Sample Lesson Index


Practice: Book Discussion Groups and Literature Circles

  • Sample Lessons:
    Relatives (Grades K-2)
    After reading a story aloud, students engage in a discussion about what was read, what it means, and connections they can make between the literature, their own lives, and the world around them.

    A Midsummer Night's Dream (Grades 6-8)
    After reviewing key themes and new vocabulary, students read a short story, a book, or a play together.

    What is Manga? (Grades 8-12)
    Japanese Manga and American graphic novels provide teen readers with opportunities for cross-cultural learning, development of discussion skills, and practice with essential comprehension strategies.

Practice: Read Aloud

  • Sample Lessons:
    Storytime (Grades K-2)
    Explore elements of a read aloud through this lesson by reading a story that engages students, check for understanding, invite predictions, and discuss the key elements of the story.

    Summertime (Grades K-2)
    In this read aloud activity, explore how to engage students in a story, model fluent reading, discuss the themes of the story, and ask students to illustrate their ideas in drawings and dioramas.

    Newcomers (Grades 2-3)
    Using follow-up activities to a read aloud prompts students to extend what they know, apply it in writing or drawing, and make connections to their lives and the world.

    Who Am I Without Him? (Grades 6-8 (girls))
    Students select a text they want to read and explore more deeply through on-going group discussions, writing and other activities.

    The Eighty Yard Run (Grades 9-12)
    This dynamic story by Irwin Shaw provides excellent material for an adolescent read-aloud, addressing key components of high school culture - football and first love.

Practice: Story and Literature Dramatizations

  • Sample Lessons:
    The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs (Grades K-2)
    After reading and discussing a children's book, students break up into small groups, choose roles, and act out parts.

    Freeze Frames (Grades 3-8)
    Students work collaboratively in small groups to depict a scene or an event from a story in this quick, spontaneous activity.

    Shakespeare Club (Grades 5-9)
    Students memorize a part in A Midsummer Night's Dream, create costumes and a set, and build literacy skills in a fun, engaging way.

    Creating Student Advertising (Grades 9-12)
    Teens analyze how ads work as they develop, create and enact media advertising that expresses their own voices and values.

Practice: Writing

  • Sample Lessons:
    My First Book (Grades K-2)
    After reading a story and reviewing the elements of a book, students develop ideas and create their own books with a cover, storyline, and illustrations.

    Recycling (Grades 3-5)
    Students read or listen to a story or poem, discuss how it relates to themselves and their world, and create a new piece of writing of their own.

    Writing and Sharing Community Stories (Grades 9-12)
    Students interview community members for personal stories on a shared theme; they write, publish or perform, distribute, and even sell this collection at community events.

Practice: Family Literacy Events

  • Sample Lessons:
    Connecting Families through Folk Stories and Fairy Tales (Grades K-5)
    Parents are asked to write down a folk story or fairy tale from their childhood in their primary language, and students rewrite the story in English, adding illustrations.

    Parent University (Grades K-12)
    Parent University is a monthly event, designed to get parents and caregivers invested in the school community, while providing tips and tools for families.

    Creating Star Quality Job Seekers (Grades 9-12)
    This project supports young adults with identifying their strengths, presenting them in interviews, and developing good resumés as they seek their first jobs.

Practice: One-on-One and Small Group Tutoring

  • Sample Lessons:
    One-on-One Tutoring (Grades K-2)
    Students receive one-on-one tutoring that targets areas of reading and writing where students need support, or enrichment activities to enhance students' strengths.

    Small Group Tutoring (Grades K-2)
    Students receive tutoring that targets areas of reading and writing where students need support, or enrichment activities to enhance students' strengths.

    Analyzing Textbook Formats (Grades 9-12)
    Students learn how to: recognize different structures and formats for nonfiction; use common features to find information; read graphs, charts, and illustrations; and navigate through several texts to locate information on one focused topic.


Practice: Finding Math

  • Sample Lessons:
    Cooking (Grades K-2)
    Students use measuring cups to compare and estimate volume as they make a healthy snack.

    Scavenger Hunt (Grades 1-2)
    Students hunt for hidden geometric shapes and work together to recognize the properties of shapes.

    What Is the "Best" Snack? (Grades 2-5)
    Students use nutritional information to analyze data about different snacks and survey their peers to determine the "best" snack.

    Largest Number Race (Grades 3-5)
    Students design a relay race to compare whole numbers and compete to create the largest 10-digit number.

