One Teacher’s Reflection. These are stories written by teachers who reflect on specific incidents related to the chapter topic. These stories come from their own classroom and are meant to stimulate thinking about the connection between theory and practice.
Teacher Action Project. These teacher action projects are meant to inspire deeper, more global connections between the teacher and the chapter topic. Teachers might be prompted to visit other classrooms, other schools, or other communities. The projects are meant to expose teachers to the chapter topics in a more visceral way than if the preparation had only been through reading.
Suggested Readings and Resources. This section provides the teacher with further reading materials, websites and references extending the action projects by providing teachers with more tools for developing further lessons and projects for their own students.
Grade levels: Lessons are divided among three categories: Elementary (K-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12) lessons, with one example of each level provided for each topic/chapter. Though teachers should feel comfortable adapting the lessons to work in their own school context.
Content areas addressed: A list of subject or content areas that are touched upon in the lesson and/or action project.
Topic: A brief description of the main topic or topics to be addressed in the lesson.
Rationale for Using This Lesson: This section seeks to answer the “why bother?” question when deciding what curriculum to include in one’s class. It provides a sense of the importance of the topic of the lesson.
Background Information: Provides the teacher, and the students, with some necessary information about the main topic(s) in the lesson.
Goals/Aims: Gives the teacher a sense for what s/he can expect students to be able to accomplish or do during the lesson and/or as a result of the action project.
Connections to Standards: Links to national standards for all the content areas that are included in the lesson. The national standards used in the book were culled from national professional organizations specific to each subject area as well as the excellent compendium of content standards and benchmarks for K-12 education located on the McRel (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning) website (www.mcrel.org).
Materials: A “recipe-style” list of the materials needed to do all of the activities in the lesson and action project.
A step-by step Activity: Includes description of the tasks or activities in the lesson.
Action project: A task that helps translate the topic of the lesson into a project that helps benefit the class, the school, or the community.
Reflection: Questions for the teacher to reflect on after having presented the lesson to students. These questions may serve as prompts for discussion with colleagues or as topics for reflective journal entries.
Resource Page: Photocopiable handout pages that are connected to the lesson.