One of my favorite traditions during the holidays is revisiting “A Christmas Carol” written by Charles Dickens. The story is timeless and good for all age levels. Because you can find it printed online, it makes a great resource to use with Lesson Writer. If you haven’t used Lesson Writer before, you really must try it. You can find it at www.lessonwriter.com. Fortunately, someone has already developed lessons using Lesson Writer and “A Christmas Carol” at http://sites.lessonwriter.com/christmascarol/.
With the recent emphasis on informational articles used for testing, Lesson Writer provides a way for teachers to choose material that is relevant while meeting their students’ interests and abilities. Lesson writer is a web-based resource that allows teachers to copy any online content and create lessons and even make accommodations. But wait, the site actually creates most of the lesson for you. “No Way!” I hear you say. Oh, yes it does! It takes the copied material and picks out: vocabulary from the article, pronunciation, grammar support to aide in understanding, and word roots and stems. It allows the teacher to create comprehension questions using Bloom’s prompts to create higher order thinking skills. These questions can be created as short answer, extended answer, multiple choice, or just a note. The site allows you to preview all of it. You can pick and choose what you want included from all that is generated for you. But, I saved the best for last! It also provides ten graphic organizers you can include in the lesson. Some of these include: the KWL Chart, Inference Graphic Organizer, Character Study, Cause and Effect, Predictions, Summarizing, and Venn Diagrams. A quick start guide to differentiation groups and classes can be found here http://www.lessonwriter.com/QuickStartClassesAndGroups.pdf.
With Discovery Education, you can take these lessons and expand them even further. You can let the students listen to the audio version of the story available through Discovery Streaming. Because Discovery has informational articles such as “Christmas,” another lesson can be created through Lesson Writer. For a wonderful group of resources check out the Christmas theme resources found in Discovery at http://player.discoveryeducation.com/index.cfm?guidAssetId=e6b8dee6-927d-45c3-825b-5b7fa0f74042.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!