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 28, 2019

If there is anything better than Vermont in the summer, I guess I don’t know what it is. I’ve lived in this state on and off in my life; I’m now looking for a job here, and hope to stay here for the rest of my working life.

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on argumentation; more specifically (and as with the other lesson plans on argumentation I’ve posted, this one relies on Cathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff’s excellent They Say/I Say: The Move That Matter in Academic Writing), this lesson involves students in the use of rhetorical figures in argumentation to enter an ongoing debate. I begin this lesson, right after a class change, with this context clues worksheet on the Latinism nota bene, generally abbreviated as n.b. Users of other context clues worksheets from Mark’s Text Terminal will note that this document is a very slight departure from the usual format. Finally, here is the worksheet that is at the center 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.

Anxiety

Yesterday was the last day of school in Springfield. Now I must get busy finding a job for the fall. As it appears my apartment in The Bronx has sold, I need to find a place to live as well. In other words, in the next couple of months, I must undertake two of the most stressful activities in which humans involve themselves.

So, this morning seems as good a time as any to post this reading on anxiety and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. If you work with anxious kids, and if the statistics on anxiety in kids are true, I suspect you’ll find a use for this in your classroom.

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 14, 2019

Today is the final Friday of the 2018-2019 school year, probably the most challenging year I have faced in my career. Enough said. Let’s move on.

Here is a complete lesson plan on trade and commercial interaction as a cause of history. I opened this lesson, when I was using it, with this context clues worksheet on the adjective efficient; I wanted students to use this word to understand that one of the many benefits the earliest human civilizations derived from the rivers next to which they were situated was the use of that water to increase efficiency in trade. Finally, here is worksheet and note-taking blank for student use in this lesson. Nota bene, please, that this is a brainstorming lesson that calls upon the teacher to serve as an active Socratic foil. You’ll need to prepare to ask a lot of broad questions about how trade increased human contact, created the concept of cosmopolitanism, fostered the rise of social class distinctions, changed diets, religion, languages clothing–hell, really, trade made the world what it is today.

And remember: in spite of all the talk in the last generation or so about “the rise of globalization,” the global economy really begins with the Silk Road.

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 Complete Lesson Plan on Using Personal Pronouns in the Nominative Case

OK: here, on a Tuesday morning, is a complete lesson plan on the personal pronoun in the nominative case.

I begin this lesson, after a class change, with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Jargon; and if the lesson, for whatever reason (there are many in classroom, as we teacher know) continues into a second day, here is a second do-now, an Everyday Edit worksheet on Booker T. Washington. Incidentally, if you or your students find Everyday Edits useful or edifying, the good people at Education World offer a yearlong supply of them for the taking.

This scaffolded worksheet on using the personal pronoun in the nominative case is the mainstay of this lesson. Finally, here is a learning support on pronouns and case to help students navigate this area of usage and develop their own understanding–and mastery–of 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.

A Lesson Plan on Agriculture as a Cause of History

Over the four years this blog has existed, one of the most heavily retrieved items posted here has been these context clues worksheets for the words agriculture and agrarian. Agriculture is a big concept with a lot of porous surfaces that make it easy to transfer across domains of knowledge. In any case, to understand how our species arrived at its present level of development, understanding agriculture remains essential.

So, here is a lesson plan on agriculture as a cause of history. Because students have already, in previous lessons, encountered the noun agriculture (see the context clues worksheets above), I start this lesson right after a class change with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on hunting and gathering societies. It happens that this document is really the mainstay of this lesson, because this worksheet on agriculture as a cause of history is really more in the way of what administrators and teachers now call an “exit ticket.”

If that is insufficient for you needs, here is a body of text on agriculture and the agricultural revolution to use to create a longer worksheet, an independent practice worksheet, or whatever is best for your students’ needs in developing their own understanding of agriculture and its role in history.

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 18, 2019

This week’s Text is a complete lesson plan on using coordinating conjunctions. I open this exercise with this homophone worksheet on the homophones desert and dessert; while I realize that these two words, properly pronounced, aren’t really homophones, these are nonetheless words that students (and adults for that matter) frequently confuse, so I think it’s worth taking a moment to help them sort out these two words. Should this lesson stumble into another day for any reason, here is an everyday edit on Ludwig van Beethoven–and if you like Everyday Edit worksheets, the generous people at Education World have a yearlong supply of them posted as giveaways.

This structured worksheet of modified cloze exercises is the mainstay of this lesson; here too (contrived for the teacher’s ease of use) is the the teacher’s copy and answer key for 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 4, 2019

The first Text for the New Year is this complete lesson plan on the latin word root bell-. It means war. Here is the context clues worksheet on the noun conflict with which I begin this lesson. Finally, this vocabulary-building worksheet on this root is the mainstay 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.