Skills Lesson Plans
are listed lesson banks and lesson plans from a variety of Internet sources.
The Web Sites listed here have been selected to complement and enrich your teaching
of the ELA Middle Years Language Arts Curriculum in the Grade 8 Writing
Arts Mini-Lessons - 33 mini-lessons for grades 4 - 12, with a focus on
grades 6 - 8 from the Columbia Education Center. Grade level for each is marked.
and Story Telling
- Sheldon Oberman, Award-winning author offers stories, folktales, FAQ, and
tips for writers and storytellers. Lots of great ideas and lesson plans.
Learning Exchange Lesson Plans
- here is a bank of well written and well supported lesson plans with a technology
bent promoting both Reading and Writing skills. Locate the lesson plan according
to subject and grade level by checking the appropriate boxes.
World of Haiku
- In this EDSITEment lesson, students explore the traditions and conventions
of haiku, comparing this classic form of Japanese poetry to a related genre
of Japanese visual art and composing haiku of their own.
Your Same Old Book Report - from the Teachnet.com Web Site, a unique idea
for students to make and present a 3-D Book Report
Report Alternative: Character and Author Business Cards - When students
make business cards for characters in books they've read or for the authors
of those books, they're forced to think symbolically in order to create a
short, simple text that represents the target appropriately—providing
a title, relevant images, and other pertinent information.
Report Alternative: Comic Strips and Cartoon Squares
- Students tire of responding to novels in the same ways. They want new ways
to think about a work of literature and new ways to dig into it. By creating
comic strips or cartoon squares featuring characters in books, they're encouraged
to think analytically about the characters, events, and themes they've explored
in ways that expand their critical thinking by focusing on crystallizing the
significant points of the book in a few short scenes.
Report Alternative: Summary, Symbol, and Analysis in Bookmarks
- Students love to make bookmarks on the computer because they get to share
their ideas with other readers at their school. Teachers love the project
because it gives students practice in summarizing, recognizing symbols, and
writing reviews—all while writing for an authentic audience.
Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology
- Integrating technology, research, and the language arts, students work collaboratively
on this lesson reviewing books and creating hypertext on the Web. Reading,
writing, purpose, and audience are synthesized, resulting in a challenging
and creative student project.
Taking/Main Idea & Details
- A lesson plan where students take notes from oral reading for the purpose
of extracting main idea and details and transcribing them into a summary.
to the Editor
- Students will analyze and interpret letters to the editor, and use this
information to write their own.
Science Fiction - A lesson plan where students write science fiction stories
based on stories brought up in the tabloids.
a Cooperative Class Story - Students take turns writing 5 minute segments
of a theme until they have the makings of a cooperative story
- Students will examine the characteristics of and write their own comics
based on an already popular comic.
- Students will practice their descriptive writing skills by designing and
writing a menu for a fictional restaurant.
Clash: A Mini-Lesson on Paragraphing and Dialogue - When writers include
dialogue in their stories, one of the questions that frequently comes up is
how to structure texts that have changing speakers or thinkers. This lesson
helps students identify the structures that will clarify their text by using
colored markers or online resources
In this lesson, students will create original poetry and prose and will assemble
a written autobiographical booklet in a middle school language arts class.
After all poetry and prose are written, students will create a digital slide
show to give a multimedia dimension to one or more of the selections.
- How can I use the Elements of Fiction to enhance and develop my writing?
Students will explore these themes in this lesson. Students will explore characterization
as an element of fiction. They will learn how authors use characterization,
dialogue, and point of view to reveal a character. They will then experiment
with constructing characters of their own.
Plotting the Story
- In this lesson, students explore how the elements of fiction can enhance
and develop their writing. Students investigate plot as an element of fiction.
They consider how details and events are selected and arranged to contribute
to the outcome of the story.
Setting the Story
- Students will explore how to use the elements of fiction to enhance and
develop their writing. Students will learn how authors manipulate time and
space, mood, and spatial order in descriptions of settings.
for an Audience - Students study magazines and their audience, and then
select, write and produce their own magazine articles.
and Retell - Students are encouraged to bring their own voice and creative
interpretation to their written retelling of one of Aesop's Fables.
