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					                            Weekly Lesson Plan Layout

                                  What is Agriculture?

   Handout of crop cycle
   Handout of product cycle
   Markers
   Transparency of crop/product cycles for teacher

Agriculture has played a large role in Maine’s heritage. Let’s see if we can’t break it
down into simple parts we could easily recognize anywhere in the world. Complete the
lesson on agriculture below to learn the attributes of agriculture, which can be applied to
any form of the concept in the world. Instructors should be able to give examples of local
agriculture. Have the students been involved with local agriculture? Create a list of
students’ replies and add to the list other forms of Maine’s agriculture.

1. Open the discussion by posing a question such as, “What is agriculture?”, “What do
you need to have a farm?”, or by presenting a visual of a potato field and asking, “What
is this? How do we know that is what it is?” Once the students have brainstormed aspects
of farming/agriculture, compile a list of students’ ideas to refer to.

2. Now introduces the concept map for agriculture. Take time to explain each attribute of
agriculture before showing giving out the handout for a crop cycle.
 Give the students a moment to look over the
images. After a few moments regain their
attention and focus on the first image in the
sequence. Walk each student through the
images and how they show one or more
attributes of agriculture.
                Ask what they see in the first
photo that represents the attribute “land” in the photos? Tell them to mark it with a star.
Ask what the students see in the picture that represents labor? Have them mark it with a
square. Ask what the students see in example one that represents the attribute “tools?”
Review the example and respond. Tell them to mark “tools” with “X’s.” Repeat this
process for all the attributes of agriculture in example one. Have them place a triangle on
the “product/crop” and to circle the “cycle.”

3. Hand out example two. Tell the students to look it over. After a moment, ask, “Does
this example show agriculture?” Have the students explain how it shows the attributes of
agriculture. Ask students to label the images in example two as they did before in step
three. Go over this handout as before to ensure everyone understands. Have them put the
handouts and notes away in their notebooks for future reference.
To asses the days lesson, have students close their notebooks and verbally recall the
attributes for agriculture.
                      Comparing for similarities and Differences

   Transparency with image of the fronts of the new and old five dollar bills, or a
      large poster showing the same.

By examining the common characteristics of two similar yet different items one can draw
conclusions as to how they are or are not similar.

       1. Look over the items.
       2. Look for common characteristics shared by all.
       3. Pick one characteristic and look for how it appears in the item.
       4. Note the similarity or difference
       5. Repeat step 3 for all the common characteristics.
       6. Look for patterns.

       1. Characteristics must be compared to matching characteristics (example:
       compare the color of the eyes with the color of the eyes in the other).
       2. If students are having a difficult time following along, place the data into a
       Venn diagram for visual clarification.
       3. Always begin with step one and work through chronological order to step 6.

       Prior Knowledge:
       1. How to identify characteristics
       2. Characteristics of currency
       3. Characteristics of cats

1. Example: New and Old Five Dollar Bills (Use just the front sides)
       Step One:
               With the use of an overhead, project the front sides of both the old and
       new five dollar bills onto the wall/screen. Make sure the images are large enough
       for details to be easily visible from the back of the class. Explain to the students
       that the design of the five dollar bill was changed in order to deter counterfeiting.
       Ask the students for common characteristics between the two bills. Write out a list
       of their ideas; remember to keep them broad and no more than seven,
       sometimes just two are enough. Once the common characteristics have been
       listed, write down how each characteristic compares from one bill to the other.
       Step Two:
               Teacher: Demonstrate the steps for the students. Look at the pictures on
       each bill. Both bills have a picture, but they are displayed differently; write down
     how they compare. Then do so with the other common characteristics the students
     have given you (they could include value, corner numbers, president represented,
     the USA banner and the boarder). Making a chart as shown below may help them
     to understand and keep it organized.

Common Characteristics          Old Five Dollar Bill          New Five Dollar Bill
       Picture                         Small                        Large
       Value                            $5                            $5
   Corner Numbers                   Same Sizes                  Different Sizes
      President                       Lincoln                      Lincoln
    USA Banner                        Curved                       Straight
      Boarder                          Fancy                         Plain

     Step Three:
             Now place the information from the list above in a Venn diagram. Explain
     how the circle on the left represents the old bill and the circle on the right
     represents the new bill. Also explain how the overlapping section of the circles
     indicates how the two concepts are similar while the outer sections of the circles
     show differences. Students should copy the Venn diagram example into their
     notes and be able to explain what this diagram tells us about the old and new five
     dollar bills.
                    Trends of U.S. Agriculture in the past Century

      One class period
      A computer with internet access
      Accompanying worksheet.
(If computer access is a problem, you may consider printing off each web link a few
times and dividing the class into groups to share the packets)

This lesson is designed to help students gain background knowledge of how agriculture
has developed over the past century in the United States. This duration period for this
activity is one 45 minutes class period in the computer lab. It may be completed with a
partner. The students will use the website provided to complete the accompanying

1. Quickly gain the students attention at the beginning of class and handout the web
search worksheet. If computers are not available in the classroom, take the students to
computer lab. Explain to the students they are to use the web address for NASS (National
Agriculture Statistics Service) in order to reach a table of contents page. On the table of
contents page are links to other pages discussing the trends in U.S. Agriculture over the
past century.

