by Ola Sharai Hankins

America The Beautiful! : Lesson Plan Using Multicultural Literature


Introduction to Lesson Plan

Date: September 15, 2004

Subject: Social Studies

Grade Level: 3rd

Signature of Classroom Teacher: Ola Sharai Hankins



Extend their development of map and globe skills.
...Features: Demonstrate a working knowledge of maps and globes in classroom activities.
...o Continents
...o Oceans
Describe relationships between early settlements and the natural environment.
...Choice of settlement sites
...Basic needs of settlers
...o ccupations of settlers
...Use of natural resources. Example: hunting, farming, fishing, mining
Identify the formation of various forms of governing. Example: religious principles, English Common Law, Mayflower Compact
Describe land use by Native American and European settlements. Example: Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Demonstrate an understanding of the movement of Europeans and Africans to America.
Compare the lives of Europeans and Africans during the exploration and settlement of America.
Describe natural features.
...Physical characteristics
...Natural resources
Evaluate how land use affects the land and its inhabitants.
...Time lines
...Tables. Example: creating an illustrated time line tracing events associated with European and African settlements
Relate current events to their historical foundation. Example: Independence Day, Veterans Day, election day, census-taking
Compare careers of the past to careers of the present. Example: General Store by Bobbie Kalman
Identify patriotic symbols.
...National. Example: We The People by Peter Spier
...Media center. Example: accessing information on the Internet, on CD-ROM, on laser disks
...Natural resources
...o Native wildlife
Relate the elements of geography to the time of the early Native Americans.
...The world in spatial terms. Example: student-generated maps or models showing landforms and bodies of water in a selected Native American community
...Places and regions. Example: a three-dimensional model of a Native American village, field trip to a Native American site, listings of common characteristics shared by selected Native American communities
...Environment and society. Example: stories about Native Americans that describe adaptations to the environment such as clothing, crops, building materials
...Human systems. Example: group discussions about types of transportation used by Native Americans
Describe how the natural environment influenced the development of Native American cultures. Example: how their villages looked, why their villages were located where they were, which structures were built, how those structures were related to the climate, what methods and forms of production and exchange were used



Students will display knowledge of the Pilgrims and Indians.

Students will display knowledge about the history of their country, the United States.

Students will describe the relationship of the Pilgrims and Indians to the land.

Students will describe the use of the land by the Pilgrims and Indians.

Students will relate the geography of the land to the time frae in which the Pilgrims lived.

Students will demonstrate understanding of time lines and mapping of the Pilgrims' journey to the United States.

Students will describe how the natural land effected the early Native Americans' and Pilgrims' way of living. Ex: Their living spaces, food, water, clothing, etc.


Introductory Activities

As students enter into the classroom, they find that the room looks different. Their displays of artwork are off the walls. Now instead, there are cut-outs of huge trees, grass, huts, and animals. The desks are at the sides of the room and in the center is a circle with a fire in the middle of it. (Fake of course.) Around the fire are tree logs (made out of cheap foam). As they come in, they see their teacher. Only, her name isn't Ms. Hankins anymore. Her name is now Sarah Johnson. She is a pilgrim. As students enter, she introduces herself and asks them to sit around the fire. She's been waiting for their arrival. She has a lot to tell them about.

After students have sat around the "fire" the teacher says she has a story to read to them. She came all the way from out of history to read to them and teach them about the Pilgrims and the Indians. The teacher reads to them the first book. This book is Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness. Once the book is read, the teacher begins to ask students questions about what they learned. After students have said what they've learned, they have the time given to them to ask Ms. Sarah Johnson questions about how she lived, where she came from, and what she ate.*


*Teacher will encourage this interaction by using prompts to be sure that students are interacting and learning.



Developmental Activities

The next day students walk into the classroom for class and the class is set up again in the same manner as the day before. Only this time, Ms. Sarah Johnson (the teacher) has a friend who's an Indian! His name is Big Bear. He is an Indian of Early America, he explains to the students. He has traveled a long way from history to be with them today. He too has a story to tell them.

As students gather around the "fire", Big Bear grabs a book sitting on the floor next to him. But before he begins to read, he asks the students what they already know about his people. Do they know anything? What are some characteristics that Indians have that they can describe them by? A list of what they already know is made on the board by Ms. Sara Johnson (the teacher). Then, Big Bear reads the book, The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet. He explains to the students before reading that one way Indians express how they feel is through poems. This book is a bunch of poems put together to express how the Indians think and feel.

