Defining us: The American Experience



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Defining US: The American Experience


FCPS Teaching American History Grant

LESSON PLAN TEMPLATE



Subject: Famous Virginians Grade: 4

Prepared by: Joni Coutry and Ann Godden School: Herndon Elementary

Title or Topic: Famous Virginian Biography Project

Instructional Time: Direct Instruction: 3-4 class periods. This is an ongoing, long-term research and writing project which will take three weeks to complete in the classroom.
PART I.-CONTEXT

  1. Essential Learning: Students will be assigned a famous Virginia to research using a variety of resources. They will prepare a written report and an oral presentation.


2. Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL):

VS.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by

b) identifying the various roles played by Virginians in the Revolutionary War era, with emphasis

on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry.



VS.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new

American nation by



a) explaining why George Washington is called the “Father of our Country” and James Madison

is called the “Father of the Constitution.



b) identifying the ideas of George Mason and Thomas Jefferson as expressed in the Virginia

Declaration of Rights and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.



VS.9 The student will demonstrate knowledge of twentieth century Virginia by c) identifying the political, social, and/or economic contributions made by Maggie L. Walker, Harry F. Byrd, Sr., Arthur R. Ashe, Jr., and L. Douglas Wilder.
3. Fairfax County Program of Studies (POS):

POS Standard 1
Acquire historical knowledge and understanding that result from a comprehensive study of American history, world history, and western civilization.

Benchmark 4.1.2: Students examine the lasting contributions and achievements of individuals and groups in Virginia history.

POS Standard 2
Conduct inquiries and research gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating facts associated with themes, movements, and general principles operating in history and civics.

Benchmark 4.2.1: Students use a variety of resources to gather information about Virginia and Fairfax County.
Benchmark 4.2.2: Students organize, analyze, and communicate information about Virginia from the past to the present.


4. National History Standard

2. Historical comprehension

3. Historical analysis and interpretation

4. Historical research capabilities


5. Learning Strategy(s) Objectives:

1. Tell what you know

4. Use selective attention

5. Use resources

6. Summarize

7. Group/Classify

9. Take notes

10. Cooperate

11. Use imagery

6. Connection to TAH grant:

Content: Influential Virginians

Pedagogy: Using internet resources (Library of Congress and History Matters websites, etc.)

Introducing “heroes” in Virginia history, using visuals to present heroes, and using six trait writing.



PART II.

1. Assessment:

Teacher observation

See attached rubrics (self assessment and teacher assessment)



  1. Instructional Strategies:

Opener/Teacher Presentation

It is assumed that many of these famous Virginians have previously been introduced to students in the course of their studies of Virginia history. This project will allow more in depth research and study of the famous Virginians.

Give each student a handout with pictures of famous Virginians that are part of the essential knowledge for the fourth grade SOL’s.

Create class excitement by using a fanny pack with four to six items that will pertain to one of these famous Virginians. After the teacher has shown and discussed each object in the bag, have students guess who the famous person is. Then, conduct a lottery drawing to find out which famous Virginian each student will research. First have students draw a number to see in which order they will pick the name of the famous Virginian. Then have students, in number order, choose a famous Virginian from a second lottery basket.



Student Activity:

Days 1-3: Pass out and review project guidelines with class. Students are encouraged to begin collecting resources (books, etc.) from home and the public library to bring to class.
Day 4: Introduce websites to students in the computer lab. Allow students time to gather and print information from the internet sources.

Day 5: Teach note taking skills. Display an internet resource on large screen and read it with the class. Using the overhead projector and a transparency of a note taking page from their project, model how to take notes about content. Remind students to look for relevant facts and to record these facts as phrases, not complete sentences. Allow students an opportunity to try taking some notes on their famous Virginian. After 15-20 minutes have some students share their notes to check progress and address any questions students may have on note taking.

Days 6-10: Allow class time for students to read, research, and take notes.

Day 11: Model how to write an introductory paragraph. Give students time to write a draft of their introduction.

Day 12: Model how to use notes to write paragraphs for their report.

Days 13-17: Allow time for students to draft their report, edit with peers, teacher and revise. Encourage students to begin collecting/making artifacts for use in their fanny pack oral presentation.

Day 20: Begin oral presentations and sharing of fanny packs.
Suggested Follow up:

  • Students can create posters, portraits or puppets of their famous Virginians in conjunction with the art teacher.

  • Create a student power point presentation on Influential Virginians.

  • Play “Heroes” bingo.




