Educator Resources

Inspire your students with Planet Word’s expert-vetted content and ground-breaking interactive approach.

Our FREE lessons are:

  • Aligned with Common Core ELA Standards and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
  • Developed with feedback from a council of local D.C. area teachers and school librarians.
  • Designed to support all learners with in-the-moment scaffolds for differentiation and social emotional learning
  • Instantly useable with your students or easily customizable depending on your needs.
  • For 3rd-12th grades

Looking for quality resources while teaching virtually? Planet Word is happy to help. Lessons marked with a (*) don’t need to be paired with a visit to Planet Word.

What to Look For

Each unit has three short lessons to teach in your classroom and a longer-form activity for your students to complete on their own. In addition to exploring the big topic, the first mini lesson in any module prepares students for a visit to Planet Word, the second extends the learning, and the last supports deeper student understanding through a guided reflection, plus an aligned project-based student activity. Use all four resources or just one depending on your needs. Check out our quick tips for getting started.

Elementary School     Middle School     High School

Elementary School

CCRA.L3-5

*You’re Joking, Right?
Students think about jokes and what makes them laugh. How do words make a joke funny?

*Thinking Outside the Box
Students analyze the idiom “when pigs fly!” to understand literal and non-literal meaning.

A Barrel of Laughs
Students reflect on what they learned about humor, jokes, and idioms during their time at Planet Word.

*Stand-up Comedy Show Activity
Students practice writing and delivering jokes.

W4-5.3.D, L.3-5.3.A, RL.3-4.4.A

*Elements of Setting
Students compare two versions of the same short text to identify how authors craft a particular setting through their word choice and imagery.

*Just One Little Change…
Students demonstrate the impact of word choice with corresponding changes to a picture they rapidly draw and adjust as words to describe it are changed.

Words as a Mosaic
Students share their experiences in the gallery, emphasizing the strategies they used to determine the meaning of new words, and reflecting on what writers do when they write.

*Painting with Words Activity
Students explore a setting in their writing by creating a “scene book” that shows how the setting changes based on the words they use to describe it.

Middle School

NCSS Strand 3, CCRA.L.1, 3-5, 7, CCRA.W.2,7

The Power of Language
Students share what they know about world languages and create a KWL chart to document the questions they still have. Students consider why knowing another language may be useful.

*Endangered Languages
Students learn about endangered languages around the world and the importance of protecting languages. Students do a brief analysis of the Evenki poem “My Language”.

A Linguistic Exploration
Students discuss a variety of questions about the role of language in culture, politics, and society. Students also conduct research and create a visual display to introduce one of the languages they explored at Planet Word to their classmates.

*Welcome Guide Activity
Students consider how to kindly welcome a new classmate who speaks another language. Students are tasked with creating an informational guide that applies the learning from the museum as well as research into phrases that would be important in a school context.

CCRA.SL.1-2,6-12.1; R.1-2,6; W.3,6-12.3,

*Gather Round
Students explore the power of stories and examine what is required of a storyteller and of a listener.

*Tell Me a Story
Students explore archives of stories to find one that resonates with them and reflect on the effect of the techniques used in the story.

The Power of Words
Students explore the messages of the stories they heard at Planet Word, then turn the lens on themselves to explore a time a word or words have had an impact on them.

*Tell Me About a Time… Activity
Each student conducts an interview and then creates a meaningful narrative essay.

High School

CCRA.SL.1-2,6-12.1; R.1-2,6; W.3,6-12.3,

*Gather Round
Students explore the power of stories and examine what is required of a storyteller and of a listener.

*Tell Me a Story
Students explore archives of stories to find one that resonates with them and reflect on the effect of the techniques used in the story.

The Power of Words
Students explore the messages of the stories they heard at Planet Word, then turn the lens on themselves to explore a time a word or words have had an impact on them.

*Tell Me About a Time… Activity
Each student conducts an interview and then creates a meaningful narrative essay.

CCRA.L.4-5; SL 1;

*A Cautious Consumer
Students look at a variety of different ads in order to identify the audience, claim, and desired outcome (behavior) and define some key terms related to advertising.

*Something Smells Fishy
Students analyze the persuasive tactics from a successful historic advertising campaign.

Too Good to be True?
Students share their experiences in the gallery, emphasizing what it was like to create their own advertisements and reflect on the role that advertisements play in their life.

*Can You Convince the Consumer? Activity
Students think deeply about how advertisements work in order to create their own from-scratch advertisement