Design learning activities to align with Stage 1 and Stage 2 expectations
Mean or Misunderstood?
Abstract: In this lesson students will examine competing accounts of a well-known tale to develop their understandings of two concepts that are at the heart of History Standard Three, evidence and point-of-view.
Essential Question: Why are there different explanations of the same event in history?
Copy of the stories Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka (or any two stories that offer competing accounts of the same event—see bibliography below).
Point of view – “A way of looking at things” (American Heritage Children’s Dictionary); position from which something is considered or evaluated (American Heritage Dictionary); what a person thinks or believes about something.
Evidence – “Facts or signs that help one find out the truth or come to a conclusion” (American Heritage Children’s Dictionary); something that provides proof or support.
Misunderstood – Failure to understand or grasp the nature of something or someone.
Preview the Unit: Tell students that you are going to begin a new unit and that there are two concepts that are crucial to understanding the standard that is at the heart of the unit. This lesson will introduce and develop those concepts.
Introduce the Benchmark: Present the standard addressed in this unit: Students will explain why historical accounts of the same event sometimes differ and relate this explanation to the evidence presented or the point of view of the author.
Write “Point of View” on the board. Ask volunteers to suggest a definition. Offer an example (e.g., Dana is a smart girl). Have volunteers refine their definitions and then offer a valid definition (e.g., see above under Vocabulary).
Write “Evidence” on the board. Ask volunteers to suggest a definition. Offer an example (e.g., Dana’s outstanding grades are evidence that she is a smart girl). Have volunteers refine their definitions and then offer a valid definition (e.g., see above under Vocabulary).
Think-Pair-Share – Dual Concept Developer: Distribute copies of Appendix 1 – Dual Concept Developer and project a copy so that you can guide the students through their tasks.
Part I: Students define the terms point of view and evidence and offer an example of each. Ask students to share their examples.
Part II: Tell the students that people often have different points of view about the same person or event, and they usually offer different evidence to support their point of view. Read the example provided (i.e., Pat’s Performance During a Soccer Match). Then, have students work with a partner to offer another example. Ask students to share their examples.
Application: Select (or create) two stories that present different accounts of the same event (see bibliography below). This lesson uses the story of the Three Little Pigs and Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of the 3 Little Pigsby A Wolf, but there are many alternatives from which you can choose.
Read Story #1: Ask students if they have ever heard of the story entitled Three Little Pigs. Ask a student to summarize and then read the story to ensure that they can complete a Character Map.
Distribute copies of Appendix 2 – Wolf Character Map and project a copy so that you can guide the students through the tasks. Point to the appropriate points on the handout and explain what students are supposed to do—identify the title of the book, author’s point of view, evidence to support that point of view, and summarize by deciding whether the wolf is mean or misunderstood. Take a minute or two to define “misunderstood” (see Vocabulary above). Optional—allow students to draw the wolf in a manner that effectively illustrates the author’s point of view.
Have students work in small groups to discuss responses but have each student create their own character map.
Review responses to the prompts on the Wolf Character Map.
Repeat the same steps outlined in Procedure 5a above for Story 2 (The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs). Appendix 2 can be used for both stories.
Debrief: Raise the following questions with the students…
What is point of view?
What is evidence?
Did the authors of the two books have similar or different points of view? Explain.
How might a writer’s point of view influence his or her conclusions?
Did the authors of the two books offer similar or different evidence?
How might the evidence that a person presents influence his or her conclusions?