I. General Information
Name: Jamie Snider
Curricular Area(s) English/Language Arts
Grade Level: 11th/12th grade
Setting of Lesson: Classroom
Time of Lesson: 40 minutes
II. Goal: The goal of this lesson is to introduce the story Down River by Will Hobbs. The
lesson will touch on the background information required to understand the setting and
characters in the story and motivate the students to read the story.
Down River by Will Hobbs
Slide show on CD and flash drive
The Moldau by Smetana
Poly Vision Board
1. The students will connect prior background knowledge to the setting and conditions
of the story. The students will demonstrate this connection and comprehension by filling
out a graphic organizer with their thoughts.
2. The students will read a personal story from the Outward Bound program and create
an explanation for the reason the author is in the outward bound program.
V. Pennsylvania Academic Standards:
1.1. Learning to Read Independently: 1.1.11. GRADE 11
• Demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading.
1.2. Reading Critically in All Content Areas: 1.2.11. GRADE 11
• Use teacher and student established criteria for making decisions and drawing conclusions
• Read and respond to nonfiction and fiction including poetry and drama.
1.5. Quality of Writing: 1.5.11. GRADE 11
• Write with a sharp, distinct focus; edit writing using the conventions of language.
VI. Lesson Body
A. Introductory or Anticipatory Set:
1. The teacher will show the students the cover of the book and read the title. She will
then ask the students to predict what they believe the story could be about. The
students will share their answers with the class.
2. The teacher will introduce the students to the book Down River by: asking the
students if they have ever been camping or white water rafting? If they are familiar with
the Outward Bound Program? Do they know anything about the Grand Canyon? Have
the ever gotten into trouble at home or school? How were they punished?
3. The students will be given a moment to think about their answers and then will be
asked to share their responses with the rest of the class. The teacher will share her
story of canoeing down the Allegheny River this past summer and camping on an island
with no shelter, bathrooms or food. This will set the stage for the slide show.
1. The teacher will explain that today’s lesson is a pre-reading warm-up to the story Down River
by Will Hobbs.
2. The teacher will show a slide show that contains pictures of Arizona, The Grand Canyon, the
teacher canoeing and pictures of the Outward Bound program set to the music of The Moldau by
Smetana. This will assist the students in grasping an idea of what the setting of the book is like.
The students will be exposed to the physical features of the area in the book. This will help build
background knowledge to tie into while reading the story.
3. The last slide contains higher order thinking questions such as: What would it be like to be on
this trip? How would you eat? Where would you sleep? Could you survive without an adult? The
students will be asked to listen to the music and think carefully about their feelings and answers.
They will be asked to write their answers down on a graphic organizer.
4. The students will share their responses with the class. Once responses are exhausted the class
will move on.
5. The teacher will explain about the outward bound program and how it ties into our story. She
will give some insights to the story such as: The teens were in the outward bound program after
getting into trouble with the law. The teacher will visit the outward bound website and explore
the information with the students during class.
http://www.outwardbound.org/index.cfm/do/are.index. Special focus will be paid to the stories
and program information.
6. The students will get out their laptops and locate the website. The students will be asked to
select one story from the website and read that story. This will be used in the homework
C. Adaptations to Procedure:
1. Students with difficulty in reading from the board will be given their own copy of the
2. Extra time will be given for oral responses.
1. The teacher will ask what the students thought about the music playing during the slide show.
She will explain that the music selection is called the Moldau which is named after a river.
2. She will continue to explain that just like the story, the music has a slow build up, almost
quiet and calm. As the song/ story continue it keeps building and the music/interest gets louder
and more forceful. This mimics a river, it starts out slow and calm and then as it hits the rapids,
it becomes loud and forceful.
3. This also mimics the lives of the characters in the story and sometimes your lives. Things can
be calm and serene and then things happen to cause things to become loud and forceful.
4. The students will be asked to provide their thoughts about the music, pre-reading and slide
1. Direct observation was used while the students completed their graphic organizers
2. Oral responses demonstrated comprehension of the lesson
3. The use of a graphic organizer demonstrated comprehension and on task behavior.
4. The homework assignment will demonstrate comprehension and mastery
assessment of the entire lesson.
1. The students will be asked to read one of the personal stories from the Outward
Bound Program. They will then create a background story for that letter/personal story.
They will be asked to decide why that person ended up in Outward Bound. They will
create a one paragraph fictional history for their selected person. Spelling and grammar
A. The quality of your lesson plan:
I feel that I was very organized and had prepared myself for teaching the pre-reading lesson on
Down River by Will Hobbs. I also felt the lesson was time appropriate and had enough elements in it
to keep the lesson flowing and on topic with a good central theme throughout. I used several
examples to highlight the topic and I also used a game to drive the point home to the students. The
slideshow was the highlight of the lesson.
B. The quality of my teaching:
I felt that I did very well teaching the lesson. I had minor behavior management issues at most of
the students were on task and followed along without much difficulty. I felt I interacted with the
students in a positive supportive manner and was attentive to their needs and any struggles
academically they encountered during this lesson.
The lesson went smoothly, the only problem occurred when the computer slowed down and the
video wouldn’t play.
C. The types and quality of teaching strategies, activities, assessments and materials you used:
I used a traditional method of instruction incorporating technology throughout as well as humor. The
students responded to it very well. I incorporated music into the lesson and also used photographs
to build background knowledge for the story.
D. Quality of student academic performance and social behavior:
The students remained on task but were reasonably motivated during this lesson. They completed
the required work with enthusiasm. They interacted with me during the lesson and asked questions
throughout. The questions were well thought out and valid investigation questions.
E. Knowledge/ Skills acquired by students in relation to your specified objectives:
This lesson was a pre-reading and exposed the students to the main elements of the story Down