Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- When given informational texts (US Studies Weekly, Kids Discover Magazine, online articles), students will identify events leading up to the Revolutionary War and their specific causes and effects. They will document evidence from the text to support this in a cause and effect graphic organizer.
- When given a planning sheet for the reader's theatre script, students will identify key individuals and groups that played an integral role during the events leading to and during the American Revolution. They will document these key persons in the "Essential Characters" section of the planning sheet.
- When given access to multiple informational texts relating to the Revolutionary War, students will show the interaction and relationship of events and historical figures. They will compile this information into a cause/effect graphic organizer and compose a reader's theatre script showing the interactions of these multiple figures and events.
- When given access to multiple informational texts relating to the Revolutionary War, students will utilize 2 or more specific sources to conduct research and gather evidence on a central event and its causes/effects. They will use these various sources to compile the information needed for the cause and effect graphic organizer.
- After reading various informational texts and completing a cause and effect graphic organizer, students will work in small groups to compose a narrative reader's theatre script depicting their central event, its cause, and effects in detail.
- When rehearsing and performing their reader's theatre, students will adapt their speech so it is appropriate for the purpose of a reader's theatre performance.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should be able to read grade level informational texts.
Students should be able to identify the cause and effect.
Students should be able to utilize graphic organizers.
Students should be able to write in a script format involving multiple characters.
Students should be able to read a script fluently and perform it in front of peers.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
What key words help me identify/express whether something is a cause of an event or an effect of that event?
What were some key events that took place before, during, or as a result of the Revolutionary War?
How did events during the Revolutionary War lead to its end?
What individuals played a key role in the events taking place during the Revolutionary War?
Why is it important to use more than one resource when researching a topic?
How does a script differ from other forms of writing?
What are some effective strategies when composing a script that will be performed?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
**Most fifth graders have some experience with cause and effect, so this will basically be a review and an effort to deepen knowledge. I use a Tom Snyder software program called Reading for Meaning to reinforce Cause and Effect skills. However, if you do not have this resource you can use the following teaching phase:
Day 1 - Hook:
1."How many of you have chores to do around the house? What are some of them?" Allow students to volunteer some suggestions as to the chores they are responsible for. "Tell a shoulder buddy what happens when you DON'T do those chores." Students can offer thoughts to a shoulder buddy again. They might include having a messy room, getting in trouble, not getting allowance, etc.
"Today I want to share with you a hilarious poem about a girl that refused to take the trash out. While we are reading, I want you to pay special attention to what EFFECTS there were from Cynthia not taking out the trash. Remember, an EFFECT is what happens. It's a result of an action."
2. Students can either read or listen to the poem. You can have students listen to the poem using this link:
Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out
and find a printable version here:
3. Direct students' attention to the board. Create a large graphic organizer that shows a cause box and an effects box. Fill in the cause box to say "Garbage was not taken out." Leave the effect box empty. "I need you to help me find EFFECTS, or results, of Sara not taking out the garbage. The poem is filled with effects!"
4. Have each student look back in the poem and locate an effect of the garbage not being taken out. Have them write the effect on the post-it and place on the graphic organizer on the board.
5. The teacher can monitor student responses and students can look at other students' ideas as they adhere their post-it.
6. "Remember the CAUSE is the reason why the EFFECT happens. In Shel Silverstein's poem, many effects were given to show what happened because the trash was not taken out. We will practice finding causes and effects using nonfiction texts as well."
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. "Yesterday we used poetry to help us identify causes and effects. Today we will use the same skill, but with nonfiction text."
2. The teacher will provide each student with either a copy of or access to the following Boston Tea Party article. Boston Tea Party article "What event can we infer is taking place in this article based on the title and picture?" Allow students time to share their idea with a shoulder buddy before offering their idea.
3. "As we read this article, I want you to keep an eye out for what CAUSED the colonists to engage in the actions they did during the Boston Tea Party." Instruct students to use a highlighter to mark all of the text evidence showing causes of the Boston Tea Party. Students may read silently, in pairs, or as a class.
4. After reading, have students work with a neighbor to compare evidence highlighted. Go over appropriate causes as a class. The teacher can model this as well if there is a doc cam available.
5. Monitor that students correctly identified multiple causes in the article.
6. "Now let's revisit the article and determine what effects happened due to the Boston Tea Party. Essentially, what happened as a result of the colonists throwing all of that tea in the Boston Harbor?" Have students use the article to identify at least one effect of the Boston Tea Party individually or in pairs.
7. Bring the class back together to allow time for them to offer suggestions for the effects.
8. Now provide students with the cause and effect graphic organizer. Cause and Effect Organizer
9. Using a different website, Revolutionary War Causes/Effectsprovide copied articles or online access to the multiple links pertaining to the Revolutionary war. "This website is a prime example of how causes and effects shape our history. You'll notice this website is organized by describing different events related to the American Revolution. You will work with a group to closely examine one of these events."
10. Divide students into groups of 3 or so. You can do this by their seating arrangements, randomly picking numbers or popsicle sticks associated with the students, or have them select their own group. Assign each group one of the events identified by the links on the website. Using either of the following websites will suffice:
Revolutionary War Articles 1
Revolutionary War Articles 2
"You and your group will read closely the information related to your event. We will call this the Central Event in your graphic organizer. For example, my first group would write 'The colonists are involved in the French and Indian War', whereas another group would have 'The Stamp Act' and so on."
