Ms. Merashoff's

Intensive Reading Classroom


HOME...I've Retired.


"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."

— Walt Disney







Success in Reading Requires EFFORT!



What So Proudly We Hail! Lesson Plan


Study Guide


Common Core State Standards Addressed | Literacy in History/Social Studies:

  • RH.9-10.1, RH.9-10.2, RH.9-10.5, RH.9-10.6, RH.11-12.1, RH.11-12.2, RH.11-12.4, RH.11-12.5, RH.11-12.9

English Language Arts: 

  • RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.2, RL.9-10.4, RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.3, RL.11-12.4


“Core Ideas” addresses these Reading Standards for Informational Literacy:

1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of the text.

2. Determine and analyze the central ideas of a text; provide an objective summary.

4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text.

6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text.

7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different media or formats.

"The Long Night of the Little Boats" by Basil Heatter - Lesson Plan

"The Gettysburg Address" by Abraham Lincoln - Lesson Plan

Singing of Yourself & Others: Whitman's "Song of Myself" - Lesson Plan

English / Language Arts, tone (Literary Terms), realism, Literature, poetry (Analysis), Poetry, Walt Whitman, historical background, historical context, Song of Myself, figures of speech

Integrate Inspiration® Into Your Curriculum

We understand schools are looking for resources to help teach the new standards, with that in mind we have built this series of lesson plans which integrate the visual thinking and learning tools in Inspiration® and are aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

English Language Arts Lesson Plans
Social Studies Lesson Plans
Science Lesson Plans
Thinking and Planning Lesson Plans

NEWSELA - Sign Up - It is FREE!  Great Nonfiction Articles

Reading Closely for Textual Details:
 “We had to learn English” - Lesson Plan Plus Handouts

Reading Closely for Textual Details: “Promised Land” - Lesson Plan Plus Handouts

Reading Closely for Textual Details
Grades 11-12: “Lay down all my joys” - Lesson Plan Plus Handouts

Lesson plans that teach and engage, no matter which story a student reads - Lesson Plans from TweenTribune

Reading "Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes

Objective: SWBAT read and comprehend a classic short story.



Making judgments: Who is looking at my social media and what do they see?

Objective: SWBAT make judgments and form an argument by watching a short film and reading an article about responsibility on social media.

Elements of Life in Harlem During the 1920's and 1930's: Analyzing Poems to Discover Harlem Renaissance Poets’ Point of view and Purpose

Objective: SWBAT describe and determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze a poem by employing a variety of close reading strategies.

Responding to John Green's "An Open Letter to Students Returning to School" and "Wrecking My Journal."

Objective: SWBAT to draft a brief letter in response to John Green's "Open Letter to Students Returning to School" and personalize their writer's notebooks by following the example of "Wreck This Journal."

Making Inferences about the Character of the Characters in "The Scarlet Ibis"

Objective: SWBAT analyze characters in "The Scarlet Ibis by making an inference chart. SWBAT build vocabulary and usage skills by completing a Frayer Model Diagram.

Standards:  RL.9-10.1 RL.9-10.4 L.9-10.4 L.9-10.4a L.9-10.4c

Writer's Workshop -- introduction and rationale.wmv - Section 1: Introduction

Eating Bugs! Developing Arguments and Finding Supporting Evidence

Objective: SWBAT identify and evaluate arguments and supporting details on a persuasive topic in order to write a persuasive argument to support a claim.

Standards:  RI.9-10.1 RI.9-10.8 W.9-10.1 W.9-10.1a W.9-10.1b SL.9-10.1d

"I Just Wanna Be Average": Tracing the Idea of Persistence in a Personal Essay

Objective: SWBAT determine Mike Rose' point of view and the choices he makes in narrating his experiences in his essay by citing strong and thorough textual evidence.

Evidence and Explanation of "This is Me in Grade 9"

Objective: SWBAT analyze and argue about about a popular song depicting grade 9 by documenting evidence and explaining it with respect to their views of the song.

