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This lesson provided by:
Author: John Simmer
System:Bibb County
School:Bibb County High School
Lesson Plan ID: 27464

A Comparison of Puritan Authors and Their Viewpoints on God and the Devil.


Students in teacher-selected groups of two will create a presentation on Puritan authors using Google Docs.  Student groups will compare authors Anne Bradstreet and Jonathon Edwards.  Students will support their comparisons through examples from each of the author's works.  Student groups will then research Puritan writers Cotton Mather and Michael Wigglesworth online.  All groups will present to the class as well as posting the presentations online. 

Content Standard(s):
TC2(9-12) Computer Applications6. Utilize advanced features of multimedia software, including image, video, and audio editing.
TC2(9-12) Computer Applications12. Use digital tools to publish curriculum-related content.
TC2(9-12) Computer Applications13. Demonstrate collaborative skills using curriculum-related content in digital environments.
ELA2013(10) 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.9-10.1]
ELA2013(10) 2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.9-10.2]
ELA2013(10) 4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). [RL.9-10.4]
ELA2013(10) 12. Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them. [RI.9-10.3]
ELA2013(10) 19. Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational United States documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features. [RI.11-12.9]
ELA2013(10) 29. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.9-10.9]
Local/National Standards:

NCTE / IRA Standards for the English Language Arts:

8.  Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

12.  Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Student groups will be able to research, identify, and communicate information about Puritan writers, as well as compare themes between individual author's works. 

Groups will present the information to the class, and post their presentations online using Google Docs.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will communicate within their groups and with the teacher using electronic mail.

Students will be able to use the Internet to research Puritan authors.


Approximate Duration of the Lesson: Greater than 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

List of students in groups of 2 to post on board in classroom.

Technology Resources Needed:

Computers (1 per 2 students)

LCD Projector

Internet access


Teacher prep:  Teacher should be familiar with Google applications.  Specifically, Gmail, Google Docs (Google Presentation), Internet Explorer, and Wikipedia.  Teacher should be comfortable using a LCD Projector.

Teacher should divide students into groups of 2-3, giving special consideration to the strenghts and weaknesses in research and technology skills within each group.

Student prep:  Students should have prior knowledge of Google, Gmail, Google Docs (Presentation), Wikipedia, and using the Internet for basic research.

Introduction and tutorial for Google Docs:


Day 1:

Introduce students to Anne Bradstreet and her works "Upon the Burning of our house in 1667" and "My Dear and Loving Husband".

-Students will read a brief biography of Bradstreet (

-Students will read the poems:

"Upon the Burning of our House"  (

"To My Dear and Loving Husband"  (

-Teacher will lead a class discussion of the works, emphasizing themes and clarifying archaic language.

Day 2:

Introduce students to Jonathon Edwards and his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God".

-Students will read a brief biography of Jonathon Edwards (

-Students will read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" (

-Teacher will lead a class discussion on the sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", emphasizing themes and clarifying archaic language.

Day 3:

Before class, the teacher will email (using Gmail) all students the assignment:


This assignment will be in the format of a group presentation on several literary readings from Puritan authors, utilizing the Internet for research, Gmail for collaboration and communication, and Google Docs for presentation of the project.  You will be graded as a group on the content, quality, and professionalism of your presentation.  Factors considered in assigning grades include:
20% - completion of all portions of the project, grammar & spelling accurate
20% - supporting your conclusions with relevant material from the text
20% - collaborative use of appropriate technology by all group members
20% - accuracy of online research & correct citation of sources
20% - quality of the group's verbal presentation/explanation of the presentation.  
The presentation must address the following:  

1.  Comparison
Compare ANNE BRADSTREET and JONATHON EDWARDS according to the authors' viewpoints on the following issues:  1. Eternal Life  2. God's relation to people  3. Religious Beliefs  4. Human Frailty.  Support your comparisons through examples from each of the author's works in the text.

2.  Research Puritan Writers:  Cotton Mather & Michael Wigglesworth
For each writer give:
  --Short Bio
  --1 example/excerpt of their work
  --Based on the excerpt you gave, speculate whether the author would prefer Anne Bradstreet's or Jonathon Edward's version of a Puritan God.

"You will be using Google Docs to create your presentations, as well as presenting them as a group to the class.  Expect to answer questions on the material in your presentation, from me as well as from the class.  This assignment will count as a comprehensive test grade.  Let me know if you have any questions."



-Teacher will assign students to groups of 2-3, groups will be assigned to a computer (1 per group).

-Teacher will instruct groups to check their Gmail inbox for the assignment instructions.

-Students will then open Google Docs and begin creating their group presentation.  Students will start by creating a title for their presentation.  They will then immediately save the presentation.  Teacher will demonstrate the use of a LCD projector to illustrate an example for the class on how to share their presentation with the teacher.

-Teacher will instruct students to invite the teacher to edit their group presentations in Google Docs.

-Students will use remaining time in class to work in groups on creating additional pages on their presentation.

-Teacher will monitor progress on all group presentations through Google Docs, providing feedback and answering questions as they arise.  (Ex:  Do the examples you chose from each author's work support your statements you make regarding the author's viewpoints?).

Day 4:

Students will continue to work on researching their project in groups, using their laptop computers to access the Internet and update their presentations on Google Docs.

Teacher will continue to monitor progress of all group presentations using Google Docs, as well as walking through the classroom and providing feedback to individual groups.  (Ex:  Do the examples you chose from each author's work support your statements you make regarding the author's viewpoints?).

Day 5:

Groups will present their information in front of the class, using the LCD projector and presenting from Google Docs.  Throughout each group presentation, the teacher will ask questions pertaining to the material presented from each student in the group.  Following each presentation, the class will be allowed and encouraged by the teacher to ask questions or make comments on the presentations.


Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. Charnese_and_Jamellya_Slide_Show_Presentation.ppt
Assessment Strategies:
Grading Rubric:

__ 20% - completion of all portions of the project, grammar & spelling accurate

__ 20% - supporting your conclusions with relevant material from the text

__ 20% - collaborative use of appropriate technology by all group members

__ 20% - accuracy of online research & correct citation of sources

__ 20% - quality of the group's verbal presentation/explanation of the presentation.  

Special consideration will be given to the strengths and weaknesses in research and technology skills within each group. 

Peer tutoring could be employed for students needing extra assistance.


Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
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