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Lesson Plan Contest—Imagine Arizona

Congratulations, Winners!

The Arizona Experience Teachers’ Center challenged teachers to build and share lesson plans as part of our Imagine Arizona Lesson Plan Contest.

The contest objective is to construct a multi-day lesson plan unit that incorporates content from The Arizona Experience multimedia materials and accommodate state education standards in two content areas and result in a lesson plan unit deployed in the classroom over three to seven days.

The Arizona Experience is proud to announce six winning entries. Congratulations to the individuals and teams who created these dynamic original lesson plans. We are so proud to see Arizona Experience material put to great use.

Niki Tilicki (left, in orange), Lisa Boyer (right, in white) and their class.First Prize

Team Entry: Protecting, Preserving and Promoting Arizona's Precious Resources

Created by: Lisa Boyer and Nicki Tilicki

Grade Level: 4

Our unit focuses on discovering the renewable and nonrenewable resources found in our great state of Arizona. The growing population has taken a toll on our non-renewable resources. Arizona has a wealth of renewable resources that we must begin to take advantage of so that we can continue to thrive as a state.

Our lesson was taught to two classes over a seven day period. Students were very engaged and hadn’t heard of more than solar energy. While they see hydro and wind power around the state, students didn’t know what it was really used for. The most profound outcome of our lesson was the fact that students felt empowered to change the way we power our state, making Arizona better than great!

Lesson Plan Coming Soon!

Kristie KayIndividual Entry: Native American Culture

Created by: Kristie Kay

Grade Level: 6

With Arizona having the second largest Native American population in the United States, I believe that it is extremely important to inform today’s youth of the fascinating history of Arizona’s Native American tribes.  In this era of digital media, it is essential to bring the technology available on The Arizona Experience into the classroom, and I was able to do just that.My unit plan was extremely effective in the classroom because it created an engaging and interactive learning experience.  My unit plan is cross-curricular as it incorporates Social Studies, Reading, Writing, and Art.  It can be used at any school throughout the state of Arizona.  This unit plan was designed for sixth graders, but can easily be adapted for both the elementary or secondary levels.

 Lesson Plan Coming Soon!

Second Prize

Team Entry: Solar EnergyShannon Wold (left) and Karen Brown

Created by: Karen Brown and Shannon Wold

Grade Level: 9

The use of renewable energy in Arizona is paramount to a sustainable future. Students will conduct research on the Internet and make presentations regarding their findings, using technology to prepare their audio-visual materials.

Individual Entry: Exploring the Diversity of Arizona Land and Wildlife

Marty NolandCreated by: Marty Noland

Grade Level: 4

Each school hear, I attempt to teach diversity to my students in order to acquaint them with the differences within our classroom and each other. Using the content areas of Geography, Reading, and Writing, I attempted to introduce diversity through classroom text. I constantly look for ways to connect literature with core content subjects. Finding the Arizona Experience website was extremely helpful in building this lesson. The amount of resources contained underneath the tabs was a bit mind boggling, but navigating to the maps and topics was fairly pain free. Using the literature story by Brooke Bessesen and the website created, in my opinion, a strong, creative learning experience for the students that incorporated more than just map skills. I believe the students found maps a bit more engaging than before and understood more clearly the idea of diversity among themselves. 

Third Prize

Team Entry: Reinventing the Five Cs of ArizonaErika Rutz and Tonya Rauch

Created by: Erika Rutz and Tonya Rauch

Grade Level: 4

This seven-day lesson plan has students research the 5C’s of Arizona, as taught throughout the elementary years, and “reinvent” these concepts in a 21st century world. Cotton, cattle, copper, citrus and climate are still very important to our state, as demonstrated by the Arizona Experience website.  However, their importance is different in our new, modern world. We will focus on language arts and social studies Arizona education standards but the project can easily be adapted for grade and content area. Our incorporation of technology is a unique aspect of our project.

Individual Entry: Arizona Stands For

Created by: Ramon Gutierrez

Grade Level: Special Education Department (Self-Contained Classroom)

The lesson plan focuses in the concept of listening. It is designed for students in a self-contained classroom. Students will listen the texts. They also will listen stories and videos from the Arizona Experience website. Students will be asses by answering questions to verify understanding.Students enjoyed the videos and stories. They interact actively during the development of the lesson, and they mastered the listening goals.

About the Contest


The contest was open to full-time Arizona teachers of grades 4 through 12 at any accredited public, private, charter, alternative, or tribal school.

Entries were judged in two categories: individual teachers and teacher teams. Lesson plans can pertain to any subject approved by the Arizona Board of Education. Entries are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

Contest Objectives

 Construct a multi-day lesson plan unit that incorporates content from The Arizona Experience. 

Material developed for the contest should accommodate state education standards, include two content areas (e.g., English language arts and biology), and result in a lesson plan unit deployed in the classroom over three to seven days. Teams are urged to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach leading to a broader, multi-dimensional lesson plan

Subject matter is solely at the discretion of the teacher but is expected to conform to state education standards.