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, January 15, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Latin Word Root Medi-

The Weekly Text from Mark’s Text Terminal for Friday, January 15, 2021, is a lesson plan on the Latin word root medi. It means middle; unless I miss my guess, you already recognize this as an extremely productive root in English, as well as across the Romance Languages.

I open this lesson with this context worksheet on the noun intermediary. This is a commonly used word in English. Its adjectival form, intermediate, shows up on this scaffolded worksheet on this word root that is the principal work of this lesson.

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 8, 2021: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “International Crisis”

The first Weekly Text for 2021 is this lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “International Crisis.”

This lesson opens with this Cultural Literacy Cultural Literacy worksheet on the proverb “you can’t have your cake and eat it too. To conduct your investigation of the international crisis, you’ll need this PDF of the illustration and questions that serve as evidence in this case. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key to assist you in bringing the culprit or culprits to 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

La Marseillaise

“La Marseillaise: The hymn of the French Revolution and the national anthem of France. The words and music were written on the night of 24 April 1792 by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1835), an artillery officer in the garrison at Strasbourg, in response to a request by the mayor of Strasbourg for a military marching song following the outbreak of war with Austria on 20 April. Its original title was ‘Chant de guerre pour l’armee du Rhin’ (‘war song of the Rhine army’), but it became known as ‘La Marseillaise’ after it was sung in Paris in July 1792 by troops from Marseilles. It has had a checkered career as the French national anthem, being dropped in non-republican phases. It was first adopted in 1795 but banned by Napoleon when he became emperor. The ban continued after the 1815 restoration, but was lifted after the 1830 revolution. It was banned again on the establishment in 1852 of the Second Empire of Napoleon III, and was not readopted until 1879, some years after the establishment of the Third Republic.

Allons, enfants de la patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrive.

(‘Come, children of the country, the day of glory has arrived.’)”

Claude Joseph Rouget De Lisle: ‘Le Marseillaise’ (1792), opening lines

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

The Weekly Text, December 11, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Container Sizes from The Order of Things

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on container sizes from The Order of ThingsThis is a straightforward literacy and numeracy exercise designed to build procedural ability and confidence. You’ll need this list-as-reading and comprehension worksheet for the primary work of this lesson.

Supporting materials for this lesson may be found on the About Posts & Texts page.  

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 4, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Using the Compound Adjective

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using the compound adjective. I open this lesson with this parsing sentences for adjectives worksheet. In the event the lesson continues into a second day, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the oxymoron as a rhetorical device.

Moving on to the work, here is the scaffolded worksheet that is at the center of the lesson. To assist students in understanding and completing this work, I have a couple of learning supports–actually, two versions of the same learning support: the first is this word bank of adjectives to use when working to fill in the cloze blank; the second is the same document structured into columns. I wrote the second one because I found I needed to be able to direct kids’ attention to the column where the best word for the cloze blanks resides.

Finally, here is the teacher’s copy (or the parents’ copy, if you like) of the worksheet for ease of teaching this lesson.

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, November 13, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Crime and Puzzlement Case “Seeing Double”

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Crime and Puzzlement case “Seeing Double.” Judging from my download statistics, these are always a crowd pleaser.

I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom “Have. an ax to grind,” (which might also be usefully employed when introducing students to the methods of writing a research paper–especially scholarly disinterest). This PDF of the illustration and questions is the evidence you’ll need to conduct this investigation. Finally, here is the typescript of the answer key so that you may bring the culprit 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, November 6, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Areas and Surfaces from The Order of Things

Okay, folks, it’s Friday again. This week’s Text is this lesson plan on areas or surfaces, contrived from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s excellent reference book The Order of Things. You’ll need this list as reading and its comprehension questions to deliver this lesson.

Incidentally, this is one of fifty of these I’ve written since this pandemic began last March. For years I’d perused Ms. Kipfer’s book, recognizing in it the potential for a wide variety of lessons to build literacy and procedural knowledge in working with a variety of symbolic systems. I’ve also worked up a unit plan and users’ manual (both of which I’ll post on the “About Posts & Texts” page) to explain and rationalize the use of these lessons.

So be on the lookout for those materials. About half of the unit is already posted on this site–just search “The Order of Things.”

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, October 30, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Using the Definite and Indefinite Articles

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on using definite and indefinite articles.

I open this lesson with this parsing sentences worksheet for nouns. This scaffolded worksheet on using the definite (the) and indefinite (a, an before words starting with vowels) articles. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet to make working through this lesson a little easier.

That’s it. Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy, and wear your mask!

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, October 23, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Latin Word Roots Matr, Matri, and Mater

Last but not least this morning, this week’s Text is a lesson plan on the Latin word roots matr, matri, and mater. They mean, simply, (as you’ve surely inferred) mother. They are very productive in English.

I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the adjective matrifocal, which supplies a hint about the meaning of the roots under study; it is also a good sociological, anthropological, and historical term of art for students to know. Finally, here is the word root worksheet on matr, matri, and mater that is the work of this lesson.

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.

A Lesson Plan on the Decibel Scale from The Order of Things

This lesson plan on the decibel scale and its accompanying reading and comprehension worksheet are another of the 50 lessons I have prepared using text from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s The Order of Things. If you have students interested in audio engineering or music production, this is something for them.

Otherwise, this is a simple literacy lesson that calls upon students to work with numbers and words in one document. I’ve been working on both the unit plan for these lessons and a user’s manual for their documents. I struggle to articulate why I developed these lessons and how I would use them. For now, think of the documents above as a rehearsal for word problems in math–one of the things that so often bedevil emergent and struggling readers.

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.