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Share Your Best Lesson Plan Giveaway
Winners List & Honorable Mentions

Thank you to all that submitted a lesson plan. It was a tough choice for the panel of judges as there were a lot of fun ideas that would get any child excited about education. Unfortunately, we can't list all the entries, but we'd like to share a few of the lesson plans with our readers at Parenting Club:

WINNING ENTRY
Congratulations!

Submitted by: amykincade

Prize: Canon PowerShot SD600 Elph or similar and a Timbuk2 brand Messenger Bag from the Academic Superstore! (Total ARV $359.90)


I teach developmental mathematics.  Many of my students have a lot of anxiety towards math.  I like to use activities that help to reduce this stress.  My favorite lesson plan is a mathematics monopoly activity I developed a few years ago. 

The students gather into groups of 3 or 4 with each group receiving a copy of the game.  Each group is allowed to set up its own house rules. The students then spend the class period literally playing monopoly.  While they are playing the game, each student has to keep track of all personal monetary transactions that take place during the game.  I give them a well organized sheet to keep track of this data.  The sheet resembles a balance sheet with locations for expenses and income.  When class is over, each student counts his or her money and remaining properties.  All of this is recorded as well. 

For homework that night, the students must complete the tally sheet by calculating income and expense percentages.  I also give them a worksheet to complete which uses data from their own personal tally sheets.  For example, one question wants to know what percentage of the total earning was generated from landing on the free parking space.   This activity focuses on percentages, word problems, and record keeping skills.

What makes this activity special for me is the excitement, energy, and positive attitudes toward math it fosters in my classroom.  While the students are playing, the noise level often gets so loud that I have to close the door to keep from disturbing those around us.  The smiles and laughter could light up a room.  It is almost as if each student is returning to their childhood for little while.   I like showing the students that learning really can be fun.


RUNNER-UP
Congratulations!

Submitted by: MomToJade&Jordan

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

This lesson plan is based around the use of music and musical activities as a learning tool.  This one is structured around preschool children, but can be modified for older children.  I used this lesson plan for a course I took in college.

Activity #1:  Movement and Direction

Any one of the circle games can be used for this activity, but I really like “If Your Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands”.  It’s a great way to get the children moving, and learn how to listen to direction.  This activity is also a good way to get everyone to participate.  Have the children stand and form a circle and make sure that all eyes are on the teacher.  This song is pretty straight forward, but has lots of room for ad-lib so make it as silly and fun as possible.

Activity # 2:  Listening

This is possibly one of my favorite activities.  It was a big hit with the kids and I had lots of fun with it too.  Again any story can be used for this activity, but I like to use “The Sky is Falling”.  First you need to assign each animal an instrument.  I used simple instruments like triangles and noise makers.  Then make up a big chart with pictures of each animal and their instrument.  It’s a great visual aid and it helps the children through the story.  When it comes to telling the story make sure each child knows their animal well.  If you have a big group of children just bring lots of instruments so everyone can join in.  The object of this activity is for the child to play their instrument whenever they hear their animal.  It teaches the children the importance of paying attention. 

Activity # 3:  Shapes and colors

This final lesson is also a great movement activity, but a great way to teach shapes and colors.  It can be as complicated as each shape has a different color, or as simple as one shape with many different colors.  Get some construction paper and cut the shapes out.  Make them big enough so that a child can stand on them.  The activity is based around musical chairs, but using the shapes instead.  Any sort of music can be used for this activity, but something up-beat would be best.  Place the shapes on the floor so the children can dance around them.  When the music stops the children have to jump on a shape.  If it’s different shapes and colors each child has to tell you the shape and its color.  If it’s just one shape with many colors each child has to tell you the color. 

This lesson plan lasts for a little over 30 minutes and can be used in any learning setting.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Submitted by: Pat


When I was an elementary school teacher and I was teaching about verbs, I would have one child run across the room, another child hop in place, another child sing a song and another child write on the blackboard.  I would then ask the class to describe what they saw.  This explained that verbs were 'action' words.  Then I asked them to come up with some words of their own.  My classes never had trouble identifying verbs after that lesson.

