Lesson Plan Title: Doing History: Duxbury, Vermont - 1873
Teacher Name: Lori Morse
Content Area: Social Studies
Grade Level: 7/8
Time Needed: My classes are generally taught in two double blocks (of 90 minutes) that
meet twice a week, and one single block class (of 45 minutes) that meets once a week.
Therefore, each class will have the equivalent of five 45-minute blocks each week. This
unit should take approximately four weeks. See draft unit schedule below.
Hyperlink to lesson:
Here is the link to the unit’s Google site:
Common Core State Standards:
Key Ideas and Details:
 CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1 – Cite specific textual evidence to support
analysis of primary and secondary sources.
 CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2 – Determine the central ideas or information
of a primary or secondary source; provide and accurate summary of the source
distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
 CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7 - Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts,
photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Text Types and Purposes
 CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2 – Write informative texts, including the
narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical
Content Standards and Grade Expectations:
Students initiate an inquiry by…
 Asking focusing and probing questions that will lead to independent research and
incorporate concepts of personal, community, or global relevance.
Students conduct research by…
 Referring to and following a detailed plan for an inquiry.
 Locating relevant materials such as print, electronic, and human resources.
 Applying criteria from the plan to analyze the quality and quantity of information
gathered (e.g., judging the accuracy of different accounts of the same event).
 Describing evidence and recording observations using notecards, videotape, tape
recorders, journals, or databases.
 Revising the research plan and locating additional materials and/or information,
as needed.
Citing sources.
Students communicate their findings by…
 Developing and giving oral, written, or visual presentations for various audiences.
 Soliciting and responding to feedback.
 Pointing out possibilities for continued or further research.
During this unit, students will investigate the town of Duxbury, Vermont in the year
1873. They will use a map of the town that shows the nine school districts that existed at
the time, as well as the names of the families living in each district. Students will
examine U.S. Census records of 1870 and 1880, along with other available resources
(primary and secondary) in order to tell the story of life in town during that time period.
The final product created will be a website with links to the following for each district:
 a digital map with tags (Thinglink)
 images of the land and buildings (current photographs as well as those found on
the UVM Landscape Change website)
 stories of the people living there (GoogleDocs)
 an infographic that illustrates the demographics of their studied school district
*see the attached student handout describing the project
This unit will focus on both knowledge and skills. Students will gain knowledge about
the town in which their school is located, while also practicing the skills that are
necessary to be historians. They will analyze primary sources (maps, census records,
birth/death/marriage records, etc.). They will use inquiry to discover how historians use
primary and secondary sources to put together the pieces of the historic puzzle. Students
will then share their knowledge with the greater school community by way of a public
Throughout the unit, students will be assessed on the following:
 Identification of sources – primary and secondary
 Text and image analysis
 Designing and conducting research
 Presentation of learning
 Collaboration
Essential Questions:
Essential Questions of the Unit
What are primary sources and what can be learned from them?
What were the demographics of Duxbury in the year 1873?
How were Duxbury school districts organized in 1873? Why?
Prior Knowledge
 Students are aware of the topography of the land and the recent history of the
town of Duxbury.
 Students will have had some experience with the identification and analysis of
historical sources.
 From a prior unit, students will understand the basics of genealogy and how to
organize a family tree.
Formative Assessments
Groups will be expected to begin the unit by creating a research plan that lists the steps
that need to be done to complete the project. They will identify who will be responsible
for each step. Students will update the plan at the end of each class explaining the work
they completed that day and their next steps. This will serve as their personal, reflective
formative assessment.
In addition, I will assess the following throughout the unit:
 Map analysis using Thinglink
 Understanding of U.S. Census records
 Identification and analysis of resources
 Effective and appropriate use of technology
Summative Assessment
Students will be assessed on their work throughout the unit and their individual
contribution to the final team website. (Rubric attached)
1873 Beers Atlas of Washington County (digital copy from VHS Collection)
1870 and 1880 U.S. Census - from www.ancestry.com (students can use my account to
and/or Vermont Historical Society http://vermonthistory.org/educate/onlineresources/vermont-census-records
Town of Duxbury Vital Records - Found at Duxbury Town Clerk’s Office, Duxbury
Historical Society, and/or the Vermont State Archives:
Example of marriage record:
Marriage certificate of Harvey Morse & Grace Batchelder (my grandparents)
Land Records
 deeds
 taxes
 houses/schools
 gravestones
 topography
Photograph of Tiberius Morse gravestone (my great, great, great uncle)
Located in Phillips Cemetery, Route 100 Duxbury, VT, photographed by Lori Morse –
May 2013
Interviews – I will try to identify one local historian to mentor each of the nine groups of
Students will have access to laptops throughout the unit. We will use these to view and
analyze sources, such as the 1873 map of Duxbury, U.S. Census records, and vital
records found on Ancestry.com. In addition, students will use the laptops to collaborate
with their district groups as they create the final product/website.