After reading the book to the students, the Indians asks them a question: "What was different about this book?" Hopefully students will begin to explain how the book was read differently and sounded different. They should be able to say that the book talked about interation with the environment and "being one" with each other. Unity should be a theme.

After discussion of the book, the Indian (Big Bear) says that he wants to help them make something very special. His tribe wears them when they are having ceremonies to celebrate a birth or worship their gods. They are head pieces. Big Bear shows them his head piece. Then he directs them away from the "fire" over to the side of the room where two tables are set up with materials to make the head pieces. Students will be guided on how to glue the cut out feathers onto their head piece and create their very own head piece!

Culminating Activities

In the third day of class, students walk into the classroom and find that the class is set up similar to before, only this time there are desks lined straight down the room to form large tables. Students are asked to sit at a desk. The teacher, Ms. Sarah Johnson (character), is the only one there today. She explains to the students, however, that a special day is coming up later on this year. What is that day? (Hopefully at this point students have gotten the idea that it is Thanksgiving because you have been teaching them about Pilgrims and Indians.) She also explains that they are going to have a little bit of fun. But it is going to require research on their part. Did they want to have fun?

Ms. Sarah Johnson continues to explain that they are going to have their very own Thanksgiving feast. But in order to do that, she needs their help. First, she needed to figure out who wanted to play the part of an Indian and who wanted to be a Pilgrim. They are both very important people, but not everyone can be a Pilgrim and not everyone can be an Indian.

Next, after having the children pick who they want to be, Ms. Sarah Johnson tells the students that we have to figure out what we are going to have at the feast. We want to make it as close to the first one as we can. So, what did the Pilgrims and Indians have at the first Thanksgiving? Ms. Sarah Johnson tells them that she knows what they had, but it was up to them to find out. She asks them what they think the Pilgrims and Indians might have had. On the board she writes their ideas.

Finally, Ms. Sarah Johnson (the teacher) tells them that they were right on track. "Now, we have our meal," she tells them. The teacher then tells them that they will have their meal in two days.(This will hopefully give everyone time to tell their parents and bring it in.) Everyone is to bring one dish, or something easy to make in the classroom. A sign up sheet is written and each student tells the teacher what they are going to bring. The teacher writes it down on the sheet and posts the sheet so that students can see it.*

Once the planning is complete, the students begin to make their own place mats for their special dinner. Cut-out rectangles are already placed in front of the students before they come into class. In the middle of every four desks are crayons. Students create their place mat with the theme being "Our First Thanksgiving".



*A note will also be sent home to the parent from the teacher explaining what they are learning in class and why the food needs to be brought to class. Any child who decides to do something in class, such as cooking in a crock-pot provided by the teacher to make deer meat, will also be sent home a note that notifies the parent of such.

Alternate Activities

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Modifications of the lesson plan will be made as needed. This plan is already suited for those who are handicapped. If anyone with a disability feels that their needs are not being met, the teacher will adjust the plan as needed and on a case by case basis.



Large Cut-outs of Trees, Huts, Grass, and Animals

Wood Logs - foam pieces cut about 5 feet long and 3 feet thick. Spray paint them three days before introducing the lesson so that they are painted brown and are dry.

Adult Pilgrim outfit (teacher)

Adult Indian outfit (helper/teacher)

"Fire" is one of those "pots" that has an orange flame blowing out from it that you get at halloween. If no access is available to get one of these, the "fire" is imaginary.

Cut-out feathers in different colors from constrution paper.

Cut-out pieces of construction paper in different colors and in long strips so that students can color them, then shape them into a circle to fit their head.

Stapler - to staple the construction strips in a circle

Glue sticks - to glue on the feathers to the head band

Construction paper

Crayola Crayons and Markers (or cheap, whatever is available)

Poster Board (small sections in rectangles for place mats)

Lamination paper - peel and stick






Self-Evaluation of lesson

Evaluation is conducted throughout the lesson. By interacting with the students throughout the lesson plan and asking the students questions, the teacher will determine the comprehension level and understanding level of each student.

A rubric will also be completed during the teacher's planning lesson, reflecting the different objectives and themes that the children learned and the extent to which they learned the material.



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