- These lessons are designed for students to listen to, read, research and
explore the Internet find information about the sinking of the Titanic. The
students respond by writing their own diary of events including a personal
a Character! - In these lessons, students explore strategies for creating
and analyzing characters. The character sketch is a component of a story and
may be developed in a variety of ways through the reading and writing programme.
- In these lessons, students identify the features of an argument and the
purpose of oral and written arguments. The unit is based around a well known
Tales: A Study of Perspective - In this lesson, students re-tell a fairy
tale or nursery rhyme from a different character's point-of-view.
Framework for Responding to Poetry
- This page provides a handout that outlines how to provide an effective written
response to poetry.
Concrete Poetry - In this lesson, students are introduced to writing Concrete
Poetry through and example of the historic flight of the Wright Brothers.
- Several worksheets for a poetry lesson.
Days of Poetry - This collection provides thirty different lesson plans,
each with its own format for students to experiment with and "discover"
that they actually enjoy this genre of creative writing. Many of the formats
contain templates, making it easy for reluctant writers to commit themselves
to the task.
- This lesson provides an exercise in understanding abverbs and guidance on
writing an adverb poem. This is a PDF file
- Created by a teacher in Canada, Mr. Kirby, this is a no-frills approach
that covers all of the steps including: brainstorming, mapping, outlines,
editing, references, reproducible worksheets, and more. It walks students
through the entire process using one main example and several related examples.
It even includes some word processing tips.
- Students construct and illustrate a list poem that expresses personal likes
Your Students Into Well-Versed Poets - More than 20 poetry lesson plans
help teachers develop "well-versed" students. Stage a poetry slam
for profit, find the funniest poems around, write synonym poems, more! Included:
Links to poetry sites, rubrics, and sites that publish student poetry!
- Students will use familiar characters, plots, and settings from traditional
fairy tales to create "fractured" versions, while experimenting
with satire, irony and parody
News Travels Fast - Students write an essay demonstrating how a traditional
folk saying or proverb relates to their own lives.
Picture's Worth a Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative
- The old cliche "A picture is worth a thousand words" is put to
the test in this lesson. Distribute or show a picture that tells a story and
then encourage students to brainstorm words and ideas about the image before
writing a story that tells background on the image or extends details on what
Bookmaking Builds Vocabulary in the Content Areas - Are you looking for
a fun, new way to teach content area vocabulary to your students? How about
having them create ABC books? Bookmaking allows students to pinpoint for themselves
the words they don't know and to use their own descriptions and illustrations
to create an appropriate context for new vocabulary.
Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages - With the increasing
popularity of e-mail and online instant messaging among today’s teens,
a recognizable change has occurred in the language that students use in their
writing. This lesson explores the language of electronic messages and how
it affects other writing. Furthermore, it explores the freedom and creativity
for using Internet abbreviations for specific purposes and examines the importance
of a more formal style of writing based on audience.
Aztek, or Bravada? A Connotation Mini-Lesson
- Would you rather drive an Avalanche, an Aztek, a Bravada, a Suburban or
a Vue? In this mini-lesson, students examine familiar car names for underlying
connotations then proceed through a series of steps, increasing their control
over language, until they select words with powerful connotations in their
Your Own Adventure: A Hypertext Writing Experience - Working in groups,
students will read and analyze Choose Your Own Adventure Stories in text or
hypertext format and brainstorm to develop setting, characters, and beginning
plots for their own adventures. Working in smaller groups and finally individually,
students will develop Choose Your Own Adventure Story Web sites.
and Contrast Electronic Text With Traditionally Printed Text - The purpose
of this lesson is to familiarize students with the similarities and differences
between electronic text and traditionally printed text. Students examine the
textual aids included in a textbook and compare them to the textual aids included
in an educational website.
Oranges: Observation and Inquiry Through Descriptive Writing and Art
- As a jumping-off point for inquiry and research, students use varied methods
of observation, including sketching, to write objective and subjective descriptions.
