September 11 Introduction Worksheets

Today is the 10th Anniversary of September 11; it’s a cliche to say it but man I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already.

When I first started teaching, September 11 was relatively recent and my students knew enough to discuss it in depth. Now most of my students were only four or five when it happened (and soon they wouldn’t have even been born) and 2001 is almost ancient history to them. Kind of like when I was a kid learning about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

With my year 10s this year I did an English unit with a War on Terror theme. September 11 may be a long time ago for these kids but the War in Afghanistan is very real and recent (Christ, just had a thought: this means the War in Afghanistan has been going on for 9-10 years too. Bugger.) Anyway, I developed these worksheets as an introduction to 9/11. When I’ve put it together, I’ll post that unit of work as well.

Also this year I have been reading Tomorrow When The War Began with my year 9’s. Being a story about an invasion of Australia, there is a link to September 11, Pearl Harbor and the Bombing of Darwin as these are all incursions on First World countries that otherwise go unharmed.

What is it?

A crossword with vocabulary related to the War on Terror.

Two articles explaining the basics of September 11 in common kid-friendly language. One is from a News Limited article (circa when Osama Bin Laden was caught and killed) and a Behind The News transcript (a kid-orientated news service run by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.) Take your pick.

Note: the Behind The News article video may be available to stream through Iview if you are in Australia at this address:

There is also a notetaking form; I suggest you update the comprehension questions in the bottom box.

How to use it:

Instruct students to read through and circle unfamiliar words; or at least words they don’t understand. They copy these into the first table.

Students then read through and highlight the key words and phrases. They copy these into the second table and explain them.

Then students answer the comprehension questions. These do need updating and I suggest you change them.

Download:

2011 307 September 11 Worksheets DOC

2011 307 September 11 Worksheets PDF

Update:

I also adapted the same articles for my year 8s as a cloze rather than a notetaking activity.

2011 308 September 11 Cloze DOC

2011 308 September 11 Cloze PDF

The plan is to stream the BTN news story so they can get the answers.

http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3307593.htm

Update 2016

I found this excellent free TPT task from a fellow Teacher Author that is quite useful for being a quick introduction to the events of September 11:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/September-11-Terrorist-Attacks-on-America-Text-and-Exercise-Sheets-948492

Indigenous Studies – Wyrie Swamp Boomerang Worksheet, Timelines and History Task

10_img02b
The Wyrie Swamp boomerang

Just a quick share. I taught Year 8 History in South East SA for many years and had the pleasure to work with several members of the Boandik people from the area in delivering a cultural studies program. From the knowledge they brought I developed this task about a local artefact: the Wyrie Swamp Boomerang, the oldest discovered wooden boomerang in Australia (it is around 9000-10000 years old).The original is now stored safely under controlled conditions at the South Australian museum but a replica was carved and is now on view in Mount Gambier.

Information about the Wyrie Swamp boomerang is taken from here.

The intention of this worksheet and timeline task was to make links between the European history we were primarily studying and Indigenous history. It is somewhat humbling to see that this boomerang is older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge.

Hope it is helpful for some:

Wyrie Swamp Boomerang (DOCX)

Medieval Identity Task – Year 8 History (Australian Curriculum)

MedievalIdentity1

This task is essentially the framework which I use to complete depth studies into Medieval Europe and The Black Death in Year 8 History.

Each year at the beginning of our Year 8 History course, I ask students to create a medieval identity. The identity is referred to across our depth studies on Medieval Europe and The Black Death. Students use the identity to answer questions, complete tasks, and as a basis for the major assignments.

This has been useful for engagement and critical thinking as students are encouraged to make connections between their worlds and the world we are studying.

This idea was inspired by the Society for Creative Anachronism (the SCA): a roleplaying society who are obsessive in creating historically accurate identities. If you’re curious, check out their website: http://www.sca.org/ and their links to research on the Middle Ages: http://www.sca.org/links/misc.html

Note: I limit the research students do to 14th century England purely so their identity could be a victim of the Black Death!

Download all of the files in a single zip file over at Teachers Pay Teachers (WordPress isn’t keen on zip files these days)

Teaching Notes:

1. Within the first week I introduce the concept of feudalism :
The PowerPoint I use is very popular and available here:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Feudalism-Pyramid-Manorialism-Middle-Ages-PowerPoint-Posters-and-Worksheet-834762

2. Then I invite students to pull a ‘rank’ out of a hat (Medieval Identity Rank Cards).
There is only one royal and a limited amount of clergy (monk/nun), nobility and knights. This provides a talking point about how approximately 5% of the population were the ‘ruling classes’ while the remainder were workers.

