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The School Roadshow

Subject: Social Studies and Library Media

Grade Level: 4th

Materials: Each student will need access to a computer with Internet connection, as well as the school and/or public library. A Smart Board, digital camera with editing software, web editing software, and other multimedia technologies can be incorporated into the lessson if available.

About: This lesson uses episodes from PBS Antiques Roadshow Website to stimulate student interest in primary sources. The purpose is to show students how experts use primary sources to gain an understanding of history. Students will learn methods for examining primary sources by watching experts on the PBS Antiques Roadshow Website.

In this lesson, students create Power Points in which they demonstrate research skills and critical analysis of an object from the past. Students can be very creative in their presentations. For example, students could stage and role play a school antiques roadshow, then produce a digital roadshow using digital cameras and editing programs. Digital stories can also be created using web page editors, such as Front Page and Dreamweaver.

Students often have difficulty understanding the value of using primary sources in understanding history. By viewing experts as they evaluate objects on the Antique Roadshow, students will gain an idea of how primary sources can be useful. This is a 4th grade social studies unit on the history of the colonies through the early 19th century.

This lesson can be adapted to a variety of formats depending on the tools available in the classroom. I prefer the webquest format, because my students are familiar with it; however the lesson could be presented in other ways. For example, if a Smart Board is available, the lesson could be presented in an interactive format. In this webquest, students are challenged to put themselves in the role of an expert on the Antiques Roadshow. Students will examine selected an item from the past. They will identify it, ask questions, and research information about it. They will then use critical analysis skills to draw conclusions and tell a story about the item using digital technology.

http://ccsd.edu/bardonia/4thwebquests/RoadShow/index.htm

 Objectives
Students will use a primary source to view historic events through the eyes of someone who lived in the past.
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using the Internet and other digital technologies.
Students will use specific methods of historical analysis and research to understand how historians use a variety of techniques, including Internet technology, to enhance their understanding of history.
Students will consider different interpretations of key events and/or issues in history and understand the differences in these accounts.
Students will present an understanding of the roots of American culture, its development from many different traditions, and the ways many people from a variety of groups and backgrounds played a role in creating it.

Websites
The PBS Antiques Roadshow Home Page This site contains a link to the ten top episodes of the Antiques Roadshow.
http://pbs.org/wgbh/pages/roadshow/
Library of Congress, American Memory Project, Student Lesson, What are Primary Sources?
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/psources/source.html

Standards
Standard 1 - History of the United States and New York Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States.
Elementary
Social Studies
Standard 1 - History of the United States and New York Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States.
Elementary
Social Studies
Standard 1 - History of the United States and New York Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States.
Elementary
Social Studies
Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Standard 2: Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
Elementary
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology. Standard 6: Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Elementary

Day 1: Introduction of Webquest
Objectives
Students will use specific methods of historical analysis and research to understand how historians use a variety of techniques, including Internet technology, to enhance their understanding of history.
Materials
Smart Board with Internet connection and sound, or a similar large screen presentation station.
Student computers with Internet access.
Procedures
Students should be introduced to the lesson by presenting the webquest in a group setting. Ask the class if any of them has ever viewed the Antiques Roadshow. Ask them to describe what happens. A few episodes of the Antiques Roadshow should be shown from the web site.
Ask the students if they notice any particular method that is common to all the valuations done on the Roadshow. List them together as a class. They should include: 1. The expert examines the item. Tries to identify it. Asks a few questions. 2. The expert researches the item: Remembers what he/she knows about the time period. Look up information he/she doesn't know. 3. Finally, the expert uses the information to tell the story of the item (draw conclusions). 4. Gives it a value.
Explain to students that historians call these things Primary Sources. Primary sources are things from the past, such as letters, photographs, tools, toys, clothing. Use the Library of Congress, American Memory Project, Student Lesson, What are Primary Sources? http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/psources/source.html
Homework
None
Assessment
This lesson will be successful if all students in class are able to identify a primary source and apply the three step analysis outlined above to a primary source.

