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Sixth Grade English Language Arts Resources

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Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video With Support Material
The Giver is a Newbery Award-winning book by Lois Lowry that tells the story of 12-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly perfect society called “the community,” where memories and feelings have been eliminated. He eventually discovers the community’s dark side and takes a daring step to save a life and seek freedom. We explore how Jonas is an ordinary boy who does the extraordinary.
Skills: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6L1, ELAGSE6L5  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Document
Students will learn about nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements and how they function in sentences. They will learn how to use commas, dashes, and parentheses to separate these elements from the rest of the sentence. Students will complete an activity to enclose nonrestrictive elements in sentences using punctuation.
Skill: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6L2   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Document
Students will learn spelling rules and conventions that pertain to i before e, plurals of nouns ending in y, homophones, and the suffix -tion. They will complete an activity in which they identify and revise misspelled words in sentences.
Skill: Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6L2   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video With Support Material
While they aren't wrong, overusing simple sentences can be dull and boring. Make use of compound or complex sentences!
Skill: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6L3   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
Explore the difference between tone and mood in this animated video from WNET through definitions and examples from poetry and prose. Discussion questions below help students to further apply their understanding before analyzing a text.
Skills: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6L4, ELAGSE6L5, ELAGSE6RL4, ELAGSE6RL6
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
Students identify and interpret literary devices, symbolism and first-person narration as well as answer critical thinking questions and write a paragraph about a Langston Hughes poem.
Skills: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6L4, ELAGSE6L5, ELAGSE6RL4, ELAGSE6RL5
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video With Support Material
Enduring love is the underlying theme of Jack London's story of a dog, Buck, who is kidnapped and forced to pull a sled in Alaska, and who is ultimately saved by the trapper John Thornton. Chelsea Clinton speaks of her fondness for the book, which she first read in junior high school; her perspective on the novel was different from the boys, who saw it as strictly an adventure tale.
Skills: Acquire and accurately use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own
clearly.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6L6, ELAGSE6SL1  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
In this interactive lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch video dramatizations that tell the story of the Spanish explorers who arrived in the Americas with Columbus and introduced European, African, and Asian plants and animals to the Western Hemisphere. Students develop their literacy skills through a social studies focus on how the the Columbian Exchange impacted life on both sides of the Atlantic. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.
Skill: Acquire and accurately use grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6L6   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
In this lesson, students will use one of the major tools of a historian: personal letters. These primary source materials provide firsthand evidence of events and information on the perspective, cognition, values, and attitudes of the person writing the letter.
Skills: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RI1, ELAGSE6W2  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Do a quick Google search on how social media affects your mood, and the results make it seem like all the social media platforms will plunge you into depression. Facebook shows everyone’s perfect life and exotic vacations. Expertly curated selfies abound on Instagram. But, if you look at the actual research, the results aren’t that simple. In this Above the Noise video, host Myles Bess breaks down the science and cuts through the hype about the link between depression and social media use, and looks at how different social media platforms may affect your brain in different ways.
Skills: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RI1, ELAGSE6RI2, ELAGSE6RI3
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
Guide your students in discovering what primary and secondary sources are and how to use them with this interactive lesson from PBS Wisconsin Education. During this lesson, students watch video clips from the documentary "Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Neenah-Menasha," identifying the primary and secondary sources and how the sources provide evidence for events in a story. They also explain where they can locate primary and secondary sources, such as in libraries and historical societies. As a final task, students create an outline for a presentation telling about an event. They use primary and secondary sources as evidence to support the facts in the event’s story.
Skills: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RI1, ELAGSE6RI3  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
This interactive lesson, based on the series Breaking Views, frames the controversial issues of fake news and trust in the media with the historical context of yellow journalism and sensationalist reporting. In addition to learning more about how fake news has evolved over the years, students will learn strategies for improving their media literacy and will be able to identify both credible and non-credible news sources. After they complete the lesson students will be better prepared to critically analyze media using the Five Key Questions of media literacy, which will become a point of enduring understanding that young people need in order to be better 21st century digital citizens in an era saturated by information.
Skills: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RI1, ELAGSE6RI7, ELAGSE6RI8, ELAGSE6W8, ELAGSE6RI9, ELAGSE6W7 
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
This online book from the International Children's Digital Library traces the journey of Equiano, a young African boy of the Ibo tribe, from his capture by Africans to his life in the Americas. It describes his arduous adventure from slavery to becoming a free man. Inspired by the memoirs of Olaudah Equiano, a freed and literate slave.
Skill: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RI10   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
This activity helps students understand how General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea was one of the most controversial aspects of the later phases of the Civil War. Sent by Ulysses S. Grant to create havoc and destruction of all resources that would be beneficial to the enemy, Sherman began his Atlanta Campaign in May 1864. Students will view a video clip from Ken Burns: The Civil War that explains how after capturing Atlanta, Sherman marched his army to the sea, capturing the city of Savannah in December, and then marching through South Carolina into North Carolina. Students will then analyze two primary sources. Student questions follow, which can be used for general class discussion or individual assessment. Answers to the questions are included.
Skill: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RI4   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
Students use a T-chart to take notes on the similarities and differences among elephants. With partners, they organize their notes and construct a Venn diagram with illustrations.
Skill: Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RI5   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
Students develop and present an evidence-based argument about a change they would like to bring about at their school to make it a healthier place for all students. In this interactive lesson designed for both full-class and individual or small-group work, students examine a similar effort, chronicled in BASIC BLACK: Youth Fighting Fat, in which a group of concerned Boston teens seeks to address the problem of obesity in their community.
Skills: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RI6, ELAGSE6W1  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
Explore how authors use setting to establish the time, place, and social conditions in which a story takes place in this short animated video from WNET.
Skills: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme and/or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RL1, ELAGSE6RL2  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
In this interactive lesson supporting literacy skills, students examine what Anne Frank’s writing and a video dramatization of her diary reveal about her character and how it changed while she was in hiding. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore an English language arts focus on character change. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.
Skill: Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves towards a resolution.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RL3   
 
