Lesson Plan on Tamerlane
Teacher: Deborah Kalinec Subject: Social Studies Grade Level: 6 Date: March 27, 2002
I. Content: I want my students to understand that historical information is skewed by the historian's point of view.
II. Prerequisites: The student must have a basic understanding of good vs. evil (barbarian vs. civilized culture, hero vs. villain, good guys vs. bad guys etc,).
III. Instructional Objective: Given an article about Tamerlane, the student will compose a one-page essay that will answer the question "Tamerlane - Hero or Villain?" At least ten characteristics or events of the life of Tamerlane must be given in support of their position.
IV. Instructional Procedures:
Lesson-initiation Activity: In order to initiate interest in Tamerlane, I will begin the lesson with a brief discussion of Mongolian Bar-B-Q restaurants. (They seem to be popping up everywhere.) I will ask if any of the students have eaten at one. I will ask what it was like. I will add my own experiences as well. I will tell the students that I found an interesting story about the origins of the Mongolian Bar-B-Q on the Internet. I will then read "The legend of Tamerlaine" (attached).
Core Activity: I will write Amir Timur, Tamerlaine, and Tamerlane on the board. I will the students that Tamerlane is spelled in several ways and explain where the name comes from. I will then, explain that often when we learn history we learn about heroes and villains, good guys and bad guys. I will ask the students if they can think of any heroes or villains in history. I will explain that we are going to do some reading to decide whether Tamerlane was a hero or a villain. I will write "Tamerlane - Hero or Villain?" on the board. I will then give each student a copy of an article (either "Tamerlane: Not a Very Nice Guy", "Tamerlane - Tartan Conqueror", "Tamerlane - The Last Great Conqueror" or "Temple of Timur the Great"). I will ask them to read their article and write a one-page essay that answers the question written on the board. I will instruct them to include at least six characteristics or events of the life of Tamerlane to support their position. I will collect the essays at the end of the period.
I will hand the essays back to the students along with the article on which they based their essay. On the top of the essays will be the discussion group number. I will have the students in groups of 4 or 5 with at least one student who had each article is in every group. I will have the students read and discuss the differences and similarities in their essays and the articles. I will circulate and may join in the discussions as I do. I will again collect the essays.
Closure Activity: I will lead a short whole class discussion about what they discovered yesterday about whether Tamerlane was a hero or villain. I will guide the discussion to reinforce the idea that historical information is skewed by the historian's point of view. I will again hand the essays back to the students and ask them to edit and/or rewrite their essays to include at least four more characteristics or events of the life of Tamerlane (or at least ten total) and the ideas that were discussed yesterday and at the beginning of this class. All the articles will be available for the students to use as reference.
ESOL Considerations: While the students are reading the articles and writing their essays I will circulate the room and help the ESOL students who may have trouble with reading the articles or writing the essays. I will have the students work in cooperatives to stimulate creative discussions without putting the risk of failure on one child.
V. Materials and Equipment:
For the instructional activities I will need: a copy of "The Legend of Tamerlain", eight copies of each article: "Tamerlane: Not a Very Nice Guy", "Tamerlane - Tartan Conqueror", "Tamerlane - The Last Great Conqueror", and "Temple of Timur the Great" (this is 32 copies, if there are more than 32 students in the class more copies will be needed) For the follow up activity I will need: several copies of the Turkish tale "The Hoca and Tamerlane's Elephant". several copies of Edgar Allen Poe's "Tamerlane", several copies of the rules and description of Tamerlane chess, poster board, colored markers a ruler and scissors.
VI. Assessment/Evaluation: After reviewing the students' essays, I will asses their understanding of the lesson by how they answered the question and how they incorporated the ten or more characteristics or events of the life of Tamerlane to support their position.
VII. Follow-up Activities: The articles referred to the poem by Edgar Allen Poe titled "Tamerlane" and Tamerlane chess. I will remind the students of these references. I will tell the students that I also have found a Turkish tale that is about Tamerlane. I will have centers or stations set up around the room. The first will have the poem available for poetry reading and discussion, the second will have the instructions for Tamerlane chess available along with the materials to make a board and chess pieces for the game and the third will have the copies of the Turkish tale that the students will be able to use to create a short play to present to the class. I will let the students choose which center they would like do.
VIII. Self-Assessment: I will review the lesson in terms of lesson by assessing the students' understanding by the final essays. I will note student participation and enthusiasm in the group and class discussions.
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