The Story of Bonnie and Clyde: Heroes or Criminals? Unit Plan



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The Story of Bonnie and Clyde: Heroes or Criminals? Unit Plan

Ms. Kaity Acker

U.S. History

10th Grade



Reflection: This is a unit plan for a week long unit on Bonnie and Clyde. This unit would be used as a sub-unit in a larger unit for the Great Depression. The purpose for this unit is to give historical background to the couple of Bonnie and Clyde and show how tough life was during the Great Depression and the extremes that some people went through to survive. I think it is important for students to learn about Bonnie and Clyde because the couple is referenced so often in present day and many do not know the entire background of their story. The objectives that I will be covering during this unit are: 1. Students will be able to critique a historical event (life of Bonnie and Clyde) using two different sources about the same event. Students will be able to use the source evidence (ballad and newspaper article) to write their own opinion of whether or not Bonnie and Clyde were criminals or heroes and how they came to that conclusion. 2. Students will be able to analyze a primary source document (Bonnie’s Ballad) in Social Studies using skills they learned in English Class on how to read and interpret them. 3. Students will be able to listen to lectures and be able to summarize key points and concepts of a unit (Bonnie and Clyde), use them for the rest of unit (Great Depression) and make connections to other units (Roaring Twenties or WWII) or maybe even subjects (English, Biology). I will be using two texts throughout the unit; a newspaper article on the death of Bonnie and Clyde from 1934 New York Times and a primary source of a Ballad written by Bonnie. I will be using them in two lessons to have the students look at two perspectives of the same event and have them assess the different interpretations. The students then need to use both to make their own opinions in the final summative assessment at the end of the unit.

These are my essential questions for the unit:

1. What can we learn from looking at two different sources and interpretations based off of one historical event? How do we use these interpretations to make our own? (This is the most important objective).

2. Why are Bonnie and Clyde an essential couple to U.S. History during the Great Depression?

3. How can we transfer skills learned in our English class (for example) into our History class?

4. How do humans respond to love, physically, historically and culturally? (Universal objective to unit).

Lesson #1: Introductory Lesson

State Standards:

B.12.4 Assess the validity of different interpretations of significant historical events.



Common Core Standards:

Reading RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

RH.9-10.5 Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

Writing History WHST.9-10.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.



Objective:

Students will be able to listen to lectures and be able to summarize key points and concepts of a unit (Bonnie and Clyde), use them for the rest of unit (Great Depression) and make connections to other units (Roaring Twenties or WWII) or maybe even subjects (English, Biology).



Materials needed for this lesson:

Computer, power point, internet access, document camera, copies of primary source and guided note sheet for lecture.



“Hook” to unit:

I would pass out strips of paper to students and ask them to think about questions that they could pose after watching the video. After the video is done, I would then have the students write down their questions on the strips of paper which I would post to the board in categories of who, what, when, how, where and why. I would proceed to answer these questions in the lecture later on in the lesson.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TJcbRauzM. This video is a 1934 newsreel that was shot minutes after the shooting and deaths of Bonnie and Clyde. I think this would be a great hook because it would make the students want to learn about who these people were and why they were shot in a car by police.

After watching the video clip, I would have the students bring up their questions to the front table and put them into categories of who, what, when, where, how and why to go along with the way their note sheet is set up.



Description of Lesson: This lesson will be an introduction into the week-long unit on Bonnie and Clyde. I will do a brief lecture on the background of Bonnie and Clyde, how they met and what their life was like together. The second part of class I will have them look at a newspaper article written in 1934 depicting Bonnie and Clyde’s death in Missouri; link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0523.html.

Activity

Student Actions

Teacher Actions

Duration of lesson

Lecture on Bonnie and Clyde.

Listening to lecture and filling out guided note sheet. (See further down for note sheet. This note sheet would be based on the student’s questions that they posed after watching the “hook” video that are posted on the board.)

