This is one of my favorite units. I did it almost every year I was teaching and always had a good response. It works well because the writing assignment involves choice and authenticity. They aren’t writing what you tell them to write and they aren’t writing to you. This works great for a persuasive writing unit in English or a government unit in U.S. History. Students write official letters to their government representatives.
Included in this set is a page for the teacher explaining how I taught this unit, a page on ethos/pathos/logos that can be used as a handout or a lesson, a planning page that guides the student's research and outline, a letter format page to help the student understand how to write an official letter, and a peer edit page for the revising process.
After learning what it means to make inferences, students will be surprised at how much they can infer with very little information. This lesson is easy to adjust depending on time and background knowledge and is a great lesson to springboard into other activities.
Students will practice their knowledge of context clues and connotation by studying Lewis Carroll's famous poem "The Jabberwocky." There are two activities in this worksheet which both lend themselves to great discussions. Students enjoy this poem and it is a great way to explain how connotation and context clues work together (the way the words make us feel help us understand what they mean). It is also great for teaching how certain SOUNDS can even make us feel a certain way. This is important in any poetry unit. Basically there are a lot of fun things to do with this poem and a lot of different directions to take it.
This is Part One of a unit on European Exploration. This section covers an introduction to the unit with an attention grabber activity, intro to the Big Questions of the Unit, a lesson on how maps can be biased, a geography assignment built into a guided notes presentation, and an engaging presentation.
The presentation, guided notes, and geography portion explain the why behind European exploration and connects the past to the present without weighing the students or the teacher down with meticulous details. It covers the main ideas while bringing up important points and questions. It'll have the students connecting events that happened over 500 years ago to current events like calling the War on Terror as a "Crusade" and current level of imports to the U.S. from Asian countries. These questions will help students grasp the importance of being sensitive to historical events, what we can learn from them, and the ways they still impact us today. As a bonus, there are links to a couple entertaining, but applicable, clips to break up the note taking.
Keep a look out for Part Two and Part Three which will contain a Primary Source Analysis and engaging group and individual projects and assignments.
If you like this unit, consider purchasing my Native American unit which is similar in scope, style, and focus.
Students will create a menu complete with appetizers, main course items, and desserts. Each menu item should reflect your students' understanding of how the Columbian Exchange changed the world, specifically the world of food. Includes a handout and a rubric.
This resource will be a part of "Age of Exploration Part 3."
Stop lecturing about history and help your students engage with it! They will use the highest levels of thinking in this challenging, but engaging activity as they figure out for themselves who Christopher Columbus really is: A Hero or a Villain? I had great success with my students and this activity as spontaneous debates erupted in the classroom over which title this controversial character deserves.
This is part two of a three part unit on the Age of Exploration. This section is a primary source analysis where students will use 9 documents to determine if Christopher Columbus deserves the title “Hero” or “Villain.” These engaging documents include primary and secondary sources about the explorer. Students will analyze paintings, illustrations, letters, journal entries, reports, and news articles that share a variety of opinions about Columbus and who he was. Each document is fairly short, the longest being a page, and so are very manageable for students. Depending on the length of your class periods, this activity could take up to two days.
If you have purchased the Aztec primary source set from my Native American Unit, this set is designed the same way and will help your students continue to build on those skills as the year progresses.
A PowerPoint is included to help you be successful as well as a packet for you that includes a key and tips in order to simplify your lesson planning and help you make the most out of this teaching tool. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to see a sample: email@example.com
I used this in my classroom to make the rules more memorable and fun for my students. The file is in word so feel free to edit as needed. My philosophy was simple, easy to remember, positively stated rules.
A presentation to teach students HOW to use a textbook and a class poster to remind them. When I was teaching, I found a lot of students were completely unfamiliar with HOW to read nonfiction, informational texts, and textbooks. This is a necessary life skill and one worth teaching in EVERY classroom. 85% of what we read as adults in nonfiction, not to mention the fact that if our students going to make it through middle school, high school, and college a few tips about how to conquer those daunting texts are be more than necessary.
