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Lesson 1
Objectives

Students will:

  • analyze photographs and use the visual clues to put the photographs on a timeline.
  • Explain their reasoning for putting the photos in the order that they did (For example: In the first picture, the students were on horses. That must have been a long time ago. In the second picture the students were riding bikes, etc...)
Materials
  • Access to computer to complete School Timeline using Microsoft word. Using this version, students will manipulate the document and print out their completed version. If this is not possible with your access to technology, you could also print out the pdf format of this same document, copy it, and have students use scissors and glue to complete.
Procedure
  1. Begin by either having the students view the large versions of the pictures on the computer, or by printing out the pictures and viewing them as a class. Have students examine the pictures closely and discuss what they see.
  2. Have students use the clues in the pictures to complete the School Timeline worksheet, either on the computer or with scissors and glue.
  3. Students will put completed Timelines in their Blast From the Past folders.
Assessment
School Timelines will be assessed for correct order of pictures and validity of explanations.
Lesson 2
Objectives
Students will learn about different aspects of school from long ago. They will complete a "Schools: Then & Now Booklet" comparing these aspects from the past to the present.
Materials
Procedure
  1. As an introduction and to activate background knowledge, read from a Little House on the Prairie book by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  2. Have students brainstorm ways that life was different in the time that Laura Ingalls Wilder lived.
  3. Show the Schools Long Ago PowerPoint presentation. This presentation uses pictures from the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress. Discuss and analyze the photographs, calling attention to the ways in which the schools shown are different from schools today.
  4. Tell students that they will be exploring different aspects of schools long ago using the PBS "School: The Story of American Public Education" website. (They can access all of the links that they need through the Student Education Page.)
  5. After exploring the website, students will complete a "Schools Then & Now" booklet. For this activity they will need access to a digital camera and a printer. Click here to download the booklet.
  6. When students have completed their booklets, allow time for sharing.
Assessment
Student booklets will be assessed using a rubric. Click here to download the rubric.
Lesson 3
Objectives
Students will design a school of the future. They will be required to create a model or poster of their school and a written description explaining all of the aspects of their school. Students will share their completed projects to the class in a 3-5 minute oral presentation.
Materials
  • Directions, planning sheet, and grading sheet for this project. Click here to download.
Procedure
This project will be completed mostly outside of school. Class time will be used for going over directions and planning. The actual model or poster and written description will be completed at home. Two weeks will be alloted for the completion of the project. At the end of the two weeks, there will be class time set aside for student presentations.
Assessment
Use the grading sheet included in the materials section.

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