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Mister Mitchell's Education Resources

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.
Search & Research - 15 Multidisciplinary Research Worksheets for Language Arts/Library Instruction
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Search & Research - 15 Multidisciplinary Research Worksheets for Language Arts/Library Instruction

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This packet contains 15 worksheets spanning several disciplines and subjects including social studies, science, physical education, and reading. All assignments will align easily with the Common Core research standards, if this is a necessity. Students are asked to utilize reputable websites or a good online encyclopedia to find information to complete each task with fun and engaging topics! Assignments are available in different formats: multiple choice, matching, short answer, and short essay. In some cases, extension assignments are also available, which might provide excellent springboards into large-scale research projects and presentations. I hope these are helpful! Additionally, there are two assignments in this packet – Keyword Keepers and Subject Searches – that introduce students to the challenging world of Internet research. If your students are inexperienced online searchers, consider starting them on these two assignments.
Create Your Own Culture Critical Thinking Project
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Create Your Own Culture Critical Thinking Project

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The Create Your Own Culture Project will give students hands-on practice working with concepts that are sometimes difficult to understand. What is a culture? What are culture traits? These are questions that students may struggle to define. If they are given the opportunity to create their own culture full of vibrant culture traits, I believe these concepts will be easier to master. Throughout this project, students are challenged to create unique characteristics and explain them thoroughly. There are other parts in which students must draw their creations. If used in its entirety, this can be a very powerful and engaging assignment! Of course, depending on your instructional goals and how much time you have available to you will also determine how much of the packet you may wish to use.
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.
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!
Let's Explore the Continents! - Use Map Skills to Find Places - Bundle
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Let's Explore the Continents! - Use Map Skills to Find Places - Bundle

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This is a bundle of six map skills assignments for Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands, North America, and South America. Each is titled respectively "Let's Explore! Use a Map to Find Countries, Capital Cities, Landforms, and Bodies of Water." These assignments include 20 questions each that require students to analyze a map of each continent for boundaries and borders, major cities, landforms, and bodies of water.
Fun with Geography - A BUNDLE of Creative Social Studies Assignments
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Fun with Geography - A BUNDLE of Creative Social Studies Assignments

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Geography can be a difficult subject to teach in a way that keeps your students engaged and on-task. Traditional worksheets can feel dry and tedious, and students tend to rush through them just to have them finished. Do you want to make learning geography fun, meaningful, and challenging for your upper elementary school students? I have spent several years teaching geography to young students. It took many attempts to find the right assignments to teach important skills like absolute location (latitude and longitude), map tools like map scale and cardinal directions, and cultural geography traits that shape and define people's lives around the world. For a limited time, I have bundled my ten best geography lessons into this mega-packet! These resources are also diverse enough to ensure that you will meet many different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy while ensuring that your students will not grow bored with the lessons. Check my feedback for each product to see what other educators are saying. Download the preview file to see a handful of pages in the bundle. Here's what you get in the bundle: 1. Absolute & Relative Location Assignment: NFL Football Teams + Google Earth Tour Learn latitude and longitude in this fun, interactive assignment! 2. Let's Explore the Continents! - Use Map Skills to Find Places - Bundle Practice challenging map skills to find and learn about places all over the world! 3. Create a Country Geography Skills Project Create your own country and learn about the challenges a nation faces! 4. Pirate Pete's Treasure Map Project: Teach hands-on geography skills in a fun, memorable way! 5. Fifty (50) Landforms and Bodies of Water Workbook/Visual Dictionary Draw and memorize different types of landforms and bodies of water! 6. World Cultures Theme Park Map Project - Differentiated Instruction! Express what you have learned about a new culture in this fun, interactive map-making project! 7. The Aquarium Map Scale Project Create your own touring aquarium and learn an important skill in map scale! 8. The Create Your Own Culture Project Throughout this project, students are challenged to create unique cultural characteristics and explain them thoroughly. 9. A to Z Geography The "A-to-Z Countries" and "A-to-Z World Cities" assignments require students to find a country or world city for each letter of the alphabet. 10. The What's on the Menu? Project Students will research global cuisines and then write a restaurant menu with their findings. This assignment allows them to learn about cultural similarities and differences around the world, particularly the foods people eat.
20th Century American History - 1950-1959 - 21 Research Questions
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20th Century American History - 1950-1959 - 21 Research Questions

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This is a challenging set of 21 research questions for a 20th Century American History class studying the decade 1950-1959. It has a strong focus on events during the Cold War and the American Civil Rights Movement. The questions are organized chronologically. 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 21 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.
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.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 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 Mark Twain'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 Outsiders RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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The Outsiders RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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The Outsiders 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 S.E. Hinton’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.).
Identify Biomes with six Star Wars Movies - Project & Rubric
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Identify Biomes with six Star Wars Movies - Project & Rubric