 
Source: Georgia Aquarium
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
Students will identify literary elements of a poem and discuss ways in which they are connected to water.
Skill: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RL4   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
In this interactive lesson, discover how literary techniques like figurative language, imagery, and symbolism contribute to the overall meaning of a poem. Explore how a poet establishes and builds on a theme. Learn how to tell the difference between tone and mood. Through a close reading of Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Caged Bird” (1983), practice unpacking the language of poetry while learning about some of the various tools a writer can utilize when writing a poem.
Skills: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6RL5, ELAGSE6RL10  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
This video, adapted from material provided by the ECHO partners, presents a telling of the Tlingit myth, "How Raven Gave Light to the World." The story is told by Shirley Kendall (Eagle Moiety), originally from the Alaskan village of Hoonah. It is illustrated with video of Native dancers and Alaskan scenery, as well as with images depicting Raven.
Skill: Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RL7   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
In this video from the American Masters film Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, students learn how the play A Raisin in the Sun explores the impact of dreams deferred. Inspired by the famous Langston Hughes poem “Harlem,” Lorraine Hansberry brings the poem to life in the form of the Younger family in 1950s Chicago. This resource works best during a study of the play at a point when students are already familiar with the main characters and the central conflict of the story. Using discussion questions, teachings tips, and a student handout, students analyze the connections between the poem and the play.
Skill: Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RL9   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Learn how science fiction and fantasy transformed over time from a marginalized genre into prestige literature in this video from the American Masters film Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin. Renowned writer Ursula K. Le Guin helped to bring science fiction and fantasy into the literary mainstream and prove its value as a way to “train the imagination.” Support materials include discussion questions, vocabulary, and teaching tips to encourage students to explore the vast offerings of science fiction and fantasy literature.
Skill: Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6RL9   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
In the second half of the 20th century, racial tensions rose in the United States as African Americans began to challenge unjust laws that supported discrimination and segregation. This movement found its leader in the patient and inspiring minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will watch a short video and engage in two primary source activities in order to explore how King’s deep-seated commitment to nonviolence contributed to the expansion of social justice in the United States, particularly for African Americans.
Skill: Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6SL2   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Media Gallery
The Gettysburg Address is known as one of the greatest speeches in American History. The compilation lesson gives you the tools to teach this incredibly powerful speech in your own classroom. Utilizing video from Ken Burn's seminal documentary Civil War as well as the 90 minute documentary The Address, this gallery has the tools to demonstrate the speech to your classroom and engage your students with some of the most famous words from one of the nation's most respected leaders.
Skills: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 6 Language Standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6SL4, ELAGSE6SL6  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
Students explore the effects that ecosystem disruptions can have on animal populations. In this interactive lesson, scaffolded to support English Learners and struggling readers, students learn about the disruptions that have driven three species—the Madagascar fish eagle, the Iberian lynx, and the rowi kiwi—to the brink of extinction. They also discover the impacts that a shift in the population of one animal can have on others in an ecosystem. As a final assignment, students use evidence they’ve gathered from media, text, and other lesson elements and produce an essay or visual model.
Skill: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6W1   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video With Support Material
In this lesson, students watch a video that explores how a Native American saying, “walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins,” relates to the practice of empathy. As a class and in small groups, students examine a well-known fairy tale, Cinderella, to try to “walk a mile” in the shoes of each character.
Skill: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and wellstructured event sequences.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6W3   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
It only takes a few notes of Sarah MacLachlan’s “Angel” over images of homeless dogs and cats to trigger our tear ducts. Heartbreaking visuals aside, what makes the song itself so sad? What is it musically about a song that makes it sound sad? Hosts Nahre Sol and LA Buckner hear from experts and break down the components of sad-sounding music, creating their own somber composition.
Skills: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. 
Georgia Standards: ELAGSE6W4, ELAGSE6W5  
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Interactive Lesson
In this interactive lesson, students learn the basics of how stories are structured, gain vocabulary about storytelling elements, and explore how the arts, specifically drawing, can be a valuable way for students to tell stories. By the end of the lesson, each student will have written a story with a clear setting, conflict, and resolution. They will have reflected on the process of storytelling, and are given the (optional) opportunity to create a comic.
Skill: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6W6   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Video
Explore the Harlem Writers Guild, the oldest African American writers association in the world, in this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Teaching tips suggest asking students to research the Harlem Writers Guild and to think about writing as part of a community.
Skill: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6W9   
 
 
Source: PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Lesson Plan
Students take notes on a video segment and write an essay detailing how setting (time, place and environment) influence a story.
Skill: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Georgia Standard: ELAGSE6W9