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Mister Mitchell's Education Resources

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I would describe my teaching style as "21st century facilitator." As a true facilitator, I believe students should be responsible for their own learning and be more independent. I strive to allow my students to reach these goals by designing dynamic lessons, heavy on technology, with real world applicability. When I design my lessons, I stress this real world aspect, because I believe students must understand the basic purpose of a lesson before they will consider the message behind it.

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I would describe my teaching style as "21st century facilitator." As a true facilitator, I believe students should be responsible for their own learning and be more independent. I strive to allow my students to reach these goals by designing dynamic lessons, heavy on technology, with real world applicability. When I design my lessons, I stress this real world aspect, because I believe students must understand the basic purpose of a lesson before they will consider the message behind it.
What's on the Menu? Project - Research World Cuisines - Create a Restaurant Menu
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What's on the Menu? Project - Research World Cuisines - Create a Restaurant Menu

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What’s on the Menu? is one of my favorite ways of introducing my students to different cultures around the world and begin thinking critically about how people interact with their environments and vice versa. What better way to do so than with food? Here is what is expected of students in this assignment: Through an intensive, research-based study, students will learn about cultural similarities and differences around the world, particularly the foods people eat. The final project may provide a unique and fascinating study of the geography, history, economic, religious, and cultural factors that influence cuisine around the world. This assignment works best when tied to a map study or long-range unit of study that allows students to see how people influence their environments and how their environments influence them. The project should require students to provide thoughtful answers to questions about how, why, and where culinary interests develop. This packet contains the following: •A universal menu template that students can use to research ANY country’s cuisine. It is color-heavy, and if your school or classroom budget does not allow printing of heavy images, I have provided an alternative that will require less ink and copier toner. •The aforementioned printer-friendly menu template for any international menu. I have also included several individualized menus for the following nations: Brazil, France, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and Thailand. •Three lesson extension ideas. •A rubric you may consider using to evaluate the project.
Important/Famous African-Americans: Research Project + Digital Storytelling Component
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Important/Famous African-Americans: Research Project + Digital Storytelling Component

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The Honoring Important African-Americans Research Project allows upper elementary and middle grade students (grades 5-8 with some modifications) an opportunity to research one of 40 major African-Americans from many different walks of life and present their findings in a biographical essay. These individuals include activists, scientists, musicians, trailblazers, politicians, inventors, athletes, and many more! That's right: there are 40 individuals to choose from! This research project is ideal for Black History Month -- or any time of the year. There is also an optional digital storytelling component utilizing the free iPad app, Shadow Puppet EDU. This part of the project again is optional. Students can still complete the biographical essay. All handouts are included. I have also included Common Core Anchor Standards I have met with this project.
Flags of the World - 11 worksheets - matching assignment - substitute lesson!
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Flags of the World - 11 worksheets - matching assignment - substitute lesson!

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The Flags of the World matching assignment packet requires students to match up the names of countries with their respective flags. The assignments come complete with separate name banks, which you can use (or withhold) depending on how challenging you would like to make the assignment. Answer keys are also included. There are eleven worksheets in this packet. These sheets include two Africa sheets, two Asia sheets, one Australia and Oceania sheet two Europe sheets, one North America, one South America sheet, and two sheets that allow students to test their knowledge of flags of countries from all over the world. This is a full-color assignment that would be great to introduce a new continent of study in a geography unit, to test students' abilities to conduct quick research, or to leave with a substitute teacher.
The Rome Colosseum PowerPoint Presentation and Activities
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The Rome Colosseum PowerPoint Presentation and Activities

