Week 3: Daily ELA Learning Activities For Grades 9–12

Day 1: Character analysis

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Self-guided activity:

1. Read this slideshow about character names that became so famous their names entered the English language.

Choose one of the characters and read the texts they originated from while keeping in mind why they might have become such iconic characters.

2. Now it’s your turn to come up with an iconic character!

Read this article about about picking names for characters.

  • Can you create a story about a character with a specific personality? Who knows, maybe your character’s name will eventually enter the lexicon!
  • Write your story in the Writing Tool.

Family time activity:

1. Show pictures of your friends or random people to your family members.

Try to have them guess what kind of name would suit the person based on their perceived looks and personality. Ask them why they picked each name.

These activities address CCSSI Reading Standard:

Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Day 2: Researching sources

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this article on the difference between primary and secondary sources.

See if you can find a primary source on a topic that interests you. An example would be historical data or documents, original lyrics, or a novel.

Here are some ideas to research in case you need help finding a topic.

2. Find a secondary source on the same topics.

An example would be a newspaper article or encyclopedic information.

3. Remind yourself what subjective means here by reading the definition.

Then determine how subjective the sources you found are.

What point of views are being expressed in your primary and secondary sources? Do you agree with them?

Family time activity:

1. Find a primary source that was published or created on each family member’s birth date.

Compare the different writing, events, or creations you find. Can you find any connection to yourself or your family from the past?

These activities address CCSSI Writing Standard:

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Day 3: Historical analysis

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this article to understand some context around The Great Depression, another moment in history that put a halt to activities around the globe.

2. Many people are dealing with economic issues caused by the Covid-19 virus.

Some are being laid off or furloughed.

Read the difference between a furlough and a layoff in this article.

3. Film a video of yourself talking about how you think this moment will be recorded in history.

How do you think it will be captured by historians and economists?

Family time activity:

1. Create a time capsule with objects collected around your house that captures the spirit of this moment for you.

Find a place to store it or bury it with your family.

These activities address CCSSI Reading Standard:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies..

Day 4: The US Constitution

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this slideshow to check your understanding of the terms found in the United States Constitution.

2. Try to list the amendments that directly affect you currently or will affect you in the future.

Examples might include the right to vote. You can read about some of the amendments here:

You can search the other amendments in the search box.

Family time activity:

1. Have each family member try to remember a line or amendment from the Constitution.

See who can remember more information from this important document!

These activities address CCSSI Reading Standard:

Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Day 5: Vocabulary

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this slideshow about new slang words that have been created due to the coronavirus.

2. See if you can use some of those words in a journal entry or post about what you did today.

Do your friends know what they mean? Make up some of your own slang terms about this time too! Have your friends come up with any words of their own?

Family time activity:

1. Create as many different words as you all can that express your new lifestyle due to the coronavirus.

Try combining words and actions to create your own family slang. Start using them around the house and create a new family vocabulary and inside jokes!

These activities address CCSSI Language Standard:

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Day 6: Evaluating generational differences

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this slideshow on the different classifications of cultural generations.

Which generation do you fall under? Do you agree with the descriptions given for each generation?

2. Watch this video about Generation Z and ask yourself if you agree with their opinions on the qualities of the generation.

WATCH: 5 Words To Describe Generation Z


What would you say if you recorded a video about your generation?

3. Go through this slideshow to see different quotes from different great minds about their respective generations.

Which quote stands out to you or could fit the mentality of your generation?

Family time activity:

1. Identify each family member’s generation classification.

Check off items that match each family member’s personality to show they are definitely a part of their unique generation. Ask them about specific things they associate with their generation as well.

These activities address CCSSI Reading Standard:

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Day 7: Spellcheck

Self-guided activity:

1. Read this slideshow on the tips and tricks for remembering commonly misspelled words.

2. Have you ever wondered why words in English have so many different spelling rules? 

Is there a spelling rule that you just don’t agree with? Why?

Family time activity:

1. Have you or any of your family members ever sent an auto-correct error in a text? 

Look over this article on how spell checking works in our technology.

Go through your family text messages together. Find out who has the most misspellings. Was it auto-correct or just a human error?

Watch these videos about typos as a family and see if anyone in your family has a funny story about auto-correct like these.

These activities address CCSSI Language Standard:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

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