Lesson Plans

108 Result(s)
Grade Range
6-8
Examining Utopia & Dystopia in The Giver

Throughout Lois Lowry’s The Giver, the main character Jonas realizes there are more elements to life than he has been led to believe. The Community, a seemingly utopian society with strict rules about everything from behavior to birthday presents, does not include important aspects like color and emotion. Jonas also realizes that the Community does not allow books, other than government approved text books. As he begins to gain knowledge and memories from the Receiver, Jonas realizes that the utopian society he has been part of might not be so perfect. This lesson explores how The Giver addresses issues of personal identity, memory, and the value of reading and education.  It also explores how this newer read relates to other famous classics in this genre and books that students may have read on their own.

Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 3: George Washington: The Precedent President

George Washington became President—reluctantly—at a critical time in the history of the United States. The Confederation had threatened to unravel; the weak central government (which included a weak executive with the sole responsibility of presiding over meetings of Congress and no special power to initiate laws beyond that of any member of Congress, enforce laws, or check acts of Congress) created by the Articles of Confederation had failed.

Grade Range
6-8
William Henry Singleton’s Resistance to Slavery: Overt and Covert

In this lesson, students will learn that enslaved people resisted their captivity constantly. Because they were living under the domination of their masters, slaves knew that direct, outright, overt resistance—such as talking back, hitting their master or running away––could result in being whipped, sold away from their families and friends, or even killed.

Grade Range
6-8
Harriet Jacobs and Elizabeth Keckly: The Material and Emotional Realities of Childhood in Slavery

Harriet Jacobs was the first woman to write a slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861). She was born a slave in 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina, and died free in Washington, D. C., at the age of eighty-four. Elizabeth Keckly was born into slavery in 1818 near Petersburg, Virginia. She learned to sew from her mother, an expert seamstress enslaved in the Burwell family.

Grade Range
6-8
Henry “Box” Brown’s Narrative: Creating Original Historical Fiction

Slave narratives are a unique American literary genre in which former slaves tell about their lives in slavery and how they acquired their freedom. Henry “Box” Brown escaped from slavery by having himself shipped in a crate (hence, the nickname “Box”) from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1849.

Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 2: Scrooge as He is Revealed during the Ghostly Experiences

In this lesson, part of a unit on Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," students examine Scrooge’s experiences with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future and discover how Dickens used both direct and indirect characterization to create a protagonist who is more than just a stereotype.

Grade Range
6-8
Lesson 1: Language Analysis Based on Stave 1

In this lesson, part of a unit on Charles Dickens', "A Christmas Carol," students focus on the first stave of the novel as they identify the meanings of words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to them. This activity facilitates close examination of and immersion in the text and leads to an understanding of Scrooge before his ghostly experiences.

Grade Range
6-8
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s “Learning to Read”

In this lesson, students analytically read  “Learning to Read,” a poem by Francis Watkins Harper about an elderly former slave which conveys the value of literacy to blacks during and after slavery. The activities help students examine the experiences of slaves, the history of literacy, and 21st century values on the power of reading.

Grade Range
6-8
The Preamble to the Constitution: A Close Reading Lesson

The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution, and it serves two central purposes. First, it states the source from which the Constitution derives its authority: the sovereign people of the United States. Second, it sets forth the ends that the Constitution and the government that it establishes are meant to serve.

Grade Range
6-8
The Argument of the Declaration of Independence

Long before the first shot was fired, the American Revolution began as a series of written complaints to colonial governors and representatives in England over the rights of the colonists.