    Olympic Races (Grades 6-8)
    Students examine Olympic athlete profiles and use algebraic skills to calculate average speed and calories burned per minute in different events.

    All About Money (Grades 9-12)
    Students use computational and problem solving skills to analyze data, and algebraic skills to represent the information they generate.

Practice: Math Centers

  • Sample Lessons:
    Sorting, Representing, and Patterns (Grades K-2)
    Students use algebraic skills and thinking to sort objects and recognize patterns, relationships, and functions.

    Measuring Hands and Feet (Grades 2-5)
    Students use a variety of measurement skills, tools, and strategies to find the area of their handprints and footprints.

    Finding Pentominoes (Grades 3-5)
    Students explore and build pentominoes, figures that are made up of five squares and can be arranged to form different geometrical shapes.

    Using Gift Certificates (Grades 4-5)
    Students use number and operation skills to figure out how best to spend a gift certificate at their favorite restaurant.

    Marshmallow Madness (Grades 6-8)
    Students collect data using large and small marshmallows, much like flipping a coin, to determine the chances of a marshmallow landing on its end or side.

    Helix-A-Graph (Grades 9-12)
    Students explore number patterns and basic geometry concepts through geometric art; they compare drawings, and discuss their findings.

Practice: Math Games

  • Sample Lessons:
    Race to the Finish (Grades K-2)
    Students roll number cubes to move a bicyclist toward the finish line, and then create a chart showing the frequency of the numbers rolled.

    The Size Is Right (Grades K-8)
    Using a Price is Right game scenario, students see, touch, or hear objects, and are asked to use estimation to predict the object's size.

    What's My Rule? (Grades 1-3)
    Students use algebraic skills and visual clues to determine rules for sorting and classification.

    24® (Grades 4-6)
    Students create number sentences using four numbers and any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to make 24.

    Hide and Seek (Grades 6-8)
    Students hide geometric shapes on coordinate grids while others try to find the vertices from hints.

    What's the Chance (Grades 9-12)
    Students develop an understanding of data and probability while they determine if the game they are playing is fair.

Practice: Math Projects

  • Sample Lessons:
    Peddling Petals (Grades K-2)
    Students learn about various types of patterns used to make paper flowers, while also learning about the various aspects of fund-raising by selling the flowers.

Practice: Math Tools

  • Sample Lessons:
    Crafts: Cereal Hands and Feet (Grades K-3)
    Students use nonstandard units of measurement to find the area of their hand or foot print, compare findings, and discuss their discoveries as a group.

    Hands and Feet (Grades 2-5)
    Students use a variety of measurement skills, tools, and strategies to find the area of their hand and foot prints.

    Growing Rock Candy (Grades 3-5)
    Students watch the growth of rock candy over a given length of time, describe the varying rate of change they observe, and graph these changes.

    Graphing Candy with Excel (Grades 5-8)
    Students predict how many M&Ms are in a bag, collect data and graph their findings in MS-Excel.

    Raul's Apples: Word Problem (Grades 6-8)
    Students use counters, such as pinto beans, and a variety of problem-solving techniques to estimate and determine the solution to Raul's Apples.

    Cell Phone Plans (Grades 9-12)
    Students compare cell phone plans by analyzing tables, graphs, and equations, and make recommendations for the "best" phone plan, based on their analysis.

Practice: Math Tutoring

  • Sample Lessons:
    One-on-One Tutoring (Grades K-12)
    A student receives tutoring that targets math skills that need support or enrichment activities to enhance math strengths.

    Small-Group Tutoring (Grades K-12)
    Students work in small groups on activities that target specific math skills and areas where they need support, or enrichment activities that enhance their strengths.

Practice: Family Connections

  • Sample Lessons:
    Family Math Nights (Grades K-8)
    Math Nights provide parents with the opportunity to develop mathematical thinking along with their children, and learn strategies, games, and activities that they can use at home to support their children.

    Family Math Workshops (Grades K-8)
    Family Math Workshops are opportunities for parents to learn about the types of mathematics that their children are learning in the classroom, and learn about activities and strategies to support their children’s homework.


Practice: Investigating Science Through Inquiry

  • Sample Lessons:
    Sink or Float? (Grades K-2)
    Students use everyday objects to make and test predictions about what sinks and what floats, charting their results on a graphic organizer.

