Beacon Unit Plan Library

Unit Plans - Learner Level 3: Language Arts

  • Announcing World War II (Authored by Richard Johnson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: In this unit, students get an overview of World War II while practicing their listening skills. They focus on selected events and situations from World War II that correspond with those that occur in the novel, [Jacob Have I Loved], by Katherine Paterson. This unit can be used as a companion to a language arts unit on this novel ([Jacob Have I Loved - A Novel Study]) or can be used as a separate, stand-alone social studies unit. These events and situations revolve around how America reacted to the adversity of war. Student groups create radio broadcasts about these events and situations, which they present to the whole class. The class, as the audience for these broadcasts, uses their listening skills to gather pertinent information on these events or situations, which will allow them to succeed on the summative assessment for the unit. The summative assessment mirrors the short- and extended-response items on the FCAT. The extended response section asks students to answer the question: How did America react to the adversities of World War II?

  • Dog Gone "Paw"erful Writing (Authored by Michelle Gowan.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Students research a dog breed and create note cards to reflect a variety of research and information. Students then develop a five-page PowerPoint presentation that reflects the information. Students present their topics to the class using their PowerPoint slide shows as a visual aid. Step-by-step instructions are included in this unit for students to use in creating the PowerPoint slides. Students also practice presentation skills with peers prior to the actual oral presentations. Because of its straightforward design and simplicity, this unit would also be an excellent tool for higher learner level ESE students that have academic difficulty with reading, taking notes, and organizing information.

  • Easy Essays in Three Steps (Authored by Dawn Capes.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Does the FCAT writing section have you worried? Maybe you're not thrilled about your students'essays? This nine day mini unit is designed to help students understand and refine essays created for the writing section of the FCAT. Students should have a basic understanding of essays and conventions. This unit focuses on the five paragraph essay format as an option for students to use when creating their FCAT writing response.

  • Grammar Fun (Authored by Amanda Yates.)

  • Subject(s): Foreign Language, Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: This is an ESOL unit for middle school students. Students learn about nouns, verbs, and adjectives in the target language. They spend time orally demonstrating knowledge of the patterns and rules governing using these words in oral language, as well as in written work. Each week, the focus will be on a certain part of speech. Students complete a small project at the end of each week to demonstrate their listening ability and their comprehension of the concepts through the target language. A formative assessment checklist is kept on each student throughout the three weeks and shared with students to show them areas that need improvement or are sufficient.

  • I'm A Poet and Didn't Know It! (Authored by Dawn Capes.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Are you tired of the eye rolling and heavy sighs that accompany your announcement of "We're going to start a poetry unit today!" Are you ready for a unit that combines a study of accomplished poets with opportunities for students to write? Then, you've found the right unit. In this unit plan, students explore poets such as Langston Hughes, Shel Silverstein and Robert Frost and examine what makes their poetry so great. Then, students have a chance to author their own poems and celebrate their accomplishment by submitting the poem for publication to a magazine of their choice. Help students explore that they are a poet. They just didn't know it!

  • Info Expo (Authored by Carol Rine.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: While working in cooperative groups, students research a topic for an expository report. Students then work collaboratively to write, edit, and revise the report to produce a polished research paper. Following the group effort, students work independently to test their newly acquired research and report writing skills. Please note that this unit can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of teachers of various grade levels or across many subject areas.

  • Jacob Have I Loved - A Novel Study (Authored by Dawn Capes.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.” Students explore the book [Jacob Have I Loved] by Katherine Patterson through a study of its setting, characters, many conflicts, and resolutions. They learn to apply quotes from the book to their own lives and wonder if it is possible to truly hate a sibling. At unit's end, students take a unit assessment that tests their knowledge of the unit's standards and create multi-media presentations in which they depict scenes from the novel.

  • Mythology in the Middle (Authored by Lisa Ove Gibson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Students read two narrative reading selections and based on the reading, compare and contrast a character from each. After compiling the information about these characters, students record their findings in a T-chart and a Venn diagram. Also students show that they can correctly separate compiled information after re-organizing a scrambled Venn diagram. The teacher-created Venn diagram is a false model that students must correct after reading two narrative selections. This provides the teacher with two products for the summative assessment and allows for triangulation in the instruction. The prerequisite for this mini-unit is students should understand character traits of characters in a narrative reading selection. Although most of the examples in this mini unit use mythology, the structure allows for any content area that the teacher selects.

  • Speak for Yourself (Authored by Carol Rine.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Speak For Yourself asks the guiding question, "What does it take to make a good speaker?" Students formulate a working definition of what it takes to make a good speaker as they work through the course of the unit. By analyzing famous speeches, role-playing examples and non-examples of speaking behaviors, and identifying informal and formal language, students become aware of good speaking behaviors. They learn how to modify word choice to fit purpose and audience. Ultimately, students organize and produce their own oral presentations to perform for the class. All of these activities culminate with the evaluation of classroom presentations. Within the evaluation, students must appraise the presentations as either effective or ineffective. At the unit's completion, students can explain not only the speaking behaviors necessary, but also the planning process necessary "…to make a good speaker." This unit has accompanying lesson plans and attached files.

  • Students as Historians: Investigating the Gulf War (Authored by Francis Sicius.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: In this unit, students use facts and opinions, as well as primary and secondary sources. They explore the detective work of historians as they investigate the Gulf War from different perspectives and interpretations. Students use a variety of media for research and become acquainted with technology as a tool for enhancing and enriching the academic classroom.

  • Twin Traits (Authored by Melinda Dukes.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 6 - Grade 8)
    Description: Explore the Nature vs. Nurture controversy. Participate in hands-on activities to discover how variation in species is due to exchange and interaction of genetic information from parent to offspring. An experimental design on identical twins concludes the lesson.

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