Other classroom technology used during the unit:
 amplification device for two students have hearing loss
 document camera and projector
Primary source analysis tool (from Library of Congress):
Materials found at end of this unit plan:
Student handout
Group research planning sheet
Individual rubric for final project
Since I will be teaching this unit in the spring of the year, I will have already spent 8
months with my students. I will have assessed their needs, interests, and prior learning
by this time. If I were teaching this to a group that I didn’t know as well, I would want to
know where students were in relation to the following:
 Reading level
 Writing skills (basic narrative structure & writing conventions)
 Technology skills related to Google Docs and Google Sites
 Spatial ability (for understanding of contour map)
 Collaboration skills
Students will be divided into nine groups – one for each of the nine school districts in
Duxbury at the time being studied. The groups will be made up of students in each of the
four traveling groups that I teach. (With approximately 72 students on the team, each
group will consist of eight students – two from each traveling group.) Therefore, students
will need to collaborate virtually (using GoogleDocs) in order to complete their work.
Most work will take place in the classroom, with laptops or iPads. (We may use the
school’s wired lab when necessary.) We may also take an occasional field trip to the
Duxbury Town Clerk’s office and/or the local cemeteries.
Instruction and Activities:
See draft of unit schedule below
Since there will be a variety of tasks and responsibilities, students will be able to focus on
a part of the project that best fits their learning style. (For example: writing,
photography, technology, etc.) All pieces will be necessary for the completion of the
final product. Students who need assistance will have access to
a classroom para-educator.
Lesson Plan Title: Doing History: Duxbury, Vermont - 1873
Teacher Name: Lori Morse – Crossett Brook Middle School
Content Area: Social Studies
Grade Level: 7/8
Unit Schedule – Draft
The general structure of the four-week unit will be the following:
Week 1 = 1873 map; Thinglink; Unit introduction; U.S. Census
Week 2 = U.S. Census; Duxbury vital records; Cemeteries; Begin family stories
Week 3 = Topography & location; Photographs; Continue family stories; Easel.ly
Week 4 = Website creation and linking; Reflection
Week 1, Day 1 (double block)
1. Show students 1873 map. Have them use Thinglink to ask questions/make
comments on it. (Students will need to have Thinglink accounts.)
Probable questions/comments
 What are the different colored sections?
 When was this map made?
 What was the population of the town?
 Where is the current location of our school – CBMS?
 What are the names in each section?
2. Explain the source of the map.
3. Introduce the unit and culminating project. Share unit handout with students.
4. Put students in groups and assign the districts. A student in each group should
open a Google doc and share with their group members (and me). Since groups will
be made of students from all four traveling groups these Google docs will be used
for collaboration.
5. Have students study their district map and make a list of all the identified places
(names of families, school, businesses, other).
Week 1, Days 2, 3 (double block & single block)
6. As a class, look at a page from the 1870 U.S. Census for Duxbury, and do a close
read of it. Discuss the questions that were asked on this census, and talk about the
purpose of each. (Discuss historical context)
7. Genealogy mini-lesson
8. Groups of students will study the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records and attempt
to identify the families living in their districts. Model for them how to make, test,
and modify a hypothesis as it relates to historical research.
Week 2, Days 4,5, 6 (2 double blocks & 1 single block)
9. Students will use town and state records (vital, land, etc.) to learn more about the
families in their districts.
10. Student groups will write a minimum of three brief family histories of the people
living in their districts. These histories will be written on a GoogleDoc that will be
linked to their district page on the unit website.
Week 3, Days 7 & 8 (2 double blocks)
11. Students should continue to work on the family histories that will be on their
district page on the unit website.
