With students out of school, these lesson plans provide teachers and students the opportunity to continue to grow their education.
With all Michigan schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, teachers and parents may be struggling to find free educational resources on short notice. But Jacob Blumenstein and his siblings are determined to help keep kids’ minds stay sharp.
Blumenstein, an 18-year-old Bloomfield Hills resident, is the co-founder of KidsRead2Kids, an organization that was founded in 2017 and provides free video-audio books to students struggling with dyslexia and ADHD. After the state went into lockdown, Jacob began brainstorming ideas with his siblings and co-founders, Ben, Alana, Julia and Reuben, on how to use their platform as a resource.
“This is a very difficult time for everyone, and it can be very isolating. It’s so important for kids to maintain not only their education, but also their connection to other kids like them,” said Alana, who is 20. “Our nonprofit is run completely by kids, and we can emphasize with them and hopefully provide that connection.”
The Blumensteins came up with the idea of offering free online lesson plans for one of their favorite abridged classic novels, Peter Pan. There are lesson plans for each chapter of the book, providing vocabulary lessons, critical thinking questions and chapter recap quizzes.
The lessons plans are geared more toward elementary school students, but can be used by any student looking to improve their reading comprehension. The Blumensteins took on the initiative of writing these lesson plans themselves and focused on what they believe would help children improve their reading comprehension.
“We read and listened to the book, and then we analyzed what words would be challenging for that age group,” Jacob said. “We also found key moments in each chapter and wrote questions to test their listening comprehension.”
Alana, a creative writing major at Oberlin College, took on the creative writing prompts of the lesson plans. She hopes these prompts will allow students to demonstrate what they’ve learned, while using their own imaginations.
As of now, they are only offering a lesson plan for Peter Pan, but are hoping to continue implementing more options in the near future.
“We hope our lesson plans provide some relief to teachers. We know many were given very short deadlines to create brand new lesson plans, and that’s a really difficult position to be in,” Jacob said. “We hope these lesson plans are an enjoyable way for students to keep learning.”
You can check out the Peter Pan lesson plans on their website, KidsRead2Kids.