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Grades 5–8
4 Sessions: 2 Hours Each
Fantasy/SciFi, Informational, Poetry, STEM

The Science of Superpowers

Mariama J. Lockington and Peter Calhoun Hall, 826NYC
In this superlesson, students isolate DNA, design planes, build lairs, and engineer safe transport to help a hero save the day. Students will also take technical notes and explore new forms of poetry.
Download Includes
Lesson Instructions
Content Background for Instructors
6 Lesson Handouts
4 Optional STEM@Home Follow-Up Activities
2 Student Writing Examples
What Your Students Will Learn

In this superlesson, students isolate DNA, design planes, build lairs, and engineer safe transport to help a hero save the day. Students will also take technical notes and explore new forms of poetry.

Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.7
Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1.A
Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.1.A
Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1.B
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1.A
Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.1.B
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1.C
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A
Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1.B
Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.1.C
Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1.D
Establish and maintain a formal style.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.B
Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1.C
Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.1.D
Establish and maintain a formal style.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, 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.W.5.1.C
Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1.D
Establish and maintain a formal style.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, 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.W.8.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.D
Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, 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.W.7.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.A
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, 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.W.6.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.A
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.B
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3.A
Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.B
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.C
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.A
Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3.B
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.C
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.D
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.B
Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3.C
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.D
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.E
Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.C
Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3.D
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3.E
Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.D
Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3.E
Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.3.E
Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.5
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
What Your Students Will Produce

From This Publication

STEM to Story: Enthralling and Effective Lesson Plans for Grades 5-8 inspires learning through fun, engaging, and meaningful lesson plans that fuse hands-on discovery in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with creative writing. The workshop activities within the book are the innovative result of a partnership between 826 National's proven creative writing model and Time Warner Cable's Connect a Million Minds, an initiative dedicated to connecting young people to the wonders of STEM through hands-on learning. Authentically aligned with both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, this book provides teachers, after-school and out-of-school providers, and parents with field-tested lessons, workshops, and projects designed by professionals in each field. Including reflective observations by arts and science celebrities like Jon Scieszka, Mayim Bialik, and Steve Hockensmith, lessons feature bonus activities, fun facts, and teaching points for instructors at every level. These quirky, exploratory lessons will effectively awaken student imaginations and passions for both STEM and creative writing, encourage identity with scientific endeavors, and make both science and writing fun.

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Informational

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Informational
Narrative

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(Judge)mental Distortions

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Narrative

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Informational
Persuasive

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Dramarama!

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Media
Memoir
Narrative

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Write for the Flood City Gazette!
by New Leaf Literary & Media

by Daniel José Older, author of Flood City.

Informational
Media

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Be a Maker: Hashtag Activism and the Instagram Essay

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Media
Persuasive

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Grades 7–9
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Choosing My Name

by Karla Brundage, 826 Valencia

Poetry

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Grades 1–5
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by 826 New Orleans

Poetry

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Grades 5–6
Lessons
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Informational

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Poets in Revolt!
by Amplifier.org

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Poetry

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Dear Election

by 826 New Orleans

Narrative
Persuasive

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Grades 8–12
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You Can’t Mix Oil and Water

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Informational
STEM

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Grades 8–12
Lessons
Map Your Streets & Tell Us Its Stories

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Informational
Media
Narrative

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Grades 5–6
Lessons
Amazing Stories

by Nathalie Lagerfeld & Jill Carey, 826CHI

Fantasy/SciFi
Media
Narrative

Borrowing inspiration from out-of-this-world illustrations, students will create an amazing sci-fi story with a fantastical setting, realistic characters, and page-turning plot.