Week 1-Language Arts Lesson Plan


Grade Level:  5/6

Standards: 5.2.2, 5.2.3, 5.2.4, 6.1.1-5, 6.2.2, 6.2

L.A. Project T1.1

The Cay:

Newspaper Project

Due:  TBD

Students, now that you have completed The Cay will have the opportunity to work in pairs to create a newspaper using publisher.  The book brought up many different problems which we have discussed in class, your job is to now use the newspaper format to present the story to others.

Project Objectives:

Content Standards:

  • Language Arts Content Standard 6.2.1 Identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, online information) and use the features to obtain information.
  • Language Arts Content Standard 6.1.4 Pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered.
  • Language Arts Content Standard 6.1.4 Use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate information.

Soft Skills Standards:

  • Teamwork – successfully work with a partner.
  • Collaboration – provide both you and your partner with the same experience so that you see the “same thing” when working on this project.
  • Creativity – Present the book in an innovative newspaper format.
  • Critical Thinking – Present an editorial to state your opinion on the book.
  • Communication Skills – Using Publisher to communicate ideas.

This project has several steps.  We are including suggested timelines and guidelines for you to follow in order to ensure your success.

Prior Learning:

Consider the hardships faced by the characters in The Cay.  What tools or resources would have made their survival easier.  Looking at newspapers that we use today, what sections are included.  How do they appear and what are the differences.

Project Content:

  • Your teacher has assigned partners for this project. Your partner is in your academic group.  Both of you are responsible for working together to complete this project.  (Some of the work should be  done alone and then shared )
  • Your task will be: To publish a newspaper with the following parts:
  1. A newspaper headline for a feature story on the rescue.
  2. An obituary about a character in the book who may have lived beyond the story.
  3. When you are returning from the field trip, write down as many curious questions as you have with your partner. Partners need to agree on 10 questions. When selecting the ten questions consider: Is the question substantial? Can it be researched? Will it generate a “worthwhile” answer? Would someone else want to know the answer?
  4. Present the ten questions you and your partner agreed on to your SCIENCE teacher for her approval.  Once you have approval you may move on to the next phase of this project.
  5. Narrow your ten questions down to four. Remember, you must agree on these questions and you must be sure they are ones you really want to spend time answering.
  6. Set up a file folder for each question. Include in each folder a log sheet and a bibliography sheet.  The log sheet is to keep track of time spent by each partner on that question.  The bibliography is to include all information sources used to find out information about the question.
  7. Include for each question:
  • Any information you learn that helps you answer the question.  Write this in your own words.
  • Any pictures you find that will help you understand or answer the question
  • Any video clips etc that may be helpful.
  • Both partners should review the folders for each question together to be sure you have all the information you need for complete and interesting answers. Weed out any information that does not directly relate to the specific question.

NOTE: Sometimes generating worthwhile questions is the hardest thing to do.  It is often harder than finding the answer.  Questions are a basis for learning.  If we know how to ask good questions, we can learn more.

You should have your ten questions approved by the Friday after your assigned field trip; 9/28.

When researching answers, be sure you select information that directly answers the question.

You will find lots of interesting information, but the information you select for the question folder must be focused on the particular question.

Follow the steps below to successfully complete this next phase.

Your Language Arts teachers will be assisting you with the remainder of the project!

  • Learning Guidance:  {Teachers instructions for using this project.  Look at the content and behavioral objectives for the project, then select one of the activities from each of the 8 intelligences listed below.  Delete the rest before you give the assignment to the students.  The student instructions read as follows:}

The list below contains 8 activity categories.  Your group must complete the projects from each of the different numbered activities.  Begin with a discussion of the activities and determining which group members will work on which activities.  Before the project is complete, every group member is responsible for understanding all 8 activities.

I.      Activity 1 – (Linguistic intelligence)

  1. Plan and design a colorful and informative PowerPoint presentation using all of the questions and answers that you formulated from your research.
  2. Using the information you gathered, create a set of different poem formats to display your findings.
  3. Using the information you gathered, create a brochure to display your findings.
  4. Using the information you gathered, create a newsletter/newspaper to display your findings.
  5. Create a children’s book or an informative booklet using your own text, illustrations, and explanations from your research questions.

