Subject: Social Studies, Reading, and Writing and
Level: Sixth grade
Summary: In this Ancient Greek unit the students
are to become the class expert on some aspect of
Ancient Greek life. They are given mini lessons on
journaling, organizing research, bibliographies,
and putting together a presentation. They will
monitor their progress in journals and do weekly
Invitation: How do we get students actively
involved in their learning? How do we motivate
them to learn so that they can teach others? We
provide them with the tools and time to become the
class expert in an area of their choosing and
present to the class a presentation on their topic.
South Dakota Standards:
1. Construct meaning from text using
context and semantic clues.
2. Recognize direct and implied meaning
to extend understanding of materials
3. Ask questions and make predictions
about information of the message found
5. Use background knowledge and
experience to comprehend text.
6. Connect main ideas and concepts to
other sources and related topics.
15. Choose reading material that is
appropriate for project completion.
17. Distinguish fact from opinion in
newspapers, magazines, and other
18. Use text organizers to locate and
categorize information in print
19. Draw conclusions and make inferences
based on explicit and implied
20. Read to acquire information for
21. Use reference tools to retrieve and
1. Implement various stages of the
2. Maintain a personal journal or
portfolio to record personal ideas,
observations, and experiences.
3. Use writing as a means to
paraphrase/summarize what is
4. Write to connect knowledge within and
5. Use a wide variety of structures to
categorize and organize information.
6. Use words that are expressive,
appropriate, and precise to provide
clarity, and focus for the reader.
7. Apply rules of grammar
9. Use various forms of writing
10. Follow an organizational pattern that
includes effective introductions and
11. Write reports on key ideas, issues, or
situations that are supported by
13. Select the best source of information
15. Use technology to share written work
Edit final copies for correct
spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
16. Use available technology in editing
Listening and Viewing standards:
2. Ask questions to seek clarification of
3. Summarize, respond to, and evaluate
7. Determine the effects of images, text,
and sound in electronic journalism.
10. Identify false and misleading
information in oral and electronic
11. Use questions to clarify instructions
12. Classify information received
according to subject or topic for
13. Use various sources to determine if
information is relevant of useful.
14. Combine new information with prior
knowledge for recall
1. Emphasize important parts to assist
the listener in following main ideas
2. Select a focus, organization, and
point of view for oral presentations.
3. Present informative reports that pose
relevant questions and develop the
topic with facts, details, and
8. Choose language and style appropriate
to the interest and background
knowledge of the listener.
9. Use effective rate, volume, and pitch
and tone in oral communication.
12. Select and use audio visual aids to
maximize effects in various
13. Investigate ways to highlight ideas
displayed in visual aids.
Social Studies Standards:
4. Analyze the geographic, political,
economical, and social structure of
the early civilization of Ancient
Greece with emphasis on the location
and physical setting that supported
the rise of this civilization; the
connections between geography and the
development of city-states and,
including patterns of trade and
commerce; the transition from tyranny
and oligarchy to early democratic
forms of government and significance
of citizenship; the difference between
Athenian, or direct democracy and
representative democracy; the
significance of Greek mythology to the
everyday life of people in Greece and
its influence on modern literature and
languages; the similarities and
differences of Athens and Sparta; the
rise of Alexander the great ; the
cultural contributions in the areas of
arts, science, languages,
architecture, government, and
The students will work in the classroom and
library for 60 minutes a day for 4 weeks. They
will have the option to work alone, in pairs,
or in groups or three to research, organize
data, and present information to the class.
1. The students will select a topic for study
2. The students will research their topic
3. The students will keep a journal of their
progress on a daily basis and do a weekly
4. The students will meet with the teacher at
least once a week to report progress.
5. The students will organize their
information in to a presentation to share
with the class. This project may be a
PowerPoint, scavenger hunt, oral
presentation, or other upon teacher
6. The student will assess their own work.
The students will work in groups of no
more than three to gather information, organize it,
and complete a presentation. The teacher will
present mini lessons and provide guidance
throughout the project.
The project will be assessed with a rubric that
contains points for daily journals and reflections,
presentation, and student assessment.
The students will use computers, software and
Internet resources, books, pictures, Powerpoint ,
scanners, textbook, any other resource necessary to
complete the project.
Introduce the topic. Assess what the students
know with a K-W-L chart. Introduce the
expectations for the project. Give students a copy
of the Rubric. Brainstorm areas of content to be
studied in the unit using a graphic organizer.
(Inspiration works great)
Mini lesson; brainstorming
Select an idea for research with the
students. Model Brainstorming and organizing steps
as prewriting and pre-research. (Samples Shown)
Discuss strategies for researching information and
Have students select their topic for study and
organize their pre-research.
