Category Archives: Lesson Plans

Lesson plans on topics in social studies and English, as well as what I call “learning methods focus”–lessons that use the content area to demonstrate a particular method for learning that might assist struggling students.

The Weekly Text, June 23, 2017

Summer break is nigh upon us here in New York City, and not a moment too soon. For the past couple of weeks we have endured the inanity of the New York State Regents Examinations.

This week’s Text is a complete lesson on using the predicate adjective in declarative sentences. There are two do-now worksheets to accompany this lesson in the event that the lesson runs into two days: the first is an Everyday Edit on Laura Ingalls Wilder; the second is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the common Latinism in English, nota bene. This lesson also provides a a word bank of predicate adjectives that serves as a learning support. You’ll need this scaffolded worksheet on the predicate adjectives for your students; to deliver this lesson, I find it’s handy to have this teacher’s copy and answer key.

That’s it. I hope this is useful to you.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, June 2, 2017

OK: It has been some time since I posted an entire lesson plan, so for this week’s Text I offer a complete lesson that introduces students to prepositions. This lesson begins with two (the second one in the event that the lesson runs to two days) do-now exercises, namely Everyday Edits worksheets, the first one on the Surrender at Appomattox and the the second one on the Modern Olympic Games. (Incidentally, if you like these Everyday Edit Worksheets, the good people at Education World give them away at their site, and you will find the answer keys to them there as well.)

The mainstay of this lesson is this scaffolded proofreading and cloze exercise worksheet that introduces students to prepositions and their uses. Here is a learning support on prepositions that accompanies this lesson (and all six lessons in this unit, which I will post over time, I suppose). Finally, here is a teacher’s copy and answer key to assist you as you deliver this lesson.

That’s it. If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, April 7, 2017

After posting nine weeks of readings for Black History Month and Women’s History Month, I’m pleased to offer, as this week’s Text, a complete lesson plan on descriptive and limiting adjectives. As with most of the lessons I write, there are two short do-now exercises to begin this lesson: the first is a parsing sentences worksheet for verbs and the second is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on idiom. The mainstay of this lesson is a scaffolded worksheet on descriptive and limiting adjectives. If your students are anything like those I serve, then you will very likely find useful this learning support which you might want to edit or otherwise rearrange. Finally, to help you guide your students through this lesson, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, January 13, 2017

It’s Friday the thirteenth, and time for another Weekly Text. I’ve begun revising my unit on adverbs, so this week, I offer you a lesson plan that introduces students to adverbs.

Like most if not all of the lessons I post here, I’ve prepared this one to take place over two days, given the contingencies of attention issues, disruptive behavior, and the like. So, there are two do-now exercises to open this lesson: the first is this do-now Cultural Literacy Worksheet on run-on sentences; the second is a context clues worksheet on the adjective superlative. (It’s worth mentioning in passing that this word is also used to describe the utmost degree of adjectives; some time ago I posted the introductory lesson of my adjectives unit, and over time I’ll post the entire unit, one lesson of which covers the degrees–synthetic, comparative, and superlative–of adjectives, so this do-now exercise might also serve you well in that capacity.)

The mainstay of the lesson is a scaffolded worksheet on understanding adverbs and their use. I imagine you will find the teachers’copy/answer key for the worksheet.

That’s it until next week.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, December 9, 2016

This week’s Text, which I hasten to post so I can plan and execute some new global studies lessons, is an introductory lesson plan on adjectives. I begin this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun attribute; this word is a piece of prior knowledge that students can use when they encounter the term attributive adjectives. I have a more explicit lesson on attributive adjective that I’ll post in the not too distant future (I’m in the middle of revising it, for one thing). If this lesson stretches into a second day because of behavior that derails instruction, then here is an Everyday Edits worksheet titled “Sled Dogs Save Nome.” This proofreading worksheet that introduces the adjective is the mainstay of this lesson. Finally, you will probably find useful the teacher’s copy/answer key for the worksheet.

That’s it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, December 2, 2016

Several years ago, when I was still subscribing to the Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T & W), I stumbled across the work of a Jamila Lyiscott. She had published her poem Broken English in T & W’s magazine. “Broken English” impressed me as one of the best explanations of code switching that I’d seen–and that I’ve seen since. I understood right away that “Broken English” could and should be used in my classroom.

Because I believe in teaching writing skills, and assisting students in developing their own understanding of cogent expository prose, several years ago I began designing synthetic and experiential lessons and units on the parts of speech, focusing particularly on writing grammatically complete, meaningful sentences. I’ve really only worked in inner-city schools, where my students speak a colorful vernacular informed by the Hip-Hop music they so adore. I knew I had to find a way to justify my pedagogy to them, as well as my belief–influenced to no small extent by the work of Lisa Delpit–that it is important for students to understand how to speak in a variety of registers, including that known quaintly as “the King’s English”, which Ms. Delpit rightly calls a “language of power.”All of this brought me back around to Jamila Lysicott.

So I began work on what has ultimately become this lesson plan on code switching, which is based upon “Broken English.” I’ve been procrastinating posting this as a Weekly Text because the worksheet, at eight pages, strikes me a bit too long for kids with limited literacy and/or attention spans. I thought about breaking it down to something smaller. Ultimately, I’ve decided that I will post this as is with the proviso that this lesson is, practically speaking, probably more like two, three or perhaps even four lessons. Moreover, if you decide to use it as a vocabulary building lesson, I think you could pull more words out of the text and add them to that section of the worksheet. As with all Weekly Texts at Mark’s Text Terminal, these documents are in Microsoft Word, so you may alter them to suit your needs.

So, for this lesson, you will need these four do now worksheets on the words articulate as an adjective (and this might be a suitable opportunity to teach it as a verb as welldictionprose and verse. This Cultural Literacy worksheet on slang might also be useful as for this lesson. Here is the worksheet for this lesson, and the teachers’ exegesis for “Broken English”. Finally, this typescript of the poem “Broken English” itself might be helpful, especially if you want to break it up for discrete lessons.

And here is a link to a TED Talk in which Jamila Lyiscott reads “Broken English.”

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

The Weekly Text, August 19, 2016

Over the years, I have become convinced of the utility of teaching the parts of speech in order to build literacy in general, and in particular to assist students in developing their own understanding of how to write grammatically complete, syntactically meaningful, and stylish sentences. To that end, I have developed units for each of the parts of speech, and these constitute an almost-year-long cycle of English Language Arts instruction.

So, this weeks text is the first lesson of the first unit of this cycle, on nouns. This lesson calls upon students to use this teacher-authored reading passage to identify all the nouns in it; as you will see, this is a three-part scaffold that asks students to read, then apply their understanding of nouns, first in modified cloze exercises, then in writing sentences from subject to period. The lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy do-now exercise on syntax. You might also find useful this singular and plural nouns formation review

You’ll notice that the plan for this lesson doesn’t list the standards met. Because of the way I manage my work flow, I list all the standards on the overarching unit plan. (That way if I must print a lesson plan to appease a bureaucrat, I don’t burn too much ink.) For that reason, I have posted typescript copies of the Common Core Standards I use in my practice  in the About Weekly Texts page that is above the banner photo on the home page for this site. They are in the penultimate paragraph there.

As always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

September 22, 2016, Post Scriptum: I have just updated the singular and plural nouns formation review worksheet linked to above.