Jani Randall
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Middle School
  • Cell Phones
  • Informational Text
  • NE ELA
  • Text Dependent Analysis
  • Text Evidence
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    Education Standards

    Text Dependent Analysis - Cell Phones in Middle School

    Text Dependent Analysis - Cell Phones in Middle School



    This lesson plan was created by Jani Randall, a sixth grade teacher at Elkhorn Public Schools in Nebraska.  

    The attached Remote Learning Plan is designed for Grade 6 English Language Arts students. Students will read the article and then answer a prompt using text evidence in paragraph form.  Students will read the text, and then support claims from the text with their writing.  This lesson plan addresses the following NDE Standard: NE 6.1.6I

    It is expected that this lesson will take students 60 minutes to complete.

    Lesson Introduction

    Should cell phones be allowed for students at the middle school and elementary levels?  

    Show news video  (3:00 minutes).

    Ask students to share their opinions with a table group.  Create a list of classroom pros and cons.  



    Assuming most students would be in favor of brining cell phones to school, students will be reading the following article to find details and reasons to NOT use phones in school.  

    If possible, print off article and have students highlight as they read all of the reasons for NOT taking a cell phone to school.  

    Talk about a good topic sentence for a paragraph.   Something like: Cell phones for middle schoolers at school could be detrimental to their social development. 

    Guide students while filling out the graphic organizer.  For each piece of evidence from the text, students should write at least one or two sentences explaining why they selected that claim.  

    A closing sentence will restate the main idea and state the claim.  

    Here is the prompt:   

    Many middle school administrators struggle with the decision to allow students to use their cell phones at school.  Explain why cell phones usage at the middle school level WOULD NOT be a good idea.  Write a well developed writing using evidence from the text to support your answer.

    After the graphic organizer is filled out, students can type or write the information into a paragraph or an essay.  


    Things to watch for in the graphic organizer and paragraph.


    Are students able to state a claim in the topic sentence? 

    Does the student use the sentence stems for citing and explaining?

    Are transition words used to connect ideas? 

    Does each piece of evidence have at least one sentence of explanation?  

    Does a closing sentence tie the paragraph together?