Lesson Plan on Family History and Past Generations

Teacher: Dawn Esposito Subject: Social Studies
Grade: 2 Date: October 27, 1999

Sunshine State Strand: Time, Continuity, and Change [History]
Sunshine State Standard 1: The student understands historical chronology and the historical perspective.
Sunshine State Benchmark: 3. Knows a family history through two or three generations (e.g., customs, beliefs, and traditions of ancestors and their homelands).

I. Content: Concept - I want my students to understand that a family history and past generations affect present-day life through customs, beliefs, and traditions within a family unit.

II. Prerequisites: In order to complete this lesson, the student should be able to describe characteristics of a family, including traditional and blended family units. The student must also have an understanding of the term "generation."

III. Instructional Objective: Through a written and/or pictorial essay, the student will describe two customs, beliefs, and/or traditions that exist within his or her family history and why these are significant to his or her present-day life.

IV. Instructional Procedures:
A. Lesson Initiating Activities: The students will sit on the "story quilt" and the instructor will read The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. Through a class discussion, they will retrace the life of the keeping quilt from the end of the book to its origin as bits and pieces of cloth. A story map may be utilized to emphasize how the quilt has traveled throughout the family and across generations. The students will return to their seats for the core activities.

B. Core Activities: The teacher will define the terms "custom," "belief," and "tradition." He or she will illustrate these terms and provide examples from The Keeping Quilt. The instructor will discuss the relationships among the terms and present familiar examples to the class. He or she may bring in a personal artifact or share a specific tradition. The students will be asked to describe personal experiences within the topic.

C. Closure Activities: The students will be given 15-20 minutes to complete the final activity. More or less time may be required and depend on teacher discretion. Working in groups of 4-5, the students will be required to identify a custom, belief, and tradition. The examples may include personal data and/or information obtained in class. The students should be prepared to discuss their findings. When the group work is complete, the teacher will create a data chart on the board. Each group will be given the opportunity to add their findings to the chart and justify their responses.

V. Materials and Equipment:
A. "story quilt"
B. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
C. A flip chart and brightly colored markers for the story map
D. Colored chalk and the chalk board
E. Brightly colored card stock and yarn for the class quilt
F. Allocated classroom space and risers for the "museum exhibit"

VI. Assessment/Evaluation: The instructor will assign a written and/or pictorial essay describing two customs, beliefs, and/or traditions that exist within the student's family history and why these are significant to his or her present-day life. They are encouraged to talk with or interview a family member. These will be assessed for an accurate comprehension and representation of the concepts, as well as creativity and enthusiasm. The essays will be mounted on brightly colored card stock and connected to form a class quilt for display in the classroom. The students will also be evaluated throughout the activities by teacher observation for participation in class discussion and collaboration in cooperative learning groups.

VII. Follow-up activities: Each student will bring in a personal artifact and give an oral presentation to the class. Personal artifacts may be as simple as a mixing bowl used to make holiday cookies or a poem depicting a student's culture or homeland. In addition, they will design a place card that briefly describes the artifact. A "museum exhibit" featuring family histories will be constructed in a designated area of the classroom. The students may invite other classes to the "exhibit." The museum experience will provide connections and integration to additional subjects, such as:

A. Language Arts- composing a brief description of his or her artifact and writing "exhibit" invitations.
B. Math with estimation, time, and devising a plan- "How many students can we invite to our exhibit at any given time?"
C. Art- creating the "museum" space and designing the invitation.
D. Social Studies- lessons on culture, traditions, and beliefs can continue with a focus on those relevant to the classroom community, such as the cultural importance of Haitian art and Cuban traditions that continue today in America.

VIII. Self-Assessment: The teacher will review the major concepts of the lesson in terms of the lesson assessment, student participation in all class discussions and cooperative learning groups, and enthusiasm for the activities. The teacher will determine whether discrepancies exist between intended and actual lesson outcomes and note changes for future use.

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