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Social Studies
Grade: Middle

#4259. Analyze and Interpret past historical events - Presidents

Social Studies, level: Middle
Posted Wed Nov 12 07:36:48 PST 2008 by Kathleen Abair (Kathleen Abair ).
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Wayne State University,
Materials Required: Access to school media center, computer access, Inspiration software, pen/pencil, 3x5 notecards
Activity Time: 5 -7 days
Concepts Taught: Analyze and Interpret past historical events

Development of Lesson
Introduction
Students will be given a brief description of what the project will entail. We will then begin preparation in the schools' media library. We will have two visits (minimum) so that all students have a chance to do their preliminary research. Students will then be told, from the information they gather they must make a connection to their own lives and be prepared to compare and contrast this information in a 3-5 minute speech, in front of the class.


Content
Students will choose from a list of American Presidents and research either autobiographical or biographical research on this President. This can include campaign speeches, inaugural speeches, autobiographical literature, or biographical literature. They will construct a concept map of the key ideas mentioned from their research. From this concept map, students will compose a 3-5 minute speech about their President.


Benchmarks
Standard 1.3: Analyzing and Interpreting the Past.
All students will reconstruct the past by comparing interpretations written by others from a variety of perspectives and creating narratives from evidence.

Learning Resources and Materials
Library visitations
Computer access
Inspiration 8 software
pen/pencil
3x5 notecards

Methods/Procedures
-Students will be given a list of 6-8 Presidents to choose from (George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, President-Elect Barack
Obama).
-For their preliminary research students can work in groups of four; to help facilitate the information gathering process.
-Each student will take their research and apply it to a concept map from the Inspiration software.
-After the students have produced their concept map they will construct a speech, relating the importance of what they have learned to an experience, aspect, future hope of their own lives.

Accommodations/Adaptations
For students who have special needs: These students will be divided into the groups of four for the initial research gathering; placing the other students in a role of responsibility for "helping everyone." When it is time for individual work, these students will be placed close to the instructor for extra attention/help. Students who finish ahead of time will also aid in the learning process. Because the time allotted for this project will be spread throughout 5-7 days, all students should have enough time to complete it.


Assessment/Evaluation
Concept maps will be turned in. An evaluation rubric will be designed to accommodate the speeches. Each student will be given a copy so that they understand expectations to be met. As well, all students will fill out an evaluation after each student gives their speech; with exceptional emphasis being placed on the importance of the research to each students life. This will keep all students
engaged in the process, as well as, place particular attention on the key component - relating historical information to your present life.

Closure
After the speeches are finished, before grades are handed back, one class meeting will be devoted to discussing how students felt the whole process went - research gathering, aiding fellow students, Inspiration software, speeches made. Students will be asked for their input on what things they might like to change about the lesson and how they could apply this lesson to other subjects.


Teacher Reflection