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Using NextLesson for English Language Arts (ELA)

NextLesson can be used to help with the application piece of English Language Arts (ELA) in many different ways. The materials incorporate real world connections and critical thinking wherever possible. Below are some ideas on how to use it.

If you are looking for specific lessons recommendations based on grade, check out our Recommended ELA Resources Guides.

Table of Contents

Teaching a Text Type (Reading and Writing): Grades 3-12

  • Product to Use: Performance Tasks
  • How: Choose a Performance Task for Argument/Opinion, Informative or Narrative writing, based on your class’ interests.
    Spend up to a week focusing on the reading and then writing sides of the task to build toward a piece of extended writing.
    This could be done at the start of a unit on a text type to introduce the elements, or at the end as an application and assessment piece.
    In grades K-2 students work with math questions in the premise before being guided through a composition of a particular text type.

Language Skills (Option 1): Grades K-6

  • Product to Use: Essentials
  • How: Choose an Essential that covers the language skill or standard being taught.
    Complete the Essential over one lesson period following the Teacher Guide for a class activity or having students complete the worksheet page independently.
    Essentials could be completed regularly throughout the year to cover each language skill, demonstrating to students why the skill is important in the real world.

Language Skills (Option 2): Grades 7-10

  • Product to Use: Crime Scene Decoders
  • How: Choose a Crime Scene Decoder that covers the language skill or standard being taught or that uses an excerpt from a text being studied in class.
    Complete the Crime Scene Decoder over one lesson period following the Teacher Guide to implement as an active lesson or have students.complete as a worksheet independently.
    Crime Scene Decoders could be completed regularly throughout the year to cover each language skill or to focus on the use of a language skill in a text being taught in class.

Language Skills (Option 3): Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Activities
  • How: Choose an Activity that covers a particularly skill or standard, or that would appeal to the interests of the class.
    Complete the Activity over one lesson period having students follow the student instructions online.
    Activities can be completed throughout the year as one-off lessons because of the wide variety in their content.

Reading Comprehension: Grades 3-12

  • Product to Use: Performance Tasks
  • How: Use Level 1 of an ELA Performance Task over one or two lesson periods to focus on reading comprehension using engaging topics in a real world premise.

Studying a Book (Option 1): Grades 6-12

  • Product to Use: Rank & Reason
  • How: Try one of the Rank & Reasons focusing on characters, symbols and themes in popular texts as a quick class activity.
    Students complete their rankings online, justifying with evidence from the text and then engage in discussion.
    These could be completed while reading the book and also at the end of the book and students might compare how their rankings changed.

Studying a Book (Option 2): Grades 2-5

  • Product to Use: Activities
  • How:Use one of the Activities Introducing Character and Theme in the context of a novel in the lower grades.
    Use these in one lesson period or extend into a writing task in a second lesson.

Studying a Book (Option 3): Grades 7-12

  • Product to Use: Projects
  • How: Develop students’ understanding of characters or events in a book by completing one of the Press Release or Blog Writing projects. These center on characters or key events in well known novels and students complete a real world writing task.
    One of these projects could be chosen as a culminating project after studying a book in class or as a mid-way project to increase understanding of what students are reading.

Speaking and Listening (Option 1): Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Rank & Reason
  • How: Choose or create a Rank & Reason on a topic being studied or of general interest.
    Students work in pairs or groups to rank and justify and then come together in a class discussion to argue their points.
    These could be completed regularly throughout the year as students also build critical thinking skills and other important skills such as citing evidence to support points.

Speaking and Listening (Option 2): Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Performance Tasks
  • How: Use the Challenge of an ELA Performance Task over one or two lesson periods to focus on speaking and listening using engaging topics in a real world premise.
    Students will have to, at least briefly, complete Levels 1 and 2 to have the necessary context here.
    In grades K-2, students work with math questions in the premise before being guided through a speaking and listening activity in the same premise.

Speaking and Listening (Option 3): Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Projects
  • How: The collaborative nature of NextLesson projects means that speaking and listening skills are usually practiced throughout with context and purpose.
    Some projects additionally have students prepare spoken presentations as final products.
    Projects could be completed in several class periods in a concentrated block of time or once per week across a few weeks.

Assessment (Option 1): Grades 3-12

  • Product to Use: Performance Tasks
  • How: Performance Tasks can be used as formative or summative assessment.
    Students might complete a different Performance Task or a different edition of the same Performance Task after completing a first as a class with feedback.
    The applied learning nature of Performance Tasks means that students can be assessed on their thorough understanding of a text type or skill.
    They include detailed rubrics to assist assessment.

Assessment (Option 2): Grades K-10

  • Product to Use: Essentials and Crime Scene Decoders
  • How: Essentials and Crime Scene Decoders can be used as an assessment on the particular skill or standard covered and rubrics are provided.
    The Essential would be administered as an independent worksheet for students to complete.

Assessment (Option 3): Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Projects
  • How: Projects are a good opportunity for assessment as students spend an extended time working toward their final product. Rubrics are also included.

Project Work: Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Projects
  • How: Choose a project based on topics of interest for the class and have students work collaboratively.
    Final products may be oral, written or creative and can be adapted to meet the class resources.
    Projects could be completed over a concentrated one-two week period or once weekly over an extended period.

Current Events and Holidays: Grades K-12

  • Product to Use: Activities
  • How: Activities can be found using the Seasonal filter on the Search Page.
    These are general in nature and may tie to reading, writing and/or speaking and listening skills.
    They may be used at various points across the year to get students thinking about the world around them.

 

 

Need more support or have additional questions about using NextLesson for ELA? Contact us at support@nextlesson.org

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