Lesson plan

Who Was Alvin Ailey?

In this lesson, students will use an informational text passage to ask and answer questions. Using biographies, your students will learn about two famous figures in history.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

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Students will be able to analyze a text and formulate questions related to the text.

(5 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to identify someone that they admire.
  • Tell your students that authors sometimes write biographies about people that they admire.
  • Explain that bio means life and graph means to write, making a biography the written life history of a person.
  • Tell them they are going to read the biography of a man that many people admire.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Star graphic organizer.
  • Tell your students that when they read, they should be asking who, what, where, when, and why about the information in the text.
  • Instruct your students to come up with additional questions based on the information in the text.
(15 minutes)
  • Read aloud the Clara Barton text.
  • As you read, ask the 5 W questions. Have the students use the Star graphic organizer to record the sample questions.
  • Using the subheading on the worksheet, point out Clara Barton's role as the founder of the American Red Cross. Explain that this answers the "who" question.
  • Come up with an example question based on that fact, such as: Who was the founder of the American Red Cross? What else did Clara Barton do?
  • Continue to guide the students through the remaining questions.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell the students that they are going to use specific details from the text about Alvin Ailey to formulate questions.
  • Inform them that once the questions are complete and are apporoved by you, they are to switch papers with a partner and correctly answer the questions.
  • Enrichment: Instruct your students to write a summary paragraph based on the answers to the questions.
  • Support: Have your students answer the 5 W questions without creating additional questions.
(5 minutes)
  • Check the answers that were given to the students' questions.
(5 minutes)
  • Have a student go to the front of the class and pretend to be the teacher by asking the class the questions that she created.

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