Encompassing the Mind: Change Agents in History
Historical figures exhibiting good citizenship have had a large impact on present America. The theme for the lesson is Historical Figures and Time. The essential question posed is “How have historical figures influenced America?”
Students will be required to learn concepts of past and present, characteristics of good citizenship, and a variety of historical figures such as Thurgood Marshall.
The processes used in the unit will require students to use research skills to read about and analyze people in history. Students will use timelines to develop the concept of past and present and the cause and effect relationship to later events. Essentially, students will study a good citizen in history that influence present day America, overlap a timeline of their life with the results of the change agent, and present an argument to the class that the historical figure did indeed cause the current trend in America. This will be done in a series of mini-lessons drawing on prior knowledge of skills necessary for the final persuasion of the audience.
The students will be working in pairs, therefore thinking and communicating with clarity and precision will be necessary in the process as well as the presentation. As the project will be a long and difficult one, students will need to practice a great deal of persistence. The most important habit of mind will be thinking flexibly as they determine the cause and effect of the change and result (Costa & Kallick, 2000).
The assessment portion will be done throughout the process as they gather data, make inferences, and ultimately present their argument. This activity will require careful monitoring and constant checks for accuracy (Laureate Education, 1996).
Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2000). Activating & engaging habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (1996). Helping students become self-directed learners. [Video recording]. Los Angeles: Author.
© 2011 Chase J. Young. All rights reserved.