Lesson Plan Founding Fathers

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Lesson Plan: Spend A Day with A Founding Father
Author: Megan Horbin
Title/Topic:
(Organizing)
Problem/Task:
(Integrating)
Curriculum Area:
(Integrating)
Grade/Level:
(Organizing)
Related Content
Standards:
(Integrating)
Related
Technology
Standards:
(Integrating)
Objectives:
(Integrating)
Background
Information:
(Selecting)
Spend A Day with A Founding Father
Students will write a creative research paper based on research
about a Founding Father.
Research and Story Writing
Fourth grade.
Students will be able to find credible sources online and write a
creative research paper by using three or more sources and notes
taken using the sources.
Students will be able to use media (e.g. photographs, films, videos,
the arts, online catalogs, nonfiction books, encyclopedias, CDROM references, Internet) to view, read and represent information
and to conduct research.
Students will write a creative research paper by using three or more
technology sources that they have found, evaluated, and of which
have taken notes.
Students will be able to:
 Demonstrate the 5 W’s to evaluate the quality of
information located on the internet.
 Organize their research and ideas in a Story Map from their
notes.
 Implement the five step writing process to submit a final
copy of their paper.
Students will learn about the Declaration of Independence and the
important actions of each Founding Father in social studies.
Students will also have background experiences in Story Maps
from previous assignments, or will be introduced to them during
Writing. If students are unfamiliar with the 5 W worksheet, they
will be orientated by choosing a favorite author or musician to
research, since there are many unreliable sources for popular
culture on the web, this activity will help students determine
credible resources while being introduced to the 5 W worksheet.
To build background, or relate this lesson to the history lesson, the
rap from http://www.educationrap.com/song/declaration-ofindependence.html can be heard with the lyrics on an overhead or
handout. It teaches about the Declaration of Independence and what
the Founding Fathers did and is appropriate for students at this
education level.
Teaching/Learning
Strategies:
(Organizing)
Support for
Diverse Learners:
(Organizing)
After the brainstorming activity, the students will spend 15-20
minutes journaling about the ideas they came up with in order to
develop them further for a first draft.
Read aloud the story, “If the Declaration of Independence Kept A
Diary,” (Pearson Education, 2009) to demonstrate the use of
research in creative writing. (Abrahamson, 1998, pp 440).
Since not every child in the classroom is familiar with American
History or our culture, and might learn in a different way, there are
several ways to approach this lesson for universal understanding:
(The Education Alliance of Brown University, 2006)

Scenario:
(Organizing)
Relate America’s oppression and tyranny from England
(which caused the birth of the Declaration of Independence)
to current or historical events from the student’s home
country; explain and discuss similarities and differences.
 Explain each step and the expectations for the assignment(s)
to maximize learning opportunities. Have students work in
groups to support a cooperative, collaborative, and
community-orientated learning environment.
 Use role-playing or skits during the brainstorming activity.
 As part of the final submission, they will present which
Founding Father they picked (and why), share one
interesting fact they learned, and give a summary of how
they spent the day with their Founding Father.
Relate the Founding Fathers and the relationship to England to that
of the student quarrelling with a friend or sibling:
Your older brother’s chore every week is to take the garbage out on
Tuesday morning. He gets paid $5 every week from your parents to
do this, but has been giving you fifty cents every Tuesday to do it
for him. You ask you brother several times for at least $2 to
continue doing his chore. He says no. You threaten him by telling
him that you will tell your parents that you are, in fact, the one
taking out the garbage. Your brother threatens to beat you up if you
say anything to Mom or Dad and if you refuse to take the garbage
out any more. The following Tuesday you rip open the garbage bag
and leave a trail of garbage down the driveway, which gets your
brother into trouble.
This can be related to the Boston Tea Party, an event leading up to
the Declaration of Independence. The same scenario can be played
out between student and sibling as friction develops between
America and England. The student can stand up to his older brother
by saying that he will no longer be bossed around and/or write a
contract between him and his sibling just as the Founding Fathers
drew up the Declaration of Independence and declared their
freedom from England.
Have the students share incidents of this type of oppression in their
life and how it made them feel. Relate their feelings to those of the
people of America.
Procedures:
(Organizing)
Resources:
(Selecting)
1.) Choose a Founding Father of America that was learned
about in social studies.
2.) Using the 5 W worksheet, research the life and achievement
of your Founding Father. (Schrock, 2007).
3.) In your group of students who chose the same Founding
Father, brainstorm answers for the following questions and
present an idea in a role play: What would they teach you?
What would you teach them? Do you have anything in
common with them? Where would you go? What would you
talk about? Will you be with them during an important
event?
4.) Organize your ideas from the brainstorming session in a
Story Map. (Col & Spector, 2009).
5.) Create a first draft of your creative research paper by
combining your research and brainstorming ideas.
6.) Proof read another student’s paper while they proof read
yours. Offer ideas, corrections and questions. Discuss what
you’ve read with your partner, letting them know what you
liked and what confused you.
7.) Revise your paper, proofread for errors, and write a final
copy.
8.) Submit your final copy, complete with Story Map, 5 W
worksheet, and rough draft with partner’s comments.
9.) Present your creative research paper to the class by
discussing why you chose your particular Founding Father,
one interesting thing you discovered in your research and a
brief summary as to what your day with a Founding Father
was like. Presentation can have visuals.
Preparation:
 Must have copies of Story Map worksheets, 5 W
worksheets, lyrics to the rap, the story “If the Declaration of
Independence Kept A Diary,” access to computers and the
internet.
 Students should also be familiar with the Founding Fathers
and the importance of the Declaration of Independence from
social studies class.
