By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

(1) Construct an answer to the question, "How has the presence of the Anacostia River influences settlement "East of the River"?

(2) Evaluate sources from previous lessons, and utilize them as support for Objective 1.

(3) Choose and create a medium for communicating individual answers.


Common Core Standards (connections):

Reading Standards for Literacy in history/Social Studies 6-12


1) Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

3) Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

6) Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same histoical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.

7) Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

9) Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources. 


For this lesson you will need whatever resources you have available for students to construct their final presentations.  These may include your basic classroom materials of paper, scissors, glue, etc.  Many students will want to use computers to complete their final product.  That is at your discretion.

Warm Up

These three warm-up questions are included in the handout for the day's work.  Be sure to discuss the questions with the students - either individually or as a class.

1.  Why is it important to have support for your opinions?

Turn this into a discussion about building strong arguments.  Remind students that there aren't neccessarily wrong opinions - just ill-informed opinion.  This will help to set up the culture of your classroom. 

2.  Which source is more reliable – primary or secondary?  Why?

There is no perfect source.  Make sure students understand bias in both sources.

3.  Which source from this unit did you think was the most truthful?

Answers will vary. 

New Material

After going over the warm-up, make sure students understand the assignment and help them complete the last portion of this handout - identifying three sources to support their answers.

How has the presence of the Anacostia River influenced settlement "East of the River"?

 After several lessons, you should have an idea of how to answer this question.  Now it’s time to deliver this answer.  There is no simple answer.  Your task is to assemble the sources we have studied in order to support your answer.  Your final product may take ONE of FOUR forms:

(1) Brief Essay – A formal 5 paragraph essay.  Introduction, Evidence, Conclusion.  Typed.

(2) Poster Display – To display in the room, utilizing and discussing at least three of the sources from class.

(3) Op-Ed Piece – Similar to the Letter to the Editor, but much more elaborate.  It’s an essay with a different audience.

(4) PowerPoint Presentation – Similar to the poster.  If you choose to do this, you must actually present it in front of the class.

 One more choice:If you would like to utilize a different method for answering the question, you may do so if you clear it with the teachers.  If it is a song or some other performance, it needs a visual to go with it – such as a poster.  So you might as well do a poster.

Lesson 5 - Project Assignment

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Students should work independently.  It should be a general rule that no two students will use the same 3 sources.  If all of the students gravitate towards a particular source, that might just be because it's a good source.  However, try to prevent having identitical projects,

When students complete thier projects, move to the assessment portion of the lesson. 

Lesson 5 - Project Rubric

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Students should be required to explain their final product to either a teacher or the class.  Although it is encouraged for students to gain experience speaking with peers, this is not always in the child's best emotional interests.  In my classroom, students are given the opportunity to choose.  Hopefully, the vested interest in this lesson will encourage students to share.

Regardless, have students grade themselves according to the rubric.  You might be surprised how honest they will actually be. 

Closure and Reflection

After completing their final projects, students should complete the attached survey so they might provide feedback to improve the lesson from their perspective.  This will only make the lesson better.

Lesson 5 - Closure Survey

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