    Festival of Bubbles (Grades 3-5)
    Students explore soap bubbles, what makes good bubble-blowers, and the properties of bubble-making substances.

    My Pyramid (Grades 9-12)
    Students work with the US Department of Agriculture Food Pyramid recommendations, forming questions, and investigating whether the food offered at their school meets the guidelines.

Practice: Exploring Science Through Projects and Problems

  • Sample Lessons:
    The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Grades 3-5)
    Students are presented with a problem: construct a prototype of a bridge or other device to get the goats in the story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, to the other side of the river without getting eaten by the troll.

    What Happened to Mya? (Grades 6-8)
    Students receive a mysterious case study about a girl who has fainted, use clues to discover the problem, and learn about diabetes, its symptoms, and treatment.

    Heavy Weight (Grades 9-12)
    Students gather data to explore the problem of adolescent obesity and develop potential solutions based on the observations they have made at their school.

Practice: Integrating Science Across the Curriculum

  • Sample Lessons:
    Learning About Tadpoles (Grades K-2)
    Students read The Icky Sticky Frog, practicing literacy skills as they develop an understanding of tadpoles.

    Exploring Earthquakes (Grades 3-8)
    Students use books and the Internet to gather data about earthquakes and how they affect people, and utilize skills in language arts, math and art.

Practice: Engaging Families and Communities

  • Sample Lessons:
    Family Science Night (Grades K-2)
    Students and parents work together with different materials to investigate what makes a good bubble blower.

    Creek Restoration Project (Grades 5-12)
    Afterschool instructors and students work with community members and parents to understand the local environment and restore a creek.

Practice: Tutoring to Enhance Science Skills


Practice: Building Skills in the Arts

  • Sample Lessons:
    Found-Object Orchestra (Grades K-3)
    Students use classroom materials to create and use simple musical instruments to play.

    Create a Script (Grades 1-6)
    Students read Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia, act out idioms from the story, and then write a script and act out their own idioms.

    The Language of Dance (Grades 4-12)
    Students learn how music and dance can communicate meaning, prepare a song map, and choreograph their own dance.

Practice: Expressing Yourself Through the Arts

  • Sample Lessons:
    Emotions in Motion (Grades K-3)
    Using basic concepts of dance, students create dance phrases that depict various emotions.

    Symbols That Stand for You! (Grades 3-12)
    Students explore the world of symbols (what they mean and how they work) through developing a symbol that will stand for who they are.

    Personal Soundtracks (Grades 4-12)
    Students use music to express their personal histories, and create a soundtrack that reflects their individual identities.

    3-D Self-Sculpture (Grades 5-12)
    Students explore and express their identities through reading, journaling, and other activities, and create their own self-portraits through clay sculpture.

    Meaningful Monologues (Grades 6-12)
    Inspired by the memories associated with an object of personal meaning, students write and perform a dramatic monologue, explore improvisation, and participate in a peer review/feedback process.

Practice: Making Connections to History and Culture

  • Sample Lessons:
    Mexican Indian Yarn Painting (Grades 2-8)
    Students explore the history and culture of the Huichol Indians of Mexico through the native art of making yarn paintings, and create their own yarn paintings to tell a story from their childhood.

    Persuasive Explorers (Grades 4-12)
    Students examine early explorers in history by role-playing a character, and learning about the political and social settings in which the explorer lived.

    Dance Around the World (Grades 6-8)
    Students work in small groups to research and make presentations on folk dances from different cultures and time periods.

Practice: Thinking and Talking About Works of Art

  • Sample Lessons:
    African Drumming (Grades 4-8)
    Students learn how music can convey meaning, and how African societies use the music of the Djembe drum to communicate messages.

    Telling a Story Through Dance (Grades 5-12)
    Students learn how a dancer acts out the story with movement instead of words, through watching a video of the ballet Swan Lake.

    The Art of Exhibition (Grades 9-12)
    Students analyze works of art and arrange a collection into a museum-like exhibition, including making signs about the art and writing an essay about the exhibit.

    The Critic's Review (Grades 9-12)
    Students attend a live (or view a recorded) theatre production and write a review.

Practice: Integrating the Arts with Other Subjects

  • Sample Lessons:
    Theatrical Economics (Grades K-3)
    Students read If You Give a Pig a Pancake, identify the goods and services in the story, act out scenes, and create their own scripts.

