TeachersFirst Instructional Units

TeachersFirst's units include offerings for many grade levels and subjects. These units have been developed for actual classrooms, written in consultation with the teachers as they test them in the field or submitted by the teachers themselves. We continually add new teaching units, especially those that include options to use technology well as a tool for learning. Try these units as is or adapt the ideas to your curriculum or level. Don’t forget to use your free TeachersFirst membership to leave comments, sharing how the units worked or how you adapted them to your classroom.

 

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Biomes of the World - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
29 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh...more
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh water, desert, and the savannah. Each link includes information and pictures. Students can complete an on-line research project on a biome of their choice, using selected web resources, or they can learn the basics of biomes with the information provided in the unit. There are links to the introduction, to learn more about the project, and even a teachers link (with a TON of class activity ideas). This site does require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biomes (116), earth (213), earth day (106), ecosystems (75)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site. Challenge students to create multimedia presentations about the biomes. How about a Powerpoint? Or have students narrate a photo of the biome using a site such as Narrable (reviewed here). Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or video.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Victorian Christmas - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century...more
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This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century ago.

tag(s): christmas (61), holidays (129), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your desktop and use it to add supplementary activities to your classroom before Winter Break. Many of the sites can be used as webquests, classroom activities or Learning centers. This could be a great way to mix the holidays into content, comparing today's celebrations to those of the 19th century.

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Who Did It? - Building Lab Skills with Forensics - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
29 Favorites 0  Comments
  
"Who Did It?" uses an introduction to forensics as a tool to build analytical and laboratory skills in students who are still mastering scientific method. This is a large ...more
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"Who Did It?" uses an introduction to forensics as a tool to build analytical and laboratory skills in students who are still mastering scientific method. This is a large unit: there are eight different activities including a DNA web quest and lab session. Each activity is based on a different "crime" and type of forensic analysis. The culminating project is a lab practical. Complete rubrics and printable handouts round out this unit.

tag(s): forensics (26), scientific method (50)

In the Classroom

Mark this unit in your Favorites to inspire students with scientific inquiry. Add new dimensions to the unit with technology options, such as keeping a lab journal on your class wiki and documenting steps with digital pictures. Students could also upload and "narrate" their lab pictures on Narrable, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst: The Highwayman - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
23 Favorites 0  Comments
This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool ...more
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This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool or a review for those who need a refresher on poetic devices.

tag(s): poetry (213)

In the Classroom

Share the start of the poem on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then turn students or partners loose to explore the poem and discover the details on laptops or at home. Extend the unit by challenging groups or individual students to create their own visual interpretations of a stanza using a tool such as GlogsterEDU reviewed here.

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They Had a Dream Too - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 4
11 Favorites 0  Comments
 
They had a Dream Too is a unit on overcoming obstacles for grades K-4. It offers profiles of several dozen famous people and asks students to research how one of ...more
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They had a Dream Too is a unit on overcoming obstacles for grades K-4. It offers profiles of several dozen famous people and asks students to research how one of these achieved success despite an impediment. The unit can be used as part of Black History month, a culminating project for a biography unit, or in any context studying accomplishments.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (106), black history (50), martin luther king (33)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site - a great resource for a Social Studies class.

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Remembering Martin Luther King - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 4
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This primary-level unit offers language, math, and science activities, all built around the themes of equality and non-violence that Dr. King espoused. The activities include word banks,...more
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This primary-level unit offers language, math, and science activities, all built around the themes of equality and non-violence that Dr. King espoused. The activities include word banks, science experiments (some with eggs), and more. Ready to print PDF files make this unit easy to use. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (106), civil rights (94), holidays (129), martin luther king (33)

In the Classroom

Students can hone counting skills with the "Birmingham Bus" or test their powers of scientific observation by comparing brown and white eggs.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Native American Crafts Unit - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
10 Favorites 0  Comments
This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations....more
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations.

tag(s): crafts (34), native americans (65), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Try using this unit with a study of Thanksgiving, colonial settlements, or Native Americans of the eastern U.S. Share the hands-on crafts and be sure to take digital pictures. Ask students to write explanations of the crafts on your class wiki (with the accompanying pictures)! Or include the link to directions for one of these crafts on your class web page for students to try as a summer activity.