In this engaging presentation filled with examples and tips, students can find out just how to conquer these texts and make textbooks work for them. This also includes a fun assignment with a rubric that has students making their own "textbooks" all about their favorite subject.... their lives ;)
(I've also include the External Text Features Scavenger Hunt just for your convenience. This is one of the free resources in my shop)
The resource includes a guided notes page for your students and a key for you. It also includes a link to a very informative prezi I made that goes right along with the guided notes. These notes will give your students an overview about four very different Native American groups: Inuit, Cliff Dwellers/Anasazi, Mound Builders/Cahokia, and Iroquois/Haudenosaunee.
These notes are part of a larger unit you can find in my store called "Native American Unit." You can purchase the unit as a whole for $15. Please message me if you have any questions.
This engaging presentation will teach your students what an inference is, how to make them first using pictures and then using simple poems, and teach them how to back up their inferences with evidence.
Includes a fun activity where students will solve poetic riddles and then create one of their own.
Neat and clear presentation. Easy to adapt to your needs.
Fun pictures to help get kids writing. My students in the past responded well to these pictures (i.e. giraffes waterskiing, iceclimbers, etc). They can be used in a variety of assignments and are in an easy to edit PowerPoint format.
This set includes three different activities: a worksheet to get the students thinking; a Gallery Walk activity with pictures, instructions, and a worksheet; and a page with big questions to ponder throughout the unit. I have included a teacher version that has tips and instructions along with sample questions to encourage discussion. These activities could be could be completed in a 45 minute class period, depending on the length of discussion your class engages in.
If you would like to purchase the entire unit, just look for the resource "Native American Unit" in my store. The entire unit includes resources for around 2 weeks, depending on your schedule and students' abilities.
9 page packet for supplemental use when teaching the short story “To Build a Fire.” I used this with my students when I taught 8th grade. We read this story at the beginning of the year.
Page 1 & 2: Comparing “To Build a Fire” with the short story “The Law of Life.”
Page 3: Pre-reading activity
Pages 4-8: During the story activities including vocabulary, reading strategies, and foreshadowing lesson and practice page.
Page 9: During/after reading characterization analysis
I have included both a PDF version and a word doc version for editing.
An engaging presentation where students learn about context clues through inquiry and then identify types at the end of the lesson instead of the beginning. Students will discover they can define words such as "bellwether" and "saxicolous" through careful reading and context clues.
The PowerPoint presentation includes an attention grabber, an activity, and notes. Can be completed in as short as 15 minutes or longer depending on your students' background knowledge and how in depth you decide to take the discussion.
Includes a fun worksheet that uses Lewis Carroll famous poem, "The Jabberwocky" to put context clues into action. Great way to assess what the student's have learned.
Included in this set are a basic planning page and a writing page. I introduced this topic at the beginning of our unit on explorers and we referenced it throughout the unit. It was the student's final project for our unit. This is in a word document so you may edit as needed.
As a teacher I believe in an occasional party with a purpose. After all, they exist in the workforce, why not in the classroom? This is a fun, but educational "birthday party”, to be held near President's day. A Presidential Birthday Party typically lasts 20-30 minutes. Students complete the test while the room is set up.
The resources for the party include: an “invitation" that has clear instructions, a sample assignment, and list to be cut into strips for assigning presidents. Resources for the test include: a study guide, lyrics to the song "The Presidents" by Warner Bros Animaniacs, and the quiz over the first 17 presidents.
For the actual "birthday party”, we would have cake and icecream, but drinks and cups would be sufficient. Students get really into this activity and it's a fun and easy way to introduce them to some of the presidents that may or may not be covered in your curriculum
This is designed to be a unit for about two weeks. The packet itself is 18 pages. I have included the packet as both a PDF and a docx as well as a teacher version with answers, explanations, and tips.
