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Lesson Plan

“Licensed” to Drive: Old West Figures

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“Licensed” to Drive: Old West Figures

Grades 6 – 10
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patrick Striegel

Patrick Striegel

Tolono, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • demonstrate ability to conduct research using Internet resources and print resources.
  • design a driver’s license that exhibits important information about their research topics.
  • create a driver’s license that incorporates research skills and text details.

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Session One

  1. Begin the lesson by discussing Western Expansion and the Old West.  Have the students share what they know about the topics.  If desired, this discussion could be organized using a K-W-L Chart or K-W-L Creator.  Please see the Old West Information Handout for basic information the students may need to know.   Below are some sample discussion questions.
    • Have you ever seen any movies or television shows about Western Expansion?
    • Do you know any famous outlaws, lawmen, or Native Americans in western history?
    • Why did people move out west?
    • What do you know about Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Wyatt Earp, or Doc Holliday?
  2. Distribute or show the students the Old West License Project Guide.
    • Discuss with the students the objectives and expectations of the project.  Share the rubric with the class.
    • Discuss with the students how they are going to achieve their goals using research, peer review, and creativity.
  3. Discuss with the students the different resources that are going to be used, including both print and Internet sources.
  4. Facilitate a short discussion about plagiarism.  Brainstorm what is considered plagiarism and define the concept for them.  (Plagiarism is using others' ideas or words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.)  If this concept is new to your students, consider using the RWT lesson plan Research Building Blocks: “Cite Those Sources!.
  5. To ensure students are aware of proper citation procedures, reinforce that awareness by:
    • providing them with a group of resources to create a bibliography for frequent practice in an activity or learning-center situation. Creating a Bibliography for Your Report discusses the various components of a bibliography. Citation Machine helps students to properly credit the information that they use.
    • modeling the step-by-step development of a bibliography for your class in a variety of settings and subject areas.
    • posting the standard bibliography format in a prominent place in your classroom.
  6. Distribute or display your list of Old West Figures to the students.
  7. Display a variety of print resources.  Have the students look through sources to find figures that they are interested in.  Refer the students to the Old West Resources.

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Session Two

  1. When all students have selected figures, invite the students to find print materials on their character and use the provided websites to begin researching.
  2. Instruct the students to take notes in a classroom notebook or binder.  Encourage students to keep track of where they are getting their information at all times, because citations will be required.
  3. As students are researching, walk around and answer questions.  Help students as needed.

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Session Three

  1. Explain that once all students have completed their research, they will now construct their final License Project using their notes.
  2. Display and explain the License Project examples.
  3. Have the students refer back to the Old West License Project Guide and Old West License Rubric.  Answer any clarifying questions that students have before they begin.
  4. Be sure to have art materials available (construction paper, glue, markers, etc.) for students to use.
  5. Assist students and answer questions as they work on their licenses.

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Session Four

  1. Students will continue to work on their final license project.
  2. Once all of the students have completed their licenses, use an example project and peer review it with the class.  Be sure to discuss your expectations.
  3. Pair the students up and have them begin the peer review process.
  4. Have the students use the Old West License Peer Review, Old West License Project Guide, and Rubric to review each other’s work.
  5. Have students revise and edit work and orally present their finished products to the class.  Have the students focus on the “5 Ws” when they present.
  6. Display the finished projects on a bulletin board or any visible area.

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EXTENSIONS

  • Have the students write a biographical essay about their Old West figure.  The Essay Map can help the students write their essay.
  • Instead of making a driver’s license about their figure, students could create a trading card highlighting the importance of an Old West figure.  Students can use the RWT Character Trading Card tool.
  • Create a driver’s license for a different time period in world or American history.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • For formal assessment, use the rubric to make sure that all requirements have been met.  Focus on the quality of the information and the visual appeal of the project.
  • Assess the student’s success with their peer review partner using the Peer Review Reflection Form.
  • Informal assessment can come from observation, interviews, and examination of the students’ notes and peer review.

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