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This PowerPoint presentation is titled “The Colosseum - Let’s Take a Tour!” I will create and upload a series of interactive PowerPoint presentations similar in structure and style to this one to help upper elementary and middle school students learn more about the world around them. The complete assignment includes (1) the PowerPoint presentation, (2) a KWL chart to activate the lesson, (3) 15 questions you can use to guide the lesson or use as a quiz afterwards, and (4) a handful of research prompts you might use to extend the lesson. This particular PowerPoint is chock full of quality information about the Colosseum. Please download the sample to see for yourself. I have also filled the presentation with high-quality color photos and clickable links to some key vocabulary terms. If you have access to Google Earth and YouTube, you will also find clickable links embedded in the document so you can take your students on a virtual field trip to see the Colosseum from above (Google Earth) and to a classroom-safe video (YouTube) offering a first-person perspective so your students can feel what it is like to be there. I envision using this PowerPoint presentation in a handful of ways: as either a classroom instruction tool on a SmartBoard or as a self-guided PowerPoint that students can access as a homework assignment.
Creating Mental Maps - Geography Map Skills Practice Activity
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Creating Mental Maps - Geography Map Skills Practice Activity

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This activity will provide a good warm-up activity for the beginning of a unit on map skills, an additional practice for quick finishers, and more. Students will create a mental map of their school, their neighborhood, or their home. A mental map is a map you create in your mind of a familiar place. You have been creating these kinds of maps to navigate from place-to-place since you were very young. Think of it like a drawing of a place you carry around in your mind. If you can visualize a place or location in your mind, you have a strong understand of mental mapping skills already. For example, you have a strong map of your school in your mind if you can walk from one part of your neighborhood to another without asking for help. In this activity, you will draw a mental map on a piece of paper. You may draw a mental map of your school, your neighborhood, or your home. The activity comes with a checklist to guide students when they create their maps.
Ancient Rome Emperors Role-Playing Research Project
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Ancient Rome Emperors Role-Playing Research Project

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You are about to download a research project titled “Roman Rulers: The Good, the Bad… and the Weird.” Students must research one of the following emperors of Ancient Rome: Julius Caesar, Octavian (Augustus), Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Caligula, or Commodus. They must determine the emperor’s strengths and weaknesses and their contributions to Roman life. In the assignment packet, you will find: For students: a role-playing letter for students to read as an introduction to the project, a step-by-step list of detailed instructions, research logs, and a works cited page to document their sources. For teachers: a list of required materials, a pacing guide, two rubrics, and a list of reputable online resources for students to use when they conduct their research. This project is intended as a cumulative assignment to enrich a unit on Ancient Rome. It would work best with middle school or high school students. You might modify it for mature elementary school students. Additionally, this project demands higher level critical thinking, as students must assess the importance of the emperor they have chosen. (This is not a biographical sketch.) They must also demonstrate teamwork skills, research skills, proper MLA citation, 21st century technology skills, the ability to work against a deadline, and much more.
Lord of the Flies RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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Lord of the Flies RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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Lord of the Flies RAFT Writing Project contains a Common Core-ready writing project for the English/Language Arts classroom.This is a culminating project to end a unit of study on William Golding's famous novel. What is a RAFT, you might ask? RAFT is an acronym for a powerful writing strategy that provides rigor, flexibility, and variety. RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. A RAFT can be implemented in all content areas, thus making it an excellent Writing Across the Curriculum resource. Young writers might pursue one of several genres of writing (expository, narrative, descriptive, argumentative or persuasive) to create one of several products (letter, television commercial, diary entry, etc.).
To Kill a Mockingbird RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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To Kill a Mockingbird RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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The "To Kill a Mockingbird RAFT Writing Project" contains a Common Core-ready writing project for the English/Language Arts or Social Studies classroom.This is a culminating project to end a unit of study on Harper Lee's famous novel. What is a RAFT, you might ask? RAFT is an acronym for a powerful writing strategy that provides rigor, flexibility, and variety. RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. A RAFT can be implemented in all content areas, thus making it an excellent Writing Across the Curriculum resource. Young writers might pursue one of several genres of writing (expository, narrative, descriptive, argumentative or persuasive) to create one of several products (letter, television commercial, diary entry, etc.).
The Maze Runner RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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The Maze Runner RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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The Maze Runner RAFT Writing Project contains a Common Core-ready writing project for the English/Language Arts classroom.This is a culminating project to end a unit of study on James Dashner's novel. What is a RAFT, you might ask? RAFT is an acronym for a powerful writing strategy that provides rigor, flexibility, and variety. A RAFT can be implemented in all content areas, thus making it an excellent Writing Across the Curriculum resource. Young writers might pursue one of several genres of writing (expository, narrative, descriptive, argumentative or persuasive) to create one of several products (letter, television commercial, diary entry, etc.). I define this further in the packet.
The Women Who Shaped America Research Project + Digital Storytelling
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The Women Who Shaped America Research Project + Digital Storytelling