The links in the websites include the following topics:
11."As your group reads your section, pay special close attention to what CAUSED this central event and the EFFECTS of this event. You would list these causes and effects in the appropriate places." Teacher should move among the groups to monitor progress and provide assistance where needed.
12. Students may turn in graphic organizers of their cause and effects for feedback, either written or verbal.
13. Additional guided practice can be provided throughout the unit using various links through both websites. The same cause and effect graphic organizer can be used to have students document evidence of these with particular events during the American Revolution. The additional days listed above account for the additional practice and progression through lessons with other weekly issues. This can be elongated or shortened depending on student needs.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
1. "Now that we have refined our ability to identify causes and effects within nonfiction texts, we are going to use this information to make a reader's theatre script to perform for our classmates. The script should depict one of the important events of the American Revolution we have been discussing in class these past days. One integral part of the script will be showing the causes and effects related to the central event being performed."
2. Students can be put into groups of about 4 or so. The teacher can either assign an event to each group or have them brainstorm one on their own. Suggestions include:
- Boston Tea Party
- Boston Massacre
- The Intolerable Acts
- Lexington and Concord
- Paul Revere's Midnight Ride
- Declaration of Independence
- Continental Congress
Other suggestions are perfectly acceptable and can be approved at the discretion of the teacher.
3. Provide each student with written instructions for the reader's theatre script along with the rubric. Students are given 45 minutes each class period to fill out a cause an effect chart for their event, have it approved by the teacher, determine characters and props, create a script, and practice before the performance. I find 4 days is adequate for the groups to be prepared.
4. As groups research their central event for causes and effects, direct them to use resources such as the two main online resources where their articles were retrieved from, school issued social studies text, and other online resources. Brainpops (movies which are related are listed in special materials section) and youtube videos relating to their topics can also be utilized.
4. Students should rotate amongst groups to ensure they are on the right track. Groups should divide work evenly. Roles can even be given to each student. Suggestions could include a researcher, a scribe, an editor, a prop maker, etc. You can create your own roles to ensure each student is held accountable.
5. On the day of the performances, the students should produce a typed script so causes and effects can be evaluated. They can perform their script in front of their classmates. A follow-up I like to do is ask the audience to identify the causes and effects of the central event that were acted out. Normally this is done verbally, but could easily be turned into a written response.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
During the various performances of reader's theatre, the teacher will take photographic snap shots of certain scenes from each. Once all performances are complete, these can be uploaded to a computer digitally, or printed out. The teacher will probe students to realize how one group's script, could actually be a cause or effect of another group's script. The teacher can challenge students to discuss with a shoulder partner how all of the scripts are related to one another.
Afterwards, pose the physical snapshots copies to students in small groups on their desk. You could also upload them digitally and use a smartboard to manipulate their positions. Invite students to analyze the snapshots, and arrange them in a chronologically correct storyboard. After they are given time to discuss and arrange the photos, discuss with students how in reality, every event is connected to another. One particular event can be a cause and an effect, depending on what it is being related to. Note the importance again of key words and the relationship of two events to be able to accurately identify the cause and effect.
1. Students will be grouped the same as they were for the formative assessment.
2. Using the graphic organizer they completed they will receive a planning sheet for their Reader's Theatre.
3. The group will analyze their organizer and determine essential characters needed to portray the events within a reader's theatre script. These are documented within the planning sheet.
4. The group can also add additional characters if need be. They are required to create or use at least 2 props. If these are created, they must construct them themselves.
5. Working as a team, the group will compose a script revolving around a major event from the Revolutionary War, being sure to include causes and effects of such an event. Using characters, they will write a re-enactment. They have the freedom to use creativity in this process during writing.
6. After a rough draft is completed and reviewed, students will type and print a final copy. They will use this copy to practice their performance.
7. All students will perform their reader's theatre script at the conclusion of the lesson in front of their classmates.
1. The teacher will assess students' ability to determine causes and effects of a central event using a graphic organizer and informational text.
2. Students will be broken up into groups of 3-4 students. Each student will have copies of US Studies Weekly Weeks 14, 15, and 16, as well as a copy of a cause/effect graphic organizer.
3. Student groups will be given (or choose) a topic correlating with the Revolutionary War. They will write a sentence describing this event in the central event space. Example- If group topic is Boston Tea Party, students should write "The Sons of Liberty dumped many crates of tea into the Boston Harbor in protest."
4. Remind students to look out for key words that indicate whether an event is a cause or effect. They should also be instructed to highlight the names of any key individuals involved in the central event, causes, or effects. This will be used to establish essential characters for the reader's theatre script.
4. Using the US Studies Weekly periodicals, student groups will find at least 2 causes and 2 effects of their central event and place that into the appropriate sections of the graphic organizer.
5. Students will receive either written or verbal feedback on the specificity and accuracy of their graphic organizer. They will be told to save this to use as the informational basis for their reader's theatre script.
Feedback to Students
Students will be given feedback from the teacher orally as they work cooperatively to fill out the cause/effect graphic organizer. This organizer will be turned in when completed, where then the teacher can provide written feedback to each group. They will use this feedback to make sure all components are correct before composing their reader's theatre script.
Feedback will also be supplied when students work on their rough drafts. Teacher will circulate among the groups to provide guidance and suggestions. Rough drafts will be turned in, so that the teacher can provide written feedback for each group using a rubric. This will be used to help students finalize their script.