Beacon Unit Plan Library

Unit Plans - Learner Level 2: Language Arts


  • A Colony Is Born (Authored by Katie Koehnemann.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: What influenced the early colonists to make the decision to settle in the New World? What difficulties did they encounter and how were they able to rise above the adversities to secure a strong foundation for our great nation? Come explore Colonial America through the building of timelines and investigating primary and secondary sources. This study of significant events in the colonization of North America and the aspects of everyday life in Colonial America is designed for students to gather, record, and organize their own Colonial Notebook. Students will take on the role of colonist in a given region and work with other 'colonists' of the same region to develop a report and presentation. The study will take students through the life and times of those early settlers and will have them preparing a colonial meal representative of their region of focus.

  • A Television In My Room (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Health, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: How can students show that they are responsible? This unit integrates science, mathematics, and language arts contents to help students discover ways they can show they are responsible enough to have televisions in their rooms.

  • Bedlam in Bedrock (Authored by Laurie Ayers.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Bedlam in Bedrock explores the Earth's surface and how it changes over time. Students perform experiments to discover how forces change the Earth's surface. Students create projects using reference materials to obtain information and use sketches, diagrams, and models to demonstrate understanding of scientific ideas.

  • Data, Detectives and Decisions (Authored by Lisa Ove Gibson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Data, Detectives and Decisions involves students in mathematical problem-solving processes. Faced with the dilemma, “How much time should the average fifth-grade student spend on homework to make good grades?” students begin generating, collecting, organizing, and displaying data to show representative samples of male/female students, and teachers on the subject. Students determine the range and measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode) from sets of data, and use these measures to identify patterns and relationships in the data. During the process, students face and answer questions such as, “Which types of graphs are appropriate for the different kinds of data?” and “How are the different statistical measures (range and measures of central tendency) used to interpret the data?” Students use the skills and processes learned during class in a simulated statistical journey called Collecting Clues and Analyzing Answers. Students' reflections are recorded in a Detective Diary. (An optional oral presentation is included with this unit with coordinating Language Arts extensions.)

  • How Can We Move Our Principal? (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Using the scenario of our principal needing our help to get around the school now that he/ she has a hurt foot, this unit combines the content of science with the skills of writing to entice students to become active learners. Students learn about simple machines and build a machine that affects human health or lifestyle. Students produce a report, published as a web page using the Beacon Learning Center SiteMaker, explaining their machines.

  • In Days of Old, Before Columbus (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: In Days of Old, Before Columbus introduces third graders to developments in history prior to the Renaissance with focus on 12th century Europe (1200-1300). Students will be actively involved in learning about the feudal system of government and aspects of family life in the different classes within this system. Students will learn about early transportation and communication and how they affected the lives of the people. Students will explore trade, cultural and intellectual achievements, and scientific and technological advancements of the time. Time lines will be built and used extensively as a visual assistant to students.

  • Independent - To Be or Not To Be (Authored by Katie Koehnemann.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: British in their language, their laws, their customs, could the American colonists fight a war with England, their Mother Country? Why were freedom and independence so important? Take students on a journey through the historical events leading to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This unit is designed for students to learn to make judgments and decisions based on facts, and to use informational and imaginative speech to present their personal viewpoint and opinion to others. Students experience, first hand, taxation without representation, and will develop a very real sense for the need to preserve the inherent freedoms of man. Using the American flag as a graphic organizer, students will develop a clear understanding of the actions and reactions of the American colonists to British rule and to our most important national holiday, the 4th of July. Historically significant events will be studied and organized through exploration of facts and opinions and interaction with informational text and class discussion. The unit is presented in Reading Block Framework design with integrated lessons throughout each day. There are two types of lessons in this unit. First there are numbered lessons (1,2,3, etc.). Most often, these are the lessons where the content area standards are taught. The second set of lessons is identified with letters (A, B, C, etc.). Most often, these are the lessons where the speaking standards are taught. Although this is the general rule of thumb, the learning of all the standards is intricately infused in all lessons.

  • Inventions and Inventors (Authored by Laurie Ayers.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: In this unit, students use a variety of references to read and organize information and demonstrate knowledge of selected significant people, their contributions to society, and ways the contributions impacted society. Contributions in the fields of communication and technology and significant scientific discoveries are explored. Timeline activities are included to promote understanding of order of events.

  • Outer Space and Cyber Space (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Space travel is an exciting adventure, but what is really out there in space? In this unit, students learn about our Solar System and compare and contrast characteristics of various planets. They explore mean, median, mode, and range and use these to further explore the characteristics of the planets. The sharing of information through expository writing, placed on the Internet as a Web page using Beacon’s SiteMaker tool, will bring outer space into cyber space.

  • Poetic Cause and Effect (Authored by Farrah Milby.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Students explore cause and effect, making inferences, and drawing conclusions through poetry. Students write, critique, and evaluate their own writing.

  • The Inside Story -- Cells, Organs, and Systems of the Human Body (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: You know that the human body is a wonderful system of interrelationships, but have you wondered just how your body works? Through various activities, students learn that cells are the basic unit of life. Cells work together to form tissue. Tissues work together to form organs. Organs work together to form systems. The various parts and functions of our body systems are unveiled as students learn the relationships between our systems and how these relationships keeps us alive and well. Reading in the content area and study skills such as note taking, outlining, graphic organizers, and illustrating are learned as students gather and organize facts about the human body. Although the overall size of the unit appears overwhelming, a user friendly routine is quickly established. This routine allows for progression to higher order thinking skills while remaining student and teacher friendly as the unit is taught.

  • We the People (Authored by Sandi King.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship? Who are your state and local elected officials? Which officials can you turn to for help? This integrated unit uses reading strategies, reflection activities, graphic organizers, and technology tools to teach the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The US and Florida constitutions are examined to document the purpose, structure, and responsibilities of the branches of government and those elected officials who serve in them.

  • Wellness Wonders (Authored by Laurie Ayers.)

  • Subject(s): Health, Language Arts, Mathematics (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Students incorporate listening skills, expository writing, graphing skills, and surveys to learn about wellness strategies and health information. Students then use what they have learned to create individual action plans and record progress towards personal goals.

  • What Makes Me Who I Am? (Authored by Carolyn Garner.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: In this Beacon Unit Plan, students begin to understand who they are by first analyzing their genetics, and second, by taking a closer look into their cells and how these cells interact within the body. The students are formatively assessed throughout the unit in order to guide instruction and assess student understanding of the material. Finally, the students create a “What Makes Me Who I Am” picture book in which they explain to younger children the information they have discovered which makes them who they are. Created picture books are then shared with other students from lower grades.

  • Where's the Heart of Florida? (Authored by Julie Thompson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies (Grade 3 - Grade 5)
    Description: Should the capital of the state of Florida remain where it is in the 21st century? Would another location better represent the "heart of Florida?" In this Problem-Based Learning (PBL) unit, students engage in an authentic setting to research the history of the current state capital and examine the possibility of a new location for the state capital that perhaps better reflects the changing face of Florida, politically, economically, culturally, socially, and geographically. Charged by the governor in this simulation, students act as a task force to inquire and propose possible sites as the "heart of Florida" capital of the twenty-first century according to the stated criteria.

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