Lesson Plan : Exploring our US Presidents

Teacher Name:
 Kimberly Pucci
Grade:
 Grade 7-8
Subject:
 Social Studies

Topic:
 This lesson will involve in-depth research, both library research and online research, on one of the US Presidents. It will conclude with a brief presentation of the research to the class. This project will take approximately two weeks to complete.
Content:
 Study the US Presidents in order to answer following questions and provide additional informative details about the president. 1.) When was the president born? 2.)Name some ways he served or other jobs he held. 3.) What state did he represent? 4.) What was life like in America while your president was in power? 5.) Any additional information you deem important.
Goals:
 English Language Arts Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information. Social Studies Standard 1: History of the United States and New York Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York. Technology productivity tools Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity. Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
Objectives:
 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS Use standard English for formal presentation of information, selecting appropriate grammatical constructions and vocabulary, using a variety of sentence structures, and observing the rules of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. SOCIAL STUDIES Gather and organize information about the important achievements and contributions of individuals and groups living in New York State and the United States NETS Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources. Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using telecommunications and collaborative tools to investigate curriculum-related problems, issues, and information, and to develop solutions or products for audiences inside and outside the classroom. (4, 5)
Materials:
 Computers - Teacher-provided websites as well as student-selected sites Reference material - encyclopedias, reference books Lap top/computer with projector and speakers Films on past presidents
Introduction:
 Who knows who our president is? Can you name another president from previous years? What do you think our next lesson will be on? That's correct! We will be learning about all the Presidents of the United States!
Development:
 I will choose the current President, George W. Bush, and go through the web page on the lap top/projector for the entire class to see.
Practice:
 The class will pick the next president to research, online. We will go through the research, together, using the computer and projector. The students will prompt the teacher as to where/which links to click in order to find more information.
Accommodations:
 LD students - Depending on their deficiency, they may work in groups of three. This will allow the LD student to spend more time focusing on the reseach skill, and not have to worry about all of the other details. If creativity is their strong suit, perhaps the can focus on the presentation rather than the research. They will be held accountable for some portion of the project. Gifted students: They can research the First Ladies of their assigned Presidents or they can provided a detailed handout comparing the two presidents they were assigned. ESL: If there is an ESL student in the class, they may be allowed to research and present information about a president in their native country. All the same guidelines and assessments will apply.
Checking For Understanding:
 The students will be asked to preset their notes after three days. They will also be asked to present a bibliography in order to check that they have used credible sites. Their presentation will hold the most weight. If they include all the required details about their presidents, it will ensure understanding. While each group is presenting their presidential information, every student in the class will have to fill out a questionaire on the president being presented. This will allow each student to have a packet containing detailed information on each president of the United States and will ensure that they pay attention during the presetations. The completed packets will be collected and used as a quiz grade.
Closure:
 Now that you have heard all about the Presidents of the United States, you can all agree that they have served this country to the best of their ability. We are lucky to have the freedom's they fought for.
Evaluation:
 Supplied in the form of a Rubric for research criteria, presentation critera, and note-taking criteria. Completed presidential packets (notes from classmate presentations) will be used as a quiz grade.
Teacher Reflections:
 This will be an exercise in using credible and valid websites as references. The students will learn the importance of a detailed bibliography and accurate note-taking. The students attentiveness during presentations is just as important as the research skills.

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