Lesson Plan

"What's Next? Thinking About LIfe After High School"

This Lesson revolves around pre-reading and reading activities that assist the learner in becoming a better rhetorical reader.
Mark S.
Classroom teacher
South County Blended Community, National City,CA 91950
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Generate questions about ideas, arguments, analysis, perspectives, or the rhetorical presentation of text for the purpose of making an informed response to what others say.
  • Identify the importance of pre-reading activities, and giving them the strategies to successfully accomplish this critical skill.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.1a Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

English Language Arts
forming arguments
reading comprehension
writing clearly
Grades 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Poll Everywhere will be used to grab the students' attention by having them use it to answer "True" or "False" to the question "Is it true that college graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn 74 percent more per year than those who only complete high school." After everyone has had the chance to respond, a discussion will begin that revolves around the fact that this statement is true.  With all participants being high school seniors, we will focus on the importance of considering their lives after graduation.

2 Direct Instruction

Haiku Deck will be used to present slides that lead the following instructions.

  • I will begin the lesson by reviewing the following statistic, “College graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn 74 percent more per year than those who only complete high school.”
  • I will read the students the following sentence from Angel Hernandez’s Want to Get Into College? Learn to Fail, “Let’s allow young people to fail.  Not only will they learn something, it might even get them into college.”
  • I will ask students what they believe that this statement means.  Why would it help to "Learn to Fail?"
  • I will instruct them to start to consider what their lives will look like five years after graduation from high school.
  • I will ensure that I am meeting all of the needs of my students by reviewing any IEP’s and checking for any modifications necessary for my students with disabilities.

3 Guided Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid

The students will use tools of their choice from Google Drive to accomplish the following tasks.

The students will begin to survey the Perez text by considering the following questions:

  • Look at the title, and make predictions about what you think will be Perez’s message?
  • Take a look at the length of the article, and decide if your predictions can be fulfilled in this length of the article—752 words.
  • Skim through the first two paragraphs, and read the final paragraph.  Once you have done that, can you add anything to your predictions about Perez’s message?

The students will then read the Perez article, while considering the following:

  • Students need to read with an explicit sense of purpose and make their own determination about what is most important, particularly within the context of moving toward their letters of introduction or their college application essays.
  • Students need to reconsider decisions they have made not to go to college because they think their failures have identified them as non-candidates.
  • Students need to underline at least five sentences that they believe is the best advice Perez gives about how a person can represent him- or herself, believing that what he has to say is credible and reliable.

Students will complete the Reading with the Grain activity.

  • The students will select five sentences that they underlined during the previous activity and write them in the chart provided.
  • The students will then explain what these comments made them think about.

4 Independent Practice

  • After class the students will respond to Perez by writing a one-page description of an event or moment when you were less than perfect and explain to a reader what your response to that moment says about your character, values, or potential for work or study.
  • Students will create a timeline using TimeToast in which they predict at least 15 major events that will occur within the next five years of their lives.  They will be sure to detail what will make each of these events meaningful. 

Paper Rubric

TimeToast Rubric

5 Wrap-Up

Students will complete a Glog that illustrates one of the following two ideas:

  • A visual representation of their TimeToast project.
  • A visual representation of their dream future.  If everything was possible, what would it look like?