1.)Introduce the lesson by leading a class discussion on the nature of the leaders mentioned in their social studies class or read about in language arts. Guide the discussion to include the character traits of good or bad leaders. The following website will be helpful for the teacher.
(What Made Selected Good and Bad Leaders in America from 1945 to 1974?
)A six weeks’ long lesson plan for 6th graders hosted by Houston Teachers Institute
2.)Divide the class into groups of five. Explain to the students that each group will conduct research on a selected leader and then compile and present their information in a slideshow. Pass out both rubrics and a teacher-made list of good and bad leaders in history to each group. Go over the rubrics and the list of leaders for the students to research.
3.)Lead a brief review of the important facts about each leader on the list. Discuss again what makes each a good or bad leader.
Note: It would be a good idea to have this discussion throughout the year during social studies classes to prepare for this activity.
4.)Each group then selects a leader to research and present. The group must then present its selection to the teacher in a written statement which should include why the group has selected this leader and what character traits he/she displays. The teacher can use these selection requests to insure there is no repetition.
5.)Once groups have chosen their leaders, research should begin using the Alabama Virtual Library, Internet search engines, the textbook, and any other reference material available. Instruct students to search for background information on their group's leader and any information which characterizes him/her as a good or bad leader. Instruct students to look for and include several successful or unsuccessful events in history that made the leadership of this person good or bad.
(Alabama Virtual Library
)Database of journals, encyclopedias, and other resource materials
6.)Assign a journal entry which requires each student to express his/her opinion about the leader his group is researching, about the character traits this leader displays, and about anything he/she can learn from this leader's actions.
7.)Allow ample group time for students to compile their research, plan, and create their presentations. Presentations should include background information, events which characterize the leader as a good or bad leader, any additional information the students learned about that leader, and their opinions about him/her.
8.)Remind students to check grammar, spelling, mechanics, sentence structure, and sentence expression in the presentations. Remember to check on group progress often to insure projects that both fulfill the requirements and foster a sense of accomplishment and pride.
9.)Annouce that on the day students' projects are presented, each group will present an original three- to four-minute skit that visualizes why the group characterized its historical leader as good or bad.
10.)Each group shares its presentation with the class and conducts a question-and-answer period while setting up for the skit. The group then presents its skit to the class.
11.)Allow the class to vote at the end of all of the presentations on which group presented the best skit (most instructive and entertaining). Provide a reward or certificate for the winning group.