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Absolute Ruler Photo Album

Subject:Social Studies, Global History, ESL

Grade Level: 9-10

Description: Using digital cameras, students create a photo album that represents the legacy of an absolute ruler. In their albums they include a map, four photographs, a written description of each photograph, and a biography of their ruler. Each picture includes different objects that symbolize the importance in the monarch’s reign. Students also include a glossary of terms that they have learned throughout the project.

How it Works: The lessons for this unit are completed over two weeks.

In the first lesson the students read a leveled text of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. After text coding (See Lesson 1 for explanation) the reading and answering comprehension questions, the students create a commercial to sell “invisible clothes” and present it to the whole class. This part of the project takes approximately 3 hours.

Lesson 2- Students discuss the benefits and drawbacks of absolute monarchy and why monarchs would use the concept of divine right as propaganda. In this lesson, students examine various pictures of absolute rulers and recognize that the objects in the photographs represent different aspects of the rulers’ reign. This part of the project is approximately 1 hour long.

Lesson 3- The culminating project of the Absolute Rulers Photo Album is introduced for the students. This takes approximately 4 hours. The students discuss symbolism and how symbols are used in our daily lives. The students are assigned an absolute ruler and research this ruler’s legacy. They then write captions for their pictures and edit their work.

Lesson 4- After completing the culminating project, this lesson is a celebration and time for the students to show off their work.

Final Project/Product: The students create an Absolute Ruler Photo Album. They have taken various photographs that contain multiple props that symbolize the importance of the monarch’s rule. The photos also include a caption describing the symbolism in the photograph.

Overall Value: This project is very popular with students because they use technology such as digital cameras and computers. The photo albums exhibit a deep understanding of absolute rulers as well as demonstrating an understanding of symbolism.

English Language Learners: Students working on this unit complete a rich, meaningful project that strengthens their understanding of historical background and promotes the literacy and written and verbal development of students learning English.There are multiple entry points for students of various levels. The project is designed to be executed with a heterogeneous group of language learners. It allows students of various levels a chance for success by asking them to complete tasks that provide them with multiple chances to further their language development.

Tips for the Teacher: Each lesson begins with a free write. This is an opportunity for students to practice their writing skills in a low-stakes environment. I do not correct the students’ errors, but respond to them by modeling the correction. I have found that reluctant writers tend to write more during a free write.

I invite dignitaries (administrators, administrative assistants, and other teachers) in to the gallery walk. Students really enjoy looking at each others’ work and it is an effective teaching tool. It is important to have graded and checked over the photo albums prior to the gallery walk to make sure that all content is accurate.

 

 Standards Addressed
Students listen, speak, read, and write in English for information and understanding.
  Grade: 9-12 Subject: ESL
Students isten, speak, read, and write in English for literary response, enjoyment, and expression.
  Grade: 9-12 Subject: ESL
Students listen, speak, read, and write in English for critical analysis and evaluation.
  Grade: 9-12 Subject: ESL
Students use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.
  Grade: 9-12 Subject: Global History

Day 1: Selling “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
Objectives
Students will be able to explain theme and how it functions in a story.
Students will be able to identify the theme of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the story by creating an advertisement for “invisible clothes.”
Students will be able to work co-operatively through the preparation of the advertisement.
Materials
Handout/Copies of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (attached)
Handout/Copies of Comprehension Questions
Copies for Advertisement/Commercial Worksheet
Art supplies for student group use
Keywords
advertisement, commercial, embarrassed, emperor, swindlers, tailor, theme, vain
Procedure 1
Have students complete the following free write at the beginning of class. Free Write: Has there ever been a time in your life when you were embarrassed to tell someone you do not understand something?
a. Let students share their free write.
b. Teachers may lead with a story of their own. (I used a story about a joke I didn’t understand but laughed anyway.)
Procedure 2
Class discusses explanations for the theme of a story.
a. Students copy down the definition of theme: life lessons or ideas that the story discusses, the message the author is trying to convey to his reader about a subject.
b. Teacher introduces to students the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes (Material 1). The story is easy to locate on the Web. I have attached two versions. I used different versions of the text for varying levels of student abilities. Almost all of the students had prior knowledge of this story from their native countries.
c. Teacher hands out the story and lets the students read in groups or individually (according to student level and need).
Procedure 3
Students text code the reading. Text coding is having students do the following: underline interesting parts; circle and translate words that are new and they do not understand; write question marks for unclear concepts; and write exclamation points for ideas that should be discussed by class.
a. After students read the story and text code, the teacher reads the story aloud for further comprehension.
The ESL Garden--ESL friendly versions of the story http://danspalding.com/teaching.html#folktales
Procedure 4
Students complete the Comprehension Questions (Material 2) in groups by discussing the questions and possible answers.
a. Teacher circulates around the classroom to help facilitate small group conversations.
Procedure 5
Teacher gives students the following assignment: In your group create an advertisement for "invisible clothing." It is important to remember that you should discuss the advantages of having this type of clothing and persuade your audience that they want or need this new fashion.
a. Each group will take turns sharing their commercials and advertisements with the class.
Extension
This lesson is designed to take place over two days. Depending on the level of your students, the homework should be assigned when there is a natural break in the lesson (for example, finishing their text coding or completing their comprehension questions, or ultimately preparing to present their advertisement).
Assessment
Students should accurately respond to the comprehension questions. Groups’ advertisements should persuade audiences to buy invisible clothes. The class discussion of various group advertisements should reflect an understanding of why the emperor’s new clothes were initially valuable to the emperor and later a cause for his embarrassment.