Submitted by: Kit_Kats_Mom

When Katherine was learning her letters, we had letter days at home. We wanted to encourage the process and apparently we did a good job because right after her 4th birthday, she started reading. Here is an example of what our A day would be like:

Food: We would eat Apple Jacks, Apples, Asparagus and American cheese. If a letter didn't have a food that started with it (one the kids would eat) then we'd arrange the food on the plate to look like the letter.

Writing: We would practice writing the letter on the pages we'd download from http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/print-k/make-pk-all.htm

Art: We would glue sequins or whatever into the A shape. Paint the letter A or an Apple. Pick out pictures from a magazine of things that start with the letter A, cut them out and glue them onto a piece of paper.

Songs: Sing songs that start with A

Coloring: Coloring pages of A or things that start with A

Reading: Either read books that start with the letter A or about things that start with the letter A like "alligators" or "animals"

Physical: We would try to make our bodies into the shape of an "A" or we'd dance to a song that started with the letter "A" or we'd do a sport or play with a toy that started with the letter of the day.


Submitted by: Kaitlin'smom

My favorite lesson plan, was Around the World. It starts in your home country and you learn about it and make the flag as part of your passport, then each week you 'travel' to different countries, learning about there culture and make there flag to go into the passport. At the end of your travels (how many ever weeks you decide) you return to you home country. Its really fun to learn about different customs, music, and food.


Submitted by: Zen Mommy

Lesson Plan for Life       

Our family lesson plan isn’t so much of a plan as a routine for a way of life. With everything we do, my husband and I try to incorporate some small lesson in the mix…from making the bed in order to keep the house blessed, to the cycle of life and where the meat we’re eating comes from, to why the clouds are dark when there is a storm outside, to how we bake treats to eat. The important thing for us is to make learning something that the kids enjoy rather than a chore, we never force it upon them, they should want to explore their curiosities and seek knowledge on their own, and what better time to start the journey but when they are born?

We take each and every opportunity to teach our children, that’s one of the things that make teaching and learning so easy and fun.  We take time out of our day to spend quality moments with them, even if it’s only a few minutes here and there, talking about the topic at hand.  Hopefully our children will cherish those quick blessed moments more than any toy we’ve ever bought them, and will grow up to teach their own children about the way of life one day.

“Each one of life’s moments is an opportunity to learn and grow mentally, physically or spiritually, we just have to seek out the lesson and make it our own.”   


Submitted by: Bonnie

I teach Pre-K in Houston, Texas.  My FAVORITE lesson plan is our Art Thematic Unit.  We taught the kids ALL ABOUT ART!!!  They learned how to sketch (by looking at something, and drawing what they see, with a pencil).  We introduced MANY well known artists -

Mondrian - "line art" using black electrical tape, red paint, yellow paint, and blue tape.
Michelangelo - put white butcher paper UNDER an 8 foot table and they "painted on the ceiling" - using watercolors, just like Michelangelo did.
Matisse - they cut out brightly colored shapes and created art
Jackson Pollack - splatter painted on butcher paper (OUTSIDE - wearing smocks)
Picasso - each child chose a "model" and they painted that person.  Then we helped them to trace shapes, and we cut it out, then put the "fractured" picture together.  These turned out SO awesome!!!

We had our housekeeping area changed into an art studio - with an artist smock, art palettes, paintbrushes, beret, markers, and paper.

We had an art gallery "showing" at the end of our 3 week project.  The parents AND grandparents came......it was SO amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Submitted by: Writerip

My favorite lesson plan combines ordinary housework with learning experiences. I ask my child to choose a package mix such as cake or brownies, and prepare it for our family. Given the size of our family, he or she must use several mixes.

Reading Directions = Learning to follow directions
Measuring = use of fractions and multiplying of fractions
Selecting the mixing bowl and baking pan = good estimation skills
Mixing the batter = physics lesson on matter
Baking = science lesson on electricity or gas and their ability to cook food
Cutting and serving the treat = division

I like to stand by and create simple dialogues based on these steps while my son or daughter completes the physical end of the task from start to finish.

In addition to honing math and science knowledge comes the confidence that he or she can whip up a nice dessert for the family very easily.


