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50 Essential Lessons

50 Essential Lessons

Tools and Techniques for Teaching English Language Arts

By Jim Burke

Jim Burke’s lessons focus on core cognitive and personal skills—reading, writing, speaking and listening, taking notes, taking tests, and managing oneself—that are required in school, on state tests and college entrance exams, and in life.

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Full Description

50 Essential Lessons is the result of the lessons Jim Burke learned while asking himself how to teach his students the skills they needed to succeed in school and in the larger world. Anchored in standards shared by a range of national literacy documents, these lessons focus on the core cognitive and personal skills—reading, writing, speaking and listening, taking notes, taking tests, and managing oneself—required on state tests and college entrance exams. Whether used to enhance your English Language Arts curriculum or as a stand-alone resource, 50 Essential Lessons will help you teach your students the academic essentials.

Components:

  • 50 Essential Lessons (book of lessons) presents 50 standards-based lessons organized around the cognitive and personal skills students need for success in school and beyond.
  • Tools and Texts for 50 Essential Lessons provides a bank of teaching tools and lesson-related readings in a clear, reproducible format.
  • Tools for 50 Essential Lessons CD–ROM organizes the charts, forms, and other teaching tools in an electronic format that is easy to scan and print.
Key Features
  • Lesson preview notes situate the lesson into your English Language Arts curriculum and provide the information needed to jump in and get started.
  • The Teach section of each lesson offers Jim’s teaching demonstration, chronicling his teaching moves and language in a model lesson.
  • The Assess and Extend section of each lesson lists strategies for reinforcing or extending student learning and plans to help you tailor the lesson to the needs of your particular students.

Samples

Try an Essential Lesson with your own class.

The following sample pages provide a complete lesson and its related teaching resources.

A Lesson from 50 Essential Lessons
50 Essential Lessons presents 50 standards-based lessonsized around the cognitive and personal skills students need for success in school and beyond. The lesson sampled here is Lesson 5, “Draw Conclusions from What You Read: Effective readers draw conclusions about the meaning and purpose of what they read.

Lesson 5: Draw Conclusions from What You Read

Annotated Walkthrough of Lesson 5

Tools for 50 Essential Lessons
90+ teaching tools support the essential lessons and scaffold strategy use with multiple genres and texts of varying lengths across the curriculum. These tools are provided in a reproducible format in Tools and Texts for 50 Essential Lessons. Tools for 50 Essential Lessons CD-ROM provides these same tools in an electronic format that is easy to review and print out. The following tools are referenced in Lesson 5: Draw Conclusions from What You Read.

Main Idea Organizer

Drawing Conclusions Organizer

Texts for 50 Essential Lessons
Jim’s model lessons draw on texts that are either common to English classrooms or are real-world readings that Jim uses in his class. These core resources are provided in a reproducible format in Tool and Texts for 50 Essential Lessons. The following real-world reading is referenced in Lesson 5: Draw Conclusions from What You Read.

Messages from the Heart

Writing Masters: Essential Lessons for Any Classroom


Contents

The 50 Essential Lessons are organized into six standards-based strands: reading, writing, speaking and listening, taking notes, taking tests, and managing oneself.
  • Reading
    1. Make connections
    2. Use a reading process
    3. Develop a purpose question
    4. Identify main ideas and supporting details
    5. Draw conclusions from what you read
    6. Make inferences about deeper meanings
    7. Analyze the author's argument
    8. Examine the author's purpose
    9. Visualize what you read
    10. Examine multiple perspectives
    11. Examine the structure of a text
    12. Ask questions about what you read
    13. Use the language of literary analysis
    14. Analyze character development
    15. Analyze the author's style
  • Writing
    1. Write to describe
    2. Write to define
    3. Write to inform
    4. Develop a topic
    5. Begin an essay
    6. Craft an effective argument
    7. Summarize
    8. Write an effective paragraph
    9. Paraphrase
    10. Compare and contrast
    11. Improve academic writing
    12. Synthesize multiple sources
    13. Write a response to literature
    14. Write about a theme
    15. Write an effective introduction
  • Speaking and Listening
    1. Contribute to class discussion
    2. Participate in small group discussion
    3. Prepare a speech
    4. Make an effective presentation
    5. Listen and respond to speakers
  • Taking Notes
    1. Take notes from expository prose
    2. Take notes from lectures
    3. Take notes from literature
    4. Take notes from textbooks
    5. Take notes from videos
  • Taking Tests
    1. Take multiple-choice tests
    2. Write likely test questions
    3. Learn content for a test
    4. Take essay tests
    5. Analyze sample essays
  • Managing Oneself
    1. Use a planner
    2. Set goals and plan to reach them
    3. Study traits of successful people
    4. Manage your attention
    5. Monitor your academic performance

Related PD Services

Seminars

Speakers

Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Jim Burke directly about professional development support.