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Lesson Plan Table of Contents

National Standards

English Language Arts

The National Council of Teachers of English

  • Standard 1: Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • Standard 2: Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
  • Standard 3: Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • Standard 4: Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Standard 5: Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Standard 6: Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.
  • Standard 7: Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • Standard 8: Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • Standard 9: Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
  • Standard 11: Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • Standard 12: Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

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Geography Education Standards Project

  • Standard 6 (grades 5-8): By the end of the eighth grade the student knows and understands:
    1. How personal characteristics affect our perception of places and regions
    2. How culture and technology affect perception of places and regions
    3. How places and regions serve as cultural symbols
  • Standard 4 (grades 9-12): By the end of the twelfth grade the student knows and understands:
    1. The meaning and significance of place
    2. The changing physical and human characteristics of places
    3. How relationships between humans and the physical environment lead to the formation of places and to a sense of personal and community identity

National Geography Standards

Excerpts from Geography for Life, National Geography Standards, 1994. National Geographic Research & Exploration, 1994, on behalf of the American Geographical Society, Association of American Geographers, National Council for Geographic Education, and the National Geographic Society.

  • Places and Regions
    The identities and lives of individuals and peoples are rooted in particular places and the human constructs called regions. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
    4. The physical and human characteristics of places.
    6. How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
  • Human Systems
    People are central to geography in that human activities help shape Earth's surface, human settlements and structures are part of Earth's surface, and humans compete for control of Earth's surface. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
    9. The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface.
    10. The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics.
    12. The processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement.
    13. How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface.
  • Environment and Society
    The physical environment is modified by human activities, largely as a consequence of the ways in which human societies value and use Earth's natural resources, and human activities are also influenced by Earth's physical features and processes. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
    14. How human activities modify the physical environment.
    15. How physical systems affect human systems.
    16. The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

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Life Science

National Science Education Standards

  • Life Science: Content Standard 3 (grades 5-8): Students should develop an understanding of structure and function in living systems, populations and ecosystems, and diversity and adaptations of organisms.
  • Life Science: Content Standard 3 (grades 9-12): Students should develop and understanding of the interdependence of organisms.

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U.S. History

National Council for History in the Schools
National Council for History in the Schools – Standards in Historical Thinking for Grades 5-12

  • Standard 1: Chronological Thinking
    A. Distinguish between past, present, and future time.
    B. Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story.
    C. Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives of their own.
    D. Measure and calculate calendar time.
    E. Interpret data presented in time lines.
    F. Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration.
    G. Compare alternative models for periodization.
  • Standard 2: Historical Comprehension
    A. Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage.
    B. Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses.
    C. Read historical narratives imaginatively.
    D. Evidence historical perspectives.
    E. Draw upon data in historical maps.
    F. Utilize visual and mathematical data presented in charts, tables, pie and bar graphs, flow charts, Venn diagrams, and other graphic organizers.
    G. Draw upon visual, literary, and musical sources.
  • Standard 3: Historical Analysis and Interpretation
    A. Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative.
    B. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions.
    C. Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations.
    D. Consider multiple perspectives.
    E. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual, the influence of ideas, and the role of chance.
    F. Challenge arguments of historical inevitability.
    G. Compare competing historical narratives.
    H. Hold interpretations of history as tentative.
    I. Evaluate major debates among historians.
    J. Hypothesize the influence of the past.
  • Standard 4: Historical Analysis and Interpretation
    A. Formulate historical questions.
    B. Obtain historical data.
    C. Interrogate historical data.
    D. Identify the gaps in the available records, marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place, and construct a sound historical interpretation.
  • Standard 5: Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making
    A. Identify issues and problems in the past.
    B. Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances and contemporary factors contributing to problems and alternative courses of action.
    C. Identify relevant historical antecedents.
    D. Evaluate alternative courses of action.
    E. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue.
    F. Evaluate the implementation of a decision.

United States History Standards for Grades 5-12

  • Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
    Standard 1B: The student understands federal and state Indian policy and the strategies for survival forged by Native Americans.
  • Era 6: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)
    Standard 4A: The student understands various perspectives on federal Indian policy, westward expansion, and the resulting struggles.

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Visual and Performance Art

The National Standards for Arts Education

DANCE (5-8)

  • Standard 1: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills in performing dance.
    E. Students identify and clearly demonstrate a range of dynamics / movement qualities.
    F. Students demonstrate increasing kinesthetic awareness, concentration, and focus in performing movement skills.
    E. Students demonstrate accurate memorization and reproduction of movement sequences.
  • Standard 2: Understanding choreographic principles, processes, and structures
    C. Students successfully demonstrate the structures or forms of AB, ABA, canon, call and response, and narrative.
    D. Students demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively in a small group during the choreographic process.
    E. Students demonstrate the following partner skills in a visually interesting way: creating contrasting and complementary shapes, taking and supporting weight.
  • Standard 3: Understanding dance as a way to create and communicate meaning.
    D. Students create a dance that successfully communicates a topic of personal significance.

DANCE (9-12)

  • Standard 2: Understanding choreographic principles, processes, and structures
    A. Students use improvisation to generate movement for choreography
  • Standard 3: Understanding dance as a way to create and communicate meaning
    B. Students demonstrate understanding of how personal experience influences the interpretation of a dance.
    C. Students create a dance that effectively communicates a contemporary social theme.

MUSIC (5-8)

  • Standard 7: Evaluating music and music performances
    A. Students develop criteria for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of music performances and compositions and apply the criteria in their personal listening and performing.


  • Standard 1: Script writing by the creation of *improvisations and scripted scenes based on personal experience and heritage, imagination, literature, and history.
    A. Students refine and record dialogue and action
  • Standard 2: Acting by developing basic acting skills to portray characters who interact in improvised and scripted scenes.
    C. Students in an ensemble, interact as the invented characters.
  • Standard 5: Researching by using cultural and historical information to support improvised and scripted scenes.
    A. Students apply research from print and nonprint sources to script writing, acting, design, and directing choices.


  • Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes.
    A. Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices.
    B. Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.
  • Standard 2: Using knowledge of structures and functions.
    A. Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work.
    B. Students employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas.
  • Standard 4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.
    A. Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures.
    B. Students should describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.
    C. Students should analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factores of time and place (such as climate, resources, ideas, and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.
  • Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines.
    A. Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context.


  • Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
    A. Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks.
    B. Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use.
  • Standard 3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas.
    A. Students reflect on how artworks differ visually, spatially, temporally, and functionally, and describe how these are related to history and culture.
    B. Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life.
  • Standard 4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.
    A. Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art.
    B. Students describe the function and explore the meaning of specific art objects within varied cultures, times, and places.
    C. Students analyze relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture, justifying conclusions made in the analysis and using such conclusions to inform their own art making.
    E. Students analyze common characteristics of visual arts evident across time and among cultural/ethnic groups to formulate analyses, evaluations, and interpretations of meaning.
  • Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.
    A. Students identify intentions of those creating artworks, explore the implications of various purposes, and justify their analyses of purposes in particular works.
    B. Students describe meanings of artworks by analyzing how specific works are created and how they relate to historical and cultural contexts.
    C. Students reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and evaluating works of visual art.
    D. Students correlate responses to works of visual art with various techniques for communicating meanings, ideas, attitudes, views, and intentions.

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Lesson Plan Table of Contents

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