Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Get the Point!
DescriptionStudents use a variety of resources to gather information on the Civil War and then create PowerPoint presentations.
ObjectivesThe student understands the geographic, economic, political, and cultural factors that characterized early exploration of the Americas.
The student knows that after the Civil War, massive immigration, big business, and mechanized farming transformed American life.
The student compares and contrasts primary and secondary accounts of selected historical events (for example, diary entries from a soldier in a Civil War battle and newspaper articles about the same battle).
Materials-Social Studies textbooks
-Computer workstations with PowerPoint installed
-Teacher-created learning cards for creating a PowerPoint slide show, one set per group
-Civil War literature
-Book: Moore, Kay. [If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War]. New York: Scholastic, 1994.
Preparations1. Create learning cards that give step-by-step instructions on how to create a slide show using the PowerPoint program. Provide one set for each group of students.
2. Choose Civil War topics for each group. Gather various resources (encyclopedias, library books, magazines, etc.) that groups can use to research their topic.
3. Make a list of the names of students for each group (three to four students).
4. Create a rubric for grading the PowerPoint presentations. (A sample one is located in the Assessments section.) Provide a copy of the rubric for each group.
5. Obtain a copy of the book, [If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War], and preview prior to the lesson.
Procedures1. Introduce the topic of the Civil War by reading the book, [If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War] by Kay Moore.
2. Group students into small groups made up of three to four students.
3. Assign each group a section of the social studies text in the chapter on the Civil War.
4. In each group, have students take turns orally reading their section while taking notes on the material.
5. After reading the assigned text, instruct students to use other resources (encyclopedias, library books, magazines, etc.) to gather additional information on their particular topic.
6. When students have completed their research, give each group a set of the teacher-created learning cards and the rubric that will be used to assess their presentations.
7. Review the information addressed on the learning cards and rubric with the students. When expectations are understood, have students go to a computer workstation and create a slide show presentation.
8. As students work, remind them to refer to the rubric so that each criteria is met in their presentation. For example, each slide show must have a title, the names of students who created the show, information for each slide, correct spelling, a picture on each slide, and transitions for text as well as sound.
AssessmentsThis activity is assessed by grading each PowerPoint presentation using this rubric:
95%-100% The slide show has a title, names listed, all required information, each slide has text and sound transitions, each slide has a picture, and there are no spelling errors.
85%-94% The slide show has a title, names listed, most of the required information, most of the slides have text and sound transitions, most of the slides have a picture, and there are only a few, if any, spelling errors.
75%-84% The slide show has a title, names listed, more than half of the required information, more than half of the slides have text and sound transitions, more than half of the slides have a picture, and there are several spelling errors.
65%-74% The slide show is either missing a title or the names listed, less than half of the required information is missing, less than half of the slides have text and sound transitions, less than half of the slides have a picture, and there are numerous spelling errors.
Extensions1. After creating the slide show presentations, have the students research African American history after the Civil War period.
2. For the learning disabled student, the teacher may read about Civil War topics such as where the northern children went to school, where the southern children went to school, what the women and elderly people did at home for the soldiers, etc. Afterwards, the teacher asks the students questions and has them retell the information. The students then tell the information to a general education student who types the information into a PowerPoint presentation.
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