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GO WEST YOUNG MAN! 
L
esson Overview for Teachers 

CORRESPONDING MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STANDARDS  

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING            ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS           TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES

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CORRESPONDING MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CONTENT STANDARDS:

Analyze changes in land and water transportation, including a network of roads, canals, and railroads, and their impact on the economy and settlement patterns (Maryland Learning Outcome 2.4)

Analyze geographic characteristics that influence the location of human activities in world regions (Maryland Learning Outcome 3.3)

Analyze population growth and settelement patterns (Maryland Learning Outcome 3.5)

Describe how and why people migrate and analyze consequences of the migration  (Maryland Learning Outcome 3.6)

Analyze how people and institutions experience scarcity and must make choices (Maryland Learning Outcome 4.1)

Analyze how the United States developed into a pluralistic society consisting of diverse cultures, customs and traditions  (Maryland Learning Outcome 6.2)

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ENDURING UNDERSTANDING:                                                                                                                   

The physical characteristics of America encouraged westward expansion into the "unlimited" natural resources of the continent.  This expansion helped establish diverse "sectional" economic systems.

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ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:  

Why do people migrate?  

How does migration affect existing societies?

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TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES (Based on 85 minute, every-other-day periods):

Day 1 
In a computer lab or, if unavailable, in a classroom with the capability of projecting the website details onto a screen.

1) Warm-Up:  List three questions about migration to the Western United States in the nineteenth century - Who migrated, Why did people migrate and How did people migrate?  Instructs students to write an individual answer to one of these questions.  (5 minutes)

2) Consolidate warm-up answers into a three-pronged (Who, Why and How) class list.  This preassessment/brainstorming session sets the scene for the assignment. (15 minutes)

3)  Have students log onto the website, read the instructions and jot down any questions that they have about how the project will proceed.  (15 minutes)

4) Explain some procedures before fielding questions:
   
- Who picks the teams of three (teacher or students self-select)
   
- The staggered nature of the project
    - How the grading will work  (10 minutes)

5) Field questions. (15 minutes)

6) Have groups determine the order in which they will work and create preliminary biographies which they can revise once they have done research.  (20 minutes)

7) Entertain any new questions/inform students about Day 2 agenda for the project (5 minutes)

Day 2
In the school media center or a location with a hub of computers sufficient for one-third of your class.

1) Staggered instruction - while each group's "Family Member One" is researching, the other two thirds of the class will be working on other classwork unrelated to this project. (50 minutes)

2) Have groups convene, during which Family Member One will propose migration/settlement/journey combinations to their fellow group members.  (15 minutes)

3) Once the group has decided, Family Member One will begin more in-depth research and the other students will resume their other classwork.  (20 minutes)

For homework over the course of 3 nights, Family Member One must complete the first third of the project.  Subsequently, "Day 3" will actually be 4 days instead of 2 days laters. For the class period in between, the teacher should create unrelated classwork.

Day 3
1) Family Member One shares work with group members to receive constructive criticism.  Subsequent revisions should be made for homework that night.  (20 minutes)

2) Staggered instruction - while each group's "Family Member Two" is researching, the other two thirds of the class will be working on other classwork unrelated to this project. (65 minutes)

For homework over the course of 3 nights, Family Member Two must complete the second third of the project.  Subsequently, "Day 4" will actually be 4 days instead of 2 days laters. For the class period in between, the teacher should create unrelated classwork.

Day 4
1) Family Member Two shares work with group members to receive constructive criticism.  Subsequent revisions should be made for homework that night.  (20 minutes)

2) Staggered instruction - while each group's "Family Member Three" is researching, the other two thirds of the class will be working on other classwork unrelated to this project. (65 minutes)

For homework over the course of 3 nights, Family Member Three must complete the final third of the project.  Subsequently, "Day 5" will actually be 4 days instead of 2 days laters. For the class period in between, the teacher should create unrelated classwork.

Day 5
1) Family Member Three shares work with group members to receive constructive criticism.  Subsequent revisions should be made for homework that night.  (20 minutes)

2) The teacher should create unrelated classwork for the remainder of the class period.

Day 6 
1) Each group reconvenes to go over the revisions and practice a coordinated presentation to the rest of the class.  (40 minutes)

2) Begin individual group presentations with those groups that volunteer going first.  While the teacher grades the presentations for the revisions, the rest of the students in the class individually records a grade for coordination and persuasion.  (45 minutes - 10-15 minutes/presentation)

Day 7
1) Continue and finish group presentations  (60 minutes)

2) Reflection (25 minutes)

Ask students to respond in writing to the questions below, entertain some responses orally and collect the written responses at the end of the class period:
        - What are 3 things that you learned about westward migration?
        - What more would you have like to have learned about westward migration    
           that this project did not afford you the opportunity to learn?
        - What aspects of this learning process worked well?
        - What suggestions do you have for improving this project in the future?

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CORRESPONDING MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION STANDARDS  

ENDURING UNDERSTANDING            ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS           TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

 

Created By:
Brad Goldberg

8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Humanities and Communications Magnet Program
Eastern Middle School


Last updated June 23, 2003