Pass out note sheets, give lecture on Bonnie and Clyde with hook at beginning, and check for student understanding throughout lecture. (see under example of student note sheet to see how I would check for understanding).

Lecture should last about 20-30 minutes. Being able to rehearse my lecture will allow me to know exactly how long it would take.

Newspaper Article Activity

.


The students need to consider all three of these actions; I will go over each of the following three categories below that they will need to do the activity correctly; read, analyze and interpret (see below the explanations for all three and what the students need to consider during the activity).

Breaking students up into groups (students have been previously taught group work strategies throughout the class up until this point. I would want the students to be in groups of 4 so they would need to count off by however many are in the class.), also go around and float between groups, answer any questions.

Activity should last about 15 or 20 minutes depending on how long the lecture took and how the students are doing on the activity.

Exit Ticket (assessment of lesson)

Students will write down 2 takeaways from any of the information that they learned today that they previously didn’t know. (Background information on Bonnie and Clyde, crimes they committed, details about the crime scene where Bonnie and Clyde died etc.) They will also have a question on the bottom of their sheet that says: From today’s lesson, Do you consider Bonnie and Clyde to be heroes or criminals? I would have them circle one (either heroes or criminals).

Collect their exit tickets as they leave. I asked them the question about if they consider Bonnie and Clyde to be heroes or criminals because this question will be revisited in the summative assessment and I will use their responses to their questions to put them in groups for that assessment.

Exit ticket should take no more than 5 minutes.

Explanation for guided note sheet: Before beginning the lecture as I would pass out the guided note sheet, I would explain to the students that we would be using the questions they posed after watching the “hook” video during the lecture. I would also explain that I would be calling on students during the lecture to answer questions that are posed on the board that go along with the part of the lecture that we are talking about. To make sure that the students fill out their note sheet, I would stop in places in the lecture where each question is being answered and ask them to fill out the answer to each question. For example, if a student asked the question: Who is in the car? This question could be asked after initially talking about Bonnie and Clyde; I would then go over to where that question is on the board and say one of you asked the question who is in the car? I would ask a student to answer the question based off of what we just talked about in the lecture; the correct answer being Bonnie and Clyde. I would also have them write down each question posed as well. This would help check for understanding and allow the students to stay engaged in the lecture along with filling out the note sheet.

Guided note sheet:



Bonnie and Clyde Introductory Lecture: (This sheet would be given to students)

WHO:

WHAT:

WHEN:

WHERE:

WHY:

HOW:

Explanation for newspaper article activity:

I would briefly go through each of the following three terms to make sure the students understand what I mean with each of them and why they are important to know to fully understand the assignment. The following is what I would tell them what each term should look like:

Read: I would have the students break down the article; reading it paragraph by paragraph and making sure that each student understands what is going on throughout the article.

Analyze: Break each section of the article down; what bits of information from the scene could change the newspaper article? Also, the students need to think about how the article has painted a picture of Bonnie and Clyde and the scene.

Interpret: Students need to consider the point of view of the newspaper article on the death of Bonnie and Clyde; think about the way the article was written; were Bonnie and Clyde fairly represented?

Using the questions on the board from the lecture, I would assign two questions to each group that I know can be answered in the newspaper article. An example of a question could be; why were they being chased by police? Who is in the car? This is what the sheet would look like:



1934 Newspaper Article Activity: (This sheet would be given to students)

Read: Break down the article; read it paragraph by paragraph; making sure that each member fully understands the entire article.

Analyze: Break each section of the article down as you read. Think about the following questions: What bits of information from the scene could change the newspaper article? How does the article paint a picture of Bonnie and Clyde and the scene of the crime?

Interpret: Consider the point of view of the newspaper article. How is the article written? How are Bonnie and Clyde represented? Was it fair or unfair?

Assigned Questions:

1.

Answer:

2.

Answer:

Lesson #2: Middle lesson on Bonnie’s Ballad

State Standards:

B.12.4 Assess the validity of different interpretations of significant historical events.



