5. The Instructional Plan:

Thanks and a disclaimer: Several teachers completed a version of the CTC in the spring of 2000. Their work has provided the core of the samples below. We have, however, modified some of the selections to maintain confidentiality and to ensure that the samples reflect the revisions we have made in the instructions. Thanks to all the teachers who helped us with the original samples. Your input helped us make this a better process for all.

(5th grade science)
Description of the Instructional Plan

  1. Each student receives a microscope.
  2. Teacher explains the basic principle of how a microscope works.
  3. Each student receives a labeled diagram of a microscope.
  4. As a group, we locate and discuss the use of each part identified on the labeled diagram.
  5. Students receive a handout with 5 objects to make observation using microscope.
  6. Students cut a lowercase "e" from a newspaper. With the teacher leading the group, each student prepares a slide with their letter "e".
  7. Students make observation on their handout. Teacher circulates the room providing assistance as needed.
  8. Students complete the next 4 observations independently. These observations are made on sugar, salt, the prepared slide of their choice and finally, on the water sample.
  9. Students given a blank diagram of a microscope to fill in.
  10. Using a red pen we grade these diagrams together.
By providing several observations, students were able to practice the skills several times for mastery.


(7th and 8th grade gifted language arts. Summary of detailed instructional plans for several lessons.)

The plan is to use George Ella Lyon's poem, "Where I'm From" to initiate a unit on autobiography/biography. The poem addresses the point that where we come from (our heritage and our experiences) shapes who we are and who we will become. The students are expected to create their own personalized version of the poem.

  • Read the original and three student versions of the poem as published in the teacher magazine, Potato Hill Poetry.
  • Discuss for similarities, differences and points of confusion (some of the references in the poems are unfamiliar for some of the students.)
  • Pre-write a series of lists focusing on events, sayings, memories from their life. They could name their lists as they pleased, but I modeled creating my lists of my memories on the overhead projector. Then students are given a due date of two days later to complete their lists.
  • Write a rough draft in class using the lists as a pool of ideas.
  • Peer edit rough drafts--at least 2 peer editors before I read. I model peer editing to remind them of kinds of feedback. Circulate to provide help.
  • Volunteers read aloud, then others swap and someone reads their silently.
  • Share final drafts out loud.