Day 2:
Objectives
Students will be able to explain Absolute Monarchy and Divine Right.
Students will be able to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of Absolute Monarchy.
Students will be able to explore why monarchs use Divine Right as propaganda.
Students will be able to identify symbolism in portraits of absolute rulers and examine how it represents their legacy.
Materials
Handout/Copies of Photographs of various absolute rulers (1a-1d) (see attachments)
Overhead copy of Material 1a (see attachments)
Keywords
absolute, monarchy, divine right, absolute monarchy portrait, scepter, propaganda
Procedure 1
Have students complete the following free write at the beginning of class.
a. Free Write: If you were king or queen and could do absolutely anything you wanted, what would you do?
b. Let students share their free write; teachers may lead with a story of their own.
Procedure 2
Students copy down the definition of important vocabulary.
a. Absolute: (adj) having total power and authority.

Monarchy: (noun) A government that is under the control of one powerful leader, like a king or queen.

b. Divine Right: (noun) The belief that God has chosen a person to be a leader. A king’s claim that he was only accountable to God and it was a sin for their people to resist them.
c. Absolute monarchy: (noun) A form of government where the ruler has absolute power to rule his or her land or country and its citizens.
d. Propaganda: (noun) information of a false nature, used to support a political cause or point of view.
Procedure 3
Students discuss the benefits and drawbacks of absolute monarchy .
a. Students discuss why monarchs would use divine right as propaganda.
Procedure 4
In groups, students list ideas about how they would like to be perceived if they were king or queen.
a. Students then draw symbols that would represent the ideas their subjects have about them as a king or queen.
Procedure 5
Hand out Material 1: Students examine the picture of Louis XIV.
a. In their groups, students list of the message is Louis XIV trying to portray in his portrait.
b. Strength: word; fashionable: shoes and outfit; Riches: gold chair and expensive clothing; Power: scepter: Royalty: the gold leaf, the fleur de lis, is the emblem for royalty
c. After a few minutes, place the overhead transparency of Louis XIV on the overhead. Student volunteers come up and circle an object and explain what it symbolizes.
d. Students work on Material 1b-1d.
Extension
Using magazines, newspapers and the Internet, students locate at least one picture in which the politician/star tries to portray a message.
Assessment
Students accurately identify objects that symbolize the importance of the various absolute rulers. The photograph that the students locate should reflect a deeper understanding how photographs can convey a message through symbolism.