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This is an extensive 12-page lesson plan packet using Star Wars to teach biomes. I have used all seven Star Wars films to teach students about biomes with great success. (I recently updated the packet to include two scenes from The Force Awakens.) The lesson plan includes a twelve-question assessment that (1) asks students watch scenes from the Star Wars films to identify real-world biomes including temperate deciduous forest, desert, Mediterranean chaparral, tropical rain forest, alpine, tundra, and temperate coniferous forest; and (2) then conduct research on these real backdrops to gain a deeper understanding of the delicacy of our world's biomes. George Lucas' Star Wars movies are a delightful mix of heroic stories, wonderful characters and monsters, and dramatic action sequences. Millions of people -- including many young adults -- love these films. Look closely and you will see vibrant, natural worlds lying beneath the special effects. After all, Lucas chose many real backdrops for the Star Wars sagas -- Whippendell Woods, United Kingdom, and Tozeur, Tunisia, for examples. Now, you can use them to teach biomes to your science or geography students. I would suggest your students have at least a basic understanding of the biomes presented in this assignment beforehand. This assignment might work best after you have introduced biomes in your classroom and asked students to identify specific features of each. Included please find the lesson plan, teacher's scene guide, student identification assignment and answer key, guidelines for the research paper, and a rubric to evaluate the research paper.
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.
Rock & Population: Form a Band! Location, Population & Logistics
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Rock & Population: Form a Band! Location, Population & Logistics

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Are you tired of the same old geography worksheets? Your students are, too! Here is a project to keep them engaged while learning about location, population sizes, and simple logistics. Rock & Pop(ulation) is a collaborative assignment asking students to imagine they are part of a very successful musical act: a rock band, an indie outfit, a country group, or a rap collective. They must plan a tour to play for their thousands of fans. Students must work collaboratively – in groups of three or four – to “route” the tour correctly. They must play municipalities (i.e. cities) with a population size of at least 50,000 based on reported data. They must also be sure that the cities their band schedules to play from night-to-night are not too far apart. In this assignment, the logistics of a tour require large buses of equipment to move from city-to-city with enough time to set up the stage, lighting, instruments, and other equipment before the show.
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.
Black Death (Bubonic Plague) RAFT Writing Project + Rubric
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Black Death (Bubonic Plague) RAFT Writing Project + Rubric

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Would you like to enliven history with a fun, challenging writing project? The Black Death RAFT Writing Project contains a RAFT writing project for the history classroom. This project may be used as a creative research project or as a summarizing assignment to end a unit of study on the Middle Ages or another aspect of European History. What is a RAFT, you might ask? RAFT is an acronym that stands for Role, Audience, Format, and Topic. It is 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 to create one of several products. In this project, students have four writing options to choose from. They may role-play as a Sicilian authority figure, a Venetian trader, an English nurse, or a French tailor.
Great Wall of China - PowerPoint Presentation - Ancient Civilizations
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Great Wall of China - PowerPoint Presentation - Ancient Civilizations

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This PowerPoint presentation is titled "The Great Wall of China - 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.
A Midsummer Night's Dream Social Network Project (Character Analysis)
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A Midsummer Night's Dream Social Network Project (Character Analysis)

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This assignment is titled “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Social Network,” an excellent form of differentiated instruction to teach one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies. We hear a lot these days about how our students enjoy communicating with one another on sites like Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Twitter. This assignment is essentially a character analysis assignment in the form of a “mock social network.” Students must imagine that characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream have social networking pages where they post their thoughts, concerns, activities, motivations, and more. There have been many creative ways to teach A Midsummer Night’s Dream 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.
40+ Interactive Sites for Virtual Trips
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40+ Interactive Sites for Virtual Trips

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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? This recently updated and expanded resource provides links to more than 35 interactive sites for these experiences. 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. UPDATED: Version 6 of this file is now available (March 2020). Broken links were fixed. Seven great resources for virtual reality (VR) field trips were updated. Plus, don’t forget about the ten 360-degree YouTube videos included from Version 4 (January 2017). That’s more than 60 resources to consider! Please download this file again to enjoy these updates.
50+ Links to FREE Informational Texts for Middle & High School Grades
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50+ Links to FREE Informational Texts for Middle & High School Grades

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As you may know, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) place significant emphasis on the incorporation of informational texts into the curriculum. These texts might include freshly published articles and essays, foundational U.S. documents, and historic speeches. I hope the following resources will help take the guesswork out of finding these resources and save you some time along the way. This list is far from comprehensive, but I tried to ensure that each publication listed below has at least some free long-form content available. Remember that some publications will eventually restrict access to their articles and essays behind a paywall, but to avoid possible loss of access, please consider "clipping" the article with a tool like Evernote, Instapaper, or Pocket. Last, I have linked the Text Complexity Grade Bands and Lexile Bands to help you get started using appropriate CCSS-related Lexile levels.
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.