Category Archives: Lesson Plans

This category identifies a post with several documents, which will include a lesson plan, and may include a short exercise to being the class (known in the New York City Department of Education as a “do-now”) a worksheet, often scaffolded, a teacher’s copy of the worksheet, and a learning support of some kind.

The Weekly Text, 24 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 4

Here is the fourth and final lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit I wrote earlier this year. This lesson opens with this short reading with three comprehension questions on the concept of “a seat at the table,” i.e. joining in decision-making processes, particularly where those decisions concern oneself. The mainstay of this lesson is this reflection and assessment guide for discussion and note-taking at the end of this unit.

Because this is it. You now have access to all four lessons in this unit. If you expand this, or otherwise change it, I would be very interested in hearing what you did. I wrote this unit quickly to capitalize on student interest (Summer of Soul won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards in 2022). Even as I presented the unit, I recognized that there is a lot of room to expand and improve this material.

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, 17 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 3

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of Fridays, then here is the third lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit I wrote last spring to take advantage of high interest in that superb documentary and the events it records and assesses. To carry out this lesson, the third of four, I begin with this short reading with three comprehension questions on the Baby Boomer generation as a do-now exercise. The primary work of this lesson involves this truncated reading on Woodstock and its accompanying discussion guide and note-taking worksheet.

If you would prefer longer-form materials on Woodstock, you’ll find those here. Otherwise, that’s it for another 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, 10 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 2

The second Friday of June 2022 brings from Mark’s Text Terminal the second lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit I wrote this spring to capitalize on the interest in this superlative documentary–especially when it won a much-deserved Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and accrued similar honors at just about every film festival held in North America in 2021. This lesson accompanies a viewing of the film: I composed these ten questions to guide viewing of the film in order to meet the unit’s learning objectives, which is an investigation into why the 50 hours of footage shot at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival never took a “seat at the table” when film production budgets were handed out.

That’s it. No do-now; students just jump right in to a viewing of the film. The third lesson will appear next Friday.

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, 3 June 2022: Summer of Soul Lesson 1

During the month of June Mark’s Text Terminal will offer a four-lesson unit on Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s 2021, Oscar-winning documentary, Summer of Soul. As you probably know, this film compellingly documents, using the long-lost footage the late Hal Tulchin shot, of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival held in Mount Morris Park, now known as Marcus Garvey Park.

Without further ado, and in keeping with the general practice at Mark’s Text Terminal of keeping the documents up front (ahead of my bloviation, that is) in posts, here is the first lesson plan of the Summer of Soul unit. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Black Arts Movement, which I think is particularly salient to both this lesson and this unit. Here is a worksheet to guide research into the principals–spread across 50 years–involved in the production of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival and the long overdue documentary on it, Summer of Soul. Finally, here is the poster or handbill (or both) from the event itself.

Now, if you would like to develop this unit further (there is plenty of room for that, it seems to me, particularly if your students are interested), here is the unit plan. To write additional lessons, should you want it, here is the lesson plan template. If you write further lessons for this unit, and want to create materials using the format in these documents, here is the worksheet template.

Finally, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the A.M.E. Church (i.e. the African Methodist Episcopal Church) that I stacked in the planning materials folder for future use. One direction this unit might go further with, or serve as a jumping-off point for another unit, say, on the Black Church, using Henry Louis Gates’ recent series on the subject to explore the connection between the Black Church and the Civil Rights Movement. There was a a gospel day at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival–including, movingly, Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples sharing a microphone–and the film performs a badly needed service in making the connection not only between the Black Church and the Civil Rights Movement explicit, but also the connection between the Black Church and soul music. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I listen to some old O’Jays records, it sounds like the men in the group left their church choir rehearsal and went straight to Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s recording studio. “Love Train,” in fact, is arguably a gospel song.

OK: more (perhaps considerably more) said than necessary. If this material interests you, stay tuned for the next three Fridays at Mark’s Text Terminal to collect the next three lessons.

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.

