Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Independent - To Be or Not Top Be - Day 2, Lesson 3: In the Course of Human Events

Katie Koehnemann
Bay District Schools


Building and scaffolding on scanning techniques, students locate information from teacher-selected text in search of answers and details to leading question(s) for each of thirteen events.


The student reads and organizes information from multiple sources for a variety of purposes (for example, supporting opinions, predictions, and conclusions; writing a research report; conducting interviews; taking a test; performing tasks).

The student extends the expectations of the fourth grade with increasingly complex reading selections, assignments and tasks (for example, differences between fact, fiction, opinion).

The student prepares for and gives presentations for specific occasions, audiences, and purposes (including but not limited to informational or imaginative presentations, research reports, extemporaneous talks).

The student understands reasons Americans and those who led them went to war to win independence from England.

The student knows significant events between 1756 and 1776 that led to the outbreak of the American Revolution (for example, the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party).


-Copy of Daily Teaching Matrix to help see the whole picture. (In Unit Plan Overview)
-Studentsí American Flag graphic organizer.
-Selected materials (Books, Websites, textbook, etc.) for use as resources.
-Print copies of selected resources for use as guided reading material OR transparency copies of selected material to use on the overhead as a whole group reading activity. *
-Transparency copy of blank, pictorial QAD** for the French and Indian War (In Associated File)
-A blank French and Indian War QAD** for each student. (In Associated File)
-Transparency of the completed French and Indian War QAD**. (In Associated File)
-Overhead projector with viewing surface.
-Studentsí Independent notebooks
-Tokens. Lots and lots of tokens! Donít forget to distribute these.

*Site copied materials may be used in the classroom for educational purposes; however, they cannot be distributed for use outside of the classroom.
**QAD Ė Question, Answer, Detail writing strategy as presented on the Just In Time writing strategies compact disc developed by Broward County, Florida.


1. Select text to use for the guided reading lesson.
2. Read and review Teacher's Guide to Working the QAD. (In Associated File)
3. Copy for each student of the French and Indian War QAD for students. (In Associated File)
4. Make a transparency of the French and Indian War Completed Sample QAD. (In Associated File)
5. Have on hand a plain sheet of paper to use as a cover on the transparency.
6. Overhead projector and viewing surface.
7. Students need their Independent notebooks.
8. Students need their American Flag Graphic Organizers.
9. Gather an abundance of tokens and do not forget to distribute them throughout the lesson.


*Students will work through selected text as Guided Reading. It is the teacherís responsibility to choose appropriate material for his/her students and to make decisions regarding the best way to use this activity to meet the needs of his/her students.
*Options to consider: Will students use text from handouts or transparencies? When will whole group or small group instruction be most effective? Will the pictorial or plain format of the handouts be best for my students? How much information do students need to know about each event? Which text/source will be most effective with my students?
*A completed sample is provided for the French and Indian War. (In Associated File) It is the teacherís responsibility to construct the questions for the remaining QADs. Design questions as you would to emphasize importance of information after students have read any Social Studies text, only this time, plan them ahead of time and have students record them on the QAD, instead of listening and answering orally.
*To allow students optimal performance in working with the QAD format, conduct whole group guided reading to model for students the processes of lifting information from the text, charting information on the QAD matrix, and using the recorded information to retell the event by writing about it inside the flap of the corresponding stripe on the flag graphic organizer.
*Students need to scan selected text/resources for correct answers and details on the QADs. Some events may be studied during Guided Reading, and again during the Social Studies time of the day. Remember, this is your reading lesson, so you will not have to also have Reading.

1. To gain studentsí attention, place the blank, pictorial QAD French and Indian War transparency (In Associated File) on the overhead.

2. Explain to students that they will apply their scanning skills to answer questions and to seek out details for each of the thirteen events. Information will be briefly recorded on the pictorial QAD. (Explain that QAD stands for Question, Answer, Detail). After the QAD is complete, they retell the event in their own words on the under side of each stripe on their flag graphic organizer, by lifting the stripe. Events will be studied in the order in which they occurred in history. The events are already in correct order on their flags. All thirteen events must be completed.

3. Share these tips for completing a QAD with students:
*Fine, pinpoint neatness on the QAD is not necessary.
*Scan the text.
*Recorded details should be brief.
*Write to explain the details by retelling about the event on the flag graphic organizer.
*The pictures on each QAD are to help identify each event.
*Keep all QADs in their notebooks.

4. Hand out to students a copy of the French and Indian War QAD. (In Associated File)

5. Present selected French and Indian War text, either as printed material or on a transparency.

6. Put a copy of the completed French and Indian War QAD (In Associated File) on the overhead, covered with a plain sheet of paper.

7. To guide studentsí purpose for reading, direct their attention to the first question. Have them write the question on their papers in the correct space. Conduct guided reading using appropriate techniques and assisting students in locating the answers to the first question.

8. Formative assessment occurs as students offer Answers to question one, and as sample responses are displayed.

9. Students copy these onto their QADs in the correct box.

10. Ask students what details they can add for those answers. Call on students for responses, formatively assessing the details suggested. Show the Details section of the completed QAD. Have students copy these onto their QADs in the correct box.

11. Continue the guided reading lesson by addressing each leading question that is on the QAD. Students will fill in their QAD as you show the completed example as you work through each question, answer, and detail.