Day 3: An Absolutely Divine Photo Album
Objectives
Students will be able to recognize symbols in their everyday life.
Students will be able to complete research by exploring the history of an assigned absolute ruler.
Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to work co-operatively through the preparation of the photo album.
Materials
Handouts: Project Introduction and guidelines, and Copies of Reading about the Absolute Monarchs
Art supplies for student group use
Project Rubric
Computers, digital cameras
Keywords
Alliance, Command, Convert, Councils, Culminating, Czar, Divine Right, Edict, Fleet, Galleon, Loot, Massacre, Militia, Nobles, Parliament, Puritans, Reform, Reign, Symbolism, Worship
Procedure 1
Students complete the following free write at the beginning of class: Free Write: What are some symbols that you see and use every day?
a. You may want to provide students with examples, such as subway train signs, or advertising symbols like the Nike swoosh.
b. Students copy down the definition of symbolism: the method of revealing ideas or truths through the use of symbols.
Procedure 2
Class discusses what symbolism is and how we see symbols in everyday life. Using their free write, groups compete to think of as many symbols as they can.
a. Students draw various symbols on the board.
b. Teacher assigns an absolute ruler to each group along with a handout of a reading on each absolute ruler. (I have included the reading; I prefer to have the students conduct their own research. Depending on the level of your students and the length of time you have for this project the reading is concise and can speed up the length of this project.)
c. Students text code the reading.
d. Students then complete the comprehension questions (Material 1a-1e) in groups by discussing the questions and possible answers. (Teacher should circulate around the classroom to help facilitate small group conversations.)
Procedure 3
Teacher hands out and reviews the project expectations for the class.
a. To students: In your group you are going to create a photo album that represents the legacy of your Absolute Ruler. In your album, you will include a map, four photographs, and a written description of each photograph and a biography of your ruler. Each picture must include different objects that symbolize the importance in the monarch’s reign.
b. Teacher instructs students to select responsibilities for the project.
c. Students complete the scaffolding for the photo album. They should get teacher approval for the next step.
Procedure 4
Students create props that will help them symbolize their rulers’ reign.
a. Students should pose for all their pictures in front of the teacher to receive final approval before receiving the cameras.
Procedure 5
Teacher issues cameras to students allowing them to take their photographs.
a. Students download their photographs to their computers. This part of the project takes some management. We downloaded the pictures to one laptop and students used flash drives to transfer the pictures to their computers. Some students opted to e-mail the pictures to themselves.
b. Students individually work on their caption for the pictures before printing and peer editing their work.
c. After peer editing, students combine their pictures and make them into a photo album. Some students hole-punched the paper and used yarn to tie the book together while others put their album in plastic sleeves.
Extension
This lesson is designed to take place over multiple days. Depending on the level of your students, the homework should be assigned when there is a natural break in the lesson, for example, finishing their text coding or completing their comprehension questions, or ultimately preparing to present their photo album.
Assessment
The reading comprehension questions and text coding should demonstrate students’ understanding of absolute rulers and monarchies.

Day 4: Gallery Walk
Objectives
Students will be able to recognize the characteristics of absolutism.
Students will be able to identify how absolute rulers affected 17th century nations.
Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to work co-operatively throughout the gallery walk.
Students will be able to examine the positive and negative aspects of Absolutism.
Materials
Handout of Gallery Walk
Students’ completed photo albums
Procedure 1
Students complete the following free write at the beginning of class.
a. Free Write: One thing that I enjoyed about this project was…
Keywords
Alliance, Command, Convert, Councils, Culminating, Czar, Divine Right, Edict, Fleet, Galleon, Loot, Massacre, Militia, Nobles, Parliament, Puritans, Reform, Reign, Symbolism, Worship
Procedure 2
Class discusses expectations of what a successful gallery walk is and proper etiquette.
Procedure 3
Begin to set up for the gallery walk.
a. Place each completed photo albums on a separate table.
b. Also place a package of post-it notes on each table for students to comment on each others’ work.
c. I place texts and reading for each ruler on the tables also to supplement any information that may be lacking in the photo album.
Procedure 4
Students receive Material 1 and will complete Comprehension Questions in groups by discussing the questions and possible answers.
a. Teacher should circulate around the classroom to help facilitate small group conversations.
Assessment
The comprehension questions demonstrate students’ understanding of each absolute ruler.

Kevin Hesseltine

Kevinhesseltine@yahoo.com

Flushing International High School
144-80 Barclay Ave
Flushing, NY 11355

Kevin Hesseltine has been teaching for 10 years. He started his career in upstate New York teaching Social Studies to middle school students. After teaching for a summer in Poland, Kevin joined the Peace Corps and taught English and civics for two years in a small village in Western Ukraine. Kevin has been teaching in New York City for the last five years and he currently teaches Humanities at Flushing International High School. The mission of Flushing International High School is to serve a diverse, multilingual student population of recent immigrants. Flushing International seeks to provide each student with a language-rich learning experience that moves them to a point where they can read, write, and communicate effectively in English and their native language.


Important documents for this lesson plan.

Kevin_day1.doc
Kevin_day2.doc
Kevin_day3.doc
Kevin_day4.doc
Kevin_addlhandout.doc

 

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