2. Use the provided website address to access the NASS webpage. Once there, they can
click on table of contents links to search the site for answers to the worksheet. They will
have the one class period to complete the assignment. You may wish to demonstrate to
the students how to use the website by clicking on different links and returning to the
table of contents. Tell them they are expected to read through most of the links if not all
in order to answer these questions.

3. At the end of the class, take about ten to fifteen minutes to answer questions and
clarify any confusion. Use this time to make connections by asking question such as,
“What happened to farming during the WWII?”, “Why did WWII have this affect on
farming?”, “What happened to farming during the Depression as a result of the effects of
WWII?”, leave off with the final question, “What does this tell us about local =
agriculture?” as it will tie in nicely to a future reading homework assignment.

Before leaving class, ask students to leave “exit slips”. Have them write on a blank sheet
of paper something they learned that day or a question they thought of pertaining to the
assignment. Collect exit slips and the NASS worksheets before they leave and review
them to see what was learned and what needs clarifying the next day.
                                Influences of the Rail Road

   Photocopies of passages from Richard Graves’ Railroad article for each group
   A worksheet with questions based on the articles

1. Divide the class into groups of 3 and hand out a set of the passages to each group.
Have the students begin reading their own passage within the groups quietly. There task
in this reading is to be able to discuss with their group what is written in their section of
the passage.

2. Each student gets one article and reads it. Give the students about 15 minutes to read
their articles and then pass out the question sheet. Instruct students that they are to work
as a group to complete the assignment and each student is to turn in a finished sheet
before the end of the period.

3. Have the students discuss in their groups what each passage they read talked about.
Work within the group to fill out the question sheet, fill in answers as each discusses his
or her passage.

4. You can use any extra time to hear comments or answer questions relative to the
assignment. Ask the students, “Why did I make you read these articles?”, “How did the
introduction of the railroad to Presque Isle influence this area, especially the local
agriculture?” Also note that later in the week they will be hearing more about local
railroads and how they influenced the potato growers business to bloom.

5. Then assign a reading assignment for the evening and collect all papers before the
students leave class.

1. Homework Reading Assignment for Thursday evening:
Materials: Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine’s Past or each student or photocopies of
the section assigned, as well as a Cornell Note-Taking worksheet for each student.
        Pass out necessary materials and explain the homework. Students are to read
the assigned pages and take notes down on the worksheet in the section labeled, “Notes”.
Once they have finished reading they need to construct at least 4 questions which can be
answered by their notes in the “Questions Answered by Notes” section of the worksheet.
After they have finished this they are to write a 3-4 sentence summary of the reading
using their notes in the bottom section labeled, “Summary of Notes”. This activity is
intended to help students better understand and remember what it is they read.
2. Students need to read pages: 299-316 in Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine’s Past and
complete the Cornell Note-Taking Sheet during and after the reading. Assessment of

3. The following day, have the students get into small groups or with a partner to
compare and discuss their notes, questions and summaries. Once this assignment is
complete, it can be used as a focus for class discussion about farm life in Maine.
                              Transcripts - Daily Farm Life

   Transcript sections
   Cassette tape interviews
   Cassette player

1. Previous to class, cue all cassette tapes to proper sections where agriculture and or
farm life is discussed. Also have photocopies of all sections to be handed out.
Have the students listen for comparisons about daily life on a farm in Aroostook County.
Have the students take out a blank sheet of paper and draw columns on it. Title each
column with a different name from each transcript. Then create 5 rows and title each row
with one of the attributes of agriculture. As they listen and read along for each interview
have them jot down whatever it is each interview mentions that relates to the 5 attributes
of agriculture (See the handout example). They can later use these notes in writing their
homework assignment. Play the cassettes for the students.

2. Students should be taking notes down of anything that sounds like an attribute of
agriculture mentioned on the tape. After listening to the recording have them compare the
information stated on each tape with the other. Express to the students how these
interviews discuss details they may wish to use in their up coming homework assignment.
What is not covered in class is expected to be read before completing the assignment.

1. As homework over the weekend, students are to compile the information they have
been learning all week long in order to write a fictional short story about a farming family
in Aroostook County some time in the past century. Let the students be creative in their
writing. They can choose to live in any year and have any type of farm typical to that of
Maine. The story can take place over a few days or an entire year. It can be written in
present tense or as a reflection. The students have total freedom on how to express this
story as long as all the required information is included and the structured format is
followed. The story will be graded based on the accompanying checklist.