Historical Narrative Lesson_Technology

Lesson Planning Tool
Teacher: Megan Fitzpatrick
Grade: 3
Date of Lesson: ________________
Clara Byrd Baker
Time Needed (Approximate): 4-5 days
Lesson Subject/Topic: Historical Narratives
Student Learning Goal(s): Given an example of a historical narrative, students will create
personal narratives to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of oral tradition.
History 3.2 The student will study the early West African empire of Mali by describing its oral
tradition (storytelling), government (kings), and economic development (trade).
The student will explain how producers in the West African empire of Mali used
natural resources, human resources, and capital resources in the production of goods and
Reading 3.6 The student will continue to read and demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction
texts. b) Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
Writing 3.9 The student will write for a variety of purposes.
Essential Questions: What role did/do the griots play in Mali’s culture? How can we as
authors recreate their oral tradition today?
Assessment(s): Student-created oral history, illustrated, planned, and recorded by students.
Blauer, E., & Laure, J. (2008). Cultures of the world: Mali (2nd
Teacher’s historical
ed.). New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
Burns, K. (2001). Mansa Musa: The lion of Mali. New York:
Video recording
DiSpirito, S. A. (2006). The West African empire of Mali. Clara
Byrd Baker Elementary School, Williamsburg-James City County
Public Schools.
Malian instrument
Early peoples: Africans of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires. (constructed or authentic)
(2009). Chicago: World Book.
Empires of the western Sudan: Mali empire. (2013). Retrieved
Computers for research
September 26, 2013, from
and project formation
L’Atlas Catalan. (1235). Retrieved September 26, 2013, from
All source materials,
including books checked
Mali empire and Djenne figures. Retrieved September 26, 2013,
out from the library. It
from http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/resources/mali/index.htm
might be easiest to print
Sheehan, S. (2011). Exploring the ancient world: Ancient African out maps and shorter
kingdoms. New York: Gareth Stevens Publishing.
articles and give copies to
Stanley, M. Z. (2003). Mali: Today and long ago. Glen Allen,
each group, so that
VA: Foxhound Publishing.
students can have it in
Thompson, C. (1998). The empire of Mali. New York: Rosen
front of them as they plan
Publishing Group.
their presentations.
Wisniewski, D. (1992). Sundiata: Lion king of Mali. New York:
Clarion Books.
Notes: This lesson is not the beginning of the unit on ancient Mali. Students will have some
knowledge already regarding its history, economy, and government. Today begins the lessons
on its oral tradition, specifically storytelling by the famed griots. Extra adult support would be
helpful during the filming day for the projects, as there will likely be several students who will
need help.
Lesson Component
Engage & Hook
Day 1
Learning Activity Types and
Technology Options:
 Artifact-Based Inquiry:
griot instruments,
digital archives for
 Plan B: Printed
photos of Malian
 Audio/Visual
Presentation: Virginia
DOE Podcast on Malian
griots (On iTunes)
 Plan B: I will tell
the students the
same information in
the video and have
them complete their
worksheets based off
my lecture
 Generate Questions:
Class KWL chart on a
word document on the
projector and/or on the
document camera
 Plan B: Create a
KWL chart on chart
paper or on the
Ask students questions to remind
them what we have been discussing
in previous lessons: Where was the
Empire of Mali? What kind of
economy did they have? What kind
of government ruled?
Direct students’ attention to the
KWL chart created at the beginning
of the unit, and point out any
questions relevant to today’s lesson
(oral storytelling).
Show students the Malian
instrument, without telling them what
it is. Ask them what questions or
predictions they have about it, and
allow students to come up and feel it.
Add questions/comments to the
KWL chart.
Tell students you are going to give
them some context by showing them
a source of information. Play clip
from the Virginia DOE Podcast on
the Empire of Mali (Lesson 3, “The
Griot”). When the clip is over, ask
students if they can now tell you
what the “mystery artifact” is. Add
to the KWL chart.
Discuss the importance of the griots
to Ancient Malian culture. Ask, did
your parents have all the same kinds
of technology that we have now?
(some might know names of older
technology) What about their
parents? How about when America
Students will review
information on Mali
history, economy, and
Students will
participate in the class
discussion about the
“mystery artifact,”
adding to the class
KWL chart.
Students will watch the
video podcast, filling in
information on their
guided viewing
protocols as they go
Students will update the
class KWL chart after
viewing the video
Students will discuss
the changing modes of
beginning with modern
technology and
working backwards in
time until they are
thinking about Ancient
Mali. They should
reach the conclusion,
was founded? (they may know that
letters were used, but that it took a
long time to deliver them) Explain
that the Empire of Mali existed back
even further than when Columbus
sailed and found America. Ask how
they think people communicated
then. Explain that because the
Malian people had no written
language for a long time, the griots
were responsible for passing Malian
history down through the
Update the class KWL chart as
Prompt students to discuss traditions
Explain & Model
in their own families and how these
Day Two
traditions/stories get passed down.
Introduce the term historical
Learning Activity Types and
narrative: history in story-based
Technology Options:
form. Read teacher-created historical
 Read Text: Electronic
narrative (or excerpt) about the
history of Mali.