12. Allow students time to retell what they know about the French and Indian War by writing about it. Lift the flag stripe labeled French and Indian War and write under the flap.

13. Students place completed QAD and flag in their notebooks.

PROCLAMATION OF 1763 Ė You will be doing the QAD for this event on Day 3. This would be an excellent time to begin taxing students. By now they have quite an accumulation of tokens and should be feeling prosperous. Start taxing them to use the bathroom, drinking fountain, for going to lunch, for every piece of paper they use, etc. Do not consult them as to whether they think they should have to pay the taxes or not, just impose the taxes on them without their opinions being represented. You should continue to pay tokens to them for work and behavior as you have been doing, but put the sting of taxation without representation into their pockets. As you continue this practice throughout the study of the significant events, they will be able to compare their feelings with those of the colonists. They can include their reflective feelings about taxation without representation in the Mountains To Climb page for some of the events studied, or you can have them do a separate reflective piece just on this issue using the Mountains To Climb page.
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE! Ė In the introductory lesson of this unit, students were introduced to national symbols of freedom and organized these on the American flag giant wall flip chart. This flag is aligned to their flag flip chart in form, but it will be used to record correlations between historical events and our national symbols celebrated on the 4th of July, instead of the significant events leading to the Revolution. As you work through the unit, keep returning to the wall flag, adding reasons, meaning, and significant events for the flag and other national symbols recorded on its stripes. The purpose is to have students develop an understanding of the reason we celebrate the 4th of July, why it is our most important national holiday, and to take a step in restoring respect, honor, dignity, and pride to the United States of America and the symbols which represent it.


Formative assessment occurs as students respond to QAD guiding questions and offer details of the event studied. Monitor studentsí for demonstration of understanding of information through oral discussion and correct, complete, and accurate details. Check student QADs for accuracy graphing alignment.


1. This is Day 2, Lesson 3 of the Unit Plan: Independent-To Be or Not To Be. Refer to the Daily Teaching Matrix located in the Unit Plan for a complete listing of daily lessons.
2. The QAD activity can be conducted during Guided Reading and during the Social Studies time of the day.
3. Once this activity has been modeled for students and there is understanding of the process, it can be modified as a small group activity. Prepare a folder for each of the events. In that folder should be any resources students may need, such as printed information from the Internet, textbook, library books, etc., with sticky notes indicating the event, and a QAD. Each group takes one event and completes the QAD. The completed QAD is placed back into the folder. Groups then rotate to the other 12 event stations and read, discuss, and record the information on their own QAD graphic organizer.
4. The purpose of the picture on each QAD is to help students associate the event with a visual reminder. It may also be helpful if students are encouraged to make drawings to help them remember the details for each event.
5. Liberty and Justice for All is an interactive Student Web Lesson. The lesson addresses this standard: the student understands reasons Americans and those who led them went to war to win independence from England. (See link to unit plan at the top of this page.)
6. United We Stand is an interactive Student Web Lesson. The lesson addresses this standard: the student knows significant events between 1756 and 1776 that led to the outbreak of the American Revolution. (See link to unit plan at the top of this page.)
7. Lessons may reflect modifications of, but are designed in conjunction with, the Reading Framework approach to classroom instruction and may be adapted to the Four Block Classroom. It is suggested that you have a historical fiction or a non-fiction book selected for use with the Shared Reading Component. Also, for the Self-Selected Reading Component, you will need to have appropriate period books available for which students to choose.
8. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, if any.

Web Links

At this site, in the left hand column, click American Revolution. Numerous tracks (Bunker Hill, Stamp Act, Concord, Lexington, Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre, and more) are offered. Click the track you are interested in. Next click View in Text. Each track offers questions and mini assignments with links for finding the answers.
American Revolution

This site offers extensive materials to assist your unit study. At this site be sure to click on Teacherís Guide for a helpful list of information, also click on Causes of the War for links to each event.
The Revolutionary War

This is a wonderful site. It is also listed in Salute to Old Glory in the Associated File, a listing of sites and special activity suggestions and ideas.
The Unofficial American Flag Home Page

A colorful site. It is also listed in Salute to Old Glory in the Associated File, a listing of sites and special activity suggestions and ideas.
Historical Flags of the United States

Scroll down a little more than half way to find documents pertinent to this unit, for example, the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, etc.
The American Colonists Library

Donít miss The Road to Revolution, a Revolutionary war game. It is fabulous with sound effects (have students wear headsets), film clips, links, instant feedback, and side trips to learn more. Also, click on Chronicle of the Revolution. From here there are various links. From the timeline you can find articles on events such as the Boston Tea Party and more.
Liberty! The American Revolution

Click the Table of Contents for lots of information and links.
Dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America

At this site, in the left hand column, click Colonial America. Scroll down to French and Indian War (#19). Click View in Text. This site offers questions about the French and Indian War with links to sites where students can find the answers.
Colonial America

At this site click on Background to the Campaign. The first page gives an overview of the events leading to the Revolutionary War, the second is background on the British, and the third is background on the Americans. On each of these pages at the top left click play a tune to hear a sample of period music. This site offers student friendly, easy read, large print articles.
The Philadelphia Campaign

Attached Files

QAD Directions, Sample, Student pages†††††File Extension: pdf

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