Common Core Standards:

Reading RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

RH.9-10.5 Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

Writing History WHST.9-10.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.



Objective:

Students will be able to analyze a primary source document (Bonnie’s Ballad) in Social Studies using skills they learned in English Class on how to read and interpret them.

The students would have a solid background knowledge on a ballad; some information could include that ballads were originally composed to accompany dances, also every two lines are called couplets of a rhymed verse each (most commonly) have 14 or 16 syllables. Ballads usually varied between countries so it was hard to have a common arrangement. They are also narrative in nature; something that the author is very passionate about. These are some things that I would be expecting the students to use as answers in their quick write. Students would have the prior knowledge of Thinking Like a Historian that shows students how to pose questions, read and analyze documents and how to enhance student’s learning of History. In Thinking Like a Historian, there are five categories of historical inquiry: cause and effect, change and continuity, using the past, turning points and through their eyes. These categories help students be able to ask the right questions and understand history in a more meaningful way. They have been using this framework since the beginning of the school year so they understand when you say thinking like a historian or cause and effect. They could pose questions in this primary source document under the category of cause and effect. For the example of Bonnie and Clyde, the students could say: How did Bonnie and Clyde’s lifestyle affect their life in particular during the Great Depression?

Materials needed for the lesson:

Document camera, computer, and copies of ballad and guided analysis sheets.



Description of Lesson: During this lesson, the students will be using some skills that they learned in their English class about reading and analyzing ballads. Bonnie Parker wrote a ballad about her life and Clyde’s together; link to the ballad: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5061/. The students will need to use their knowledge and transfer the skills to this class.

Activity

Student Actions

Teacher Actions

Duration of lesson

Quick write on Ballads.

Students will need to get out a piece of paper and write down three facts that they learned in their English class about Ballads. I will give them a couple of minutes (two or three) to write them down; they may talk to a neighbor to get some ideas. They need to be ready to share their ideas in a discussion. The students will hand in their quick write ideas so I know they have a good understanding of what a Ballad is.

Wait for students to finish quick write. I will direct students to a popcorn way of discussion that they have been previously taught in class so they understand how it works until each student has shared one fact. As students share their ideas, I will write them on the board for the next part of analysis that will occur in this lesson.

Quick write with small discussion should take about 5 minutes. I chose a quick write because they have had previous instruction on how to read and interpret a ballad in English on day one of the week.

Group work on analysis and interpretation of Bonnie Parker’s ballad.

Work together in groups and analyze and interpret the ballad based on the guided analysis sheet. (see sheet below).

Get students in groups of 3 or 4 at most (students will count off to get into groups as they’ve previously done in class with group work projects), explain the activity and what to do with the concept map sheet (explained below with the sheet) and then walk around helping each group.

This activity should take about 25 minutes. At the end of the activity, students will have filled out their concept analysis sheet and will be asked to turn in one copy with all students names on it to check for understanding. The popcorn list from the quick write activity will give them a list of possibilities to look at while also looking at the historical references/analysis as well.

Write their own individual ballad based on something they are passionate about just like Bonnie’s ballad.

Write their own ballad. (See prompt below the concept map).

Explain the project and then walk around and check in with the students to see what they are writing about. (See explanation below with the prompt).

This activity should take about 20 minutes. Explain to the students that if they don’t finish, it’s ok they will finish their ballad in English class the next day and looking at theirs and other students. On their way out, the students need to turn in one of their concept map for analysis sheets to check for understanding.

Explanation of concept map analysis: This map shown above would be an example of what the ballad note sheet would look like. In the center would be Bonnie’s Ballad and the students will take four of the concepts from the board that they want to look at in the ballad and put them in the lines where the kiss and hug are. So for example they could put couplets in the line and in the bubbles they could put their interpretation of Bonnie’s ballad according to that category and what they see in the ballad there. They need to use three different concepts from the board and use them to help with the analysis of the ballad. The final concept needs to tie in the cause and effect aspect from Thinking like a Historian. They need to tie in the example question from above: How did Bonnie and Clyde’s lifestyle affect their life in particular during the Great Depression? This way the students are also looking at the historical analysis of the ballad as well as how it is written.

