Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Sidewalks to Success in Middle School

Joan Jackson


Students create a brochure that will be placed in the receiving area of the school to educate incoming students on how to succeed in middle school.


The student uses strategies to clarify meaning, such as rereading, note taking, summarizing, outlining, and writing a grade level-appropriate report.

The student locates, organizes, and interprets written information for a variety of purposes, including classroom research, collaborative decision making, and performing a school or real-world task.

The student organizes information before writing according to the type and purpose of writing.

The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.


--One sheet colored cardstock per student
--One sheet practice (rough draft) paper (copy paper)
--Clip art (from magazines, newspapers, computer programs, Internet, etc.) AND/OR self-created illustrations
--Markers/colored pencils
--Copies of the attached file


1. Copy brochure project guidelines (attached) for each student.
2. Copy -Academic Skills Brochure Project- Scoring Sheet (attached) for each student.
3. Create a sample rough draft and sample final brochure to display.
4. Pre-fold rough draft paper and final copy cardstock for students who need assistance.
5. Collect clip art or computer graphics to display or include on the sample.


1. Gain studentsí attention by telling them how many new students have entered school since the first day of classes. Explain the need for these new students to know what to expect at school, and what they can do to be successful in school.
2. Explain that they will create a brochure that contains information to help new students succeed in school. These brochures could actually be placed in the receiving/guidance area of school when they are completed.
3. Hand out a copy of the -How to Be a Successful Student- brochure guidelines (attached) to each student.
4. Read/Discuss the entire sheet of guidelines, stopping to answer questions after each section.
5. Display the sample rough draft and final brochure copy (both are folded, but blank). (Note: It would be helpful to provide several samples of completed brochures if possible, if students are unfamiliar with this format.)
6. Set a due date for the rough draft to be checked/approved (about 1 week) and a due date for the final project to be submitted (about 2 weeks).
7. On the due date for the final projects, attach a copy of the -Academic Skills Brochure Project Scoring Sheet - (attached) to each brochure and ask students to evaluate themselves in the -Student- scoring column before you collect/assess the brochures.
8. Return the scoring sheets to students after they have been evaluated and select brochures to display in the receiving area for new students.


Use the attached file to assess studentsí achievement of successful strategy information. The brochure scoring sheet addresses the following criteria and assignment of points:

Writing Skills: 90 points possible
(This section addresses the targeted benchmarks)
Accurate strategies for success (at least 5) 15 pts.
Focused and organized writing 15 pts.
Effective supporting details 15 pts.
Variety of sentences used 15 pts.
Correct Conventions 15 pts.
Appropriate resources listed 15 pts.

Other: 10 points possible
(This section covers other skills considered important to a successful project.)
Rough Draft submitted 4 pts.
Illustrations or clip art 2 pts.
Neatness/Creativity 2 pts.
Appropriate materials used 2 pts.

Total Possible Points : 100 points


This lesson requires a knowledge of strategies that will help students in middle school experience success in their academics.
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