    Music in Nature (Grades 3-12)
    Students learn about the Incan civilization of the Andes mountains, listen to traditional Andean music, and make a siku -- a traditional Andean musical instrument.

    Planetary Travel Brochure (Grades 4-6)
    Students create a travel brochure for the planet of their choice using basic elements of the visual arts.

Practice: Involving Families and Communities

  • Sample Lessons:
    Cultural Dance Festival (Grades K-3)
    Learn how to organize a cultural dance festival to help students and parents learn more about the dances of various cultures.

    Cultural Music Festival (Grades K-3)
    Learn how students, parents, afterschool staff, and community volunteers can come together to organize a cultural music festival.

    Quilting the Past and Present (Grades 2-8)
    Students interview older people in their family or community, and work together to create a paper quilt that represents the past and present.

    Oral Traditions (Grades 3-8)
    Students learn about the importance of oral traditions in different cultures, and investigate and discuss oral traditions from their own culture.

    Art in Public Places (Grades 3-12)
    Students create a sculpture to reflect community themes in this public art project.


Practice: Developing Self-Expression and Creativity

  • Sample Lessons:
    Digital Storytelling (Grades 1-12)
    Students create original stories that include text, drawings, photos, animation, audio, and video, and use technology tools, such as digital cameras and computers, to bring their stories to life.

    What Makes our Community Special? (Grades 3-12)
    Students use technology tools to discover and document unique features of their chosen community, and to collaborate on a final product -- a storybook, newsletter, electronic presentation, poster, or Web site.

    Getting the Word Out (Grades 8-12)
    Students use blogs (an online journal or diary) to practice writing, share ideas, and interact with their peers.

Practice: Gathering and Sharing Information

  • Sample Lessons:
    The Monarch Butterfly Watch (Grades 2-12)
    Students from across North America participate in an Internet activity on butterfly migrations through the Journey North Web site.

    Digital Smiles (Grades 4-6)
    Students use yarn and metric rulers to measure the lengths of their smiles, present their findings, using digital pictures to enhance their presentations.

    Water, Water Everywhere (Grades 8-12)
    Students and afterschool instructors work with community members to test characteristics of creek water, using handheld computers to record data and digital photography to document their activities.

Practice: Finding and Solving Problems

  • Sample Lessons:
    Friendship Bracelets (Grades 2-5)
    An odd-numbered group of students are asked to pair up and create "friendship bracelets" for one another and problem-solve so that everyone can participate equally.

    Hide and Seek with Geocaching (Grades 3-12)
    Students locate objects hidden outdoors using a handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, learning about longitude and latitude, and global navigation.

    Building Robotic Machines (Grades 8-12)
    This lesson provides ideas for setting up a LEGO lab classroom, introducing students to robotics, and leading students in their first construction.

Practice: Living and Working with Technology

  • Sample Lessons:
    Exploring Technology in Careers (Grades 6-12)
    Through a series of group and individual activities, students assess their skills and interests, identify their "perfect" job or career, and research the role technology plays in that job or career.

    Computer Repair and Recycle (Grades 6-12)
    Students learn how computers are put together and operate by repairing and refurbishing computers donated by the community.

    Creating Podcasts (Grades 8-12)
    Creating podcasts allows students to experience the pleasure of sharing their work with an audience as they learn about communicating through electronic media

Practice: Learning in Virtual Spaces

  • Sample Lessons:
    Discovering the World Virtually (Grades K-12)
    Students can have unforgettable adventures in exotic places and join real-time expeditions without ever leaving school -- thanks to the Internet.

    Ask an Expert (Grades 8-12)
    Using "ask an expert" Web sites, you can set up a cyber study center where students ask online experts questions related to their assignments.

Practice: Building Skills and Understanding

  • Sample Lessons:
    Geography Puzzles (Grades 3-12)
    Students play online puzzle games that challenge their knowledge of U.S. and world geography.

    Learning Online (Grades 8-12)
    Students can find a rich resource of tutorials the Internet, including learning a new language or how to play guitar, develop job search skills, or find university course credit.


Because homework assignments are generally linked to school day learning and curriculum, there are no sample lessons for the Homework section; however, you can follow the practice links below to find ideas on how to plan and implement effective homework strategies in your afterschool program.

Practice: Involving Schools, Families, and Communities

Practice: Managing and Organizing the Homework Environment

Practice: Monitoring and Communicating about Student Progress

Practice: Tutoring, Mentoring, and Building Study Skills