Communication Frames: Discovering Similarities between Writing and Art
- Build a comparative frame to explore the creative processes of writing and
art as communication. Graphic organizers assist the development of comparative
vocabulary and generate discussions of analogy and metaphor in art. Apply
to a real or virtual tour of an art gallery to develop narrative, expository,
or analytical writing.
Writing Through Wordless Picture Books
- In this lesson, students develop their own story lines for wordless picture
books. Students explore a variety of wordless picture books, develop story
lines both orally and in writing, and share their stories with others. Students
use an online, interactive Story Map to assist in the development of story
Splash: Using Graphics to Discuss Literature
- Taking advantage of students’ natural tendency to doodle, students
keep a doodle journal while reading short stories by a common author. In small
groups, students combine their doodles into a graphic representation of the
text that they present to the class while discussing their story. Students
also do individual graphics and, ultimately, write group essays analyzing
the author’s themes.
Around the World
- This lesson provides teachers and students with an exciting way to build
literacy skills in the classroom. Students learn appropriate formats for writing
friendly letters and e-mail messages. Not only will students develop their
reading and writing abilities, but they will also learn about other cultures,
languages, and geographic areas.
Examining Affixes and Roots to Build Vocabulary - Flip-a-Chip is a novel
approach to word study that promotes vocabulary development. The activity
provides hands-on practice with affixes and roots and promotes comprehension
through structural analysis and vocabulary in context.
A Summarizing Strategy for Use in Any Content Area
- GIST is a summarizing technique for use in any content area. This series
of lessons guides students through learning and applying the strategy in a
format that facilitates transfer. It engages learners through online research
and writing activities based on topical news stories.
or Outside? A Mini-Lesson on Quotation Marks and More
- Does that period go inside the quotation marks or outside them? When a writing
activity includes dialogue, you're guaranteed to hear that question more than
once. This lesson helps students identify the conventions and apply them to
to Great Places in the Middle School Classroom
- Teaching revision strategies can be fun and inviting. This lesson examines
leads in promininent young adult literature and asks students to try their
own hand at writing leads.
- "I liked the story about you and Paul. I think you should add a little
more detail and you should change the end two sentences so it will sound better."
Sound familiar? This student response to a peer's draft is all too typical.
The PQP technique—Praise–Question–Polish—encourages
student writers to find and correct their own errors, using self-editing knowledge
to empower them as writers, rather than asking them to make others' corrections.
Books as Framing Texts: Research Paper Strategies for Struggling Writers
- In this lesson, picture books give students frames for structuring research
projects, freeing them from the language of their encyclopedia sources and
allowing them to focus their attention on the content of their papers. Using
picture books as models, students are able to think more about what to say
and less about how to say it, which leads to better learning experiences and
Spelling Strategies - Students increase their spelling accuracy (i.e.,
standard) and their retention by "constructing" spelling using sound,
sight recall, and analyzing strategies, among others, instead of memorizing
lists of words. The aim is to deal with spelling during drafting while preserving
Did What? Revising for Connotation - Did she walk, skip, amble, dance?
In this mini-lesson, students examine the simple sentence "She walked
into the room." Students act out ways that the student in the sentence
might enter the room, revising the sample sentence to increase the specificity
of the word and explore connotation. Students follow this demonstration by
selecting words with powerful connotations for their own writing.
a Word Journal to Create a Personal Dictionary
- Students keep track of unfamiliar words they encounter while reading various
texts. Using a word journal notebook, students explore the perceived meaning
and the standard dictionary meaning of these words. Students then create a
personal dictionary in PowerPoint® using the words recorded in their word
Word Webs to Teach Synonyms for Commonly Used Words
- This lesson uses word webs to introduce synonyms for commonly used words
such as good, bad, and nice, and to help students adjust their word usage
for different contexts. The lesson was designed for second language learners
but can be used with all students, even high school.
Developed Lesson Plans
Storybooks for Young Children - This is a lesson plan for middle-years
writers where students conceive, write, illustrate, and construct a storybook
for a pre-school or primary-aged child
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