. Students draw a picture of a spider based on a detailed description. How close will their drawings come? (Grades 3-8)

Fear Factor Fun
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this lesson in which students create and write vivid descriptions of new "Fear Factor" stunts they create. (Grades 3-12)

Circles, Squares, Triangles and Rectangles In Our World
Ms. K. Berni, who teaches at Faith Lutheran Child Care Center in Pasadena, California, submitted this week's lesson, which offers five days of activities for teaching young students about shapes. (Grades Pre-K-2)

Get the Ball Rolling: Fun With English-Language Idioms
Cindy Kimbrell, who teaches at Rusk Elementary School in Midland, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students think about multiple meanings of some English-language idioms. (Grades 3-12)

Amusing Animal Adaptations
Jeana Carlson, who teaches at Navarro Elementary School in Bryan, Texas, submitted this week's lesson in which students write creatively as they use their knowledge of animal adaptations. (Grades K-5)

A Symbol of Myself
Tammy Buehler, who teaches at Forest Park Elementary School in O'Fallon, Missouri, submitted this week's lesson in which students create a clay "symbol of myself." Nice open house display idea. (Grades 3-8)

"Me" Resource
Julianne Z. Cugini, who teaches at St. Louise de Marillac School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson in which students create "Me" entries for a dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, newspaper... (Grades 3-8)

Summer Camp in the Classroom
VaReane C. Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this lesson, in which students team up to create summer camping adventures. (Grades 3-12)

Mother's Day Trip
Rox-Anne Cox, who teaches at Albia Community School in Albia, Iowa, submitted this lesson in which students send their mothers on a special Mother's Day trip. (Grades 3-8)

Pizza Biography
Jennie Griffin, who teaches at Rockvale (Tennessee) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create pizza box biographies.

The Power of Mental Images: Visualizing Literature
Stiles X. Simmons, who teaches at Mann Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan, submitted this week's lesson, in which students learn and practice a new reading strategy: visualization. (Grades 3-5)

Picture This!
This lesson, in which students write text for picture books, was developed from ideas presented by teachers Kellie Slaughter of Belmont Hills Elementary in Smryna, Georgia, and Katrina Stroup of Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi. (Grades K-8)

The ABC Project
Beverly Thomas, who teaches at the Alief Hastings Ninth Grade Center in Houston, Texas, submitted this week's lesson, in which older students create ABC books for younger students. (Grades 3-12)

Digital Scavenger Hunt
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield (Nebraska) Elementary School, submitted this week's lesson, in which teams of students take photos of a variety of scavenger hunt items -- for example, something that changes shape, something that flashes. (Grades 3-8)

Team Up for Sports Marketing
VaReane Heese, who teaches at Springfield Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create and market their own sports franchises. (Grades 3-12)

Red Square, Red Square, What Do You See?
Susanne Shorday DiMarco, who teaches at Abington Presbyterian Nursery School in Abington, Pennsylvania, submitted this week's lesson, in which students create a book in the style of Eric Carle that reinforces color and shape awareness. (Grades PreK-2)

Measurement Masterpiece
Laura Graham, who teaches at Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri, submitted this lesson, in which students use their measurement and estimation skills to create a "measurement masterpiece." (Grades K-5)

Reconstructing Artifacts
Michelle Gay, who teaches at Foley (Alabama) Intermediate School, submitted this fun, hands-on activity, in which students learn about an archaeologist's work. (Grades K-12)

Our Changing Community
Sharon Hall, who teaches at South Lebanon Elementary School in Maineville, Ohio, submitted this week's lesson, a hands-on project that teaches students how communities change as they grow. (Grades K-5)

Three Healthful Meals: A Practical Food-Guide-Pyramid Activity
Mandy Logue, a teacher at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this week's lesson in which students create paper plate art showing a day of healthful eating. (Grades 2-6)

A Modern Pandora's Box
Anita Wadhwa, who teaches at Lee High School in Houston, Texas, submitted this lesson, in which students read the story of Pandora's Box and then create modern-day versions of boxes filled with evil and hope. (Grades 6-12)

