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Simulated Colonial School


Social Studies  


4, 5, 6  

Title – Simulated Colonial School
By – Laura Welshoff
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 4-6
Social Studies / Colonial America
“Simulated Colonial School”

Name: Laura Welshoff
Date Written: February 1999
Please note, worksheets were not provided by the author, but the lesson plan can be performed without the worksheets or worksheets could easily be made by the teacher.

Brief description of group to be taught:
— 5th Grade class, mid year
— Inclusion classroom with 6 students on Individual Education Plans, class size is 20 students

Overall purpose of this lesson:
— To have the children experience through simulation, what Colonial School life was like.
— Students will be introduced to proverbs that teacher glues onto their hornbooks. Through the proverbs, students will appreciate the sayings as ideas that represent wisdom. They will also understand that the sayings are a reflection of the time in which they originated.

Relationship of this lesson to curriculum:
— To expand upon the current unit on Colonial American lifestyles
— To introduce and explain proverbs as a Language Arts lesson

Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks Learning Standard:
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: History & Social Science, Grades 5-8 Learning Standard 2: Historical Understanding
Students will understand the meaning, implications, and import of historical events, while recognizing the contingency and unpredictability of history-how events could have taken other directions-by studying past ideas as they were thought, and past events as they were lived, by people of the time.
— Simulate a colonial school day using hornbooks and bench seating, after students have read from texts about colonial schooling.
— Students will be reading proverbs from colonial times and gaining an understanding and appreciation of the ideas that represent wisdom and a reflection of the times.

Behavioral objectives / learning outcomes for students (SWBA: students will be able to…..)
— Read about, appreciate and have a clearer understanding of what Colonial Schools were like
— Make comparisons of colonial schooling and current schooling through a Venn diagram graphic organizer
— Appreciate an understand proverbs as a reflection of the time in which they were written

Materials (please attach any handouts to lesson plan):
— Cardboard
— Contact paper to cover completed hornbook
— Yarn to tie the horn book around the neck
— Glue sticks
— Scissors
— Hole punch
— Venn diagram activity worksheet (handout)
— Hornbook template (handout)
— Reading pg. 78 from Brown Paper School USKids History: Book of the American Colonies.
— Reading from …if you lived in Colonial Times, by Ann McGovern pg. 18 -26.

Instructional Practice:
Day One:
— Discuss goals and objectives of the lesson with the students. Tell them that today we will be studying Colonial schooling. Ask if any one has any ideas about school in the Colonial era.
— Read aloud from …if you lived in Colonial Times. Discuss the passages with class. 10 minutes.
— Pass out reading from Brown Paper School USKids History, pg 78. Pair students up with their “clock buddies” and have them read together. Allow 5 minutes.
— Come back together on the rug and discuss the reading. Talk about the things that really stood out for the students, what really grabbed their attention?
— Talk about hornbooks and show the students what one looks like (teacher should make one ahead of time as a model).
— Instruct the students to make hornbooks of their own with the cardboard that they brought in from home.
— Hand out the hornbook template for the students to glue onto the cardboard cutout.
— Punch a hole in the handle of the hornbook and have the students tie yarn in through the hole. Students will wear them around their necks the following day.
— Glue the proverb worksheet to the hornbooks.
— Cover the hornbook with con-tact paper.
— Collect all completed hornbooks and store them for the next class.

Day Two:
— Before students arrive at school, arrange the seats in rows (if benches are available in the school, these work better for authenticity). The boys will go across the front of the room alphabetically and the girls will be divided, with a space of about 3 feet across the back section of the room. The students will sit in the rows alphabetically.
— Place each of the students’ hornbook on his/her seat (bench). This will act as a place card and the student will know where to sit.
— When students arrive for school, they are to take their assigned seat.
— Inform the students that this is a simulated Colonial school day, and that we will be reading proverbs.
— Discuss the strict rules of no talking out of turn and having good colonial manners.
— Discuss and explain what a proverb is. Give an example of one, “A penny saved is a penny earned”.
— Call on students to see if they have an understanding of the meaning of the proverb, if not, call on the next, and so on…
— Read the proverbs together as a class. Discuss with the children what they think each of them means.
— Then in a rote fashion, have the students read them with you all together.
— Once the proverb activity is over, begin to wrap up by comparing the Colonial school to the school of today. Do this by handing out a Venn diagram worksheet to the class. Have the students pair up by turning to the student on their left. Have the students make their own comparisons. Model the Venn diagram first and then have the students complete their worksheets in teams. 5 minutes.
— Teacher draws a large Venn diagram on the big chart paper and brings the class together. The teacher then has student give their findings and the whole class creates one large Venn diagram.
— Teacher then has the students wrap up by assigning a 3,2,1 activity. The students will write in their journals, 3 things they learned about colonial schools, 2 things they disliked about colonial schools, 1 thing they liked.

Motivational Techniques:
Students will be motivated by actually being involved in a simulation of Colonial school day. They will be creating their own hornbooks, and they will actually use them. This will allow them to make real connections to the schooling of the past.

Wrap up:
Students will write in their journals a 3,2,1 activity.

— Teacher will use observation of group skills.
— Teacher will ask some interpretive questions to be answered for homework in the form of a journal entry and then the teacher will review.
— Venn diagram activity will allow teacher to assess if students have made connections and comparisons to the material.

Adaptations / modifications for students (differing abilities, learning styles):
— Provide structured model of Venn diagram as handout for students
— Teacher will provide modeling and explanation of what the Venn diagram is and how it will be used.
— Provide handout for students to make hornbooks. Handout will provide the template of the hornbook
— Guided discussions and Teacher’s initial Read Aloud will provide support
— Cooperative groups will provide support that may be needed for students with special needs (during reading activities and Venn diagramming activity).

Pitfalls and solutions (what could possibly go wrong and how will I handle it?):
— Students may be overly excited with the simulation and become too chatty at the beginning. If this happens, I will inform the students that we do not have to simulate history, we can just as easily read it and be quizzed on the material.
— If some cooperative groups are having difficulty working together, then teacher can work with this group closely or stand close by to be there for necessary help
— If lesson finishes quickly, go over the Colonial Manners, published in 1701 and discuss how they are similar to present day etiquette. Have handout ready to pass out.

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