All Lessons


  • Slavery and the U.S. Constitution

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the debate over slavery at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the changing perception of slavery in the new United States and the ways in which the debate over slavery affected the content of the Constitution. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • From Slavery to Freedom in Colonial Times

    In this blended lesson supporing literacy skills, students learn the story of Venture Smith, an African boy who was enslaved and brought to America in 1737. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on differences between slavery in the North and South as they learn about Smith’s journey from slavery to freedom.During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Who Was Alexander Hamilton?

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the early life of Alexander Hamilton and his achievements as an adult during the Revolutionary War and in the Washington administration. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on how Hamilton’s role as an outsider shaped his beliefs about the powers of the federal government. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Symbolism: Keely's Mountain

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students are introduced to Keely, who feels that her identity as a Nipmuc Native American is weakened because there is no strong Nipmuc community around her. The video Keely made when she was young and felt discouraged is countered by her positive thoughts about identity when she is older. Students develop their literacy skills through an English language arts focus on symbolism. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Building the Erie Canal

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn how the Erie Canal changed the U.S. economy and influenced settlement patterns in the west. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on how the effects of the Erie Canal on New York City, New York State, and the entire United States. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Multiplying Fractions by Whole Numbers: Recipes

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos and complete interactive activities to learn about fractions and learn how to perform certain operations with fractions. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a mathematics focus on multiplying fractions by whole numbers. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Who Owns a Sound?

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the debate over electronic sampling in music and look at how copyright law affects people on both sides of the issue. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on gathering information to form an opinion. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Continental Drift: What's the Big Idea?

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn how the theory that explains the position of Earth's continents was established and later modified. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a science focus on how the scientific community operates. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through a video and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

     

    Grades: 5-8
  • The Columbian Exchange

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch video dramatizations that tell the story of the Spanish explorers who arrived in the Americas with Columbus and introduced European, African, and Asian plants and animals to the Western Hemisphere. Students develop their literacy skills through a social studies focus on how the the Columbian Exchange impacted life on both sides of the Atlantic. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Supporting Middle School Literacy: Research Principles

    This self-paced lesson designed for teacher professional development introduces research principles that support the needs of middle school learners when reading and comprehending nonfiction text and shows these principles in action in actual classrooms. While the lessons in the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection are designed so that students can work independently and at their own pace, the teacher plays an important role in ensuring maximum student learning and engagement.

    It is recommended that you follow this lesson with the “Using the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection” professional development lesson to learn teaching strategies for integrating student lessons into your curriculum.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Population Sampling: Fish

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos and complete interactive activities to learn how the Ojibwe tribe in Minnesota measure the abundance of various fish in their lake, how they interpret the data they collect, and how they make predictions about future populations based on their findings. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a mathematics focus on population sampling. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Graphing Distance and Time: Travel

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos and complete interactive activities to learn how to represent a young man’s unicycle trip on a graph. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a mathematics focus on expressing distance–time relationships with graphs. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Solving a Public Health Problem

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos about a real-life disease outbreak in New York City and learn about the step-by-step process public health workers use in investigating the cause of similar outbreaks. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a science focus on public health. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Personification: Cowbirds

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the cowbird through a documentary video and explore how the video uses personification to present information about this bird. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore an English language arts focus on personification as a literary device. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • The Facts About Concussions

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos featuring concussion victims and medical researchers to learn about the causes and symptoms of this serious type of brain injury. They also examine the challenges doctors face when diagnosing concussions and the technologies being developed to aid in these efforts. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a science focus on personal health. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Using the 3Rs to Help the Environment

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos that focus on our environment and the ways individuals and businesses can reduce the amount of trash they create and the natural resources they use. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a science focus on managing waste and natural resources. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. When they are finished, students select and complete a writing assignment offline.This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8, 13+
  • The Story of Pocahontas

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn that there are multiple versions of the story of Pocahontas and John Smith. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the two different versions of this story that Smith wrote, and what historians believe really happened when Smith met Pocahontas. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Using Inspiring Middle School Literacy in Afterschool Programs

    This self-paced lesson designed for professionals in afterschool programs introduces the student lessons in the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection and shows how they can be used to support struggling readers and engage all students in online, content-based lessons. While the student lessons are designed for students to work independently and at their own pace, the teacher or facilitator plays an important role in ensuring maximum student learning and engagement. This professional development lesson gets you started by describing the steps of using the student lessons in an afterschool program, including selecting a lesson, preparing before a lesson, assessing the lesson, and expanding the lesson in creative ways.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Trail of Tears: The Cherokee Fight Against Removal

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students are introduced to the Cherokees' struggle to remain on their land in the early 1800s. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the assimilation strategy of the Cherokee Nation and its eventual impact on their fate. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Unit Conversion: Water Use

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch videos and complete interactive activities to learn how much water various activities use and explore ways that they can conserve water resources. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a mathematics focus on using fractions to convert units of measurement. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8, 13+

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