Submitted by: JoyfulNois

One of the things that I teach is Dante's Inferno. One of my favorite lesson plans involves playing a piece of music for the students, sometime after we have read to the point where Dante crosses into lower Hell, in the 6th Circle. There is a symphony by Franz Liszt about Dante's Inferno. I have the students listen to the portion of the symphony that relates to Inferno (other portions relate to Purgatory and Paradise),. The beginning of the music is really cool, because the lower brass horns actually sound out the words (in Italian) the inscription over the gates of Hell (the last line is "Abandon hope all ye who enter here".) After I go through that part in detail with the students, they listen to the rest of the music, and have to write their interpretation of where in the Inferno that Liszt is describing musically. This way, the students have some music appreciation added to the literature, and they get a fuller impact for both since they have to concentrate on listening to figure out the music. As long as the student can justify why they think certain areas of the music apply to certain parts of the Inferno, even if it is not what Liszt intended, they get credit, since it is so subjective - but many of them have never stopped to really listen to music with intention before or realized that literature has inspired a lot of music.


Submitted by: JMcgee12

Multiple Intelligence
Topic: Learners
Aims: to develop understanding of individual learning preferences and how these can help the learner
Level: pre-intermediate or higher
Everyone learns in different ways –– knowing this, and knowing how they learn, helps students to be more confident and find ways to improve their English. It may also help them to learn more effectively in other areas of their lives.
This lesson introduces ‘‘Multiple Intelligence’’ (MI) and the idea that all learners are different. The students think about different types of intelligence they are strong in. At the end of the lesson, students think about how to use the ideas from the lesson to help themselves learn English.
Procedure :
Ask the class the question: ““Who knows someone who is intelligent?”” Explore the answers and ask the students why theychose these people.
Try to elicit famous people as well as friends and family. (Students can do this in pairs rather than as a whole class.)
Write the names of some famous people on the board., and you should think of your own examples that you are sure the students will know. The people should represent a mix of ‘‘intelligence’’:
Students put the famous people in order with the most intelligent first and discuss how they made their decisions. Get class feedback.
Ask the students to work in pairs to complete the box.
Words:
intelligent
intelligence
Sentences:
(example) She is a very intelligent student.
(example) She shows great intelligence when she speaks.
Word types: adjective, noun, Word stress, Meaning
-Summarize the ideas, including the following point: nowadays, different intelligence and different ways of learning are seen as more important in schools than in the past. They should have some understanding of each intelligence from the discussion in the previous brainstorm. You can also, especially at lower levels, encourage the students to look at the name of the intelligence and to infer from the word what it might relate e.g., bodily-kinesthetic; body sport and physical things.
Intelligence Examples:
Good at . . .
Linguistic-
Being sensitive to words and
sounds and the use of language
Spatial -
Understanding the visual world and responding well to it
Bodily-kinesthetic-
Controlling the body and handling objects
Interpersonal -
Being sensitive to feelings of others and responding well
There is quite a lot of vocabulary here and you can approach this in different ways–– many activities can be quickly clarified with an action or example.


Submitted by: Marlene

Hello! I am sending a fun lesson plan for a word funeral. The idea if for children to learn to use synonyms of frequently used words. It allows children to expand their vocabulary and make their writing stronger. It's also great to do in the fall around Halloween. 

Description:
Students will have a word funeral to put to rest overused words such as: good, nice, stuff, cool, awesome, alot (which is frequently written wrong and needs to be put to rest.

Goals:
At the end of the two periods, students will developed a list of synonyms for overused words. Students will enjoy preparing a funeral (complete with a eulogy) to put their overused word to rest.

Objectives:
Each group of students will perform a eulogy for their word. They will then offer the class a list of grade appropriate synonyms to use.

Educational Resources:
Paper, construction paper, tape, glue sticks, markers, a computer and printer

Reference Materials:
Dictionary, thesaurus or use of the web
(dictionary.com)

Activity Plan:
1) The teacher will elicit a list of overused words from students. Some words should be: stuff, a lot, good, things, nice, cool, etc.

2) The teacher will break the class down into groups of four.

3) Each group will get a word. Once they have the word, they will write a eulogy for that word.

