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Lesson Plans Created by TeachNet Adaptor Grants

Through the Looking Glass - Life in Colonial Times

Name: Angela Turnier
School: P.S.124M
Address: 40 Division Street
City: New York, NY, 10002
Original Project: Through the Looking Glass - Life in Colonial Times
Author: Miriam Gomez
URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/miami/2004/gomez.htm

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: I modified the unit by moving the historic time period from Colonial Times to the Westward Expansion of 1800.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  Sudents will learn the reasons why families decided to move west in the 1800's and the obstacles and hardships they faced
  Students will study the relationships between the movement of people and the development of societies (pilgrims to America, modern day immigrants to new countries).
  Students will write first person narratives, in the voice of a member of a pioneer family, using historical facts of that time as a basis.
  Students will learn the difference between historical facts and historical fiction. They will compile a "Journal Book" of their experiences using the "Dear America" series as mentor texts.

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: Technology is used to help in the simulation with an interactive game (Oregon Trail). Students used experiences in this game to help write historical faction journal entries. The following resources were used for my students to get information on the pros/cons of traveling by covered wagon and wagon train, supplies, the hardships, food, and pioneer life in general: www.isu/edu/trinmich/Oregontrail.html www.kidinfo.com//AmericanHistory/Pioneers.html www.endoftheoregontrail.org/ www.tqjunior.thinkquest.org/6400

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: Children were evaluated on their Venn Diagram, covered wagon, their pioneer book (journal collections), accuracy of research and vocabulary. A rubric was used.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: Ms. Turner is a 17 year veteran teacher. Four of those years were in parochial schools and 13 years as a Talented and Gifted teacher in NYC Public Schools. MSED in guidance and counseling with 30 credits above this degree (plus 30). Ms. Turner is certified to teach Talented and Gifted children. She was an adjunct professor at Fordham University in the Graduate Teacher Education Program.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: -Students needed guidelines for the amount and type of research found on the websites. -Students needed daily read alouds to put information in the proper context.

Samples of Student Projects

  Venn Diagram comparing today's reason for immigration with the reasons pioneers traveled west.
  Journal entry from a student made book reflecting the hardships this family faced traveling on the Oregon Trail
  Covered wagon constructed by pioneer family (group of 5 students in each family simulation) showing supplies and personal belongings learned about during the research phases of the unit,Assessment Rubric


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