Middle School Lesson Plans
Most students have spent their previous years assuming their teacher was the main disseminator of knowledge. Because of this orientation towards the subject-matter expertise of their instructor and the traditional memorization of facts, many students have lost the ability to "simply wonder about something."
Lesson plans cover five content areas: Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Language Arts and Health Occupations.
Language Arts lesson plans
SELECT FROM THE PLANS LISTED BELOW
- Smoke Signals: Teens and Cigarette Smoking: Students are employees of a fictitious health insurance company working on a project assigned to them by the company. The aim of the project is to figure out why teens start smoking and what can be done to prevent teenagers from beginning to smoke.
- Helping Our Friends: At Risk Students (8th grade): Students become community members, district and school-based personnel teams to act as a resource to a student committee responsible for creating a school-wide marketing campaign for dropout awareness/dropout prevention. The committee is assigned the task to improve the awareness of the consequences of dropping out of school.
- Helping the Blind: From Image to Detailed Narrative (8th grade) - The Florida School for the Blind is remodeling their cafeteria. They would like to place a nice painting over the mantle with a detailed description printed in Braille so the students can stand before it and imagine what it looks like. The panel at the school has narrowed their choices down to 5 paintings. It is the student’s role to act as art critic and writer. The student must choose one painting from the five and explain why they did so. The student must also write a detailed description of the painting to be engraved in Braille and placed next to the painting in the cafeteria. This project must be completed before the newly remodeled cafeteria opens on August 22.
- The Problem with Urban Sprawl (7th grade) - Society has become increasingly aware of the negative impact of urban sprawl on the environment, especially when production of oil has already reached its peak. In order to achieve more sustainable development, several urban areas have been urged by the state to develop a mass transportation system that will ease the number of automobiles on the road, and lessen environmental impact. The county has put together a team of experts (roles played by the students) such as engineers, researchers, developers, and environmentalists, to research and plan what methods would be the most effective for the community. The findings are to be presented during a public meeting on April 7th.
- Expert Panel Advises the School District How to Stop H1N1 (8th grade) - Students will act as the Advising Panel to the Grand Traverse County School District regarding the H1N1 outbreak affecting 15 of the District’s schools. They will analyze information on the problem and, potential solutions, and create and present a plan to reduce the number of students affected, both in the short term and long term. Roles within the Advising Panel will be: Science Researcher, Medical Coordinator, Janitorial Staff Coordinator, Parent Communication Coordinator, and Student Communication Coordinator.
- The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida, considers the future of music programs in its schools (Music & English Language Arts; 7th grade) - Students will be divided into two groups for this lesson. The first group will act as teachers of various disciplines from different schools. This group will provide evidence of the positive, valuable correlation between music and other subjects (such as math or science). The second group will act as parents of actual students in this district. Using data such as progress reports and graded assignments, these parents will show the links between music, necessary skills (learning, cognitive, and study), and the academic success of their learners. Both groups will meet with the school district board to show the benefits of keeping music programs in their schools.
Mathematics lesson plans
SELECT FROM THE PLANS LISTED BELOW
- Hugandkiss Inheritance (Grades 6-8)-students assume the roles of town manager, parents, students, an architect, and school board officials to determine the best use of an inheritance. The "committee" must choose to spend the inheritance money on a new school library or on a recreational center.
- Committee Makes a Decision about How to Improve Society for Children (8th Grade)- Students become the committee members when they assume the role of President, Vice President, secretary, and accountant of a committee organized to find a possible solution to improve society for children of all ages. Students will also be researchers, (utilizing the Internet, library, professionals in a particular business, etc) and design specialists (helping to put the presentation together). The possible solutions (playground, library, day care, youth center, etc) must be presented to the Bay County School Board and the Governor of Florida, as together they will decide what direction they want to take.
- Engineers Efficiently Energize Public Housing Community (8th Grade) - In this problem, students will assume the roles of the consultants in the firm Green's Engineering Consultants. Some of the student roles include Electrical Engineers (those who can manage projects for the consultants), Electrician (those who understand the specifics of electricity), Energy Experts (those who can provide recommendations for improvement to the occupants) and Construction Professionals (those who understand the impact of construction to electricity). Research will be required to gather relevant information for proposing solutions. This information will be presented to the Bay County Public Housing Commission and to the occupants of the housing community.