 Plan B: Read aloud After reading the historical narrative,
printed version of
ask students for their reactions: What
historical narrative
kind of information was presented?
 Discuss: Use InterWrite (historical fact, legend) What kind of
tablet to track student
language was used? (dramatic,
discussion of historical
personal) Who was the author
addressing? (the people of Mali)
 Plan B: Keep track Tell the students that they will be
of discussion on
creating their own historical
chalkboard or chart narratives in their own form, with a
twist: because in Ancient Mali
 Generate Questions:
history could not be written down,
Maintain class KWL
the students’ historical narratives
chart on a word
cannot be written either. Their
document on the
narratives will be in the genre
projector and/or on the historical fiction, because they will
document camera
be telling a story from the point of
view of a child from Ancient Mali.
 Plan B: Create a
KWL chart on chart The full instruction sheet is below.
Go through this with them step by
paper or on the
step. Ask for any questions they
might have.
with scaffolding, that
the people of Ancient
Mali not only did not
have the same
technology we have
today, but they also did
not yet have a
developed written
Students will share
personal stories with
the class/their groups
about family traditions.
Students will share
thoughts about the style
of the historical
narrative, including its
content, purpose, and
Students will read the
assignment for the
creation of a historical
narrative and begin to
choose a topic and a
mode of presentation.
Students will ask
questions of the teacher
regarding these
Students will begin to
plan, illustrate, and
write about their
historical narratives.
Explore & Apply
Days Three & Four
Learning Activity Types and
Technology Options:
 Create a picture:
Illustration app or
computer program
 Plan B: Handdrawn illustrations
 Create an
Camtasia (or other
video creation software
 Plan B: Students
will present their
drawings and stories
to the class live,
rather than
recording first
 Generate Questions:
Maintain class KWL
chart on a word
document on the
projector and/or on the
document camera
 Plan B: Create a
KWL chart on chart
paper or on the
Evaluate & Close
Day Five
Learning Activity Types and
Technology Options:
 Present: Camtasia or
Remind students that they have a lot
of resources to look to for
information: their notes, the class
KWL chart, their guided viewing
protocol, etc. They should use real
facts to help them come up with
ideas for their narratives.
Set up laptops with online resources
about Mali (listed above in
resources) for students to use if the
As they are researching and planning,
walk around to help them navigate
through the different texts, asking
questions about their purpose in
researching as they go along.
Facilitate student research by
answering questions and making sure
students are finding accurate,
relevant information to their topic,
but do not get overinvolved in their
When students finish their illustration
and sentences, proofread with them
to be sure they are saying what they
want to say.
As students finish, have them come
to a designated section of the
classroom to record their stories.
Collect the illustrations. Be sure to
label each audio recording and
illustration to ensure they can be
matched up later.
Once all student projects’ are
complete and recorded, the teacher
will take the work home and, using
the video creation software Camtasia,
match each student’s audio recording
and illustration. These will be
compiled into a class video.
Gather as a whole class. Play the
prepared video and direct students to
pay attention to how each person
chose to describe and represent their
story. Highlight several aspects of
the project that showed accurate and
Students will research,
given resources both
from texts and from
online databases,
provided by the teacher.
Students will actively
participate in
researching and
planning for their
Students will work with
teachers and aides to
create the final
recording of their
historical narratives.
Students will listen
attentively to the class
video and pay attention
to the different stories
being told.
other video creation
 Plan B: Students
will present their
drawings and stories
to the class live,
rather than
recording first
 Discuss: Use InterWrite
tablet to track student
discussion of historical
 Plan B: Keep track
of discussion on
chalkboard or chart
 Generate Questions:
Maintain class KWL
chart on a word
document on the
projector and/or on the
document camera
Plan B: Create a KWL
chart on chart paper or on
the chalkboard
engaging examples of Mali’s history.
Remind students that they acted as
griots, and ask them to write about
how creating an oral story differs
from creating a written story.
Close by summarizing what has been
learned about historical narratives
and about Mali’s communication and
record-keeping tactics.
Congratulate students on acting as
griots to keep history alive.
Students will discuss,
the different types of
information in each
Students will think
about and record
(write) how they think
oral traditions differ
from written ones.
Creating Your Personal Historical Narrative
We have learned a lot about ancient Mali’s history, economics, people,
and stories. Remember that griots were responsible for remembering the
history of their people and passing this information down to the next
generation. There are still griots in Mali today who perform much the
same job.
Your job is to be a griot and tell a story that you think should be
remembered and passed down. Imagine you are a child in Ancient Mali.
What would your life be like? What kinds of things would you do?
Pick one specific aspect and draw a detailed picture of it. Write at least
three “super sentences” telling a story about your illustration.
Remember that griots retold history before they could even write
anything down! You will be presenting your story in a similar way. Be
creative! You can write down a script, or notes, but when you present,
you will have to use an oral (spoken) format.
We will all be recording our stories! I will collect each drawing of the
event, record your voices telling the stories, and make a video for us to
watch and share our personal experiences and traditions.
Historical narratives include lots of details and use dramatic language.
Be sure to use these strategies in your own writing!
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