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K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • select and analyze a modern invention/development.
  • use the internet to research their invention/development.
  • write an essay summarizing their research and linking their research to the text.
  • include a bibliography to cite their sources.
  • create a multi-media presentation.
  • apply their research to the text discussed during the seminar.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

8 +/- hours

Materials/resources

Technology resources

  • Computer for each student
  • Internet Access
  • Kid Pix or equivalent multi-media software
  • Word Processing software

Pre-activities

  • The students will review the goals for Seminar.
  • The students will review the Paideia Seminar rubric (see attachment).
  • Students will set a personal goal for the Seminar.
  • Teacher will state the objectives for the lesson.
  • Teacher will read aloud the book, The Simple People.

Activities

Seminar

  1. Once the teacher has read the book aloud, he/she shall pose an opening question to begin the Seminar: “What lesson is the author trying to teach? What leads you to believe that?”
  2. Once the discussion gets going, the teacher can ask core questions to guide the discussion in the proper direction. These questions will also check the students’ comprehension of the text.
    • What was life like before the wall?
    • Discuss the characters’ reactions to the building of the wall. (materialistic, greedy)
    • How does life change after the wall was built?
    • How does the life of the simple people compare to our lives today?
    • What does the author mean when he writes, “The night was warm, the wind was soft, and life was simple once more”? (life was changed by this “modern invention.”)
  3. Before the discussion comes to a close, the teacher should ask the following closing questions:
    • What are the consequences for building the wall?
    • How do they affect the lives of the characters in the story?
    • How do “modern inventions” affect our lives?

Research project

  1. The students will select a modern invention that has changed modern life. They will conduct on-line research and write an essay which will discuss the importance of the advancement made in technology (i.e. telephone, radio, television,etc.) and how this invention has impacted the lives of Americans. The essay should focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the invention and link to the story of the simple people.
  2. Students will use the information in their essay to produce a slide show using Kid Pix, or an equivalent software program, which will inform the class of the history of the invention they researched, how it has changed modern life, and the advantages and disadvantages of those changes.

Assessment

  • Teacher will evaluate student performance during Seminar by using the Paideia Seminar rubric (see list of materials/resources)
  • Students will complete a self evaluation by using the Personal Seminar Rating Chart (see list of materials/resources)
  • The students will also select a modern invention for which they will conduct on-line research and write an essay which will discuss the importance of the advancement made in technology (i.e. telephone, radio, television,etc.) and how this invention has impacted the lives of Americans. The essay should focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the invention and link to the story of the simple people. The essay will be graded according to the essay rubric (see link). Students can then work on the culminating activity, which requires them to produce a slide show using Kid Pix, or an equivalent software program, which will inform the class of the history of the invention they researched. Assess students by their fulfillment of the assignment requirements. You may choose to create a rubric.

Supplemental information

Comments

This lesson will allow you to see how critically your students can think. My students not only enjoyed this lesson, they went above and beyond what I had expected. My students’ essays were quite insightful.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Speaking & Listening

        • Grade 5
          • 5.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 5.SL.1.1 Come to discussions prepared,...
        • Grade 6
          • 6.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 6.SL.1.1 Come to discussions...

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 5

        • 5.G.1 Understand how human activity has and continues to shape the United States. 5.G.1.1 Explain the impact of the physical environment on early settlements in the New World. 5.G.1.2 Explain the positive and negative effects of human activity on the physical...
      • Grade 6

        • 6.H.2 Understand the political, economic and/or social significance of historical events, issues, individuals and cultural groups. 6.H.2.1 Explain how invasions, conquests, and migrations affected various civilizations, societies and regions (e.g. Mongol invasion,...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 5

  • Goal 2: The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.02: Interact with the text before, during, and after reading, listening, and viewing by:
      • making predictions.
      • formulating questions.
      • supporting answers from textual information, previous experience, and/or other sources.
      • drawing on personal, literary, and cultural understandings.
      • seeking additional information.
      • making connections with previous experiences, information, and ideas.
    • Objective 2.09: Listen actively and critically by:
      • asking questions.
      • delving deeper into the topic.
      • elaborating on the information and ideas presented.
      • evaluating information and ideas.
      • making inferences and drawing conclusions.
      • making judgments.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.01: Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by:
      • analyzing word choice and content.
      • examining reasons for a character's actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character.
      • creating and presenting a product that effectively demonstrates a personal response to a selection or experience.
      • examining alternative perspectives.
      • evaluating the differences among genres.
      • examining relationships among characters.
      • making and evaluating inferences and conclusions about characters, events and themes.
    • Objective 3.06: Conduct research (with assistance) from a variety of sources for assigned or self-selected projects (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people, libraries, databases, computer networks).
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.03: Make oral and written presentations to inform or persuade selecting vocabulary for impact.
    • Objective 4.06: Compose a draft that elaborates on major ideas and adheres to the topic by using an appropriate organizational pattern that accomplishes the purpose of the writing task and effectively communicates its content.
    • Objective 4.10: Use technology as a tool to enhance and/or publish a product.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 5

  • Goal 6: The learner will recognize how technology has influenced change within the United States and other countries in North America.
    • Objective 6.03: Forecast how technology can be managed to have the greatest number of people enjoy the benefits.