Formalism or Russian Formalism

“Formalism or Russian Formalism: Russian school of literary criticism that flourished 1914-28. Making use of the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure, Formalists were concerned with what technical devices make a literary text literary, apart from its psychological, sociological, biographical, and historical elements. Though influenced by the Symbolist movement, they sought to make their analyses more objective and scientific than those of the Symbolists. The movement was condemned by the Soviet authorities in 1929 for its lack of political perspective. Later, it became influential in the West, notably in New Criticism and structuralism.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

The Weekly Text, 22 April 2022: A Final Assessment Lesson Plan on Prepositions

This week’s Text is this final lesson plan of the prepositions unit that I have posted piecemeal over the years. That means there is a complete unit of seven lessons on using prepositions in prose on this blog. To find them, search “prepositions lesson plans” in the little box just to your right. Your search should yield all seven lessons.

Anyway, I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit worksheet on the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The work for this lesson will extend into a second day, so here is another Everyday Edit on Sarah Chldress Polk, First Lady. If you and your students find Everyday Edits useful–I’ve had a few students over the years who have found these documents so intellectually satisfying that they asked for more of them–you can click over to Education World, where the proprietors of that site generously supply a yearlong supply of them at no cost.

Finally, here is the worksheet and organizer upon which the work of this lesson, and the entire unit, really, is inscribed.

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, 15 April 2022: A Lesson Plan on Using Prepositions

The Weekly Text on this Tax Day (actually, Tax Day this year is on Monday, 18 April) is the penultimate lesson, a sentence writing review, of seven-lesson unit on the use of prepositions. Without further ado, then, here is the lesson plan.

I open this lesson with this Everyday Edit worksheet on author Yoshiko Uchida; in the event the lesson stretches into a second day, here is another on Basketball’s Beginnings. (And to give credit where it is so deservedly due, the good people at Education World allow access at no cost to a calendar year’s worth of Everyday Edit worksheets, should you find these useful documents work well for your students.) Here is the sentence-writing review worksheet. If you need it, here is the learning support for commonly used prepositions that I work to keep by students’ sides throughout this unit. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

Next week I’ll publish as the Weekly Text the assessment lesson for this unit. Then Mark’s Text Terminal will be able to offer a complete seven-lesson unit on using prepositions in prose.

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, 8 April 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Denominations of U.S. Paper Currency from The Order of Things

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the denominations of paper currency in the United States from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s excellent reference book, The Order of Things. For students, here is the combined reading and comprehension worksheet to use for this lesson.

Nota bene please that I conceived of and prepared this material for students who find it a challenge to navigate and manipulate two symbolic systems–that is, numbers and letters–at the same time. This is a comfortable way to ease into more complicated work like word problems in math–or at least I like to think it is.

But what do you think?

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, 1 April 2022: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Spelling Bee”

On this April Fool’s Day, this week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Spelling Bee.”

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the rhetorical question (it’s a reading of one compound sentence that nonetheless yields three comprehension questions). You’ll need this PDF of the illustration of the crime scene with its attendant investigatory questions. Finally, you’ll want this typescript of the answer key to arrest the offender and bring him or her to the bar of justice.

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, 28 January 2022: A Lesson Plan on Using Prepositions with Pronouns in the Objective Case

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using prepositions with pronouns in the objective case. I open this unit with this Everyday Edit worksheet on Charles R. Drew, the African-American physician who was a pioneer in blood storage and transfusion. Should the lesson require a second day of instruction, here is another on Gwendolyn Brooks, the great American poet. Incidentally, if you and your students enjoy using Everyday Edits (a number of students I have served over the years have found them both fun and satisfying), the good people at Education World give away at no charge a yearlong supply of them.

You might find this learning support on pronouns in the nominative and objective cases useful in executing this lesson. This scaffolded worksheet is the centerpiece of student work for this lesson, therefore de rigueur. Finally, here is the teachers copy of same.

That’s it for January. February is Black History Month 2022. As always, Mark’s Text Terminal will observe the month with a myriad of posts on topics related to the history of global citizens of the African diaspora. I hope to see you here.

If you find typos in this document, 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.