The Ultimate Betrayal: Reading Diary Entries to Make Inferences

Objective: SWBAT cite strong and thorough evidence of the beliefs and values of a writer by closely reading a Civil War diary

Analysis and Discussion of "The Praise Paradox"

Objective: SWBAT trace an argument in a longer text, “The Praise Paradox” by Po Bronson and Ashley and Merryman by discussing and analyzing it.

Introduction to Reading for Rhetoric: Television Commercial Analysis

Objective: SWBAT determine an author's purpose or point of view in a text and apply the language of rhetoric to describe how that purpose is achieved by analyzing rhetorical techniques in television commercials.

Analyzing Rhetoric in Print Advertisements

Objective: SWBAT show their ability to analyze multiple kinds of texts for rhetorical situation and strategy by analyzing print advertisements from magazines.

Personal Wisdom: Understanding Aphorisms Through Connections

Objective: SWBAT analyze the impact of word choice on meaning and tone by drawing connections between Franklin's aphorisms and their own life.

Every Detail Matters: The Slave Narrative

Objective: SWBAT infer what the text is saying, both implicitly and explicitly, and support their inferences with text support.

Understanding Word Choice and Zora Neal Hurston's Feelings About Herself in How it Feels to be Colored Me

Objective: SWBAT study the word choice, and interpret the author Zora Neal Hurston’s feelings behind the ideas she expresses in How it Feels to be Colored Me by answering integrated text dependent questions.

Answering Text Dependent Questions With Evidence Based Answers Template.

Objective: SWBAT cite specific evidence from Chapter 1 in Black Boy and demonstrate understanding by writing evidence based answers.

Persuasion Across Time and Space

"This unit shows instructional approaches that are likely to help ELLs meet new standards in English Language Arts. The lessons address potent literacy goals and build on students’ background knowledge and linguistic resources. Built around a set of famous persuasive speeches, the unit supports students in reading a range of complex texts. It invites them to write and speak in a variety of ways and for different audiences and purposes."

Complete Unit (235 Pages)

Copyright Infringement or Not? The Debate over Downloading Music

Using a Preview Checklist with Informational Text

Identify information from text using titles, subtitles, diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, photographs, illustrations, and captions by using a preview checklist.

Using a Before-Rdg Organizer with Informational Text

Before reading, create a graphic organizer that uses the titles and subtitles of an informational text

Allusions, Slang, and Literary Analogies

In this lesson, students analyze the allusions, slang, and literary analogies used in "Raymond's Run" by Toni Cade Bambara. To extend understanding, they will then write their own allusions and analogies.

Argument of Policy

Students will discover a policy within their school or district that is important to them and that they'd like to change. They will conduct an investigation of the policy in question and write a letter with their claim, results, and recommendation to the appropriate audience.

Reading and Writing Arguments

In this lesson, students read informational pieces about whether or not schools should teach cursive writing. They will evaluate the arguments presented and then choose a side of the issue. Finally, they will write their own arguments expressing their points of view.

Using Protocols to Enhance Student Collaboration

Students use a Tuning Protocol to give and receive peer-to-peer feedback on student writing in a structured, safe environment.

Written Conversation / Silent Discussion

Silent Discussion takes the strengths of a well-managed verbal classroom discussion and moves into a written discussion. Some of the benefits of this move include:

  • all students participate
  • students practice writing in a low-stakes, social format
  • students engage with content skills and knowledge

Common Core Passages With Answer Key

Abraham Lincoln Biography

Anne of Avonlea



Grand Canyon

Oliver Twist

Prince and the Pauper

The Attack of Pearl Harbor

Evaluating Text - My Life

Fredrick Douglas - Narrative

How Do I Love Thee

Tell Tale Heart

Theodore Roosevelt

Abigail Adams Letter

Anthony from Julius Caesar

Character - Red Badge of Courage

Churchill - We Shall Fight

Great Expectations

Kennedy - Inaugural

Kiplings - Revolution

Lee Surrenders to Grant

Poe - Pit and Pendulum

Slavery in the Constitution

A Visit From St. Nicholas

Dickens - A Christmas Carol

Short MAIN IDEA Passages with Answer Keys

These passages could be used as warm-ups or as exit slips...


