Below are some lesson plans created and adapted by Dan Spada.  If you are interested in any of the lessons, there are links to download the entire lesson plan.

 

This layered curriculum novel unit is purposely made to fit any book you or your students may be reading. With a fun Mario theme, and nearly 50 activities, you could use this multiple times throughout the year. You will never need to look for novel unit ideas ever again. And best of all, kids will love having the choice to do the activities that they like.

I spent a lot of time researching layered curriculums and found a lot of ideas, but nothing that was fun and universal. This lesson will allow you to easily differentiate with several books of varying lexiles, without having to create multiple assignments. Simply assign your books, and decide how many points you want your students to accumulate from each level (levels broken down by Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy).

 

Because of the new Common Core, I have also added an option for students to do modified literature circle discussions periodically throughout the unit.

A Common Core aligned comprehensive poetry packet for middle school and low high school grades. Step by step instructions, examples, and workspace for 10 different types of poems (synonym, diamonte, cinquain, haiku, limerick, and more). This is everything your students need to create a perfect poetry portfolio. Just print and copy for your students and you’ll be ready to go.

*Excellent for use in your poetry or figurative language unit (packet features work with and examples of personification, similes, onomatopoeia, and metaphors).

 

The perfect solution for teachers with kids who hate poetry!  This is a Simpsons themed, Common Core aligned, comprehensive poetry packet for middle school and low high school grades. Step by step instructions, original Simpsons themed examples, colorful pictures, and workspace for 10 different types of poems (synonym, diamonte, cinquain, haiku, limerick, and more). This is everything your students need to create a perfect poetry portfolio. Just print and copy for your students and you’ll be ready to go.

*Excellent for use in your poetry or figurative language unit (packet features work with and examples of personification, similes, onomatopoeia, and metaphors).

 

Teach students to write concise summaries using this printable Twitter form (form only allows students 140 characters) and interesting non-fiction articles.

The Common Core asks students to use concise language, and there is no better way to get them to do that than with a medium most of them are already familiar with.

This lesson plan is constructed so that you can use it several different ways. You may have each student read the same article and Tweet their summaries, or you can have several groups of students read different articles (the articles vary in degree of difficulty) and present to the class.

This lesson plan includes:
* A Twitter form
* A group form
* An example article, Tweet, and caption to model expectations for students
* 11 very interesting non-fiction news articles taken from the web (topics include a museum that has Galileo’s fingers and teeth on display, a couple that kissed for 58 straight hours, a woman with a seeing-eye rat, a real zombie apocalypse alert that aired on TV, a cat born with two faces, a man who built a rocket pack and flew over the Grand Canyon, a store that sells zombie defense weapons, and more).

 
 

Interesting and engaging topic to introduce students to researching, citing sources, creating a cover page, properly formatting a works cited page, and tips on how to give an oral presentation with a visual.

Zeus has officially retired, and Mount Olympus will hold it’s first ever election. Students must become the campaign manager for one of several gods, heroes, titans, and monsters. They then must research their candidates, as well as the opposing candidates (also chosen by the student) and decide what qualities will make them the perfect choice.

As mentioned above, this assignment and rubric walks students through researching (several sites are provided), citing sources, creating a cover page, properly formatting a works cited page, and tips on how to give an oral presentation with a visual.

This assignment is easily differentiated by requiring higher level students to find their own reliable websites, and requiring lower level students to only pick one candidate.

This is the perfect way to introduce students to research papers, because the topic is fun, and they will actually enjoy researching the different characters.

Perfect for classes or students reading The Lightning Thief, or any of the Percy Jackson books.

 
 

The perfect way to introduce students to the world of creating research papers. This fun PPT walks them through how to pick a topic, identifying reliable sources, ways to use the references in Wikipedia, using Google Scholar (for higher level students), note taking, plagiarism (with examples of what constitutes plagiarism), citing, formatting a works cited page, using Google Research within Google Docs, creating a cover page, and tips on preparing an oral presentation.

This PowerPoint presents the information in a scholarly, yet very fun and practical manner for students. I use this presentation in conjunction with the Greek Mythology research paper, so some of the slides use Greek Mythology as examples.

 

44 Slide comprehensive PowerPoint, perfect for background information for Roll of Thunder, The Well, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and any number of stories dealing with these topics.

Students simply don’t have the background knowledge they need to truly appreciate how horrific these times were. This presentation is a raw and very powerful look at how things really were.

What is included:
*This PowerPoint begins with a brief overview of important events and dates and then presents the students with amazing facts. 
*It then goes very in-depth to discuss Jim Crow origins and several laws. 
*Next it goes into rather raw, but true details about lynchings. 
*The presentation then discusses how black people were portrayed in various forms of the media, and how they still are today (there are even several examples of racism in popular cartoons (did you know the original Elmer Fudd was black?)). 
*The presentation continues to teach about Martin Luther King and shows examples of his speeches (I Have a Dream and I’ve Been to the Mountaintop).
*Finally the presentation concludes with human trafficking and the reality that slavery is not over, and in fact there are more slaves today than any other period in history!

This PowerPoint is everything you need for your students to appreciate this horrible time in our country’s history. They simple don’t understand it, but after going over this, they will appreciate it in a way that will set the table perfectly for any novel or lesson.

This is also a great lesson to teach students exactly why Martin Luther King was so important to history.

 

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut is one of the most interesting stories you can use with your students. This mini-unit provides a pre-writing questionnaire, a leveled text (modified for 7th/8th grade), and a fun and creative writing assignment. Students will love the dystopian society, the twist ending, and most of all the fun and creative assignment that will force them to think of what their handicaps would be if they lived in 2081.