  1. Materials/Resources to be used:

Reference materials pulled by school librarian, computers, paper, pencils, project description handout, handout of famous Virginians.


  1. Differentiation: Differentiation will occur naturally as students read and write at their own levels of ability.

ESOL: Obtain appropriate level resources for ESOL students to use for research.

GT: GT students will be expected to write a more in depth research paper.




  1. Attachments: (Include copies of assessments, rubrics, handouts that support this lesson.)

Biography Project Description (Note taking pages courtesy of Susie Orr)

Biography Project Self Assessment

Biography Project Assessment

Pictures of influential Virginians courtesy of Judith R. Villedrouin, posted by Kevin Simpson on the FCPS Social Studies Teacher Exchange Website.




  1. Annotated Bibliography:

Recommended Websites:

Library of Congress



http://www.loc.gov/

Great resource for written information, pictures and sounds related to history. This is a comprehensive site.

History Matters

http://www.historymatters.gmu.edu

The site has screened websites for accuracy and is a gateway to other websites. It contains

excellent history resources for students and teachers.

America’s Library



http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi

This is a child-friendly section of the Library of Congress website.

Awesome Library

http://www.awesomelibrary.org/Classroom/Social_Studies/Biographies/Biographies.html

This site contains biographical information listed alphabetically. It is a good site for child

research.

American Memory



http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/

This is another direct link to a section of the Library of Congress website.

MarcoPolo Search

http://www.marcopolosearch.org/mpsearch/basic_search.asp

This is a great search engine for educational resources.

White House Home Page

http://www.whitehouse.gov/kids/presidents/index.html

This website contains presidential biographies. This is another child-friendly site.

Grolier online

http://auth.grolier.com/cgi-bin/authV2?bffs=N

This is an online encyclopedia which will be useful for researching famous people.

Maggie Lena Walker http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/LeesCornerES/students/famousva/walker/mainpa.html

This website contains biographical information on Maggie Lena Walker. It was created

by Lees Corner Elementary School.

Maggie Lena Walker



http://www.nps.gov/malw/index.htm

The National Park Service website will help students learn about Maggie Lena Walker using

“place.”

Harry F. Byrd, Sr.



http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/LeesCornerES/students/famousva/byrd/hbback.htm

This site contains useful biographical information on Harry F. Byrd.



http://www.educationalsynthesis.org/famamer/Byrd.html

This is a link to different sites about Harry F. Byrd.

James Armistead Lafayette

http://www.intelligence.gov/2-overyears_b.shtml

This site briefly discusses James Armistead Lafayette’s role as a spy.



Name______________________
Biography Project
Description: Each student has been assigned a famous Virginian to research. Students will take notes on a note taking organizer and write a one page paper (six paragraphs) about this famous Virginian. All writing will be completed in class. The final paper will be typed on classroom computers and in the computer lab.

The paper should include the following information:

Introductory paragraph: Introduce your person, and include a sentence about what made this person so famous and important to Virginia history. Mention which time period in Virginia history this person lived.
Second paragraph: Discuss where your Virginian was born, when he lived and died, special things about his childhood, any interesting facts about early life, and important places your person lived.
Third paragraph: Discuss the person’s family. This can include his/her family growing up, whom he/she married, and any children he/she had. You can mention important family members here.
Fourth paragraph: In detail, discuss accomplishments and why this person is important to Virginia history and to the history of our country. Describe some of his/her most important historical contributions.
Fifth paragraph: You may discuss interesting facts that you learned about this famous Virginian. Maybe you have learned some things most people don’t know.
Sixth paragraph: This is a summing up (concluding) paragraph containing two or three sentences. Include your opinion of the person you researched.
Sources: You must use at least three sources. One source may be your social studies text book and one source may be the Internet. You must use at least one other printed source. Try looking in encyclopedias, books, and magazines. You must list your sources you used to help you research your person. You may list your sources on your note taking organizers.
Format: Your research project must be typed and one page long. The font size should be at least size 12 or 14. You may choose which font to use as long as it is a printed font that is easy to read. You must use correct capitalization so you’ll need to use upper and lower case. Preferable fonts are Times New Roman or Comic Sans. The title of your report is the name of your famous Virginian. Your name should go at the bottom left side of the paper. When you hand in your report, you must hand in your note taking organizers, a hand written rough draft with editing marks, and two typed copies of your report. In your final report you are expected to type complete sentences with proper capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Each paragraph should be indented.
Note: Most of this report will be done in class. We will have opportunities to work in the computer lab and also to use the computers in our classroom. However, due to time constraints, some research may need to be done at home. Parents may help with research but it is important that students do the writing in the classroom.
Parent Support: Parents may help students find appropriate research sources such as internet print-outs and books. If necessary, some research notes may be made at home. Parents should help their child gather appropriate items for the oral presentation component, and children should practice the oral presentation at home. Remember, there is a two minute time limit.