Concept Map for analysis sheet used for Bonnie’s Ballad: (This sheet will be given to the students).

Directions: As a group, take turns reading through your copy of Bonnie’s Ballad, making notations along the way. Once finished, look on the board and pick three of the concepts that you can find examples of and tell me how Bonnie used this concept while she was writing her ballad. Write the concept you are using in the line above the bubble. Then using the cause and effect aspect of Thinking like a Historian, come up with a question that can be answered using her ballad as a reference. Put this question in the line above the fourth bubble and put the information in the bubble like you did for the other three related to ballads. Under each concept you need to include at least two examples of how each concept can be related to the ballad.

http://www.viney.uk.com/original_articles/handshakewb/mindmap.gif

Explanation of prompt for writing your ballad: I would give the students the following sheet and would read through the directions with the students answering any questions along the way. I would inform them that they would have about 20 minutes to write their ballad in my class but that Ms. Stanislowski would give them more time the next day in her class before looking at others in class.

Prompt for writing your ballad: (this sheet would be handed out to students).

From our analysis of Bonnie Parker’s ballad, we can see that she was very passionate about her life with Clyde Barrow and what they went through together as a couple. Ms. Stanislowski and myself are asking you to write your own ballad about something you are passionate about. Take a few minutes and come up with a couple of ideas that you could write about:

For example: Ms. Acker is passionate about softball.

1.

2.



Using one of the ideas from above, use the rest of the space on this sheet to create your own ballad about something you are passionate about. Make sure you use the concepts that you discussed in English class and used to analyze Bonnie Parker’s ballads in the previous activity. Your ballad should be around 16-20 lines long. Here is an example of a couple of lines of Ms. Acker’s ballad about softball:

The field covered in dirt and grass,

Brings back memories never to pass.

From five to twenty five,

Countless hours were spent underneath the sun.

Lesson #3: End of unit (Summative Assessment)

State Standards:

B.12.4 Assess the validity of different interpretations of significant historical events.



Common Core Standards:

Writing History WHST.9-10.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.



Objective:

Students will be able to critique a historical event using two different sources (newspaper article and Bonnie’s ballad) about the same event. Students will be able to use the source evidence to write their own opinion of whether or not Bonnie and Clyde were criminals or heroes and how they came to that conclusion.



Materials needed for this lesson:

Copies of newspaper article, sheet on summative assessment (newspaper editorial article), document camera, computer and power point.



Description of lesson: The lesson will start off with an online article from TIME magazine that has documented the top 10 crime duos in history which includes Bonnie and Clyde. Here is the link to the site: http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1900368_1900369_1900351,00.html . I will hand out to students a copy of the Bonnie and Clyde article along with a random duo that I have chosen for the students to look at. Then I will go into explaining their summative assessment project of making a group editorial in a newspaper addressing a posing question.

Activity

Student Actions

Teacher Actions

Duration of Lesson

Comparison/Contrast activity to top 10 crime duos to Bonnie and Clyde.

Students will look at one of the couples from the top 10 list and compare them to Bonnie and Clyde. (see more below with sheet). The student will then pair/share a couple of interesting facts, comparisons and/or contrasts for their duos to Bonnie and Clyde with another student sitting around them.

Will have copies of the different duos’ for students to use along with a copy of the Bonnie and Clyde article. There would only be a certain number of copies of each couple so students will be looking at different duos.

This lecture/discussion will last about 15 minutes. They will need to keep their sheets and can use these as a reference in writing their editorials as evidence if they see fit.

Summative Assessment: Group Editorial in newspaper. Need to answer this question: Some Historians have called Bonnie and Clyde heroes of the Great Depression; Do you agree? Or are they criminals?

