Directions: In the left-hand column labeled Answer Before Instruction, place the letter “A” next to any statement with which you agree. Do not write in the right-hand columns until your teacher tells you to.
Answer before instruction.
Response after the Unit.
History is the study of facts about the past.
History textbooks have the correct answers to questions that people may ask about the past.
If there are differences between what one history textbook says and what another history textbook says, one of the textbooks is wrong.
It does not matter who writes a history book as long as the author is a historian.
We know what happened long ago because of what eyewitnesses tell us happened.
Primary sources tell us what actually happened in the past.
Adapted from Doty, Jane K., Cameron, Gregory N, and Barton, Mary Lee. (2003) Teaching Reading in Social Studies. McREL. Aurora, CO.
The “parties” will be seated at desks or tables that are placed ___ paces apart from each other.
Parties may not ring their bells until AFTER the authorized second says “present.”
A coin toss will decide which second says “present.”
The seconds must stand next to the party who selected them. The party who loses the coin toss has first choice of the seat and bell.
The “parties” must have their hands face down on the top of the desk or table and around the bell with one finger on top of the bell so that it is prepared to press down after the second says “present.”
The “parties” and “seconds” may not speak to each other after the bells are rung. Shortly after the bells ring, each second must independently write down what happened and who won.
Only one round of bell ringing is allowed and the seconds must decide who wins (NO ties).
Tragedy at Weehawken
Abstract: In this lesson students read a story about the tragic duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton to learn how even eyewitnesses may offer different accounts of the past.
Why are there different explanations of the same event in history?
Copies of Appendix 1 – Thinking Chronologically
Copies of Appendix 2 – “Tragedy at Weehawken”
Point of view, despicable, rival, honor
Warm-Up (optional): Problematic Situation (Vaca & Vaca, 1993) – present students with the following situation. Ask them to work in small groups to generate possible solutions. List solutions and discuss why each one would be good solution. Pick one that seems to be the best solution.
You are good friends with someone who is thinking about getting into a fight. Your friend was called a terrible name. What steps would you take to prevent the fight?
Have groups share their best solution and explain why it is best.
Preview the Lesson: Tell students that they are going to read about a tragic event that happened over 200 years ago involving two distinguished lawyers who served with distinction in the War for Independence and in various state and federal offices after the war.
Think-Pair-Share:Distribute copies of Appendix 1 – Thinking Chronologically. Ask students to read through the timeline that appears on Appendix 1 and then discuss the three questions at the bottom with a partner. Invite volunteers to share their responses after the pairs have had time to discuss.
How would you describe the relationship between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton?
What do you think would be Burr’s point of view toward Hamilton by 1804?
What do you think would be Hamilton’s point of view toward Burr by 1804?
Pre-Reading Prediction: Write the following words on the board:
Tell the students that they are going to read a story today. Ask students to use the words to write 2-3 sentences in which they predict what the story will be about. They do not have to use all of the words.
Distribute Copies of Appendix 2 – Tragedy at Weehawken. Read it aloud while students follow along. Pause to explain sections that may require clarification.
Summarize: Ask a student to summarize the reading.
Revise Predictions: Have students revise their pre-reading predictions if the original prediction was wrong.
Extend Thinking and Set the Stage for the Next Lesson: Ask the following questions:
Who fired the first shot – Hamilton or Burr? (Story does not say)
How might we find out? (For teachers: four people witnessed the duel—the two seconds, Pendleton and Van Ness; Aaron Burr; and Alexander Hamilton who slipped in and out of consciousness for a day before passing away on July 12.)
Students will read one of two, competing eyewitness accounts of the duel in the next lesson. BUT, do not share this because you will want the students to think that they are all reading the same account.
Tell students that dueling was not uncommon at the turn of the 19th Century. Even though it was illegal, it was rarely punished. In fact, they were viewed as somewhat acceptable “affairs of honor.” Over time, Americans came to view dueling as barbaric. The practice died out by the end of the 19th Century.