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Major Art Periods

Call of the Wild

David Copperfield

Magna Carta

Mississippi River

Moby Dick

O Pioneers

Paragraph #1

Paragraph #2

Romeo and Juliet

Solar Eclipse


SlumDog - Millionaire


"We cannot go to the country / for the country will bring us / no peace"  - Lesson Plan


"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" by Christopher Marlowe, "The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd" by Sir Walter Raleigh, and "Raleigh Was Right" by William Carlos Williams.

Raleigh Was Right...Group Questions

Raleigh Was Right...Poem


Inference - Interactive PowerPoint

Beginning in a City, 1948 by James Berry - Interactive PowerPoint




Vendetta by Guy de Maupassant - Lesson Plan



'Wedding in the Flood' by Taufiq Raffat - PowerPoint


The Farmer's Bride - Poem


Stereotypes and Tonto - Lesson Plan

This lesson revolves around Sherman Alexie’s poignant yet humorous and accessible essay, “I Hated Tonto (Still Do).” It explores the negative impact that stereotypes can have on individuals. The reading is supported by a short video montage of clips from Western films. The clips offer students the opportunity to evaluate primary sources for bias and bigotry, as well as providing context for the protagonists’ experiences in the essay. Aligned to CCSS: SL.9-10.1, RI.9-10.2, RI.9-10.3, RI.9-10.7

I Hated Tonto - Article

How Hollywood stereotyped the Native Americans - You Tube Video

Students will examine how the author tries to capture the reader's imagination immediately, through imagery--and hold on to it. Aligned to Common Core State Standards: RI.9-10.4, RI.9-10.5



Harry Wu: Forced Labor - Lesson Plan

After this lesson, students will be able to: define and provide examples of dehumanization; explain how labor camps in China deny human rights; become a defender of human rights by helping Harry Wu and his fight against forced labor camps in China. This lesson plan was produced by New York State United Teachers in partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Aligned to CCSS: RH.9-10.1, RH.9-10.2, RH.9-10.7, RH.9-10.9

More Resources - Includes Video


After this lesson, students will be able to describe why children are targeted for combat; assess the effects of child soldiers; identify effective measures for defending the rights of children using the story of Abubacar Sultan; and become a defender of children’s rights by participating in a social justice advocacy project. This lesson plan was produced by New York State United Teachers in partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Aligned to CCSS: RH.9-10.1, RH.9-10.2, RH.9-10.7, RH.9-10.9

Rare Photo of Slave Children Found - Article

13 Reasons Why -  Lesson Plan

Suicide and bullying, unfortunately, touch the lives of teens all around the country.

Asher’s book provides teachers and community leaders with an authentic way to

engage teens in these important topics.

Matched By: Ally Condle - Lesson Plan

Matched is a gripping story that draws the reader into a unique world

with disturbingly close echoes of our own and one that asks penetrating questions about how we live together in a society.

Matched challenges readers to consider the following:

• What must we give up, for example, in order to live in peace?

• How much should the individual lose of himself or herself for the collective good?

• Can we ignore and minimize pain in our lives—both physical and emotional—to live happier existences?

• Are we destined to love one person or can our choices influence how and who we love?

The Most Dangerous Game By:  Richard Connell

Portfolio of Activities - This is a HUGE File (25 MB), so give it some time to load.

RESEARCH UNIT By: Odell Education

Portfolio of Activities - This is also a HUGE File (3.4 MB), it will take a little time to load

Reading Closely Unit By Odell Education

Portfolio of Activities - Another great teaching unit from Odell Education.

Making Evidence-Based Claims Unit

Portfolio of Activities using Apology by Plato

6 Common Objects - 6 Billion Possibilities





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UPDATED:  12/06/19 10:28 PM

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