learning is an excellent means for enhancing reading and other language
arts abilities. Just having children read to one another is a proven
method for increasing the reading skills of both the older and younger
student while, at the same time, increasing their teamwork attitudes
and behaviors. Besides these specific lesson plans, be sure to take a
look at the How to
use Cross-Age Learning? and Research Briefs pages
on this site for proven ways to organize cross-age learning.
Title of Lesson: Reading and Writing Cursive
Grade Range:3/5 or 3/6
After 3rd graders have learned cursive, Big buddies write to them in cursive,
providing practice writing and reading in cursive for both buddies.
1. Big buddies (in own class) discuss importance of neatness in cursive.
Each big buddy writes 3 questions to the little buddy in cursive (leave
space for answers).
2. During buddies time, little buddies read questions and big buddies help
with unknown words and letters, sounding out.
3. LB answers questions in cursive. BB can answer any questions about how to
form letters that may come up.
4. Early finishers write back and forth to each other or practice forming letters.
Title of Lesson: “Letters Home” – Addressing an Envelope
Kindergarteners study about the Post Office. They mail a picture or note home.
Pens, crayons, legal size envelopes with line drawn on, pencils
1. Kindergarteners design their own mail with their teacher.
2. 3rd graders practice addressing envelopes in their own class.
3. During Buddy time, the younger buddy is given her/his address to copy onto
The older buddy help the younger buddy to copy the address correctly. Younger
buddy does the writing and th eolder buddy helps to guide placement and assists
younger buddy with editing.
4. Early finishers can design the back of the envelope together.
5. Put mail in envelope and seal.
Title of Lesson "Guess how much I love you"
Grade Range: Grade 4 and
We present the story in English language to the school audience
in a New Year celebration, besides two other books "Elmer's Hide and seek" by grade 2
and 6 and "Es klopft bei Wanja in der Nacht" (Author: Tilde Michels).
We used the book of above title by Sam McBratney and Illustrator Anita Jeram,
a Walker Book, London, 2000. The eldest understood and read the full text,
helped to rewrite a shortened easily reproducable text version. The same with
the song, which we found in internet 'now the sun is sinking.'
Pre-information about new vocabulary and repeating of some sentence
structures. An acting child had always one or two helping children behind.
The elder students read the introduction and the longer explaning parts of
the text. As props we used ears and a fluffy wool in nutbrown colour. The background
a spring landscape. The elder helped with translations.
Title of Lesson: Reading “Back to Back”
Grade Range: K-6. This project was done with a first
and fourth grade class that had worked together for about 4 months.
sit side by side facing opposite directions, as teacher displays pictures
from a short book to one side of the room.
The Paper Bag Princess or any other appropriate book
1. The teachers have the younger and older partners sit side by side (shoulder
to shoulder) facing opposite directions. Two teachers are on opposite sides
of the room.
2. As the teacher displays the first page of the book to one side of the room
(we used The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch), the children who are
facing the book describe what they see to their partner. This part can be noisy,
so it’s important that partners sit close together.
3. After the description, the next page is shown to the other side of the room.
The children describe what they see on their page. This continues back and
forth until the whole book has been shown and described by the partners.
4. Now the younger students tell their older partner what they think the story
is about. Next, the older student tells what they think the story is about.
5. Finally, partners can come up with a name for their version of the story.
(Teachers don’t let the children know the name of the story before the
activity begins.) These invented titles can be shared with the whole group.
6. The last step is for the teacher to read the story to the whole group.
Title of Lesson: Color Poems
Grade Range: K-adult. The following is designed for children who
can read and write, but can be adapted for others.
Introduction: 1) Students work in pairs to brainstorm sensory adjectives
to describe a favorite color. 2) They then select their favorite words to plug
into a format that creates a vivid, interesting poem. 3) Partners read their
poems aloud to the class.
Chart paper, colored markers, student writing paper,
and two-page prompt.
1. Students sit in a semicircle on the rug to help brainstorm ideas and write
a class poem. Teachers model the creative process of writing a poem, using
the students’ own ideas. Using blue as a favorite color, the teacher
asks and pauses for responses to each question:
1. What things look like blue?
2. What things sound like blue?
3. What things smell blue?
4. How does blue
5. What makes you blue?
6. What tastes blue?
7. What ideas or experiences
8. What places are blue?
2. Students then work in partners at their desks. Each
student is expected to decide how to share the work, how to help each other,
to ask each other questions, and to take turns writing and thing of ideas.
Before they begin, the teacher hands out worksheets and asks questions to check
for understanding of the process. The first worksheet has a box in the
center labeled “Color,” with
a line in it large enough for a color name to be written in. The center
box is surrounded by 8 other boxes, each labeled with abbreviated versions
of the 8 questions listed above (e.g., 1. Looks like?) and with lines in them
for writing answers. Each student should contribute 2 ideas in each of the
3. After checking their work, the teachers model, at the
board, how to use the poem sheet.
This is an abbreviated version of a full sheet:
Name, Date, Title, then _____(color)
is ____(list 1) and ____ (list 1) and ____ (list 4) and ____. _____(color)
is the taste of ____(list 6). ____(list 3) and ____(list 3) smell _____(color).
_____(color) is the sound of _____(list 2) and _____(list 2). _____(color)
is t_____(and list).
The students copy the words they think sound the best onto their poem sheets.
Encourage them to read out loud to each other to see how it sounds.
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