Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to...

Navigate the internet to build their background knowledge about life in the 1930s
Select their first literature circle novels for the unit


Please Do Now (attached)
Web Quest Packet (attached)
Resource packets for students containing:

Syllabus (see "Unit Resources" folder)
Unit Calendar (see "Unit Resources" folder)

Technology required:

One computer for each student
Headphones for each student (consider asking students to bring their own)
Internet access 
Internet Explorer, Netscape or a similar browser with capacity for building "Bookmarks" or "Favorites"
The following pages should be organized within a folder as web browser "Bookmarks" or "Favorites"

Government's Duty (PBS's American Experience: The Presidents series, FDR)
A Better Day (PBS's American Experience: The Presidents series, FDR)
"The Great Depression" (PBS's American Experience: People & Events)
"The Drought" (PBS's American Experience: People & Events)
"The New Deal" (PBS's American Experience: People & Events)
"About the Great Depression" (Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
"Farming in the 1930s" (Wessels Living History Farm)
"Dorothea Lange's 'Migrant Mother' Photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection: An Overview" (The Library of Congress)
"Depression & WWII" (The Library of Congress: America's Story from America's Library)

Do Now: (Students (S) will begin by completing the Do Now, which appears on the student notes. It is, "Below, brainspill everything you know about the 1930s, the Great Depression and the New Deal." The teacher (T) can then pair/share or whole-class share student responses.)

Connection: T will say: Today we're beginning a new unit. Let's take a look at our syllabus and calendar for this unit. (T should distribute and review syllabi and calendars.)

Who can tell us what our objectives are today?  (T will select a student who will read today's objectives aloud from the board.)

Today you will begin a webquest project that will help you to build your background knowledge about life in the 1930s.  Let's take a look at the project expectations.  (T will distribute webquest packets and review expectations with students.)

Direct Instruction / Guided Practice: (T will review expectations for working with computers, norms regarding noise level, etc.  

T will guide students through booting up their computers and opening the internet browser.  T will share with students how to access the "Favorites" or "Bookmarks" links that will help them to respond to the research questions.)

Link: According to the pacing guide, which is located on the front of your webquest packets, your job for today is to begin to respond to your research questions using the websites bookmarked on your computer.  If you successfully respond to one or two questions today during independent practice, you will be on schedule.

During this time, we will also be forming new literature circles and selecting new books. If you are working within your literature circle to select a book and assign pages today, please be respectful of everyone working on their computers by keeping your voices to a whisper.

Independent Practice: (S will begin work on their webquest projects. T will circulate to respond to student questions and to ensure that all students are on task.

After 30 minutes of independent work, T should facilitate shut-down of all computers.  If the class follows a block schedule, there should be adequate time for students to read independently, whereas 60-minute classes will likely want to move directly on to the share and closing.)

Note to the Instructor:  At the beginning of each unit, I spend a few days working with students to help them form literature circle groups and select novels. Groups are generally between 4 and 6 students in size and may be homogenously leveled, heterogeneously leveled, single-sex, interest-based, friendship-inspired, you name it. Because my class culture is strong, I rarely run into difficulty ensuring that all students are comfortable and happy in their groups.

The groups themselves are also quite flexible; typically, when two groups conclude novel study within a few days of each other, members of the first group may choose to delay selection of their next book so that groups can intermingle and shift based upon interest.

Once groups have selected their first books of the unit, the process is entirely student-run. Groups meet weekly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday in the classroom library during the Do Now and Word Study based upon a rotating schedule. Students follow a loose meeting agenda that appears in the library for their reference and includes (1) Checking up on pages, plot comprehension, etc. (2) Discussing thoughts and ideas with the support of your weekly role sheet (3) Deciding upon next week's pages and roles and selecting new role sheets (4) Completing the reflection on the reverse side of this week's role sheets and (5) Collecting and submitting this week's role sheets to the teacher. One representative of the group is responsible for submitting each group member's weekly role sheet to me at the conclusion of the meeting.

For more information on how to make literature circles work for you, try Harvey Daniels' Literature Circles.

Share/Closing: Our researching (or reading, if you follow a block schedule) time is up for today. Please take a couple of minutes to share your findings with your table partner.

(T will allow time, then facilitate a whole-class share.)

Before we pack up for the day, let's revisit the pacing guide to see what tomorrow will hold.  (T will select a student to share tomorrow's assignment with the class.) 

Differentiation: Literature circle novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice.  Webquest builds students' background knowledge.  Technology integration.  Use of video and audio appeals to both visual and auditory learners.  Recommended webquest project accommodations are as follows:

1. Extend the amount of time provided for student(s) to complete the project.
2. Read the project questions and/or reading passages aloud to auditory learners.
3. Permit the student to complete the project in a distraction-free environment (ie: a study carrel).
4. Enlarge font size. Consider placing one research question on each page.
5. Highlight project directions or key words in project directions.
6. Provide students with outlines or mind maps to facilitate prewriting instead of asking students to create their own.
7. Permit student(s) to type their responses to research questions.
8. Permit student(s) to type their letters.
9. Decrease the writing requirement for student letters to a three-paragraph response comprising introductory and closing sentences (in lieu of introductory and closing paragraphs)



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