Day 2: Defining the task.
Objectives
Students will use a primary source to view historic events through the eyes of someone who lived in the past.
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using the Internet and other digital technologies.
Materials
Smart Board with Internet connection and sound, or a similar large screen presentation station.
Student computers with Internet access.
Procedures
As a review of the lesson from day one, show students an episode of the Roadshow that wasn't shown at the first class. Ask them describe what a primary source is and to review the expert method used to analyze a primary source. If students are to work in teams, now is the time to announce the teams.
Present the task to students: "You will examine at least one item that is presented at the show. You will research information about that item using the expert method from the Antiques Roadshow. You will then present your research by telling the story of the item using PowerPoint or another similar medium." "With each item you choose you must show the following steps in your project: 1. Your initial examination of the item: Try to identify it. What unanswered questions do you have about it. 2. Results of your research of the item: What do you already know about the time period? Look up information you don't know. 3. Finally, you must use the information you have obtained to tell the story of the item (draw conclusions)."
Ask students how they can accomplish their task: This is an excellent opportunity to review the research process, such as the Big6 research tools.
I find it very useful to require students to take notes and obtain information on a topic, BEFORE they are allowed to work with multimedia software such as Power Point. This will avoid the common situation where a student spends an entire class session playing with animation or the color background on the title page.
Homework
Students must select a primary source that they will research and define their project.
Assessment
This lesson will be successful if all of the students in class are able to select a topic and define their research project.

Day 3: Research Skills
Objectives
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information on their topic using both traditional and digital technologies.
Students will use specific methods of historical analysis and research to understand how historians use a variety of techniques, including Internet technology, to enhance their understanding of history.
Materials
Library and computer access to Internet resources.
Procedures
This is a research day for students to locate information on their topic. The library media specialist should be available and could even introduce the lesson with a review of research skills.
The teacher and library media specialist should team to assist students in individual research, locating and using information from books, magazines, databases, websites, etc.
Homework
Students should be encouraged to continue unfinished research at home or at the public library as needed.
Assessment
This lesson will be successful if each student was able to find and retrieve relevant information on his/her topic.

Day 4: Synthesis: putting it all together.
Objectives
Students will consider different interpretations of the history of their primary source and understand the differences in these accounts.
Students will present an understanding how their topic fits into the big picture of the roots of American culture, its development from many different traditions, and the ways many people from a variety of groups and backgrounds played a role in creating it.
Students will transfer information using a multimedia technology.
Materials
Library and computer access to Internet resources.
Multimedia software.
Procedures
This should be the first day that students are allowed to use the multimedia software that they will use in their presentation. It may be useful for the teacher to provide students with a few sample products.
Students should be encouraged to use critical analysis skills as they put their project together.
This lesson may need to be extended over a few days, depending on student skill with the software.
Homework
Students may need to complete unfinished work as homework.
Assessment

Day 5: Presentation of student projects
Objectives
Students will present a critical analysis and understanding of how their topic fits into the big picture of the roots of American culture, its development from many different traditions, and the ways many people from a variety of groups and backgrounds played a role in creating it.
Materials
Smartboard or other large screen with Internet access.
Procedures
Students will present their projects to the class followed by a class discussion of each project.
Homework
Assessment
This project will be successful if each student was able to critically analyze a primary source, research information on it, and present their findings in a multimedia format.

Mike Frerichs

mfrerich@ccsd.edu

Bardonia Elementary School
31 Bardonia Road
Bardonia, NY 10954-2157

Mike Frerichs has been the library media specialist for Bardonia Elementary School for 8 years. He received his MLS from SUNY Albany. He also has a B.A. in mathematics and philosophy from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, and a juris doctorate degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He practiced law for 19 years prior to teaching. He is a Vietnam era veteran of the Marine Corps and is active in local veterans’ groups. An active marathon runner, outdoorsman and cross country skier, he and his wife Catherine divide their time between homes in New York and Alaska.

 

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