Have the students write question that they think
need to be answered on their topic using note
cards. Model the process for the students.
Mini lesson on journaling. List reasons for
keeping a journal or diary.
Go over the learning journal that is to be kept.
Have students create a cover for their journals and
fill out the first page.
They will record in these journals at the end of
every daily session.
Mini lesson: bibliography
Describe what a bibliography is and the purpose of
a bibliography. Show examples in books. Share the
handout on the proper way to write a bibliography
and have the students select various books,
magazines, computer material and sites to write
practice bibliographies. Emphasize the importance
of recording information immediately so as not to
Day Five- ten
The next 6 sessions can be used for
researching. Teacher should be monitoring
students, asking questions, guiding, providing
Days 5 and 10 are days students need to fill out
weekly reflection sheets. Teacher meets with each
group to check progress, answer questions and
Class discussion on ways in which the materials
found can be put into a project. Brainstorm
presentation options such as; PowerPoint
presentation, a student generated computer
scavenger hunt, role-playing etc. Make
expectations known, share rubric with students.
Some expectations are:
All presentations must have an introduction and
All must provide relevant information on the
All must provide a visual aid of some kind.
All presentations must be at least 10 minutes
Day Twelve – Seventeen:
Provide time to work on projects. Assist as need.
Students continue to keep journals and reflections.
Day Eighteen – Twenty-one
These days are for presentation of the
projects. At this point, it may be necessary to
teach topics that students did not cover. Review
and finish the K-W-L chart.
Attributes Above standard At standard Attribute Points
still at goal earned
(15 -12.5) (12.5 - 8.5) (8.5 - 0)
Resource Utilized more Utilized 3 – Utilized less
Utilization than 5 5 different than 3
different sources and different /15
resources and incorporated sources.
(15 - 12.5) (12.5 - 8.5) (8.5 - 0)
Topic Informed when Informed when Unable to
Discussion speaking about speaking accurately /15
the topic about the discuss the
(without topic and topic or read
reference to referring to completely
noted) notes. from a paper.
(40 - 33) (33 - 20) (20– 0)
Computer Project Project Project did
presentation contained a contained not include
wide variety some graphics enough
of pictures or pictures, pictures or
and graphics somewhat text to
balanced with organized, communicate
text, easy to the topic
appealing follow. clearly. /40
format, Created Created pages
organized and visuals and are
easy to presentation incomplete,
follow. reflect the missing, or
Created group’s data do not
visuals and in an contribute to
presentations organized way the reader’s
reflect the that allows understanding
group’s data the reader to .
in an understand
organized way the data.
Total Presentation points earned /70
Journal and reflection rubric
____5. Journal entries were made
____3. Journal entries were
filled out most of the time.
____1. Journal entries sporadic.
___5. Entries were complete
and reflections show
insight as to progress and problems.
___3. Entries were complete;
reflections are vague and lack
___1. Entries were incomplete
and lacking components.
___ 4. My questions were clear, focused and
required high level thinking skills
in order to research.
____3. My questions were clear and focused.
____2. My questions were unclear and
incomplete. My teacher needed to help me
____1. I was unable to come up with
___ 4. I made really good use of my time.
I stayed focused on the tasks at hand and
made changes when I needed to.
____3. I was able to complete the
assignment in the given time frame. I was
able to organize and revise with some help
from my teacher.
____2. I needed help from my teacher to
list and organize what I needed to do.
There were some steps missing in my
planning. Revisions were made with the help
of the teacher.
____1. I was unable to come up with an
organized plan and work within the time
____4. I used a variety of resources and
carefully selected only the information that
answered my questions, or that I found
relevant to my project. I was able to
continually revise my search based on
information I found.
____3. I used many resources to find my
information. I tried revisions with some
____2. I used 1 or more sources. Original
questions guided my search, although I
should have made revisions. I made some
errors in the selection of materials.
____1. I lost focus and my information was
incomplete and inaccurate.
____4. I organized and selected materials
and information that answered my questions
and that were appropriate for my
____3. I sorted through and organized
materials and information that answered my
questions without too many errors.
____2. I tried to organize my information,
but needed assistance from the teacher.
____1. I was unable to sort and organize
the information I gathered.
____4. I used the information I found in a
meaningful way to create an original product
that clearly answered my questions with
accuracy, detail, and understanding.
____3. My product answers the questions in
a way that reflects learning using some
detail and accuracy.
____2. My product is not complete and only
answers some of my questions.
____1. My product is incomplete and
contains missing details or is not accurate.