Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts, Social Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
5
Tags:
  • IRPSS
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Historical Dominoes (AIG IRP)

    Historical Dominoes (AIG IRP)

    Overview

    This task helps students summarize and review a period of history and can be used with any time and/or place. Students begin by recalling important events, particularly conflicts, within a particular time period and then compare, contrast, and evaluate those events with a focus on the impact of the events at the time in which they occurred and beyond. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Overview

    Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: This task helps students summarize and review a period of history and can be used with any time and/or place. Students begin by recalling important events, particularly conflicts, within a particular time period and then compare, contrast, and evaluate those events with a focus on the impact of the events at the time in which they occurred and beyond.

    Time Frame: 1 class period

    Type of Differentiation for AIGs:

    • Extension

    Adaptations for AIGs:

    • Process

    Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: This task requires AIG students to think deeply and abstractly about the lasting impact of historical events as they review and summarize the events and discuss the consequences of the events.

    Needed Resources/Materials:

    • Index cards
    • Reference books as needed for quick research

    TEACHER NOTES: This summative task can be assigned toward the end of the course when students have studied a wide range of history. Alternately, it could be used with a smaller time period.

    Stage 1: Engage

    Give each student 10 index cards, and tell the students to write a different event from their own lives on each card. Examples might include “moving” and “getting a pet.” Once the students have completed as many cards as they can, tell them to lay them out in chronological order. Invite the students to share their cards with one another.

    Next, ask the students to decide which event has had the biggest impact on who they are today. Allow time for sharing and discussion. Be sure that the students explain their choices. 

    Ask students to remove a random card (for example, “Take away your 4th card.”). Pose and discuss the following types of questions:

    • What would be different in your life today if that event had not occurred? Why?
    • How would you be different? Why?
    • Would your life be better or worse? Why?

    Repeat this process with another random card.

    Because this stage in the lesson prepares students for what they will be doing next, it’s important that they focus on fully explaining their thinking. 

    Stage 2: Elaborate

    Assign the students to pairs or small groups (no more than 4 per group), and give each group a stack of index cards (20-25). The pairs/groups begin by brainstorming important conflicts, battles, and wars within a particular time period (for example, 1754-1865 would span the French and Indian War and the Civil War). Tell the students to be sure to include specific battles within larger wars. Which battles stand out? The groups should write one conflict, battle, or war on each card. They may use print and Internet resources as needed to add to their collections of cards. 

    Next, the groups will lay their cards out in chronological order, creating timelines of their brainstormed events. They will likely need ample floor space for this process and may need to review dates to make sure they get the chronology correct. As the groups work, move among them, posing the following types of questions:

    • How did conflict A lead to conflict B or other subsequent conflicts?
    • Which of these 2 (or more) battles had the biggest impact on the war? Why do you say so?
    • Is there a “turning point” here? Where? How do you know?
    • What changes did this conflict cause? Were these changes temporary or lasting?

    When the groups have completed their timelines, repeat the previous process, asking the groups to remove a random card (for example, #6). Ask the groups to share which events they take away. It’s fine if the groups remove different events because their timelines are different. Pose the following types of questions:

    • What if this event had never occurred? How would this impact our history? Our society? Our culture?
    • Would anything have changed? If so, what?
    • Would the absence of this event have had a temporary impact or a lasting one? Why do you say so?
    • Who would have been impacted by the absence of this event?
    • Would we feel its absence today?

    Repeat this process a few times, giving students ample opportunity to explore the consequences of several conflicts and to infer outcomes had the conflicts not taken place. 

    Stage 3: Evaluate

    Lead a whole group discussion (seminar) focused on the following question: How does conflict transform society? Begin by sharing the following expectations for student participation:

    1. Speak up at least 4 times
    2. Be willing to be uncertain
    3. Reference the previous group work and previous class discussions and activities
    4. Respond respectfully to others

    Evaluate students’ understanding as they share accurate historical information, draw logical conclusions, make clear and reasonable connections, and contribute and listen respectfully to others during the discussion.