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Turning Commitments into Rich Illustrations of Practices: Literacy as a Shared Responsibility

View these additional resources on literacy as shared responsibility.

Lesson Plans, Grades K-5

Bridging Literature and Mathematics by Visualizing Mathematical Concepts (Gr. 3-5)
During interactive read-aloud sessions, students identify how an author conveys mathematical information about animals’ sizes and abilities. They then conduct research projects focusing on the same mathematical concepts. 

Exploring Sets through Math-Related Book Pairs (Gr. K-2)
After reading two math-related books, students investigate their home and school environments to find examples of objects that come in sets and then create their own books on sets. 

Talking, Writing, and Reasoning: Making Thinking Visible with Math Journals (Gr. 3-5)
Students explore how their problem-solving strategies work by writing in math journals as they work in small groups to solve a math puzzle with multiple solutions.

What If We Changed the Book? Problem-Posing with Sixteen Cows (Gr. 3-5)
After reading a piece of math-related children’s literature aloud, students pose and solve new problems by asking what-if questions about the events in the story.

Authentic Writing Experiences and Math Problem-Solving Using Shopping Lists (Gr. K-2) Students use their emerging writing skills to write shopping lists. They work within a budget, use problem-solving skills to create lists, and buy their favorite treats at the class store.

Bringing Economic Vocabulary to Life Through Video Posters (Gr. 2-5)
Imagine if vocabulary could come alive with the click of a button! Students create video posters to demonstrate knowledge of new economics vocabulary.

What’s Under the Slide? Making Inferences Using Microscopes (Gr. 3-5)
Students hone their critical thinking skills by learning how to make inferences from textual clues.

Show What You Know: Read, Write and Solve Math Problems (Gr. 2-3)
Informational texts, iPads, and interactive games, oh, my! Help students journey through multimodal texts to identify and solve real-world mathematics problems using writing and apps.

Lesson Plans, Grades 6-12

Glogging About Natural Disasters (Gr. 5-8)
After researching various natural disasters, students share their findings with each other using glogs, or through poster presentations.

What Did George Post Today? Learning About People of the American Revolution Through Facebook (Gr. 6-12)
After researching famous people of the American Revolution, students create Facebook-like PowerPoint presentations to share their knowledge with classmates. 

Blending the Past with Today’s Technology: Using Prezi to Prepare for Historical Fiction (Gr. 6-10)
To prepare for literature circles featuring historical novels, students research the decades of the 1930s to the 1990s and share their information using Prezi, a web application for creating multimedia presentations.

Chasing the Dream: Researching the Meaning of the American Dream (Gr. 9-12)
By conducting interviews, sharing and assessing data, and writing papers based on their authentic research, students reach their own conclusions on the meaning of the American Dream.

Making History Come Alive Through Poetry and Song (Gr. 6-12)
Students compare the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald with the song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” then create their own poetry about a historical event.

Not Your Usual History Lesson: Writing Historical Markers (Gr. 6-8)
Students will develop their summarizing skills while learning about local history. They will learn to consider audience while selecting topics, conducting research and interviews, and writing historical markers for their town.

Vote for Me! Making Presidential Commercials Using Avatars (Gr. 6-12)
After researching political platforms of past presidents through primary sources and other resources, students create commercials for these presidents using Voki, an online web tool that produces speaking avatars.

Trading Information about Minerals Through Trading Cards (Gr. 6-8)
Using the free Trading Cards Mobile App, students create trading cards to share properties of various minerals with their classmates and connect the use of minerals to their own lives.

Getting Graphic with Alternative Energy Sources (Gr. 7-12)
After researching alternative sources of energy, students create online comic books to present their information.

Finding Solutions to Food Waste: Persuasion in a Digital World (Gr. 7-9)
Using various reading strategies and resources, students explore the issue of food waste. They also create persuasive arguments and blog posts examining this topic.

Fashion Fun with Fossil Fuels (Gr. 9-12)
After researching specific fossil fuel issues, students create their own clothing brands that express their opinions about the issues and then share their information and clothing line using either PowerPoint or Prezi.

A Blast from the Past with Nuclear Chemistry (Gr. 11-12)
After researching the history and basic facts of a nuclear chemistry topic, students utilize the Web 2.0 tool Timetoast to create an electronic timeline that they use to present their research to the class.

Poppin’ Fun with Physical and Chemical Changes (Gr. 6-9)
Students will enjoy learning about physical and chemical changes as they turn their own photos into a narrated video using the iPad app SonicPics to illustrate (and eat) their results from a popcorn lab.

From Quantitative to Qualitative: Writing Descriptions of Data From Tables (Gr. 9-12)
Students develop quantitative reasoning and critical thinking by analyzing descriptions tables for content, language, and organization with a particular focus on verb tense selection, and then writing descriptions of tables themselves.

Engineering the Perfect Poem by Using the Vocabulary of STEM (Gr. 7-10)
Students research engineering careers and create poetry to understand the vocabulary of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Strategy Guides

Introducing Ideas and Vocabulary with the Concept Sort (Gr. K-8)
A Concept Sort is a vocabulary and comprehension strategy used with students to introduce new topics and/or familiarize students with new vocabulary.

Supporting Student Comprehension in Content Area Reading (Gr. 6-12)
In this strategy guide, you’ll learn a few simple, yet powerful, techniques to encourage students to use peer talk and writing to enhance their understanding of content area texts.

Preparing Students for Success with Reading in the Content Areas (Gr. 6-12)
In this strategy guide, you’ll learn how to determine the level and type of support you need to provide students based on careful preparation as a content area expert.

Reading with Purpose in the Content Areas (Gr. 6-12) In this strategy guide, you’ll learn how to organize students and instruction to establish a sense of purpose for reading authentic texts in the content areas.


Science Books for Teens from Text Messages (Gr. 6-12)
Books about science allow readers to encounter new concepts, ask new questions, and discover what we can learn simply by paying close attention to our surroundings. You’ll hear about ecology and climate change, food production, infectious disease, ancient human history, the universe, and our power as humans for both ingenuity and destruction.

Nonfiction Roundup from Text Messages (Gr. 6-12)
With each annual crop of new nonfiction, teens have the opportunity to discover and explore new disciplinary worlds. Tune in to hear about an array of recently-published nonfiction titles that will engage teens in learning about history, science, economics, and medicine. You’ll hear about junk food and advertising, the atomic bomb and civil rights, bird watching and volcanoes – books written in a variety of formats for a variety of teen readers.

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts