Beacon Unit Plan Library

Unit Plans - Learner Level 4


  • America Gears Up (Authored by Richard Johnson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 9 - Grade 12)
    Description: Students work through a series of lessons on the Industrial Revolution in the United States in preparation for a presentation that answers the essential questions for the unit. The essential questions for this unit revolve around the idea that historical circumstances often create winners and losers and that, in some cases, a group can be both a winner and loser. Content is acquired through a variety of lessons. The lessons that make up this unit represent a wide range of learning strategies and methods. Students begin the unit by writing first-person letters that show empathy with early Americans dealing with the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society. Next, student groups use presentation skills in presenting information on Big Business industries that grew in the period after the Civil War. They continue the unit with an inquiry lesson involving the labor and social conditions of this period and see how special interest groups and public opinion can cause change in a society. Important inventions are explored in the final lesson. To conclude the unit, students conduct research and answer the essential questions in a Multiple Intelligence project suited to their individual learning styles, which is presented in an authentic setting.

  • Challenging Math Poetically (Authored by Sharla Shults.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics (Grade 9 - Grade 12)
    Description: This lyrical mini-unit focuses on the integration of mathematics and technology. A myriad of concepts are reviewed, reinforced, introduced and practiced while encompassing a method of making math problems set in a real-world context unique and interesting. The activity is expanded providing opportunities for statistical analysis to determine the most meaningful measure to describe data collected. As a further extension, students get the picture with graphs and excel in their ability to describe, analyze, and generalize understanding by creating a spreadsheet and computer-generated graphs. In conclusion, students determine the graph of best fit for the data. Incorporated within this mini-unit is reinforcement of LA.A.1.4.1 (prereading strategies).

  • Historical Tool Time (Authored by Richard Johnson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 9 - Grade 12)
    Description: This is an introductory unit focusing on the skills necessary for the study of history. The unit begins with a lesson that focuses on time, chronology, and the creation and interpretation of timelines. The unit continues with activities that promote student understanding and identification of the historical and geographical themes that are important to understanding history. The culmination of the unit comes with students identifying these themes within a historical document.

  • Industrial Times (Authored by Richard Johnson.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Social Studies (Grade 9 - Grade 12)
    Description: Students follow a journalistic theme to find out about the causes and effects of the Industrial Revolution. Activities, such as creating headlines, illustrations, writing and publishing articles, and participating in a Meet the Press panel discussion lead students to find an answer to the guiding question: Why do I do what I do?

  • The Math Connection (Authored by Sharla Shults.)

  • Subject(s): Language Arts, Mathematics (Grade 9 - Grade 12)
    Description: ‘When are we ever going to USE this MATH?’ How many times have you heard this question? Students delight in challenging the teacher for reasons or justifications of the material taught. What better way to answer this question than to allow students to research career fields of their own interest and make the math connection! Relating the curriculum content to their own choices, students broaden their understanding of where people use it in the real world by exploring the application of math concepts in the work place. Students research occupations of interest, draft and revise business letters addressing when, where, and how mathematics is used. Students produce final letters to mail to a contact person employed in their career choice. Students engage in problem-solving activities, solving and creating applications relevant to the world of work incorporating computer skills, Internet research, language arts skills, and mathematical skills. After receiving their reply letters, students produce final reports reflecting what they learned. Students expound on their positive and negative feelings about mathematics and the effect it has on their choices of occupations. Students produce portfolios at the end of the unit in booklet form as an integral part of the summative assessment. Once assessment is completed, students retain the portfolios for future reference. Irrational numbers addressed in MA.A.1.4.2 & MA.A.1.4.3, and complex numbers addressed in MA.A.1.4.2 are not taught or assessed in this unit.

  • Wanted Dead or Alive (Authored by Jacqueline Roberts.)

  • Subject(s): Mathematics (Grade 9 - Grade 12)
    Description: (Co-authored by Summer Zephyr and Lois Walsh) This is a real-world, problem solving activity of math. In the occupation of forestry land management, decisions that are not based on accurate resource measurements may lead to serious errors, misjudgments or financial losses to the parties involved. This unit will show students how to measure the diameter, height, and volume of a tree in order to predict the merchantability of the tree. Though the focus is math, correlation of science standards dealing with ecology can provide excellent, hands-on, real world activities for high school or middle school students in the life sciences. Please note that only the measurements of length, height, volume, and diameter are taught and assessed in this unit.

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