ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
“Licensed” to Drive: Old West Figures
|Grades||6 – 10|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Four 50-minute sessions|
Students research Old West figures using both electronic and print sources. They then use an online tool to compile and organize reading notes, research, and related ideas. The information that is gathered is then presented in a student-constructed driver’s license that includes who, what, when, where, and why they are important in United States history. This activity offers an alternative to the traditional research paper as well as an opportunity for students to share their projects with their classmates.
- Old West License Project Guide: This resource is used to help guide students through the creation of their driver's license for their Old West Figure.
- Old West License Rubric: This rubric is used for guidance for and assessment of the Old West License Project.
Traditionally, students end a unit of study by writing a research paper. While this is a good way for students to summarize what they have learned, it may not be the most interesting. Beyond that, it frequently results in summarization and rote repetition rather than deep critical thinking. In this lesson plan, students go through the research process, but will take that information and turn it into a driver’s license. This allows students to express their knowledge in a different way. In English Journal, Miriam Karis Cronin says, “Interdisciplinary assignments readily provide students with ways to access new ideas through the use of a variety of learning styles.” This project will allow your students to prove their knowledge in a different and creative way.
Cronin, Mariam Karis. “Rejecting Senseless Things: Promoting Differentiation.” English Journal 92 (March 2003): 47-53.