Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Themes and Patterns of History

Richard Johnson
Bay District Schools

Description

Students learn about reoccurring historical and geographical themes important to the study of history. They work together in groups of three to identify these themes by interpreting historical passages through critical reading.

Objectives

The student selects and uses strategies to understand words and text, and to make and confirm inferences from what is read, including interpreting diagrams, graphs, and statistical illustrations.

The student identifies and understands themes in history that cross scientific, economic, and cultural boundaries.

Materials

-Historical and Geographical Theme Pretest (See Extensions)
-Geographical and Historical Themes Web site (See Weblinks)
-Historical Themes PowerPoint presentation (See Extensions)
-Theme Explanations and Diagrams handout for every student (See Associated Files)
-Working Together as a Group Criteria Sheet- overhead transparency (See Associated Files)
-Geographical and Historical Passages (Classroom sets)
-Passage 1 Template for Overhead Transparency (See Associated Files)
-Passage 7 Template for Overhead Transparency (See Associated Files)
-Geographical and Historical Themes Group Assignment Sheet (groups only) (See Associated Files)
-Historical and Geographical Themes Group Answer Sheet (groups only) (See Associated Files)
-Historical and Geographical Themes Individual Answer Sheet (for every student) (See Associated Files)
-Themes/Answer Matrix (overhead transparency) (See Associated Files)

Preparations

1. Reproduce handouts and transparencies
2. Decide on options in Step 4 of the procedures.
3. If using the Web site or PowerPoint, gather appropriate viewing materials, such as computer with presentation capabilities and multiple computers (maybe a lab) for student access to the Internet.
4. Determine a quick method to group students into heterogeneous groups of three.

Procedures

Day 3 of the Unit Plan: Historical Tool Time (Half of a period the day prior to doing Step 3 below)

1. Give the pretest, Historical And Geographical Themes Pretest. (See Extensions below.) Collect student work.

2. Review the pretest to determine the extent that the students understand longitude, latitude, hemispheres, continents, historical and geographical themes, and how to read and distinguish themes in historical passages.

Day 4 of the Unit Plan: Historical Tool Time

3. Review geographical concepts as necessary.

4. (Alternative one) Give the students the Theme Explanations And Diagrams packet. (See Associated Files.) *If paper is scarce, the diagrams could be enlarged and displayed prominently in the classroom rather than each student receiving an individual copy.

4. (Alternative one) Have the students access a more detailed description of these themes with accompanying historical passages via the Geographical and Historical Themes Web site. (See Weblinks below.)

5. Use the PowerPoint presentation, Historical Themes, to present the geographical and historical themes’ explanations and to prompt discussion of these themes. (*If the classroom does not have the technology to display the presentation via computer, transparencies can be made from the PowerPoint presentation and then presented via the overhead projector.) Solicit examples from the students’ lives to reinforce the theme examples that you give. Students might identify important individuals, ideas, new technologies, etc., from their own experiences to reinforce historical themes.

Day 5 of the Unit Plan: Historical Tool Time

6. Group the students into groups of three. Show the Working Together As A Group transparency. (See Associated Files.) Go over the group expectations.

7. Give each student a classroom copy of the Geographical and Historical Passages packet and a Historical and Geographical Themes Individual Answer Sheet. (See Associated Files.) Give each student group a Historical and Geographical Themes Group Answer Sheet. (See Associated Files.)

8. Show Passage 1 in the associated file that corresponds to historical passage in item one in the Geographical and Historical Themes Passages document via an overhead transparency. Model the process of reading the passage and picking out key elements, such as key words, main ideas, and details that point to the identification of the correct geographical theme. See the Passage 1 Key for examples of these key elements. (See Associated Files.)

9. Show Passage 7 that corresponds to historical passage in item seven in the Geographical and Historical Themes Passages document via an overhead transparency. (See Associated Files.) Using the methods that were modeled in passage 1, solicit student input to determine the corresponding historical theme, thus reinforcing the skills necessary for the students to interpret the remaining passages. See the Passage 7 Key for examples of key elements that students ought to provide. (See Associated Files.)

Day 6 of the Unit Plan: Historical Tool Time

10. Each individual student reads the passages from the Geographical and Historical Themes Passages packet and completes the Historical and Geographical Themes Individual Answer Sheet.

11. In their groups, students compare their answers and come to consensus on which theme best fits the passage, recording their answers on the Historical and Geographical Themes Group Answer Sheet without changing their original individual answer sheets. The teacher will review the individual answer sheets to determine which students are having problems with the assignment.

12. Keep notes as to how well the student groups are working toward the group rubric found on the Geographical and Historical Themes Group Assignment sheet. This will be needed to give feedback to the groups upon completion of the activity.

13. Solicit responses from the groups’ speakers for each passage, which should include their rational for the theme that was chosen. Write the groups’ responses for each passage on the Themes/Answer Matrix transparency (see Associated Files) while showing on the overhead projector. By doing this, the students will see that there may be varying responses to the reading of the historical passages.

14. Take up the Historical and Geographical Themes Group Answer Sheets, the Geographical and Historical Themes Group Assignment sheets with the Historical and Geographical Themes Individual Answer Sheets attached to the group sheet. Review the assignments. If there are student groups that have a score of less than 70, then discuss the steps needed to improve on their group performance. Historical and Geographical Themes Individual Answer Sheets that have more than four answers wrong should be returned to the student with suggestions as to how to improve their performance. These students could use the Geographical and Historical Themes Web site to review the themes and see corresponding historical passages. The PowerPoint presentation, Historical Themes Presentation, could also be given to them as a source for information. This gives them feedback on their ability to perform as a group, as well as to identify themes from the passages.

Day 7 of the Unit Plan: Historical Tool Time

15. Provide feedback to students and student groups on previous assignment.

16. If using this lesson with the Historical Tool Time Unit, the rest of the class would be used to review the content and substance of the unit summative assessment that will be given on the next day. (See Day 8 of the Unit Plan: Historical Tool Time.)

Assessments

Students are formatively assessed for their ability to work in a group and identify historical and geographical themes from historical passages when they complete an individual and group activity sheet that includes a rubric for group interaction, as well as their answers for interpreting the different historical passages. (See Associated Files.) The teacher determines his or her level of accomplishment by classroom observations of the groups’ interactions, from the spokesperson’s rational for their choices, and by reviewing the individual answer sheets. Students who miss more than four items on the individual answer sheet should be identified and provided more help when identifying themes from historical passages.

Extensions

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: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2961. Once you select the unit’s 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

Web supplement for Themes and Patterns of History
Geographical and Historical Themes Web site

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