4) Students will use a thesaurus to find synonymns of the word. Then they will write a eulogy which will contain a list of words that have survived the word.

Assessment:
At the end of the lesson, children will be able to substitute new words in their writing. 


Submitted by: Maddie&EthansMom

My favorite lesson plan to do with my daughter when she was learning to read is a simple one, but effective. I got some 3 x 5 notecards and had her write down the high frequency words as I called them out to her.  She was able to practice writing the word as well as spell the word.  I then wrote the word on the back so she would be able to recognize (and read) the word in a flashcard form in someone's writing other than her own.  There are approximately 100 high frequency words they had to learn in kindergarten so this was very helpful.  Now that she's older and reading more complex words, I am proud of her confidence when she comes to a high frequency word and breezes right through it without giving it a second thought.

I think the use of flashcards is one of the best lesson plans around.  You can start using flash cards at any age and continue using them throughout college.  It's a great thing to teach your children, especially if you can get them to make their own.  There's something about writing out the words or key notes/phrases that jogs your memory.  Using different colors or textures is a great idea as well.  In the past we have cut out pictures from magazines when learning the alphabet.  They are fun to make and easy to use as well as an excellent learning tool. 


Submitted by: Lisbeth

My favorite lesson plan was when each child dressed up as a certain letter from the alphabet, also bringing along a treat which started with that letter, and an object that startedwith that letter.


Submitted by: Punkeemunkee'smom

My favorite lesson plan is the one we are using in our effort to learn to read. I decided that since phonics could become redundant-we would try to make them fun. So with each new letter family we learn we also find a recipe that we can tie into it...She has LOVED thinking of something to go with each new sound cluster, for example this week we are working on the an cluster so we baked banana bread. She gets to mix all the ingredients herself and she is taking a loaf that she is VERY proud of to her dance teacher this afternoon! =) It has been really fun-except for the few extra pounds I can't seem to account for!!! =)


Submitted by: Jukkabro

In this lesson, students will compare and contrast different aspects of the daily lives of families living in Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Let students know that Mexico and Puerto Rico have been chosen because of their close relationships — part of and bordering — the U.S., but that they can discuss other countries as well, especially if anyone has a background from Latin America or the Caribbean

Let students know they will compare a typical day in the lives of Spanish, Mexican, and Puerto Rican families. Read to students from the following Web sites, sharing any images you come across with the class:

As you read the narratives and view the pictures, help students pick out details that give some clues to what life is like in each of these three nations. Keep a list of students' answers (you may wish to develop a chart with separate columns for life in Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico). In Spain, how does Paz get to and from school? What does she study? With whom does she live? What does she do in her spare time? After listing some of the information students find about Spain, move on to Mexico. How do Gari, Diana and Montsy get to school? What does Daniel study? With whom do they live? What do they do in their spare time?

What about Puerto Rico? This is an excellent opportunity to introduce students to the unique relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Explain that Puerto Rico is not a state, but rather a Commonwealth of the U.S. This means that people who live in Puerto Rico are citizens of the U.S. — they use American money, must obey American laws, and can travel, live, and work (but not vote in federal elections) in the U.S. mainland without a passport or "green card." In many ways, life in Puerto Rico is similar to life in the U.S. Ask students to use their own daily experiences to answer questions about Puerto Rico — how do they get to school? What do they study? With whom do they live? What do they do in their spare time? Add students' answers to the list.


Submitted by: Linda

For a Mid-high level English Class, I told the class we would read an entire paperback book that day in class. I REALLY got their attention by taking the book, The Cay, and ripping it up chapter by chapter.

I handed students (by group) several consecutive chapters and asked each group to pick a student to read each chapter and plan to report on it orally.

Each student would read his/her chapter, report on it to the group and all would discuss it imagining what happened before and/or after the part they read. I asked them to guess what motivated the characters and situations.

Halfway through the class, reports were given chapter-by-chapter and, as a group we discussed the various parts of the novel. intro, climax, characterization, motivation, etc.

We truly DID read an entire book in an hour. All were amazed and loved to brag about it.

Note: obviously you need a book that had a blank page at the end of the chapter or each chapter started on its own page.






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