July 23, 2008
Creative Arts Lesson Plan
Grade/Content Grade 10/English language arts
Lesson Title My Letter to the World: A Response to Pandora’s Box
Students demonstrate use of narrative strategies to engage
the reader by…
W-10-5.6 Selecting and elaborating important ideas; and
excluding extraneous details (Local)
Context of the Students are at the beginning of a unit on Greek Mythology.
Lesson They have read the Greek creation myths (both the creation of
the gods and the creation of man) and have just finished
reading the myth of Pandora’s Box. Before this unit, the
students have worked with poetry, so they are accustomed to
reading and interpreting the genre. They have also written
poetry and letters, so they are aware of the style of writing
required in these genres.
Students have also participated in classroom “chalktalks,” a
silent conversation that takes place on the board. They are
aware of the rules and responsibilities associated with this
Opportunities to This classroom is situated in a relatively urban school district.
Learn Of the twenty five students, six of them have IEPs for reading
difficulties and/or attention issues. For these students, and all
other students, the one hour and fifteen minute class block
will be divided into short activities. Photocopies of the myth
and poem will be available for classroom, resource and home
use. Dictionaries will also be available as needed.
This lesson includes opportunities for students to learn in all
three modalities. Students with visual strengths will benefit
from the poem handout and the chalktalk. Students with
auditory strengths will benefit from the read-aloud. Students
with kinesthetic strengths will benefit from the hands-on
creative arts activity.
Holly Brewer, My Letter to the World: A Response to Pandora’s Box 1 of 4
Boone, Debby. Counting Blessings. Eugene, OR: Harvest
Handout – Six-traits rubric
Shoe boxes (gathered by student for homework)
Craft supplies (markers, sequins, feathers, stamps etc.)
Creative Arts: Creating an “inverse” Pandora’s Box with
shoe boxes and miscellaneous items around the room.
Objectives The student will write a poem, letter or song lyrics using
When students enter the classroom, they see the following
written on the board: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of
Instructional things, and no good thing ever dies” ~ The Shawshank
(Pointing toward the quote on the board) Anyone see The
Shawshank Redemption? It’s a great movie about a man
wrongfully accused of murder and sent to a corrupt prison
called Shawshank. So, why might I be using this quote,
considering we’re talking about Greek Mythology and not
prison stories? Allows students to volunteer answers, finally
arriving at the point that both speak about hope. Remember,
hope is the only thing remaining in Pandora’s box after all
the evil escapes into the world.
Ok, now that I’ve introduced the quote, it’s time for a
chalktalk. You all know what to do. When you have
something to say, come get a marker and write your comment
on the board. All talking ends… now. Students silently
complete chalktalk about hope. When all comments are
made, the chalktalk ends.
Great job! Let’s move on.
So, why do you think hope was remaining in Pandora’s box?
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Encourages discussion. What else could have been found
inside? More discussion.
Think for a minute: if you could choose one virtue (such as
hope, patience, happiness, love, forgiveness) to remain in
Pandora’s box, what would you choose? Why? Discuss your
ideas with the person seated next to you. Teacher gives them
a few minutes to discuss their ideas with their neighbor. Keep
these ideas in your mind while you listen to this book entitled
Counting Blessings. Teacher reads the book to the class, then
encourages discussion afterwards. What were the blessings in
the book? How does this relate to our discussion of hope?
Does it give you any ideas as to what virtue you would choose
to remain in the box?
Today, we are going to write, using our IDEAS to guide our
writing. Your assignment is (teacher writes the steps on the
board while explaining) to
1. Choose one virtue to keep in Pandora’s box and write
a “letter to the world,” explaining why your idea
would benefit the world we live in.
2. Your letter may be an actual letter, or you may choose
to write it in the form of a poem or song lyrics.
3. Focus on your ideas and be sure to fully demonstrate
your idea of what the virtue is and why it is important
for it to remain in the world.
4. Decorate your “Pandora’s Box” with pictures and
drawings of what your idea of the virtue is. (for
instance, if I chose patience, I could decorate the box
with pictures of adults helping children or cartoons
about having patience)
5. Place your typed writing assignment into the box.
Remember, this assignment is focusing on your personal
ideas. There is no right or wrong answer – only your ideas.
Be creative, and have fun!
After students complete their projects (may take a day or
two), the teacher brings the class back to full group to discuss
Anyone want to share their ideas with the class? Teacher
opens discussion up to volunteers. How did you come up with
your ideas? Do you think anyone might share in your ideas?
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Teacher asks students for feedback about the project in the
form of a short journal writing task. Answer the following
questions in your journal entry: What did you like about your
final product? If you could change anything, what would it
be? What did you think of the project as a whole? If you
were the teacher, what would you change about the project?
Assessment Informal: Participation in chalktalk and discussions; writing
Formal: See attached Six Traits rubric1 (assess for IDEAS
Reflections Student Work Sample 1 – Approaching Proficiency:
(no work submitted
Student Work Sample 2 – Proficient:
Student Work Sample 3 – Exceeds Proficiency:
“6 + 1 Traits.” Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. 23 July 2008
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