II. Activity 2 – (Visual/Spatial Intelligence)

  1. Build models of a cave and a cavern that illustrate the differences between the two formations. Provide an accompanying document that explains the differences and references labeled parts of the models.Use the pictures you captured on the digital camera during the field trip to the caverns to create a visual slideshow accompanied by an oral presentation/description that links the pictures to the research questions.

III. Activity 3 – (Musical Intelligence)

  1. Compose a song, rap or lyrical chant accompanied by a rhythmical beat or dance.  It should include the question and answer you have researched.

IV. Activity 4 – (Bodily Kinesthetic)

  1. Develop and perform a skit, play or musical that incorporates the questions and answers you worked with during your research.  The message and material should be clearly understood by your audience.
  2. Design and construct a 3D model that skillfully models al the aspects that you have identified in your questions and answers to provide a visual image accompanied by a clear description.

V. Activity 5 – (Logical Mathematical)

  1. Using the information you gathered in your research, develop a graphical presentation that displays specific data related to your findings.  Remember, graphical analysis should make it easier for people to see and understand your data.
  2. Develop and research scientific questions, then create and execute an experiment or demonstration that will show the audience an aspect of the caverns.  The experiment should include every step of the scientific method.

VI. Activity 6 – (Interpersonal Social Intelligence)

  1. Gather information based on the questions you developed.  Use your new knowledge to create a survey or poll that can be given at your school or around your neighborhood.  Record and collect to information and complete a formal analysis of what was said.  Be sure to look at trends and patterns.

VII. Activity 7 – (Intrapersonal Intelligence)

  1. Based on your questions, develop and a position paper on how you think caverns relate to your life.  In what ways do answering the question and understanding caverns affect you.  The paper can be written as a diary/journal or as an editorial.

VIII. Activity 8 – (Naturalist Intelligence)

  1. Using your questions and research examine and present the relationship between flora and fauna that both exit in the caverns and those who are linked to them.
  2. Research how life in the caverns compares with life in the ocean or desert.  Be sure to examine the how they relate and how they interact with the rest of the world.  A good area to explore would be how humans have affected these environment.

Time is flying by with this project.  By October 11th you should have all of your research done.  This will give you two weeks to design your four brochures and to plan your oral presentations.


  1. Each Partner should discuss their strengths and divide the next parts to maximize talent. Decide who is best at drawing, technology, writing, power point presentation creations, developing oral presentation outlines, and proof reading. Assign related tasks by strengths. Remember to keep your logs of time each of you spent on each question.
  2. Plan and design an oral presentation for each question. Incorporate pictures, video clips etc in a power point presentation to accompany the oral presentation.  Both partners should be prepared to present at least two of the questions and answers. Practice the presentations with the power point.  No presentation should be longer than five minutes. The presentations will be made in Science when they are due.

7. Feedback:

Now your team needs to find out if the audience learned something. You should have some time for questions and answers.  Be prepared to talk with the rest of the class and clarify any information.  It would also be good to ask your audience questions to see if they learned something from your project.

8. Assessment:

Each team member must provide a self assessment that looks at how they achieved the project objectives set forth in step 2.  Score your efforts using the rubric provided. Think about how did you meet each objective, which ones did you do a better job learning and what objectives could you have improved on.

9. Enhanced Learning:

Plan and design one colorful, attractive question and answer brochure for    each question. Include at least two bibliography sources.  A template for the brochures will be provided for use in Microsoft Publisher.

Submit a class set to the caverns website. Many websites have a FAQ page to inform its visitors, as a class, you are to decide which questions and answers should be submitted to the California Caverns website.  The questions should reflect those that many children would have.

Creating is fun, but be sure you are also ready to present in time.  Everything for this project should be finished by Oct. 25th.  Brochures and Power Point presentations must be ready to hand in and to present to the Science teacher Oct. 25th.

We look forward to hearing your presentations and reading your brochures!


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