Get into designated groups ( I will have the groups listed on the board. These groups will be based on strong, medium and moderate historical knowledge in each group. They will also be based off their original opinions on the first day information on whether they saw Bonnie and Clyde as heroes or criminals. Their opinions may have changed, so I will give them five minutes to decide their group’s opinion. The students will need to listen to directions as I explain the summative assessment, decide what position they will take and get writing the article (see below for explanation of summative assessment).

Divide students into groups (discussed in student actions section), explain/introduce the assessment (see below), watch and float between groups while the students are deciding their position, gathering information and writing their editorial.

This assessment will take 30 minutes; will end up going into next class period. I want them to give me quality assessments, so they will need part or another whole class period to finish this assessment.

Exit Ticket: Tell me the perspective you will be arguing (heroes or criminals), what paragraph you are writing in your editorial and how you will help your group convince a reader that your group’s opinion is the best.

Filling out the exit ticket; giving an answer to each question.

Give the students the exit ticket question and collect them before they leave.

The exit ticket will take about 5 minutes.

Explanation of comparison/contrast sheet: I will read through the directions of what I want them to do with this activity. I would also answer any questions they may have regarding this activity. I would then pass out their sheet with the Bonnie and Clyde article on one side and another duo from the list on the other.

Comparison/Contrast sheet of duos to Bonnie and Clyde: (This sheet will be given to the students).

Look through your assigned duo and put three facts that are different from Bonnie and Clyde about your assigned duo and put them in the right circle. Some examples may include what crimes they were involved in, where they committed those crimes etc. On the left, using information from the class lecture or from the newspaper article or Bonnie’s Ballad, put three facts about Bonnie and Clyde that are different than your duo in the left circle. In the middle circle, you need to think about both duos and put similarities in the middle. I would like three but if you can only find two that is ok. After you are done, pick a person sitting around you that has a different duo than you and share some interesting information that you found about your duo or maybe interesting contrasts that you found.



http://www.teach-nology.com/worksheets/science/cell/2venn.gif

Explanation of summative assessment: I would hand out the following sheet on the summative assessment after they are in their groups. I would read through the directions and answer any questions they may have. Then the students would go onto figuring out their positions, who is doing which paragraph in the editorial just as the student actions section of the lesson plan discusses.

Summative Assessment: (This sheet will be given to the students).

Imagine you are an editorial newspaper team looking into the lives of Bonnie and Clyde. You have been asked to look into the topic and answer the following question: Some historians have called Bonnie and Clyde heroes of the Great Depression. Do you agree? Or were they criminals? Use evidence discussed in class to support your argument. Examples that you are allowed to use include: introductory lecture, note sheet, newspaper article on death, Bonnie’s ballad and the crime duo contrast/comparison sheet). If you find other information you want to use, please ask Ms. Acker before using. The editorial needs to follow the pattern below that has been used and have previous knowledge of using in your English classes. As a group, you need to decide which member of your group is writing which section. Each paragraph needs to use at least three pieces of evidence that you see fit. The goal is to have the most strongly supported editorial to get the reader on your side; convince them!!!

1. Key statements/ questions (opening paragraph) : __________________

2. Statements of pros/cons (body paragraph) : _________________

3. Clearly establish their stance/viewpoint (body paragraph) : ___________________

4. Concluding evidence (conclusion paragraph): _______________________



Special Considerations:

Some special considerations I may need to make when teaching this lesson is for students that may need a little extra help with some of the group work or reading of the texts. I would either help these students myself or put them with students that are maybe a little stronger in a certain area that they struggle in to help them out. To make sure the technology works, I would make sure everything will open and make sure it is all loaded before class even starts.



Listed References:

Larson, B. E, & T. Keiper. (2011).Instructional Strategies for Middle and Secondary Social Studies Methods, Assessment, and Classroom Management New York, Routledge.



Mell, N, & B. Malone. (2008).Thinking Like a Historian : Rethinking History Instruction : A framework to enhance and improve teaching and learning Madison, Wis., Wisconsin Historical Society Press.


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