Video Enhanced Lesson Plan

Sixth Grade

Your Name:

Judy Blakeney

Lesson Title:

Making Meaning: Esperanza Rising Chapter Review Using Screencasts


Students demonstrate their comprehension of theme, plot, imagery, figurative language, and character development in the novel Esperanza Rising by reviewing the videos for background information. Then they will collaborate in small groups to create Google Slides presentations that will be used to make screencasts reviewing a chapter of the book.

Content Area and Grade or Age Level of Students:

English/Language Arts
Grade 6 (Middle School)
11-12 year old students


Students will gain a deeper understanding of the theme of the novel, Overcoming Adversity, along with other literary elements by collaborating with two to three other students to:

  1. Create a Google Slides Presentation based upon their assigned chapter, following the guidelines in the Make Your Presentations Sing lesson
  2. Record a Screencast using the Google Chrome Extension Screencastify (or another screencasting tool)
  3. Provide a link to the chapter to support other students deeper understanding of the novel

Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards:



Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.


Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.


Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.


Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.


Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.


Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.


Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.


Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.

Reading Literature

Key Ideas and Details:


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a theme 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.


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 toward a resolution.

Craft and Structure:


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


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.

Relative Advantage:

Students are able to use the four Cs to a greater extent as follows:

  • Collaborate in creating the Google Slides and Screencast together.
  • Use Creativity in demonstrating their understanding and creating slides and a screencast.
  • Think Critically, as they choose quotes to support their claims.
  • Communicate using language as well as visual representations of their understanding.


  1. One method would be to complete these Chapter review activities while reading the novel. That would result in a 6-7 week timeline, but this is less practical due to the students’ age and need for support to complete this lesson.
  2. Therefor, the recommendation is that students will have completed reading the novel, then will work from 5-7 days (52-minute class periods) in groups of 2-3 to complete the Google Slides and screencast, reviewing elements in their chosen chapter, along with work created in using the previous Google Sheets and Docs lessons which generated and discussed quotes from each chapter.
  3. Alternately, chapters could be assigned to groups at the beginning of the novel, then the google slides and screencasts would be created as a whole class at the end of the unit.


The following materials will be used for this lesson:

  • YouTube Playlist with details of activities for ELA Grade 6 Students to provide them with background knowledge necessary to complete the Google Slides presentation on the assigned chapter
  • Flocabulary - Test-Taking Vocabulary
    Students gain access to Tier 2 vocabulary words which they will use in the Google Slides and Screencast presentations
  •  Flocabulary - Five Things (Elements of a Story)
    This video examines plot elements that students can observe using a plot diagram. This is a way
  • Figurative Language
    Students will review what figurative language is, so that when they create their Google Presentations and screencasts, they will be able to identify examples in the book,
     Esperanza Rising.
  • 6th Grade Characterization
    Students examine how Esperanza develops as a character through the events of the novel.
  • The Lion King Foreshadowing
    Students examine foreshadowing in Esperanza Rising. The video showing foreshadowing examples in The Lion King.
  • What does it mean to be 21st Century Literate Person?
    Beyond reading and writing,         students need to read pictures and data. This video explores what other literacy are?
  • 21st Century Skills
    Why are the 4Cs important. This video explores  the concepts of the 4 Cs: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. Students
  • Teaching Connotation and Denotation
    Knowing the meaning of words helps support understanding. Words can have literal (denotative) or other (connotative) meanings. Students examine words to derive full understanding of their meanings.
  • Flocabulary - Five Things (Elements of a Short Story) Students can review the elements of a short story in this engaging Flocabulary recording, to prepare for completing the Plot Analysis slide.
  • Oversharing - Digital Citizenship
    When students create digital work, they need to be aware of appropriate sharing of personal information. Sixth grade ELA students benefit from regular review of Digital Citizenship before beginning a project.
  • This short how-to guide instructs students on steps required to create a screencast using the Google Chrome extension, Screencastify. (This is also part of the YouTube playlist but would be used when students were ready to begin screencasting.)

Grouping Strategies:

Students have 1:1 Chromebooks in the English/Language Arts classes. Groups of 2-3 students will be required to cover the 15 chapters in the book. Teachers have a variety of options regarding grouping, whether student-selected or teacher-directed. I prefer supporting student choice in grouping, but that depends on the needs, maturity, experience in group work, and diverse learning profiles in each classroom. For classes and students, signing a group contract could be a step to take to ensure group collaboration and resolution of difficulties.

Learning Activities:

Students will:

  • Prepare to work:
  • Form student groups (2-3 students)
  • Select a chapter to review and create Google Slides and Screencast
  • Review quotes generated in the Google Sheets and Google Docs work already gathered
  • Gain the knowledge and skills
  • Collaborate, Create, and Think Critically on Google Slides
  • File/Make a Copy
  • Name Esperanza Rising Chapter Name
  • Share edit privileges with members of the group
  • Share edit privileges with your teacher
  • Think critically about what to include in the slides
  • Collaborate in creating slides
  • Create attractive and engaging slides
  • Post viewable link on the shared Esperanza Rising Chapter Links Google Doc
  • Communicate, Create, and Collaborate on Screencasts
  • Celebrate
  • Have a movie day, reviewing the Screencasts
  • Give awards (Oscars party, that are voted upon by each class using a Google Form).


Learning objectives will be assessed:

  • Using rubrics that are standards-based and also include the 21st Century Skills. has a rubric creator that can be employed for this purpose.
  • Sample Esperanza Rising Presentation Rubric (created on  Themespark)
  • Pre-production peer assessment of Chapter Screencasts, to improve them for the final submission
  • Peer review rubric to hold teams accountable for teamwork
  • Oscar-like awards recognizing best creation voted on by students. (Award titles could be proposed by students.)

Adaptations for Learners with Special Needs:

Adaptations for English Language Learners (ELL) and Learners with Special Needs include:

  • Grouping:
  • Either heterogeneous or homogeneous groupings can be used for peer support or teacher strategic support
  • Peer support from groups or individuals that finish tasks early (might be an Oscar category)
  • Scaffolded activities:
  • Sentence frames or sentence starters
  • Model/Examples of a completed assignment done on the first chapter (instead of assigning it) with the whole class
  • Mini-lessons or peer editing support to address difficulties
  • Opportunities to work during tutorials or lunch for additional 1:1 support from the teacher.


This lesson was developed using my experiences and knowledge gained while collaborating with teachers to create similar activities for my own students. I taught collaborative classes, including Learners with Special Needs as well as English Language Learners. YouTube videos selected were useful in structuring this lesson.

Guidance from Edtech 541 Instructor Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D. was very helpful in directing me to create this lesson.