Famous African-American Fabric Portraits
Doris Metcalf, who recently retired from the Florence (Alabama) City Schools, submitted this lesson, in which students create a fabric-portrait exhibit of famous African Americans. (Grades 6-12)

Paper Bag Book Report
Linda Bray, who teaches at Alcorn Central Elementary School in Glen, Mississippi, submitted this week's lesson. Students promote community literacy by creating "paper bag book reports" and workers at a local grocery store pack customers' groceries in them! (Grades 3-8)

Evaluating a Book By Its Cover
Submitted by Steven Vetter, Manatee County Schools in Bradenton, Florida
Students examine and evaluate book covers, then create their own cover for a favorite book. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Drawing Lesson Improves Communication Skills
Submitted by Rob Ford
In this simple, fun partner activity, an art activity challenges students to become better communicators. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Community Cell
Submitted by Kimberly Emanuel
Students complete a hands-on activity to study the parts and functions of a cell. (Grades 6-8)

Story Totems
Submitted by Angie Cook
Students write stories about animal ecosystems and paint animal pictures on narrow wooden boards. (Grades 9-12)

Jah's Mural
Submitted by Clyde Winters
Students study cave paintings of early humans and create their own! (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Two-Dimensional Geometric Shapes
Raymundo V. De Jesus
Students complete hands-on activities about geometric shapes! (Grades K-2)

Research, Writing, and the 'Isms'
Paula Guhin
Students collaborate in pairs to research any of these art styles: realism, impressionism, post-impressionism, expressionism, fauvism, cubism, futurism, or surrealism. They create original short stories, poems, or personal essays and illustrate the written work with artwork in the style of their chosen "Ism." Using desktop publishing, students edit their work into book. Each participant receives a laminated, bound copy. (Grades 9-12)

The African American Experience: A Research Quilt
Submitted by Kimberly Emanuel
This activity will introduce students to the research process while investigating the contributions of key African American leaders in the 1900s. Students will construct a quilt highlighting the achievements of each individual and present this quilt to the community. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

My First PowerPoint Presentation
Submitted by Jean Napier-Faeih
Students integrate technology, language arts, and art to create a PowerPoint presentation. (Grades K-2, 3-5)

Poetry: A Picture of Your Feelings or No, Virginia, Poetry Doesn't Have to Rhyme
Sue Atkins
After a series of lessons on poetic elements, a review presentation is given. The class goes on a field trip. Students paint a picture and write a poem about most memorable spot on the trip. (Teacher's note: We visited a rock mine to see the contrast between a mining operation and an on-site nature trail.) (Grades 3-5)

A Digital Quilt
Submitted by Lisa Nash
In this activity, which correlates with the book The Patchwork Quilt, by Valerie Flourney, students use digital technology to create squares for a class quilt. (Grades 3-5)

Of Mice and Men: Cast the Roles
Submitted by Brian Ausland
Students assume the role of casting directors and use their knowledge of Steinbeck's setting, style, and characterization to create a cast of actors and actresses for a film version of Of Mice and Men. (Grades 9-12)

Tapestry in the Middle Ages
Submitted by Ashlynn J. Neel
Students learn about the use of tapestry in the Middle Ages and then weave their own tapestry. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Visual Poetry Lets Students 'See' the Words
Submitted by LuAnn Kaiser
In this lesson students create slides depicting visual images in a poem. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

Create a Living Museum
Submitted by Sharon Sumner
Students research famous people from Missouri, or from their own state, and share the information. (Grades 3-5, 6-8)

Color It Recycled!
Submitted by Theresa M. Santiago
Students melt old crayon stubs and mold them into interesting shapes and characters. They can also add paper clips to create hanging ornaments! (Grades ECE, K-2, 3-5)

Mapping the Mockingbird
Submitted by Albert Baggetta
This lesson offers a focused approach to studying setting, using To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (Grades 9-12)

Why Polar Bears Are White
Submitted by Addie Gaines
Students learn about camouflage as they study polar bears and their habitat. (Grades K-2)

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