ALEX Lesson Plan

You are Invited!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lesa Roberts
Organization:Whitesburg Christian Academy
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35116


You are Invited!


Students will analyze a primary document that details items purchased to celebrate the Marquis de Lafayette's tour of Alabama in April 1825. Students will create an invitation to the celebration, including the What, Where, When, Why, What to Bring, and R.S.V.P. Students will include details from the secondary source, as well as the primary document, to include on the invitation. The event will be explained utilizing the format of the invitation.

This lesson is part of the SSC3 A+ College Ready training.

This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
12 ) Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text. [RI.4.3]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.4.12- Identify events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in an informational text.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
15 ) Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided. [RI.4.6]

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 4
Alabama Studies
6 ) Describe cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.

Examples: cultural—housing, education, religion, recreation

economic—transportation, means of support

political—inequity of legal codes

•  Describing major areas of agricultural production in Alabama, including the Black Belt and fertile river valleys

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.4.6- Identify information about early nineteenth- century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.

Local/National Standards:

National Standards for History:

Standard 4C: The student understands historic figures who have exemplified values and principles of American democracy.

Standard 4D: The student understands events that celebrate and exemplify fundamental values and principles of American democracy.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will analyze a primary document detailing some of the items that were used to celebrate the Marquis de Lafayette's Grand Tour through Alabama in April, 1825. They will discuss the items that were purchased and infer the importance of the items, their purposes, and if they were vital to the success of the event. The students will create an invitation to the celebration by utilizing the items on the primary documents and the information from a secondary source that describes the tour.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will apply information from the primary document (items purchased for the event) and the secondary source (article from the Encyclopedia of Alabama) as they create the body and illustrations for the invitation to the historical LaFayette celebration. - Blooms Taxonomy Apply and Create; ELA2015(4)#12 & 15

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

A copy of Lafayette's Visit Receipt for each set of partners.

A copy of Lafayette's Visit to Alabama (Encyclopedia of Alabama) for each set of partners.

A sheet of copy paper for each student



Colored Pencils

Technology Resources Needed:

Document camera to display primary source, if available

Laptops to research items on the receipt and locate appropriate images for invitation, if available


The teacher should review the importance of Lafayette to America's fight for independence.

If the students are not familiar with the Grand Tour that took place for the 50th birthday of the U.S., they should review the Encyclopedia of Alabama's  article about the Alabama visit.

See the attached bibliography for more information about Lafayette's involvement in the U.S.



  • The teacher should review Lafayette's role in the fight for independence.
  • The teacher should review President Monroe's invitation to commemorate America's 50th birthday.
  • Assign the students into pairs or small groups.


  • Display the primary document on the document camera.
  • Distribute the copies of the Encyclopedia of Alabama article and receipt to each group.
  • Discuss the items, prices, and amounts on the receipt, such as the "pickled" food, salt, meats, wine and alcohol.
  • Discuss who might be able to attend the event (landowners, business owners, slaves).  Would state and local political leaders be invited? What would one be expected to wear or bring? Should families with children attend? 
  • Distribute copy paper to every student.
  • Explain the guidelines for the invitation.
    The invitation must include:
    • What: what historical event is being celebrated
    • Where: a description of the location of the event
    • When: the date of the event and the context (circumstances surrounding the event)
    • Why: why should people come to this event
    • What to bring: what should a person bring to it in order to participate (more food, supplies, banners)
    • R.S.V.P.: who should you contact in order to tell them you are attending and how would such contact happen in the time period
  • Illustrate the invitation appropriately.


  • Share the information on the invitations as the students are working in order to encourage creative ideas.
  • Ask students which document provided specific information.
  • As students share their invitations, compare details to invitations they might receive today. How would they be alike and different?  
  • Share selected invitations under the document camera.
  • Display invitations.

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Assessment Strategies


  • Students should be able to discuss the tour of the Marquis and the planned celebration.
  • Students should be able to cite which document (primary or secondary) provided specific information.
  • Students should be able to discuss the items purchased for the celebration and their purposes and importance.


  • Completed invitation should include information and details from the primary and secondary sources.
  • Invitations should include details that explain the role of Marquis de Lafayette in the American Revolution.
  • Invitations should include details that are appropriate for early 19th century (clothing, food, transportation, possible entertainment that might occur, who would be invited).


Students may research celebrations that took place in other sites, such as battlefields and reunions with Revolutionary dignitaries. They may design invitations to those events.

For additional information:

See attached bibliography for additional reading for acceleration


Students may work in pairs to complete the reading and the invitation.

Students may be given the important information and be allowed to copy the information on the invitation.

Students may be allowed to create the invitation on a laptop/computer using an appropriate publishing program.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.