Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to...

•describe the landscape of the National Mall over time through the examination of primary and secondary sources, including maps, letters, and photographs.

•compare and contrast the L'Enfant and McMillan Plans using sourcing and chronological thinking skills in order to evaluate the changing landscape.

•analyze the development of physical structures along the Mall, including the Smithsonian Institute and the Washington Monument, in order to contextualize and evaluate the use of the physical space during this time.

Standards

Resources

[Here, you should include a list of primary and secondary sources as well as other materials you will be using in the class. Attach all handouts and readings you will use for this lesson to the curricular unit.]

Warm Up

As students arrive to class, have the following prompt written on the board:

Describe the National Mall. What is it? What purpose(s) does it serve? How is it used? How have you interacted with it?

Allow aprox.5 minutes for students to respond in complete sentences. Ask for student volunteers, or call on particular students, to share their responses.

Explain that today, you will be beginning a unit on the National Mall as a center for change. 

Ask why you might have chosen to focus on the Mall.  

Explain that by the end of the unit, students will be creating a plan for a demonstration on the Mall in 2013. 

Review the daily objectives for this lesson.

Ask students to explain the objective and how it connects to the unit as a whole. Why are you focusing on the physical space if you are going to be creating a plan for a demonstration in 2013?

Explain that this lesson will provide background knowledge of the Mall from its inception. Students will use this lesson to develop the skills they will need to apply independently in order to research and evaluate the ways the Mall can be used today for their final assessment.

New Material

Depending on the familiarity of your students with these skills different amounts of scaffolding will be helpful. 

1. Students will be using sourcing and chronology in order to gain a better understanding of the National Mall beginning with the L’Enfant and McMillan plans for the Mall.

A. Sourcing: Students will ask questions of the sources specifically
  • Who created them?
  • Why were they created?
  • For whom were they created?
  • What purpose did these plans serve, regardless of their intention?

B. Chronology: Students will compare and contrast sources related to the plans in order to develop an understanding of the changing shape of the Mall.

  • How are these plans similar? Different?
  • Which came first?
  • Why was the second one created?
  • What purpose does the new plan promote?
  • How did the second plan change the potential use of the Mall?

2. Students will analyze physical structures on the Mall, including the Smithsonian Institute and the Washington Monument, in order to uncover and contextualize the uses of the Mall and develop an understanding of the changing landscape during the 19th century in the historical context.

  • Why were these structures added to the Mall at this time?
  • Who supported their construction?
  • What was their intended purpose?
  • How were they used during this time?

Practice

For group and paired practice, you may group students hetero- or homogeneously depending on the make up of your students and their practice with cooperative learning.

1.Changing Space:
a.Divide the students into groups of four.
b.Distribute [maps]
c.Optional: distribute [map analysis handout]
d.Direct the students to analyze the maps in order to place them in the chronological order they believe they were created and prepare to explain their reasoning.
e.Discuss the group findings as a class.
f.Provide the correct order, and allow students to discuss the progression of the District based on the correct chronology.
g.Discussion questions:
i.Sourcing:
1.Who created them?
2.Why were they created?
3.For whom were they created?
4.What purpose did these plans serve, regardless of their intention?
5.How are they similar and different?
ii.Chronology:
1.How are these plans similar? Different?
2.Which came first?
3.Why was the second one created?
4.What purpose does the new plan promote?
5.How did the second plan change the potential use of the Mall?

h.Fun fact: When John Adams was president, before the Mall was extended, he often took a morning dip in the Potomac, which ran along the front lawn of the White House.

2.L’Enfant and McMillan Plans:
a.Distribute [L’Enfant Plan and McMillan Plan Documents] to groups.
b.Direct students to use sourcing and chronology in order to determine the purposes and realization of these two plans.
c.Provide [scaffolded questions pg 103] to students who need extra help.
d.Discuss student findings.

3.Smithsonian Institute and the Washington Monument:
a.Distribute [documents] to pairs of students.
b.Instruct them to contextualize the uses of the Mall during the 19th century.
i.Why were these structures added to the Mall at this time?
ii.Who supported their construction?
iii.What was their intended purpose?
iv.How were they used during this time?
c.Have pairs discuss their findings with the other pair in their group.
d.Check in with groups to make sure that they are on the right track. Ask questions about the documents to push the students deeper into the historical context.

4. Independent Practice (See Assessment)

Assessment

Pulling it all together: It is 1901, the McMillan Plan has just been published. You have been selected by the Washington Times to write an article describing the changes taking place on the Mall over the last 100 years! Share your excitement the centennial by describing the landscape of the National Mall over time.

·Use primary sources examined in class, maps, letters, and photographs, to support your response.

·Cite your sources. Include the author and the date of the source in parentheses at the end of the sentence so that it looks like this: (author, date).

Closure and Reflection

Exit Ticket: Students will use this lesson to develop the skills they will need to apply independently in order to research and evaluate the ways the Mall can be used today for their final assessment.

Post the following on the board:

List 3 things you learned about the Mall today.

List 2 skills you developed further throughout the lesson.

List 1 skill you would like to work with more.

Explain why.