 Students must be familiar with how to fill out a Story Map
and 5 W worksheet
 Students must have access to computers, the internet and
the library.
Web Sources available to students:
Note: To build background and transition into technology
resources, I would like to show a clip of the musical “1776” since
many lyrics and dialogue were taken directly from the letters and
memoirs of the actual participants of the Second Continental
Congress and shows portrayals of some of the Founding Fathers.
 www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html to see
where the Declaration is kept today and learn more about
their Founding Father through a government website.
 www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/thomasjefferson is
another government website that gives information on past
presidents and other historical information.
 www.history.com offers multimedia including videos and
speeches about the Founding Fathers. It is also a good
example of a credible website that is a .com versus.org,
.gov, .net, or .edu.
My rubric is below. (Myers, 2009.)
Assessment:
(Integrating)
Credits/References: Abrahamson, Craig Eilert. (1998). “Storytelling as a Pedagogical
(Selecting)
Tool in Higher Education.” Education. Vol. 118, Issue 3, pp 440.
Col, Jeananda & Mitchell Spector. (2009). Graphic Organizers.
Retrieved 12 October 2009 from
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/graphicorganizers/
The Education Alliance of Brown University. (2006). “Principles
for Culturally Responsive Teaching.” Teaching Diverse Learners.
Retrieved 13 November 2009 from
http://www.alliance.brown.edu/tdl/tk-strategies/crt-principles.shtml
Myers, Miriam. (2009). “Your Fourth-Grader and Writing.”
GreatSchools. Retrieved 16 November 2009 from
http://www.greatschools.net/students/academic-skills/fourth-gradewriting
Pearson Education. (2009). “If the Declaration of Independence
Kept A Diary.” Teacher Vision. Retrieved 14 November 2009 from
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/fourth-ofjuly/printable/51875.html
Schrock, Kathy (2007, January 15). The ABCs of Website
Evaluation. Retrieved 11 October 2009, from
http://www.kathyschrock.net/abceval
Assignment: A Day with a Founding Father
Fourth Grade Creative Research Paper
CATEGORY
Creativity
Spelling and
Punctuation
Focus on Assigned
Topic
4
The story contains
many creative
details and/or
descriptions that
contribute to the
reader's enjoyment.
The author has
really used his
imagination.
There are no
spelling or
punctuation errors
in the final draft.
Character and
place names that
the author invented
are spelled
consistently
throughout.
The entire story is
related to the
assigned topic and
allows the reader to
understand much
more about the
topic.
Neatness
The final draft of
the story is
readable, clean,
neat and attractive.
It is free of erasures
and crossed-out
words. It looks like
the author took
great pride in it.
Research
The final draft of
the story correctly
sites the sources
from the research.
There are 3 or
more sources sited.
Final Submission
The submission
included the final
copy, Story Map, 5
W worksheet, first
draft with partner’s
comments and
3
The story contains
a few creative
details and/or
descriptions that
contribute to the
reader's
enjoyment. The
author has used
his imagination.
There is one
spelling or
punctuation error
in the final draft.
2
The story contains
a few creative
details and/or
descriptions, but
they distract from
the story. The
author has tried to
use his
imagination.
There are 2-3
spelling and
punctuation errors
in the final draft.
1
There is little
evidence of
creativity in the
story. The author
does not seem to
have used much
imagination.
Most of the story is
related to the
assigned topic.
The story wanders
off at one point,
but the reader can
still learn
something about
the topic.
The final draft of
the story is
readable, neat and
attractive. It may
have one or two
erasures, but they
are not distracting.
It looks like the
author took some
pride in it.
The final draft of
the story correctly
sites three credible
sources.
Some of the story
is related to the
assigned topic, but
a reader does not
learn much about
the topic.
No attempt has
been made to
relate the story to
the assigned topic.
The final draft of
the story is
readable and
some of the pages
are attractive. It
looks like parts of it
might have been
done in a hurry.
The final draft is
not neat or
attractive. It looks
like the student just
wanted to get it
done and didn't
care what it looked
like.
The final draft of
the story has less
than three sources
cited correctly.
None of the
sources are
correctly cited or
there are no
sources cited or
the sources are not
credible.
The submission
was missing 4 or
more of the
following: Story
Map, 5 W
Worksheet, first
The submission
was missing 2 or
more of the
following: Story
Map, 5 W
Worksheet, first
The submission
was missing 3 or
more of the
following: Story
Map, 5 W
Worksheet, first
The final draft has
more than 3
spelling and
punctuation errors.
presentation.
Editing
Presentation
The writer paid
attention to
mechanics such as
spelling,
punctuation,
grammar and
handwriting, as well
as the creativity,
and took advice or
partner’s critique.
The presentation
covered who they
picked, why they
picked them, an
interesting fact and
effective summary.
Visuals were
creative, well done
and implemented
technology.
draft, partner’s
comments or
presentation.
The writer
corrected only
what their partner
commented on
and/or only
focused on
mechanics.
The presentation
missed one of
more of the
following: who
they picked, why
they picked them,
an interesting fact
and effective
summary. Visuals
implemented
technology and
were well done.
draft, partner’s
comments or
presentation.
There were minimal
changes made to
the final copy,
compared to the
first draft. Many
comments of their
partner were
overlooked and/or
had many
mechanical errors.
The presentation
missed two or more
of the following:
who they picked,
why they picked
them, an interesting
fact and effective
summary and
visuals. Visuals
were not a big part
of the presentation.
draft, partner’s
comments or
presentation.
There was no
change between
the first draft and
the final copy.
The presentation
missed three or
more of the
following: who they
picked, why they
picked them, an
interesting fact and
effective summary
and visuals.
Visuals were not
explained or
incorporated into
presentation.
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