- Does Going Green Save You Green? Consumers Determine "Is a Hybrid Car Worth the Money?" (7th Grade) - Students become consumers when they determine whether a car or a hybrid model of the same model car is the best investment of their money. Students in each group will assume the role of a high school student, working parent with school age children, and a traveling sales person. Students will develop a driving profile for their role and compare how different factors such as driving distances, gas prices, and length of ownership affect their decision-making process.
science LESSON PLANS
SELECT FROM THE PLANS LISTED BELOW
- Fishing for El Nino (7th-9th Grade)-As a worker on a fishing boat, student are asked to explain why the fish are in their usual location. With clues, research, and a fake letter from their friend in North Carolina, all signs point to El Nino.
- Sludge Contamination Along the Neuse River (8th Grade)-The students will serve as Environmental Consultants. They will inform the mayor of Raleigh the problems caused by excess sludge. They will also come up with a solution for clean up and a recommendation to prevent further mishaps.
- Reworking a Butterfly Garden (6th Grade)-Acting as Johnston County Soil and Water Conservation District agents, small groups of students will design a proposal for reworking an existing butterfly garden on the Princeton School campus. Students will access current garden soil properties and plants in order to suggest improvements to the garden. A $100.00 budget and map plan for the garden will be included.
- Viruses Released-(7th Grade)-Students will perform various tasks. They will be experts in five fields of study to develop a procedure for this problem. They will have to determine the virus and possible treatment.
- Hog Watch (6th Grade)-The staff of an Environmental Regulatory Agency must access the extent of damage caused by hog factories and make recommendations to lessen the impact of hog factories on health and the environment.
- The Bottom Line (7th Grade)-Students become the stakeholders when they assume the role of key employees at a fictitious biotech company, Genes R Us. Stockholders are clamoring for a new line of services in order to improve the company's bottom line. The major stockholder, Mr. Cash Grubber, sends in a newspaper clipping about "CC" as a suggestion for the direction Genes R Us should take which includes cloning cats.
- Where Have All the Fish Gone? (7th Grade)-Students own a fleet (12 ships) of fishing boats. They are to decide if they are to relocate their fleet or remain where they are waiting the weather out. They have at least 20 crew members per ship that they are responsible for. There has been an abnormal warming of the surface ocean waters and they are unable to catch any fish.
- Georgia Drought Effects Water Supply in Florida Rivers (7th grade) - Students are asked to choose from three different situations. Become a beekeeper in Wewahitchka, Florida and decide what will happen and the appropriate plan to take if the water flow on the Apalachicola river ceases to increase within three months, before the white tupelo plants are scheduled to bloom, become a resident at Lake Lanier in Georgia and decide what should happen to increase the water in the lake to benefit your community before August 1st and the heat of the summer, or choose to be a key employee of the Army Corp of Engineers and decide whether you should slow or increase the flow of water, or another plan of action to benefit both Georgia and Florida residents within three months.
- Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Puts the Squeeze on Florida's Growing Python Population (7th Grade) - Students are biologists, zoologists, engineers, and wildlife management specialists at the Fish andWildlife Research Institute, which provides the technical expertise needed to accomplish laboratory and field studies for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They are about to be handed a tasking from their boss, the Director of the FFWCC, to study the problem of South Florida’s burgeoning Burmese Python population. The director expects them to recommend workable solutions, and do it fast.
- Task Force Addresses Human Impact on Florida's Springs (7th Grade)- Students become the multi-agency Task Force (TF) when they assume the roles of scientists, engineers, environmentalists, planners, and the Acting Director of DEP/Division of State Lands. The TF will identify the threat of human activities and devise a plan of action to protect and restore Florida’s springs. The TF will report their findings to the Secretary of the Florida DEP.