3. Students then do the research to find the profile information (Medieval Identity Profile and Medieval Identity Research Links):
a. An appropriate name for a 14th century Englishman or women of that rank.
b. An occupation
c. A family motto
d. A family crest or shield
e. Everyday life including clothing, housing, occupation, free time etc.

4. Students create an A4 (Letter) sized poster showing their information.
In the past I have given students a template, just to keep the posters uniform (Medieval Identity Poster Template) though in the future I might encourage students to design their own.
An example of the Profile Poster:
The posters are then arranged on a pinboard in the Feudal Pyramid, to match the diagram from the Feudalism PowerPoint: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Feudalism-Hierachy-Pyramid-of-Power-PowerPoint-and-Poster-834750

6. At the end of our depth study on Medieval Europe, students complete a major assignment: Medieval Identity Comparison.

7. We then commence the depth study on the Black Death. I have been busy upgrading this unit of work to put up on TPT.
My Black Death depth study can be found starting here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-is-the-Black-Death-Depth-Study-Introduction-ACARA-1456263

8. At the end of our depth study on the Black Death, students complete another major task: Black Death Diary Assignment, whereby they write a diary from the perspective of their medieval identity. Students enjoy this as it is creative and I encourage students to ‘coffee stain’ their paper to get a medieval effect.

Printable: Narrative Vocabulary – Vivid Verbs and Personality words

I spent a few hours researching and playing with Wordle to create these ‘vivid’ verbs and personality words posters for our Year 9 narrative unit of work which focuses on imagery, figurative language and description. These posters include up to 800 or 1500 words.

The worksheet and poster double as a word bank for when the students start their short story writing. vividverbs3
personalitywordswordle-colour How I use these resources:

I have printed some of the 800 word posters (tiled on 6 A3 sheets) to put up in the class to act as a reminder. The personality words worksheet contains a 150 word Wordle. I gave the students the worksheet and asked them to highlight 10 words they were unfamiliar with. They could then ask friends, use Google or use a dictionary to find out the meaning of them. Then I asked them to highlight 10 words which describe themselves. You could suggest that students have their friends suggest which to highlight (I have a great class this year and they quickly started running around and ‘volunteering’ to highlight lovely words for each other!) This activity was a hit and a lot of fun. Students then worked on decorating a book cover with the words which describe them. The next task is to introduce photos of characters as a prompt and ask students to assign ‘personality words’ to each. Following that, I will introduce ‘vivid verbs’, ‘emotional words’ and ‘vivid adjectives’ which students will match with the personality of their character. The vivid verbs worksheet involves students highlighting words which they show movement, thoughts and speech. The worksheet is then glued into their exercise books and is the basis for further activities such as having students write a list of words in their books which they could use instead of ‘said’ and ‘walk’ and ‘think’ etc. A suggestion with the worksheet: print on large paper (A3) and set as a group activity. If you want to scale the activity down for younger age levels, I’ve included posters with less words. And I’ve included the original word list so you can make your own Wordles!

Download

Download individually or, if you want a short cut, download combined in ZIP files via Teachers Pay Teachers: Vivid Verbs and Personality Words (WordPress won’t let me host ZIP files anymore).

Ring around the Rosey and The Black Death

Put your hands up if you’ve always believed Ring-around-a-rosey is about the Black Death:

handsup-rifle

Image Source: OpenClipArt.org

Even worse, how many actually teach that that nursery rhyme is about the Black Death?

SteveLambert_Lambert_Hand_Up

Image Source: OpenClipArt.org

Yeah, I thought so too. Then I started fact checking my Black Death Year 8 History unit before posting to TPT. Nope:

Picture1

 Snopes.com

That’ll teach me: I should run everything via Snopes.com!

It’s quite amazing though: do a Google search on Ring-Around-The-Rosey and you’ll find more than a dozen websites which appear quite reasonable yet consider the Black Death connection as fact. Generally, I’d be happy if most of my students referenced a site like Rhymes.org.uk – it seems relatively reliable and it’s even an org!

So anyway I rewrote the beginning of my unit to include a source evaluation task: those that can’t do, teach!

It’s available now on TPT at my store, if you’re interested in an activity on Ring-around-the-rosey and source evaluation. The remainder of my Black Death unit is soon to make it there too.

BlackDeath01-Roses01

Here’s the preview if you’d like to have a look: BlackDeath01-RingaRingaRosesPREVIEW (PDF)

Printable: Persuasive Language Handout

Persuasive Language Handout 1

In Australia our national standardised tests (called ‘NAPLaN’) have caused an intense focus on persuasive writing. It’s a good thing to focus on anyway, as argument and critical reasoning are all important higher order thinking skills.

