I will be working on a social studies lesson with two girls that are typically home schooled; one is Grade 5 the other is Grade 8. Currently, the students are being taught the same curriculum from a survey of world history book text that was recommended to the parents from a home school network. Due to a recent and significant transition from living aboard a sailboat for the past seven years to a large, rural home, the focus on schoolwork and social studies in particular has waned. The next unit of study from their current text is “The Classical World” and I have chosen to teach a focused lesson on The Silk Road (China) that will supplement the learners’ study.
Since the learners are currently not following grade-level social studies standards for Grade 5 or Grade 8 and are typically being taught from the same text, I have decided to focus on a grade-level standard(s) from the Common Core language arts in combination with a social studies thematic concept; this thematic concept will act as a guiding framework for the lesson.
Social Studies Concept
Movement of People and Goods- refers to the constant exchange of people, ideas, products, technologies, and institutions from one region or civilization to another that has existed throughout history.
English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text » Grade 5 » Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
English Language Arts Standards » History/Social Studies » Grade 6-8
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
I will begin this 80-minute lesson with a simple formative assessment that utilizes a KWL chart. As I have not worked with these learners in the past, I am unsure as to their background knowledge on China or their reading and writing levels.
KWL Chart- Formative Assessment
Learners will brainstorm individually, followed by a pair and share, what they know about Imperial China.
Strategy #1: Advance Organizer- Video
This is a link to a video that I will use with both learners as an advanced organizer to situate the thematic concept of “Movement of People and Goods”. While the video brings the viewer to the present-day exchange of goods in China, this will not be part of the materials that the students will be formally interacting with. I do not anticipate difficulties with comprehension of this video, thus I do not believe there is a need for differentiation for the learners during this phase of the lesson.
Grade 5 Advance Organizer
Grade 8 Advance Organizer
China: Silk Road
Strategy #2: Jigsaw- Informational Text combined with video viewings
My second instructional strategy will be a Jigsaw. The learners will begin by responding to an anticipatory set; reading from informational texts and viewing online videos on their assigned topic will follow this.
Grade 5 Learner- Goods of the Silk Road (Paper and Silk)
Anticipatory Set- Exchange of Goods:
Looking around you, what things would make your life different if you had to live without them? What is the one item you believe that you cannot live without? Describe how your life would change without this item.
Informational text reading and videos
- Paper- http://videos.howstuffworks.com/science-channel/29677-what-the-ancients-knew-traditional-chinese-paper-video.htm
- Silk- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1RTqAWKenM
Grade 8 Learner- Exchange of People on the Silk Road (Marco Polo & Ibn Battuta)
Anticipatory Set- Exchange of People:
How has travel impacted your life? Describe how your life would be different if you hadn’t had the opportunity to travel. How does sharing your travel with others effect their view of the world?
Informational text, timeline comparison and video viewing:
- Ibn Battuta video http://www.schooltube.com/video/072bdd3c25a441ec9cba/
- Marco Polo video http://www.history.com/videos/marco-polo#marco-polo
Jigsaw sharing of information:
1) Complete- “What I Learned” for the K-W-L Chart.
2) Pair and Share- How did the exchange of people, goods and ideas along the Silk Road affect China and Europe during the Imperial China? What effect does it have on us today?
Predicted Outcomes/Potential differentiation
It’s difficult to reliably predict potential differentiation needs for learners that I’ve not worked with prior to this experience. Summarizing information and writing five paragraph essays has been a primary focus of their literacy and social studies work so I anticipate that both learners are fairly familiar with reading and summarizing informational text. Since I am utilizing RAFTS to detail how I would like the jigsaw information sharing session to occur, I am confident that the learners will present their information according to instructions. I don’t know if either learner will have much depth in terms of background knowledge about China. Additionally, dealing with a larger conceptual question such as the exchange of goods and people over a period of time may be more difficult for these learners to grasp, especially since this is a one-time lesson. I view this lesson as what would be the first in a series of lessons that would take students on a journey from the exchanges during the time of Imperial China to the importance of contemporary China in the global economy. However, I simply do not have time to do that here.
One way that I could differentiate is to decrease the quantity of material to read. For example, I could have the Grade 5 learner select one of the two “goods” to report on; the Grade 8 learner could choose one of the “people” to focus on. Some graphic organizers would help facilitate student comprehension of text such as a GIST template (this technique would be demonstrated beforehand) to help with choosing relevant information including who, what, where, when, how and why. Another graphic organizer that would help the grade 5 learner would be a SEED discussion graphic organizer.
One way that I have differentiated is by creating two different sets of materials for each learner. For example, each learner has a different advanced organizer to view before reading their assigned material and watching their assigned video; the Grade 5 learner will view a developmentally appropriate Brainpop video while the Grade 8 learner will view a video that is more appropriate for a middle school student.