- Board of County Commissioners Subcommittee on Environmental Issues/Solid Waste & Recycling Division make Recycling Recommendations for County (8th Grade) - Students will, working in groups, act as either members of the Bay County Board of County Commissioners Subcommittee on Environmental Issues or as members of Bay County Solid Waste and Recycling Division. They will report to the full Bay County Board of County Commissioners on recommendations to increase participation of recycling of recyclable waste in Bay County.
- Community Representative Committee to Combat the Apalachicola River Flow Reduction Plan (7th Grade)- The problem situation is the conditions caused by human exacerbation of the drought in the Apalachicola River basin. Student roles include members of the Apalachicola Seafood Wrkers, Sport fishing guides and enthusiasts, and area biologists. There will be one group of seafood workers, one group of sport fishing guides and enthusiast, etc. These 4 groups will join together to form the Apalachicola River and Estuary Protection Coalition. Their findings and plans of action to address this problem will be presented at the Apalachicola River Forum.
- Scientists Address the Problem of Classifying the Duck Billed Platypus (6th Grade)- Students become scientific researchers as they read through original journal entries written by British Scientists exploring Australia in the late 1700s. These scientists have observed a strange animal living in freshwater lakes and streams which bears physical characteristics of many different animals. They have written a letter to the students asking them to study the various journal descriptions of the animal and determine which Animal class (Mammalia, Aves, etc.) would best suit the newly discovered creature.
- Kanapaha Students Examine School Energy Use (6th Grade)- Students will assume the role of an environmentalist or energy consultant for the School Board of Alachua County. Their goal is to design a plan to conserve energy and reduce energy costs at Kanapaha Middle School. They will present this plan to the School Board and general public at the next School Board of Alachua County meeting.
- Community Members Address the Hurricane Emergency Plan (8th Grade) - With hurricane season fast approaching, the students assume of the roles of community members and Emergency Response Workers. They will be evaluating effective solutions to reach the population that does not heed evacuation warnings and presenting their findings to the Bay County Emergency Management Team.
- Researchers Investigate Increase of Hurricane Intensity and Frequency (7th Grade) - Students become members of Greenpeace, an international organization addressing global environmental problems. They assume the roles of research scientists, climatologists, and activists whom investigate the cause and effect relationship between global warming and the strengthening and frequency of hurricanes.
- How can Citizens of Florida Help Prevent Food Poisoning? (6th Grade) - Students will act as Health Officials and Inspectors from the Okaloosa County Health Department to investigate cases of food poisoning based on articles attached and memorandum from the Mayor of Fort Walton Beach. As officials and inspectors, the students will do research to determine the source of the outbreak and will recommend appropriate solutions for prevention. The possible audience would be The Florida Department of Children & Families and local citizens to provide information on ways for preventing spread of this infection.
social studies LESSON PLANS
SELECT FROM THE PLANS LISTED BELOW
- Civic Leaders Look into Low Voter Turnout (7th grade) - Students become civically involved when they assume key roles (historian, legal advisor, community liaison, director, member etc.) in a fictitious civic organization, One Voice. Bay County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Anderson reported that voter turnout has been on the decline for the past 3 years and was at an all time low for the past general election. The President feels that this is an issue that this organization should address. Students working in their assumed roles’ will come up with possible solutions and present them to the Board of Directors.
- Congressional Committee to Address American Companies' Outsourcing (8th Grade)- Students will act as a member of a President appointed committee as a Southern Congressional Representative, Eastern Congressional Representative, Western Congressional Representative, Mid-Western Congressional Representative. The committee is to determine what can be done to save the national economy and present their recommendations to the Senate and House.
- Okaloosa County Citizens Seek Solutions to Acceptable Use of Personal Electronic Devices in Schools (6th Grade) - Students will be placed in groups consisting of four students. Each group will be assigned a role from which their research will be derived. Student roles will fulfill the role of either: A) concerned parents, B) school administrators, or C) student government representatives. Each group will seek out rational and practical solutions as to why and how the presence of personal electronic media devices in the public school system is feasible according to Florida Educational Statutes, District Policies, and school rules. Following sufficient research and preparation each group will present one solution to the Okaloosa County School Board and Superintendent, Alexis Tibbetts.