I created this handout in 2010 to print and laminate for my year 8 students. It’s basically a pretty collection of random persuasive language elements I’d collected around the internet. I’m afraid I couldn’t identify the sources of this information, so I would be grateful if someone could tell me which websites the information comes from

The ‘Words with Power’ is based on this handout from Scholastic: http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonplans/pdf/april05_unit/PowerfulWord.pdf

Read Write Think

The diagram in the handout comes from a Read, Write, Think handout. Read Write Think is my favourite literacy website. It is run by not-for-profit International Reading Association and I love that it is fully free and well intentioned. And the resources are good. The ‘Think’ part of the title is the key: it posits higher order thinking as an essential part of literacy. Most American education resources are too simplistic for my uses.

They’ve since revised the handout I used (it looks different but is essentially the same), but their persuasive writing resources are incredible. Personal favourite is the Persuasion Map which I use extensively with my middle school classes. Another goodie is the Persuasive Strategies powerpoint though I would probably download it and reformat it (I can’t stand Comic Sans). Other great strategies can be found here. I even think I used their lesson plan on writing a letter about school issues for the assignment I created this handout for.

Download:

DOCX: Persuasive Language Handout 1

PDF: Persuasive Language Handout 1.

Printable: Feudal Pyramid of Power Poster and Power Point

FeudalismPosterFeudal pyramid of power poster

FeudalPyramidofPower1 FeudalPyramidofPower3 FeudalPyramidofPower2

What is it?

A poster of the English Feudal Pyramid of Power using Phillip Martin’s iconic Clip Art (http://www.pppst.com). Two versions: with and without paper background.

AND

A sample of the upgraded Power Point which has been remade with a more stylish feel, public domain Clip Art and improved information. The full Power Point is now available on my Teachers Pay Teachers site.

Download:

Original Phillip Martin Clip Art version: PDF FeudalismPoster

Updated poster: PDF FeudalismPyramidPoster

Sample of new version PowerPoint: PPTX FeudalismPowerpointSample

Printable: Draw a Maneki Neko (Japanese Lucky Cat)

What is it?

A printable fact sheet about Maneki Nekos (Japanese Lucky Cats). Seriously awesome: who doesn’t love Lucky cats?

I collated information from several different websites to create this fact sheet to use in a lesson on Japanese culture.

It includes the instructions on how to draw lucky cats, shamefully stolen from this website: http://www.dragoart.com/tuts/8904/1/1/how-to-draw-lucky-cat,-maneki-neko,-lucky-cat.htm and general (and very basic) about the symbolism of different types of Maneki Neko (derived mostly from http://donaldmoon.tripod.com/neko/index.html).

How it’s used:

As part of the Australian National Curriculum, Year 8’s can cover Shogunate Japan (the Edo period) in History. The Maneki Neko originates in the late Edo period to Meiji period.

The idea is students will either draw their own Maneki Neko or colour in a template, choosing the style and symbols which are important to them; and potentially learning a bit about Japanese culture in the meantime.

Update: I’ve since delivered this task two times. Students seem to really love it!

Download:

2011 401 Draw a Maneki Neko (DOCX)

2011 401 Draw a Maneki Neko (PDF)

Writing Process Posters: Draft, Review, Edit, Proofread, Publish

What is it?

A series of classroom posters of a five step writing process: plan, draft, review, edit/proofread, publish.

There’s plenty out there, but as always I didn’t like the design at all. As always, the images are from Google Images.

I believe when I made these, I based them on the writing process in Merryn Whitfield’s Blakes Writing Guide for Primary Students, (2009, Pascal Press: Glebe, New South Wales). Despite the name, the Blakes guides are most definitely out of the reach of most Primary Students; literacy-wise, they’re certainly appropriate for my Year 11 literacy classes, so I use them extensively.

How it’s used:

I printed them out at A3 size, laminated them and put them up in my English classroom. They are mostly so I can refer students to the stages when confronted with the ‘Why do I have to do a draft?’ grumble.

I had an idea to make them interactive: I would provide students each with a name card (or a Post-It) and have them move their name along as they completed each stage in the process.

Download:

2010 309 The Writing Process Posters DOC

2010 309 The Writing Process Posters PDF

Persuasive Writing

Adjectives Worksheet

A couple of worksheets which focus on using adjectives for judgement or evaluation. Students rank adjectives according to strength in one and then colour according to negative and positive connotation on the other.

Both include a ‘Modified’ version (marked ‘M’) for students with lower ability.

2011 302 Judgement Adjectives DOC

2011 302 Judgement Adjectives PDF