Biography Person: When the writing is complete, you will make a construction paper biography person of your famous Virginian. This will be made in art class. You may bring in additional materials (yarn, buttons, etc.) to be used in creating your person, although we will have materials available at school. The report will be pasted inside the biography person.
Oral Presentation: Student will share a shoebox or fanny pack filled with 4-6 items relating to or describing the famous Virginian. These items may be handmade. Student will be expected to give a 2 minute presentation describing the significance of the contents of the shoebox or fanny pack. Have fun and use your imagination.
Project Timeline:
April 20 Project assigned

April 21 Begin collecting resources

April 27 Begin using resources to take notes

May 4 Begin drafting biography

May 11 Complete first draft. Begin work on final report.

May 18 Final report and self assessment due

May 19, 20, 21 Oral Presentations.
----------------------------------------------------------------

Cut on dotted line. Signature slip due April 22, 2004

I have read these directions and shared this project assignment with my parents.


Student Signature:
Parent Signature:

Note taking Organizer for the Biography Report

Name:

Famous Virginian:_______________________

Childhood/Early Life

Source(s):_________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Notes:____________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Note taking Organizer for the Biography Report

Name:

Famous Virginian:_______________________

Family/children

Source(s):_________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Notes:____________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Note taking Organizer for the Biography Report

Name:

Famous Virginian:_______________________

Accomplishments/Contributions

Source(s):_________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Notes:____________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Note taking Organizer for the Biography Report

Name:

Famous Virginian:_______________________

Interesting Facts

Source(s):_________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Notes:____________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Biography Project Self Assessment Rubric


Name_________________________ Date_____________
Reading Comprehension

Note taking organizers



  • Childhood/early life 4 3 2 1

  • Family 4 3 2 1

  • Accomplishments/contributions 4 3 2 1

  • Interesting facts 4 3 2 1

16-15 A 14-11 B 10-7 C 6-4 D Total Points:____ Grade____


Written Communications

  • Wrote draft with editing 4 3 2 1

  • Wrote 6 paragraphs 4 3 2 1

  • Information relevant to the topic 4 3 2 1

  • Used proper capitalization 4 3 2 1

  • Used proper punctuation 4 3 2 1

  • Most words spelled correctly 4 3 2 1

  • Wrote in complete sentences 4 3 2 1

28-25 A 24-20 B 19-14 C 13-7 D Total Points:____ Grade____


Oral Communication

Spoke loudly 4 3 2 1 Made eye contact 4 3 2 1

Explained significance of each object 4 3 2 1
12-11 A 10-8 B 7-6 C 5-3 D Total Points:____Grade_____

Biography Project Grading Rubric


Name_________________________ Date_____________
Reading Comprehension

Note taking organizers



  • Childhood/early life 4 3 2 1

  • Family 4 3 2 1

  • Accomplishments/contributions 4 3 2 1

  • Interesting facts 4 3 2 1

16-15 A 14-11 B 10-7 C 6-4 D Total Points:____ Grade____


Written Communications

  • Wrote draft with editing 4 3 2 1

  • Wrote 6 paragraphs 4 3 2 1

  • Topic sentence for each paragraph 4 3 2 1

  • Used proper capitalization 4 3 2 1

  • Used proper punctuation 4 3 2 1

  • Most words spelled correctly 4 3 2 1

  • Wrote in complete sentences 4 3 2 1

28-25 A 24-20 B 19-14 C 13-7 D Total Points:____ Grade____


Oral Communication

Spoke loudly 4 3 2 1 Made eye contact 4 3 2 1

Explained significance of each object 4 3 2 1
12-11 A 10-8 B 7-6 C 5-3 D Total Points:____Grade_____


Abraham Lincoln Arthur Ashe Christopher Columbus




George Mason George Washington Harry F. Byrd, Sr. James A. Lafayette

James Madison John Brown John Smith L. Douglas Wilder



Maggie Lena Walker Pocahontas Powhatan



Robert E. Lee U.S. Grant Harriet Tubman Stonewall Jackson


Nat Turner Patrick Henry Thomas Jefferson



Coutry-Godden extended lesson plan 2004


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