Sara Gutis 4-Mat Lesson Plan Social Studies Lesson Elections, a lesson in Current Events Quadrant 1 – Connect Choice Experience Unexpectedly eliminate student choices within the classroom (ex. Assign seats where there was previously open seating, assign a dress code for the next day indicating its new policy for “social studies”, tell the class they will now offer only approved opinions about the days’ topic which are posted on the board and anything else will result in “consequences”). There should not be any wiggle room about choice or freedom of choice. The new policy is the only policy…stay firm. Assessment: Teacher observation of student reactions. Record what the students say in order to discuss when the activity is over or to launch into the day’s discussion. Attend Discussion Have a class discussion once the new policy has been explained and the information has permeated. Questions to ask: What just happened? How did losing choices make you feel? What are choices you have every day/in life? What does informed choice mean? Why is making an informed choice important? Assessment: Teacher observation and evaluation of the discussion. Gauge understanding of the connecting activity to the discussion and redirect where it is needed. Quadrant 2 – Imagine Create Students will create a project about choice and their interpretation of it. Examples include but are not limited to writing a poem, draw/painting a picture, associate songs with an explanation, make a comic strip or story board, write a metaphorical story, create a collage, or create an ad campaign. Assessment: The finished product is evaluated by the teacher and peers for content. Does the project reflect choice and the follow the directions? Inform Content Students will learn about/be able to define/identify parts of the American election process. Discuss (lecture/discuss) about how the American election process takes place. Key words: Democrat, Republican, Independent, party, primary, candidates, current candidates, vote, Electoral College, party platforms, issues of the current election, freedoms. A video or internet sources can be uses in the lecture piece to supplement. Assessment: Teacher observation of class participation in the discussion and willingness/ability to answer questions to help define the key ideas and terms. Quadrant 3 – Practice Research Students will research the positions related to the current election topics/issues. Students will take a position they wither agree or disagree with, explaining the position/issue and why they chose it/their position about it. Students will be construction a 5 paragraph essay (this can be scaled up or down). Assessment: Assessment will be based on the rough draft of the written piece of the assignment. The student and the teacher should evaluate the work based on a given rubric or completion of a graphic organizer that organizes the research information. Extend Debate Show a video(s) of the debate(s) to the students. Use newspaper articles (current) to further explore the candidates and the issues. The graphic organizer can be further filled out (from the research piece). Assessment: Evaluation of the graphic organizer for content by the teacher and students themselves. (What information is missing? What needs to be further explored?) Teacher observation/evaluation of any discussion or questions generated by the viewings and readings. Quadrant 4 – Refine Edit and Rewrite Students will edit and refine their papers for detail and content, aligning it with a given rubric for a final draft. Assessment: Teacher, student, and peer evaluation of the paper’s alignment to the rubric. Perform Mock Election/Paper Presentation Within the format of a mock election or series of debates, the papers should be presented to the class. Assessment: Teacher observation and evaluation of students’ understanding and performance.
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