Archives for the month of: June, 2013

More complex and advanced than my first lesson plan suggestion, this is a guide for leading students through the text Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

Students provide an objective summary of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden wherein they analyze how he articulates the central ideas of living simply and being self-reliant and how those ideas interact and build on one another (e.g., “According to Thoreau, how specifically does moving toward complexity in one’s life undermine self-reliance?”) [RI.11–12.2]

Lesson Title: An Independent Understanding of Self-Reliance

Subject/Topic:Literature/ English Language Arts                    Grade/Class 12th Grade        

Objectives:

What do you want the students to learn?

1. What is transcendence? How is it achieved? Positives and negatives associated?        

2. What does being self-reliant mean to Thoreau? What do self-reliant people mean for society?

3. Summarize three chapters of the text while considering above decided implications/emotions.

Academic Standards:

Refer to Arizona Academic Standards or Common Core. You can also use ones relevant to your situation, just be sure to refer to them (source or website)

Materials:

       Paper

       Pencils/Pens

       Computer with Internet accesss

       Magazine articles about transcendentalism and Thoreau

       Walden text

       Thinking minds

Anticipatory Set/Motivation:

Prequel

Activities:

  1. PREQUEL: Read http://www.walden.org/thoreau (the about Thoreau section and the links provided on that particular page), jot down notes. Write down individual definitions of transcendentalists/transcendentalism for personal reference. I’ll provide actual definition, and a short discussion will follow.
  2. Read text
  3. Question set one (11.12.RH.4)
  4. Question set two (11.12.RH.6)
  5. Question set three (11.12.RH.2)
  6. Discussion

Assessment:

The assurance that the students have learned the lesson intended comes as a result of their active and thoughtful participation and input to discussions. Their answers to the questions and their integration of those answers into their discussion assure their understanding of the topic.

Troubleshooting:

If technology fails, the magazine articles will be sufficient to provide students enough understanding to make their own transcendentalism definition hypothesis. I will know enough about Thoreau in advance so as to lead discussion. If students do not participate, they will be treated in the way as mandated by the school’s disciplinary policies and/or the student(s) will have to remain in the classroom with me during lunch so as to perform all of the mandated activities of the lesson plan with my immediate help and proximity.

Celebrate Diversity

Before I begin, I want to state that I realize that a fair amount of individuals are increasingly accepting of others regardless of ability level, skin color, orientation, religion, gender whatever. While this is true, though, it’s far too difficult for me to miss the striking amount of disparity in true equality that I witness on a daily basis. I found this link which I found to be helpful and filled with advice for educators who, like myself, value diversity and a society that does not fear those different from them. Parents are role models, but in case a parent or two fails to give his or her child adequate and unbiased information in regard to those who differ from themselves, teachers can help to ensure the generations to come are increasingly more tolerant and loving as a whole.

Below, find a lesson plan which will potentially be an enjoyable and helpful experience for an elementary-aged class. The lesson plan allows for much group interaction and participation as well as the potential for one on one help between teacher and student to better assist children in attaining the full benefit of this assignment.

Lesson Title: A Shocking Experience

Subject/Topic:Meteorology: Understanding Lightning (Science) 

Grade/Class 4th Grade 

Objectives:

1. How is lightning formed? 

2. What are the different types of lightning?

3. Lightning safety/what are the ramifications of lightning? 

Academic Standards:

Arizona Academic Standards

Materials:

       Paper, black paper

       Pencil

       Crayons (blue, yellow, white)

       Computer (for research and to watch film)

       PowerPoint of lightning images, helpful diagrams

       White board

       Dry erase markers

       Magazine featuring lightning

Anticipatory Set/Motivation:

To begin, class watches a short documentary on lightning (http://dsc.discovery.com/video-topics/other/lightning-phenomena.htm), and following, the students write three observations about lightning they made from the film, and two inferences they could make from the film (Arizona Science Standard, Grade 4, Concept 1, PO 1). Students will finally formulate a question they have about lightning that has remained unanswered, and submit them so that teacher can ensure all questions are answered.

Activities:

  1. Simplified explanation of how lightning works, shown and explained diagrams of the lightning system
  2. Recitation as a class a short chant or song made to help students understand the process of lightning
  3. Students will stand together in varied clusters acting as electrons and protons in different clouds and will perform the actions required of them to create lightning.
  4. Short quiz (disguised as a ‘test your memory’ activity) during which students will draw a diagram of how lightning works. Points for effort, creativity, accuracy.
  5. Class (seated in a circle) will one by one share an experience (limited to 2 minutes in length) they have had with lightning.
  6. Remaining PowerPoint slides of different types of lightning.
  7. For a bit of creativity, students will each draw a lightning bolt as realistically as possible on either white or black paper.
  8. Discussion of the potential dangers of lightning and how to avoid them.

Assessment:

The assurance that the students have learned the lesson intended comes as a result of their ability to perform the activities performed in class. For homework, students will create a table of their own given the choice of seven (with a selection of four) topics they now better understand as a result of the lesson (Arizona Scientific Standard, Grade 4, Concept 2, PO 5).

Troubleshooting:

If technology fails, know the diagrams well enough to reconstruct them by hand on a white board. There must be sufficient photos in the magazine to give students ideas for drawing their pictures. If students do not participate, they will be treated in the way as mandated by the school’s disciplinary policies after two warnings and/or the student(s) will have to remain in the classroom with me during lunch so as to perform all of the mandated activities of the lesson plan with my immediate help and proximity.

Blank Slate

At the beginning of any teacher’s encounter with his or her students, an opportunity is present that shapes the rest of the time that will be spent with this class. This blog is dedicated to investigating and defining specific elements to a classroom experience that will allow students to feel comfort and give them the opportunity to reach their full potential with any given educator.

While it is true that there are unforeseen circumstances brought to the table by many students and a teacher should not necessarily feel obligation to overcome these issues and further unsuccessful should s/he be unable to demolish these hurtles, it is also true that understanding a number of approaches to aid students with varied backgrounds on a path to success will allow an educator a better chance to help those students who are willing to be helped.