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Using Art to Define the Renaissance - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 10
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This unit, ideal for classes in Art, World Cultures, or World History, can also be used in conjunction with the study of Renaissance literature. Students should already have a basic...more
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This unit, ideal for classes in Art, World Cultures, or World History, can also be used in conjunction with the study of Renaissance literature. Students should already have a basic understanding of the Classical Period and the Middle Ages. Beginning from the premise that "art imitates life," the unit connects art with the philosophical underpinnings of the Renaissance. This unit will take students through a process in which they will not only experience masterpieces from the Renaissance, but will also learn to analyze art, draw conclusions, and, at the advanced level, apply lessons from the art to their own lives. In doing so, students will gain an understanding of the characteristics that define the Renaissance.

tag(s): renaissance (31)

In the Classroom

This unit was developed to be used by a wide range of ages and abilities. It can be altered for different ability levels. TeachersFirst editors have included options for more student-centered, project-based activities using technology throughout the unit. You can adjust the time requirements depending on which activities you decide to do.

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TeachersFirst: The Hamlet Quizzes - TeachersFirst

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This is a collection of interactive quizzes on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Designed for use as a review tool, the collection includes character quizzes and scene-by-scene reviews of key elements...more
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This is a collection of interactive quizzes on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Designed for use as a review tool, the collection includes character quizzes and scene-by-scene reviews of key elements of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy. The collection can be used in class or independently.

tag(s): hamlet (12), plays (25), shakespeare (130)

In the Classroom

Share these quizzes as a way to check for understanding while students read the play. As an extension, invite students to create their own scene-by-scene or act-by-act quizzes for classmates to try, using a tool such as Easy Test Maker, reviewed here or Kubbu, reviewed here.

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Math Celebration Fair - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
18 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Here's a unit that offers a semester-long math competition and celebration. Use a variety of math games and incentives to encourage mastery, then celebrate by inviting parents or other...more
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Here's a unit that offers a semester-long math competition and celebration. Use a variety of math games and incentives to encourage mastery, then celebrate by inviting parents or other classes to take part.

In the Classroom

Mark this unit in your favorites. Add more technology using any of the hundreds of math interactives you will find using TeachersFirst's keyword search at the left on this page and entering math interactive .

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Inventors of the Industrial Revolution - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
20 Favorites 0  Comments
This unit, completely revised in late 2007, provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to...more
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This unit, completely revised in late 2007, provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and their inventions, there are interactive activities designed for student involvement, timelines, and an interactive quiz. An extensive list of "invention links" lets students learn more about inventions and inventors.This unit is written for middle and high school but is also adaptable for upper elementary.

tag(s): evolution (98), industrial revolution (22), inventors and inventions (100)

In the Classroom

See the lesson ideas page for ways to use this on your interactive whiteboard or with students working on their own. There are several ideas for projects and competitions to engage, challenge, and assess. You will definitely want to share this link on your teacher web page as a review tool, as well.

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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Reader Response Unit - TeachersFirst

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This is a multi-part readers' response unit for Annie Dillard's book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. The unit invites students to write about selected elements of each chapter of the book,...more
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This is a multi-part readers' response unit for Annie Dillard's book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. The unit invites students to write about selected elements of each chapter of the book, and provides an opportunity to share writings with one another. The Teacher Notes offer suggestions for many ways students can use electronic media to make their responses and to interact with their peers' ideas.

In the Classroom

Mark this unit in your Favorites if you teach Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. You might also want to explore some of the lesson ideas to use them with other literature selections.

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