Teaching American History Project Lesson
  Corrine Moffat

Name: Corrine Moffat

Grade Level: 7th-8th Social Studies

Lesson Topic: Internet Inquiry - Modes of Transportation and how they produced their own Transportation Landscapes

Content Standard G.8: Environment and Society: Students understand the effects of interactions between human and physical systems and the changes in use, distribution, and importance of resources.

Benchmark G8.(6-8).2 Evaluate the role of technology in the human modification of the physical environment
Benchmark G8. (6-8).3 Describe the changes that result from human modification of the physical environment.

Content Standard H1.0-People, Cultures, and Civilization- Students understand the development, characteristics, and interaction of people, cultures, societies, religion, and ideas.

Benchmark H1.(6-8).10 Describe the role of farming, railroads, and mining in the settlement of the West.

Essential Question: How did various transportation technologies produce their own distinctive “transportation landscapes?”

Historical Question: Differentiate between the standard modes of transportation and analyze their effects in the West during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Specifically, how does each mode of transportation produce their own distinctive “transportation landscape?”

I will help my students learn this by…

  1. Facilitate students as they brainstorm on both historical and essential questions (Pros and Cons worksheet attached).
  2. Divide students into groups and require them to plan their Internet Inquiry ( form attached). Facilitate students as they work in groups.
  3. Emphasize student accountability by requiring each student to be responsible for gathering resources, critically evaluating Websites, identifying and gathering at least one primary source from resource, and completing primary source analysis worksheet from highlighted websites http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/.
  4. Assist students as they work collaboratively. Plan a presentation using the accumulated primary sources and information (Rubric attached).
  5. Require each student to compose an essay, first reflecting upon their experience by using an outline (attached) centered on the Historical Questions.

What my students will do (one aspect MUST include primary source analysis):

1. Students will start lesson by brainstorming (using a web) centered on a scenario, such as: Suppose you are the leader of the United States and you are concerned about the current issue of transportation (fuel crisis) and its impact on the landscape, specifically in the West, due to the landscapes’ reliance on transportation. Brainstorm what you know about transportation and how it has impacted the Western landscape. For example, how did different modes of transportation technologies produce their own distinctive “transportation landscapes?”
Provide both negative and positive examples on how different modes of transportation changed the West (Brainstorm is attached) and produced their own distinctive “transportation landscapes?”

2. After brainstorming-Identify/choose favorable mode of transportation (car, train, wagon) in assigned groups of four students.

3. As a group, complete the attached Planning for Internet Inquiry worksheet.

4. Individually, search for information/websites or Web resources, specifically primary sources using authorized directories (Directories attached). Each member of the group is responsible for identifying at least one Web resource (at least four Websites per group).These primary sources must support the historical questions and may include:
(photographs, paintings, prints, published documents or records, personal documents, interviews, political cartoons, maps, artifacts, sound, recordings, films)

*Students must conduct that their research by complying with the district’s Acceptable Use Policy
*Students who struggle with navigation skills or have specific disadvantages will be paired up with expert students in order to provide every student the chance to acquire new literacies and effective research skills.

5. Critically evaluate each website (websites must have primary sources). Specifically, each student is responsible for evaluating their Web resources (evaluation form is attached). Students will evaluate Web resources for: accuracy, relevancy, appropriateness and bias of online sources. (Evaluation form attached).           

6. Once students complete a Web resource evaluation, students will then gather at least one primary source that effectively supports both the essential and historical questions and complete a primary source analysis. Students will go the following website in order to identify the corresponding analysis worksheet: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/

7. Collectively, each group of four students will compose a presentation that will consist of: 
discussing their process, primary sources and final analysis in relation to both the historical and essential questions. Each group has a choice on how they will present their discovery and proposition and must incorporate four primary sources. For example, students may create a multimedia presentation, such as Photostory or PowerPoint emphasizing their proposition or present a speech to the class, using primary sources in order to support their proposition. (Rubric for presentation attached)

8. Require students in class to take notes on each group’s presentation. Students are required to write: 3 things I found out, 2 interesting things, 1 question I still have.

Level of learning (check all that apply)

Comprehension- compare, explain, summarize,
Application- construct, solve, develop, choose
Analysis- analyze, classify, theme/relationship
Synthesis- creates, improve, build, design
Evaluation- defend, explain, prove/disprove

Assessment: Evidence of my students’ learning looks like:

Students will first reflect upon their own experience and understanding based on their research, as well as each groups’ presentation emphasizing different modes of transportation and the impact it had on the Western landscape. Students will compose an essay answering the Essential Question. Students may use any notes gathered through Internet Inquiry and notes from class presentations. (Essay Outline is attached).

Topic of essay: Differentiate between the standard modes of transportation and analyze their effects in the West during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Specifically, how does each mode of transportation produce their own distinctive “transportation landscapes?”

Bibliography: Include all resources with links for Teachers

Leu, D.J, Leu, D. D., & Coiro, J. (2004).  Teaching with the internet K-12: New literacies for
new times (4th ed).  Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.