This packet includes introduction pages, a geography portion, big questions, guided notes, a group project, primary sources analysis, and an individual creative project. The unit is modeled using Blooms Taxonomy: it starts with knowledge, but rises quickly through the different levels until the students are creating and making judgments of their own. It follows closely to three big questions that will help students differentiate myth from fact, analyze the way Native Americans used resources to the way we use them today, and look closely at how artifacts can help us better understand the cultures that left them behind. The most important part of the packet is a primary source analysis that allows students to compare and contrast information from 5 primary sources about the downfall of the Aztecs. These are sources that were carefully picked for this age group that are interesting and easy to understand.
Please message me if you have any questions. I will also divide the packet up and sell it separately if that interests you. If you'd like, you can browse through any of my resources that begin with "Native American Unit" and get a better idea of what is included.
I’m a big believer in doing geography along with each unit as it is applicable. The alternative (an entire geography unit at the beginning of the year) I’ve found to be torture for many of my students and they do not remember the important things for each unit by the time we get around to discussing them (i.e. where is Washington D.C. now that it’s been over 3 months since we memorized that capital…). This worksheet and map will have your students drawing on physical features that were important for Native Americans and continue to be critical for us today. It also has your students shade in areas where Native American groups lived that will be studied throughout the Native American Unit (Inuit, Cliff Dwellers/Anasazi, Iroquois/Haudenosaunee, Mound Builders/Cahokia, Aztec, and Mayans). This activity is included in the unit packet that can be purchased in my store: "Native American Unit." Please message me if you have any questions.
In this activity, students will learn how Christopher Columbus's discovery of America led to a global chain of events that changed and shaped the world. This activity is easily adaptable. You could simply use this as a boring notes page if you are short on time. It could be completed individually or with partners as a research assignment. Or you could turn it into a fun game where students race each other in teams, using their background knowledge and textbooks to try and place the cards in the correct box. Any way you do it, at the end the students are provided with a visual understanding of how this event changed the world. There are two versions of the actual worksheet, a word version for editing and a PDF file for simplicity. I have also included a key. The final two files are "cards." The cards are supposed to be cut out so students can move them around and experiment. It makes it easier for the teacher to come and check and tell them yes or no and have them experiment again without continually erasing. The complete set does not have pictures. The other set is not complete, but has pictures if you are interested.
This is an easily adaptable project for your students. I have included instructions as well as ideas for how to adapt it in the Teacher file. The resource also includes a rubric. This resource is a group project in which students take information about the way Native American used the land and the natural resources around them and compare it to the way we use the same land and resources today. After learning about these groups in class and reading about them and the way the land is used today, students will be required to make a judgement call: Are we using the same resources today to the best of our ability, or is their something we can learn from these native cultures? In some instances the students will find ways in which we could improve use of the land by modeling our use after Native groups. In some instances, students will find warnings from the Native use of resources that we need to avoid. This is part of a larger resource that can be found in my store called "Native American Unit." You will also want to download for free the resource "Native American Unit: Resources Proposal Information Packets."
Here are the actual instructions for this project. I have inserted clarifications in brackets:
You just learned some basics about four different Native American groups that lived in four different parts of North America [see my resource: "Native American Unit: Guided Notes"]. Some of these native groups still live in these areas, some don’t. As industrialization and modern life have entered these regions, how have things changed? Are the modern Americans better or worse at using and abusing these areas? What can we learn from the Native groups that lived in these areas longer than the modern inhabitants?
As a group, choose ONE of the four areas [arctic, four corners/southwest U.S., Mississippi River valley, and the Great Lakes region]. Use the information packets [see free resource "Native American Unit: Resources Proposal Information Packets] or the internet for your research. Make sure each person in your group has an assignment. As a group, you will create a proposal to be submitted to local or national government leaders comparing the way the land was used pre-colonization to the way it is used today. You should choose in your proposal to either support and encourage the current way we are using those lands by comparing it to the way Native cultures used it OR suggest a change based on the way Native cultures used it. Make sure your proposals are well written and polished and reference research, not just your own ideas!