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The Women Who Shaped America Research Project allows upper elementary and middle grade students (grades 5-8 with some modifications) an opportunity to research one of 40 important, ground-breaking, and/or pioneering women and present their findings in a biographical essay. These individuals include activists, scientists, athletes, trailblazers, politicians, authors, suffragists, and many more! That's right: there are 40 individuals to choose from! This research project is ideal for Women's History Month -- or any time of the year. There is also an optional digital storytelling component utilizing the free iPad app, Shadow Puppet EDU. This part of the project again is optional. Students can still complete the biographical essay.
Islam Introductory Vocabulary Matching Assignment/Quiz + 4 Puzzles
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Islam Introductory Vocabulary Matching Assignment/Quiz + 4 Puzzles

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Consider purchasing this quick vocabulary assignment to introduce your elementary or middle school students to some basic terminology about Islam. You might even use it as a vocabulary quiz. The choice is yours! I believe this assignment would be best for kids between the ages of 10-14. There are twelve terms found in the complete assignment, with kid-friendly definitions, and an answer key for quick, simple grading. Additionally, I have created and included four puzzles you might consider using: a word search, a crossword puzzle, a fallen phrase puzzle, and a cryptogram puzzle. All answer keys are also provided. Last, please find a handful of websites you might consult to build a lesson or unit plan about Islam. The vocabulary words include: Allah, the Five Pillars, Hajj, Kaaba, Mecca, Minaret, Mosque, Muezzin, Muhammad, Quran, Prophet, and Ramadan.
Judaism Introductory Vocabulary Matching Assignment/Quiz + 4 Puzzles
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Judaism Introductory Vocabulary Matching Assignment/Quiz + 4 Puzzles

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Consider purchasing this quick vocabulary assignment to introduce your middle school or high school students to some basic terminology about Judaism. You might even use it as a vocabulary quiz. The choice is yours! I believe this assignment would be best for kids between the ages of 13-18. There are twenty-five terms found in the complete assignment with definitions and an answer key for quick, simple grading. Additionally, I have created and included four puzzles you might consider using: two word searches and two double puzzles. All answer keys are also provided. Last, please find a handful of websites you might consult to build a lesson or unit plan about Judaism.
Flowers for Algernon RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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Flowers for Algernon RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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The Flowers for Algernon RAFT Writing Project contains a Common Core-ready writing project for the English/Language Arts classroom.This is a culminating project to end a unit of study on Daniel Keyes's famous novel. What is a RAFT, you might ask? RAFT is an acronym for a powerful writing strategy that provides rigor, flexibility, and variety. RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. A RAFT can be implemented in all content areas, thus making it an excellent Writing Across the Curriculum resource. Young writers might pursue one of several genres of writing (expository, narrative, descriptive, argumentative or persuasive) to create one of several products (letter, television commercial, diary entry, etc.).
The Aquarium Map Scale Project: Geography: Map Skills: Substitute Lesson
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The Aquarium Map Scale Project: Geography: Map Skills: Substitute Lesson

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In this project, students will design a walk-through aquarium full of exhibits containing their favorite marine mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and more! The challenge is that they must design their aquariums to scale. Thus, one inch on the map might represent 50 feet in their aquariums. I have taught map scale in several ways over the years, using worksheet after worksheet, to introduce the concept and allow students to practice it. I used political maps, highway maps, physical maps, and more, but I felt like I needed a project to allow my students more hands-on, critical thinking exercise to learn the concept. Recently, I developed this short project to give students just that. Included in this packet are: a brief teacher's guide, a step-by-step set of instructions including notes and a materials list, three sample maps, and a rubric for easy grading.
Famous Athletes/Sports Stars Research Project + Digital Storytelling Component
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Famous Athletes/Sports Stars Research Project + Digital Storytelling Component

