Introduction: This project locates and documents primary and secondary sources that relate to young people (age 9-20) of the 19

Workshop 1 Transportation & Communication

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Workshop 1 Transportation & Communication

Looking at concept based teaching through local, state & national perspectives

Learning through Memoir: Personal recollections of young people adapting to change on the American Frontier

Hook: Students interact with primary sources focused on personal stories of young people including artifacts: journal entries, photographs, maps, drawings, music, print ads to think about why the items represent youth, change, and a particular time and/ or place in history.

Essential questions are introduced weekly throughout the unit to stimulate thinking and reflections on students own attitudes and beliefs about adapting to change personally, providing a base of knowledge on which to build an understanding of adolescents in other time periods of American , Indiana and local history. Although students will be engaged in inquiry related to their own stories, the whole group comes together around the essential questions as a way to see connections between content all students are mastering.

Outcome Statements:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the lives of young people from a different period in American history.

  • Write and or perform believable first person narratives

  • Pursue interests and personal history.

  • Compare and contrast the lives of young people represented in the collection and their own.


This project locates and documents primary and secondary sources that relate to young people (age 9-20) of the 19th century- living on the changing frontier during America’s westward expansion. The collection includes artifacts and documents that help middle grades learners understand the opportunities and challenges of growing to adulthood in a changing land. Middle grades students are interested in sharing personal stories. Students have little background knowledge of the time period and people included in the project.

I anticipate that many students will have misconceptions based on fictionalized accounts seen in movies or popular media. Study of the photographs, letters, oral histories and other primary sources in the collection will generate interest in the lives of young people who are near their own age and provide evidence for students’ accurate interpretation of the genre of personal narrative. The variety of perspectives and experiences of groups included is just a small representation of the diverse population of the frontier at that time, but students will find many similarities to their own lives in reading the stories of young people on America’s western frontier by considering the broad concept of adaptation.

The HRP has been amended to include more information for Indiana in the early nineteenth Century and local events that include examples of oral history recorded about the Richmond Explosion to build a bridge between students’ experience and the American History time period that is the primary focus.

Map of Integration - see attachment

Lost in cyber space- I will recreate as time allows

Vocabulary to teach (* explicit instruction)


Personal narrative/ Memoir




*Immigrant/ emigrant

Diary/ journal

*Primary source











Strategies for vocabulary instruction

Sarah Holbrook High Definition: Writing Obituary, Diary entry, News Article, Character Description

Janet Allen Inside Words, Words, Words, Words : Concept Attainment , Understanding Character through Looking at Traits concept Maps, Four corners

What will I teach

Analyzing primary and secondary historical sources

Reading and writing memoir as a genre

Reading historical fiction

Standards ( These are Indiana Core Standards assessed in Quarter 1 that I think can be reached within this unit. In addition to others that do not fit with this unit. I’m still thinking about how to handle classroom level assessment on so much stuff – So- I’m going to teach and respond to my students’ needs and figure it out later.

They will be assessed formally on Acuity, on the state’s Quarterly assessment.

Reading Standards

7.2.10a Identify and explain instances of persuasion and propaganda in text.

7.2.10b Identify and explain faulty reasoning in text, such as unsupported or invalid premises or inferences and conclusions that do not follow the premise.


Vocabulary:  propaganda

CC.7.RI.1 (7.2.7) -- Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CC.7.RI.2 -- Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

CC.7.RI.3 -- Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

CC.7.RI.4 -- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings. a. Analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

CC.7.RI.5 -- Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.

CC.7.RI.6 (7.2.4) -- Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.

7.3.2a Identify events in a text that advance the plot.

7.3.2b Describe how events augment the plot by explaining past or present action(s) or foreshadowing future action.

7.3.3a Identify elements of a character’s thoughts, words, speech patterns, and actions and explain how they contribute to characterization.

7.3.3b Describe the effects of the narrator’s description on characterization.

7.3.3c Explain how the thoughts, words, and actions of other characters contribute to characterization.

7.3.5a Identify types of points of view (such as first person, third person, limited and omniscient, subjective and objective) in a literary text.

CC.7.RL.9 -- Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.

Writing Standards

7.5.2a Develop interpretations that demonstrate careful reading, understanding, and insight regarding increasingly complex pieces of literature. 7.5.2b Organize interpretations around several clear ideas, premises, or images from the literary work.

7.5.2c Include evidence from the text to support statements in a response to literature.

7.5.6 Include varied word choices to increase interest and precision in writing.

CC.7.W.3 (7.4.2) -- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

Description: a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
c. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

CC.7.W.6 (7.4.7) -- Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

CC.7.W.7 (7.4.5, 7.5.3) -- Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.

CC.7.W.8 (7.5.3) -- Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

CC.7.W.9 (7.5.3) -- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Description: a. Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history").
b. Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims").

CC.7.W.10 (7.5.7) -- Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Speaking and Listening Standards

CC.7.SL.1 -- Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Description: a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

Language Standards

CC.7.L.2 (7.6.8) -- Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. a. Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt). b. Spell correctly.

CC.7.L.3 -- Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. a. Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.

CC.7.L.4 (7.1.2, 7.1.3) -- Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Description: a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., belligerent, bellicose, rebel).
c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

CC.7.L.5 (7.1.1) -- Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Description: a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.
b. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.
c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).

English Language Arts Standards » History/Social Studies » Grades 6-8

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