12. Groups will be responsible for writing a brief narrative about the land in their
district (location, topography, etc.). These will be on their district pages on the unit
website. Photographs should accompany these written descriptions.
Week 3, Day 9 (single block)
13. Easel.ly mini-lesson.
Each district group will use Easel.ly to create an infographic that illustrates some of
the demographics of the district. This will be linked to the district’s page on the unit
Week 4, Days 10, 11, 13 (2 double blocks, 1 single block)
14. Website creation – Entire week
We will use Google sites to create a team website for this unit. Each school district
group will have one page that is linked to the home page. At the beginning of the
week we will look at the website and begin to create the pages for each district. The
rest of the week will be spent working on the creation of the pages and the links. (It
will be for necessary for the teacher to create the website and design the homepage
before this stage of the unit.)
At the end of the unit, if time allows, it would be helpful to give students time to look
at the web pages for the other districts. Facilitate a discussion of the similarities and
differences between districts.
(Student Handout)
Prodigy Team Social Studies
Spring 2015
Being Historians
Duxbury, Vermont – 1873
Would you be surprised to know that, at one point in history, the small town of
Duxbury, Vermont was home to nine schools, each educating students from first to
eighth grade? Why? Where were the schools located? What was the connection
between the physical geography of the town and the schools? Who were the children
who attended those schools? What were their families like?
During this unit, we will be investigating all of those questions, and more, as we try
to paint a picture of Duxbury in the year 1873. To do this, we will study the
 The physical geography of the land
 The nine separate school districts and the schools located n each
 The demographics of the town – Who were the people living in each school
You will be working in small groups, acting as historians, to study one of
the nine school districts and produce a digital annotated map of your
assigned district. In order to do this, we will be using a number of
primary sources, including:
 Map of Duxbury in 1873 from the Beers Atlas of Washington
 U.S. Census records of 1870 and 1880
 Town of Duxbury vital records (birth, death, marriage); land and
tax records
 Photographs
 Cemeteries
Products to be Created
Prodigy Team social studies students will contribute to a team website that we will
use to communicate our learning during this unit. Your group will study your
assigned school district and create (and add to the team website) the following:
 An interactive map of your district;
 Brief genealogical histories of at least three (3) of the families that lived in
your district;
 Photographs of your district through time;
 Information about the school and businesses located in your district;
 An infographic illustrating details about the people living in your district.
As you can see, much of our work in this unit will include a technology piece. We
will learn how to do all of this in class.
In order for your group to be successful, you will need to collaborate
extensively and effectively.
(Group Planning/Reflection Sheet)
Prodigy Team Social Studies
Duxbury History Unit
Group Research Planning Sheet
District ____________________
Please update this sheet at the end of each class period.
Task –
Steps –
Next Steps
Be Specific
Be Specific
Make sure to leave this planning sheet in the group folder in the classroom.
(Final Individual Work Rubric)
Prodigy Team
Social Studies
Doing History: Duxbury, Vermont – 1873
Final Project Individual Work Rubric
Points Possible
Points Earned
Student Teacher
Work Completion
Did you take on a fair share of your group’s work? Did you do only what was asked
of you or did you do more? Did you complete all of you work on time? Was the
work all done to the very best of your ability?
Responsibility to Group
Did you work as an effective group member? Were you respectful to all group
members? Did you make a real effort to communicate with all group members?
Were you a leader in your group, and on the team as a whole?
Knowledge Gained
_________ __________
Is it clear that you gained knowledge and skills during this unit? Do you know more
about the history of Duxbury than you did before this unit began? Are you able
to identify and work with primary sources? Did you learn (or increase your
knowledge of) technology tools?
Presentation of Learning
__________ __________
Have you effectively used the class website to show your learning? Are your
contributions to the website complete, accurate, and appropriate? Does all
written work use correct spelling & GUM? Have you used apt historical vocabulary?
_________ _________
In the space below, please reflect upon your work in this unit. Talk specifically
about each of the parts of the unit: 1) Primary source analysis and research; 2)
Creation of products for the website (family histories, photographs and land
information, infographic, etc.); & 3) Website creation. Go into detail about your
contribution to your group and your functioning as a group member. In addition,
tell me specifically what you learned during this unit, particularly in regards to the
use of primary sources in the study of history.
_________ ___________

Photographs - olddocsnewtech