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The Famous Athletes Research Project allows students in grades 5-8 an opportunity to research one of 40 famous athletes and present their findings in a biographical essay. It is an excellent project to allow students to research several famous athletes from various sports. That's right: 40 star athletes from tennis, baseball, basketball, football, track & field, soccer, skateboarding, and more! There is also an optional digital storytelling component utilizing the free iPad app, Shadow Puppet EDU. This part of the project again is optional. Students can still complete the biographical essay. All handouts are included. Please check the preview before buying. I have also included a brief pacing guide/set of instructions, a rubric, and handouts to allow students to better understand the writing process.
Romeo & Juliet Social Network - Character Analysis Assignment
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Romeo & Juliet Social Network - Character Analysis Assignment

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This assignment is titled “‘Romeo & Juliet’: The Social Network.” We hear a lot these days about how our students enjoy communicating with one another on sites like Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter. This assignment is essentially a 21st century character analysis assignment as a “mock social network.” Students must imagine that six characters from “Romeo & Juliet” have social networking pages where they post their thoughts, concerns, activities, and more. There have been many creative ways to teach “Romeo & Juliet” over the years including mock newspapers, mock trials, and the like. This particular project puts a 21st century spin on those assignments and allows students to express themselves in a familiar medium. Students may role-play as one of six characters in Shakespeare’s play – Romeo, Juliet, Friar Laurence, The Nurse, Mercutio, and/or Lady Capulet – and write “status updates” as if they were the character.
20th Century American History - 1960-1969 - 22 Research Questions
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20th Century American History - 1960-1969 - 22 Research Questions

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This is a challenging set of 22 research questions for a 20th Century American History class studying the decade 1960-1969. The questions are organized chronologically, and there are two questions per year in many cases. Here is what is GREAT about this assignment: it's fully customizable! For instance, you might use only 10 of these questions instead of the 22 in the packet. You might choose 5 of the questions and ask students to conduct in-depth research for a full-length report. The possibilities are endless! I decided to make a research assignment that required strong critical thinking skills and better research skills and - above all - taught an appreciation for 20th Century American history.
British Romantic Poetry Analysis Activity - The Big Six Poets
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British Romantic Poetry Analysis Activity - The Big Six Poets

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This six-question activity challenges students to identify the "Big Six" British Romantic poets - Shelley, Byron, Coleridge, Blake, Wordsworth & Keats - by lines of poems they wrote. The complete assignment features lines from Ode to the West Wind, The Chimney Sweeper, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, She Walks in Beauty, and Ode to a Nightingale. Also, included: please find a short list of free online resources you might consult while planning your lessons for this topic. (If you have access to subscription databases, however, you might consider those first.) Consider downloading the activity to challenge your students to identify these six great poets!
27 Websites for Locating Primary Sources
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27 Websites for Locating Primary Sources

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Primary sources are defined as "works of human endeavor that were created at the time or very close to the time that is studied." Teaching with primary sources allows students to interpret information for themselves and demands of them higher level critical thinking skills. They also provide students a "window to the past," and depending on the era or subject taught, can provide eye-opening perspectives about social and political issues, economics, artistic movements, and so much more. The following 27 websites are my favorite resources for locating primary source materials to use in my classroom. I have organized this document categorically: the first part of the document contains primary sources related to American history and culture, while the second part of the document focuses on more global resources.
50 Interactive Web Sites for Virtual Field Trips & Tours
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50 Interactive Web Sites for Virtual Field Trips & Tours

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Virtual tours and field trips provide students with opportunities they may not get to experience otherwise. Where else can you “take a trip” to see Sistine Chapel, the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, or the African grasslands – all in one day? These tools may also challenge students to think critically about the places they visit. For example, a virtual trip to Pompeii requires students to consider the quality of life in an ancient city. A trip to Chichen Itza will allow them to appreciate and question the Mayas design decisions. Simply, virtual field trips can spark your students’ interest and motivate their learning in a specific content area. The following websites are worth considering for virtual field trips. Some are built as all-inclusive virtual trips with text and audio; others provide only imagery which can be adapted to fit the needs of a lesson.