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Lesson Plan Boosters

Lesson Plan Boosters are guides for discussions you can use to liven things up in the classroom. Discussions might center around student social-emotional health, popular culture or current events, but all are guaranteed to be of interest to students.

Boosters allow you to integrate a change-of-pace activity that will not disrupt coverage of standards-based content. With background information and options for questions that allow you to choose the direction of the conversation, Boosters are a great way to build positive connections with your students, improve school climate and enhance achievement.

Also, don't miss EducationWorld's How to Handle Scandal features for guidance on discussing challenging issues with students.


Lesson Plan Booster: Was Einstein Wrong?
Discuss with students how recent findings concerning the unique gravitational interaction of three dead stars have the potential to poke holes in Einstein’s famous theory.

Lesson Plan Booster: Predicting the Future
Help students use critical thinking to imagine what was in the minds of early 20th-century people, and to predict what the future might hold.

Lesson Plan Booster: Building the Enterprise
Students learn about the history of space flight and speculate as to whether "Star Trek's" Starship Enterprise could become a reality.

Lesson Plan Booster: Literature as a Window to the Past
Literature can be a valuable tool for teaching about different time periods. When they consider the context surrounding a fictional work, students can learn a great deal about actual history.

Lesson Plan Booster: Little-Known Books Behind Popular Movies
This discussion guide stimulates students’ interest in reading by examining the connections between written works and movies.

Lesson Plan Booster: The L.A. Race Riots
Help students understand the history and causes of riots and their impact on American civil rights and race relations.

Lesson Plan Booster: The ‘Facebook Score’ and Hiring Decisions
Will employers use this social-media rating as part of the hiring process? Students consider issues of privacy as well as implications for online behavior.

Lesson Plan Booster: Surprising Origins of Modern-Day Christmas Traditions
Students explore the rich diversity of cultural and religious inspirations that make up many American Christmas traditions. They also take the opportunity to reflect upon their own December holiday customs.

Lesson Plan Booster: Awesome Stuff That Really Exists in Space
In the vast reaches of space, there are untold numbers of strange things, many of which we can’t possibly imagine. Yet scientists today are painting a clearer picture of what really exists out there, and modern technology is making it all possible.

Lesson Plan Booster: Digital Literacy and Online Ethics
To students, the Internet can seem like a space where “anything goes.” People can seemingly say or post whatever they like, without any negative consequences. In the absence of face-to-face contact, young people in particular tend to lose their inhibitions and do or say things they would not in “real life.”

Lesson Plan Booster: Is Truth Stranger Than Fiction?
Students will be able to see how real-life experiences help an author to shape a fictional character he or she is creating.

Lesson Plan Booster: History of the Coup
Spice up high-school history class by examining how coups have shaped the political landscape.

Harry Potter Inspires: How Does Social Change Happen?
Students in grades 8-12 see the history of American social activism reflected in the Harry Potter saga.

Harry Potter Inspires: Character Sketch for a New Wizard
In this writing and literature lesson for grades 5-8, students create a new character that would fit into the wizard world.

Harry Potter Inspires: A Quest for Wizardly Efficiency
Math, map reading and critical thinking skills take center stage as kids in grades 3-6 plan a series of tasks in order to help a friend who’s fallen victim to a curse.

Harry Potter Inspires: Design a Wizard Sports Team
In this lesson for grades K-2, students use creativity, reasoning and language skills to develop a new sports team.

Lesson Plan Booster: Surprising Origins of Famous Fiction
Students draw inspiration from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland in order to jump-start their own creative writing process.

Lesson Plan Booster: Clothing and the First Amendment
This lesson lets kids decide whether students’ rights to wear particular articles of clothing are protected under the First Amendment.

Lesson Plan Booster: Media Literacy and High-Profile Crime Cases
Hearing student chatter about that sensational murder trial or other big case in the news? Help 9th- to 12th-graders think critically about the news coverage.

Lesson Plan Booster: Baseball Math
With Major League baseball season in full swing, students may find that they already use math when they follow and track the progress of their favorite teams and players.

Lesson Plan Booster: Does Vengeance Do More Harm Than Good?
Students consider the impact of the death of Osama bin Laden, and in a larger sense, whether acts of military vengeance tend to increase or decrease the probability of future violence.

Lesson Plan Booster: What Makes a Great Speech?
Do your students love to talk? Turn that energy into something productive by discussing common elements of great speeches from a variety of genres. Kids identify what they admire about famous orations while they learn about the art of persuasion.

Lesson Plan Booster: How Can Students Help a Bullied Peer?
Students consider the impact of bullying on the school as a whole, as well as the impact on a bullied peer who does not receive the help he or she needs. The class learns about safe ways to help a student who has been mistreated. Students talk openly about whether the climate of your school supports bullying prevention.

Lesson Plan Booster: Think Before You Hit “Send”
Student discussion can be initiated following media coverage of a high-profile case of a youth or adult inappropriately sharing his/her personal information or photos via cell/text, email or social networking. Students are encouraged to develop personal rules regarding personal information/photos and consider why some things are never appropriate to post or send.

Lesson Plan Booster: “Teen Mom” and Social Norms Regarding Teen Pregnancy
The class thinks critically about “social norms” messages expressed by a popular MTV “reality show” that is aimed at a teen audience. Students consider the possible positive and negative effects of the show on teen behavior.

Lesson Plan Booster: How Can We Improve Homework?
This guide can be used to help generate ideas for homework that students will not dread. Students realize that homework can be a fun extension of class. Another benefit is that the class takes a leadership role and participates in the democratic process.