Urban Legend Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about urban legends. Students will read a lesson and answer questions. Then, they will discuss different urban legends and ways to find legitimate sources of information.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on urban legends, students will be able to:

  • Cite evidence when answering questions about a text
  • Retell some popular urban legends
  • Learn ways to differentiate credible stories from those that are not

Length

60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.1

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.2

Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.8

Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Vocabulary

  • embellished
  • folklore
  • ominous
  • realistic
  • urban legends
  • variations
  • virality

Materials

  • Copies of the quiz
  • Copies of the text lesson
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Computer/internet access
  • Miscellaneous props as determined by each group
  • Satirical news article on animal testing

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary words.
  • Read Urban Legends: Definition & Examples as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What is an urban legend?
    • What are some urban legends you have heard?
    • How are urban legends used in the entertainment industry? Can you think of any examples of this?
    • How has the internet contributed to the spread of urban legends?
    • What are some things that urban legends have in common?
    • Why are there so many variations on the Bloody Mary legend?
    • Where did Slenderman originate?
    • What are some problems that have arisen as a result of Slenderman?
    • Turn and talk: Retell one of the urban legends from the lesson to your partner.
  • Pass out the printable worksheet. Have students complete the questions independently, then check the answers together.

Activities

Recreating Urban Legends

Materials needed: computer/internet access, paper, pencils, miscellaneous props as determined by the group

  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Have each group search the internet for an urban legend. Each group should have a different legend and none of those that are in the lesson should be selected.
  • Have each group write and perform a skit based on their urban legend. Students may make embellishments or use props during their performance according to school rules.
  • After performing their skit for the class, each group should explain the following to students:
    • Where did the story originate (if known)?
    • What are some variations on this story?
    • Why did the group select this story?

Extension Activity

Materials needed: paper, pencils, access to computer/internet, satirical news article on animal testing

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