At the start of a new school year, where do you look for lesson plans and engaging conversation-starters that will interest your students? Many teachers tell us that they go online for inspiration. Our website offers lesson plans, nonfiction book recommendations, videos, and more. If you'd like to get advice from our team of educators, you can do so here.
To help you in your mission to cultivate critical thinking and close-reading skills, while keeping the joy in learning, here are 10 lesson plans for students in grades K-12 that might be useful at the beginning of the school year—or anytime. You'll find topics that range from see-through frogs to the joys of candy.
Have a great year!
KINDERGARTEN: ELA & SCIENCE
Introduce your students to the wonders of apples and apple trees through song and rhyme.
GRADE 1: ELA & SCIENCE
This colorful lesson on apples features a popular song, flowchart, and pictograph. Students can practice looking for the main idea and details, while acquiring science and academic vocabulary.
GRADES 1-2: WRITING
In this lesson, students learn about each other as they conduct interviews and create portraits and biographical posters. Includes a list of popular biographies.
GRADE 3: ELA & SOCIAL STUDIES
An article about a girl who stood up to bullies is accompanied by a video and an interactive online game. Available in print and audio in both English and Spanish.
GRADE 3: ELA & SCIENCE
How do scientists find new types of animals? In this sample lesson plan, students can learn about an exciting rainforest discovery and hone their close-reading skills.
GRADES 3-6: ELA & SCIENCE
Paired texts available in two Lexile versions examine when, how, and why candy became popular in the U.S. A bonus text features an interview with historian Samira Kawash, the author of Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure.
GRADES 3-8: WRITING
This lesson shows how pop music can help add snap and crackle to student writing.
GRADES 3-12: ELA & SOCIAL STUDIES
A collection of more than 30 lesson plans, activities, news stories, videos, and book lists for students of all ages offer context for the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
GRADES 6-8: ELA & SOCIAL STUDIES
An article available in two Lexile versions explains the plight of thousands of people fleeing Europe to escape violence, poverty, or persecution in the Middle East and Africa. Photos, maps, and a video help tell the story.
GRADES 9-12: ELA & SOCIAL STUDIES
A New York Times Upfront article about the rise of China, available in two Lexile versions, gives an overview of a country that is playing an increasingly pivotal role on the global stage. Includes a video, debate, and text-based questions.