- Lawmakers Address the Class Size Amendment (7th grade) - Students assume the role of key marine biologists for the National Marine Fisheries Services located in Panama City, Florida. The marine biologists’ meet with head Marine Biologist at Gulf World Marine Park, Jane Smith are given a distinct task. She informs the biologists that a new dolphin family has been rescued from the ocean and there is limited time (2 weeks) for this family to safely move into a new advanced dolphinarium. It is up to the biologists to create dolphinarium models to save the dolphins. Marine biologists are to present their final models to Jane Smith of Gulf World, as well as any remaining Marine Biologists working in Gulf World Marine Park.
- Citizens Reflect on Potential Issues and Problems in the Initiation of Our Democracy (7th Grade) - Students will act as U.S. Congressman and investigate flaws and/or problems with the U.S. Constitution. They will report to the President of the United States of America in a closed meeting and discuss applications for possible revisions in the official document.
- Students as Possible Immigrants to Fictional Planet XR-38 (6th Grade) - Students will act as members of a committee to decide on the government’s proposition to offer 160 acres of land on newly discovered planet XR-38 and homestead there, possibly earning billions of dollars in the future. They will report to the chairman as to whether or not it is feasible to emigrate to new planet XR-38 and develop a tourist development center.
- Citizens Are Asked the Question, "Whose Water Is It, Anyway?" (6th Grade) - Students become stakeholder when they take on the role citizens of Franklin County. The water issue is a great concern to the environment and economics of Franklin County and the Apalachicola Bay area. State officials have advertised for citizen involvement in finding a solution to the water issues between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
- Should America Go to War (7th Grade) - The students assume the roles of government spies and foreign ambassadors to the United States during the year leading up to our involvement in World War II. Word is spreading about Hitler’s actions in Europe and President Roosevelt enlists his finest agents to discover the facts about the events and provide evidence to support his decision on whether or not to go to war with Germany.
- You want to build a city, there! (6th Grade) - This becomes real when students become part of a research team by being a board member, a businessperson, an engineer, a geologists, a researcher, or a meteorologist. They all work for Big City Inc., a fictitious land developing company who has fallen on hard times. The CEO, Mr. Nice Guy believes that if his company can come up with a plan to develop this island with an eco-friendly city and win the competition offered by C-CoW, his company can back in the big time again. Mr. Nice Guy sends this operation order, along with newspaper clippings about the island and the competition to his staff so they can develop a plan of action to get started on this project.
- Orangutans are Becoming Extinct (7th Grade, Honors, Geography) - The students will portray a zoologist, biologist, and geographer. The students will be faced the problem of the orangutans in the Sumatran rainforest becoming extinct. The students will be given a letter from the government of Sumatra asking for their help. The students will have to approach the problem as a zoologist, biologist, and geographer would approach it. The students will need to formulate a solution for how to decrease the loss of the rainforest in order to increase the orangutan population in the wild.
- We are What We Eat: Community Investigates Student-Friendly, Healthy School Lunch Options (6th Grade) - Students assume the roles of members of the School Advisory Committee (SAC) and members of the Superintendent's Committee on Food Service Solutions to research and suggest "student approved" lunch menus and food options to increase student satisfaction with school supplies lunches. Students have received a memo from the Superintendent discussing student dissatisfaction with lunches and a decrease in the consumption of school-supplied lunches. The Superintendent has "charged" the groups with finding "student approved" menu options that are within budget and that are aligned with federal guidelines for school lunch requirements. Students will be allowed a total of 12 days to research, devise, plan, practice, and orally present solutions to a group of students and an audience of "Concerned Citizens" which may include parents, community members, school staff, and administrators.
- The Problem with Urban Sprawl (7th Grade, Honors, Geography) - Society has become increasingly aware of the negative impact of urban sprawl on the environment, especially when production of oil has already reached its peak. In order to achieve more sustainable development, several urban areas have been urged by the state to develop a mass transportation system that will ease the number of automobiles on the road, and lessen environmental impact. The county has put together a team of experts (roles played by the students) such as engineers, researchers, developers, and environmentalists, to research and plan what methods would be the most effective for the community. The findings are to be presented during a public meeting on April 7th.