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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
Universal Studios' Roller Coasters

Project URL: 


How it works:
This unit was designed as part of a preparation for the second task of the New York State Regents that requires the students to read an article and review a type of graph or other graphic representation. Then they must write a response to a ""Task"" that may be a letter, a report, or a speech to an interested group. In the written response they must refer to both the article and the graph. Of course, the unit will serve as an English Language Arts learning experience on its own without the onus of teaching for the test.  As you will see, there are the required components of all English As A Second Language lessons, i.e., oral warm up, conversation, oral presentations, and so on. In addition, the subject of theme parks and roller coasters was chosen as an American cultural topic for an immigrant student population.  However, the lessons may easily be modified for any English Language Arts class including regular English Classes. 

To begin, the lessons are centered around the information on roller coasters on the Universal Studios website. The students will enjoy the entertainment elements as well as the graphics. The tasks include reading for information, graphing, drawing, writing, and editing. 

So climb on board, hold on tight, scream your head off, and have fun!

Standards addressed:

This unit focuses on the following standards: 
1. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing using language for information and understanding. 
2. Using language for social interaction.
3. Analyzing and interpreting information from graphs.
4. Accessing the Internet to find information relevant to a specific task.

Software materials used:
Computer with Internet access, printer, Microsoft Excel, word processing program, drawing program or materials.

The students:
This unit may be used with any advanced group of English As A Second Language high school students. It may also be modified and used with any 9-12 regular high school English class.

Overall value:
This program enables students to develop their English Language Arts skills and at the same time it offers an opportunity to teach across the curricula. That is because first, it includes using Excel to create graphs that would be associated with a Task II English Regents essay. Second, oftentimes students want to go to theme parks for school trips and the administration won't OK it because there is no academic merit to the trip. This program might help incorporate learning into the proposed trip. Most importantly,  high school students are motivated by subjects that interest them. They are familiar with theme parks and enjoy discussing them. Lessons about them and their rides would capture their interest.

Review the websites and do the tasks in the lessons yourself. URLs change, so they have to be checked. If the teacher goes through the steps of the lessons herself or himself, she or he will be able to adopt the lessons more efficiently to their own teaching style and their student population.

About The Teacher

Ms.Vitulano is an English Language Arts teacher with expertise in teaching with computer technology. She continues to act as a staff developer in that area. Her curriculum samples have been electronically published for several years on Murry Bergtraum High School's website, Blackboard.com, and the Manhattan High Schools Superintendency's website. She is currently involved in the development of a new high school, University Neighborhood. In its second year, the school is part of a pilot program of the Winstar wireless laptops. Ms. Vitulano is leading the school in the use of this latest technology with her students.

Email Contact: jmvitulano@yahoo.com 

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 5


Beginning Grade Level: 9

Ending Grade Level: 12









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