ALEX Lesson Plan

     

"Should They Stay, or Should They Go?" Considering the Point of View of an Alabama Citizen Regarding the World War I Draft

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Joseph Cordi
System: Sylacauga City
School: Sylacauga City Board Of Education
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35659

Title:

"Should They Stay, or Should They Go?" Considering the Point of View of an Alabama Citizen Regarding the World War I Draft

Overview/Annotation:

In this lesson, students will read and critically examine a letter from an Alabama farm owner to a U.S. Senator from Alabama regarding exemption status for the 1917 Selective Service Act on behalf of one of her workers. This primary source document will allow the students to practice evaluating a complex text. The students will answer active reading questions in order to participate in a "Philosophical Chairs" class debate regarding the merit of the farm owner's request. The Philosophical Chairs activity will allow the students to verbally articulate an argumentative position while specifically using textual evidence in order to be able to defend his or her position.

*Note:  Bibliography of resources used can be found at the end of the "Lesson Procedures Section" of this lesson.

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: 11
1 ) Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. [RL.11-12.1]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
27 ) Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.11-12.9]

a. Apply Grade 11 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Demonstrate knowledge of twentieth- and twenty-first-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics"). [W.11-12.9a] (Alabama)

b. Apply Grade 11 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., Analyze seminal United States documents of historical and literary significance [e.g., Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech, King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"]), including how they address related themes and concepts. [W.11-12.9b] (Alabama)

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
29 ) Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 11 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. [SL.11-12.1]

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. [SL.11-12.1a]

b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed. [SL.11-12.1b]

c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. [SL.11-12.1c]

d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. [SL.11-12.1d]

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 11
United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
4 ) Describe causes, events, and the impact of military involvement of the United States in World War I, including mobilization and economic and political changes. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.d., A.1.f., A.1.i., A.1.j., A.1.k.]

•  Identifying the role of militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism in World War I
•  Explaining controversies over the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, and the League of Nations
•  Explaining how the Treaty of Versailles led to worsening economic and political conditions in Europe, including greater opportunities for the rise of fascist states in Germany, Italy, and Spain
•  Comparing short- and long-term effects of changing boundaries in pre- and post-World War I in Europe and the Middle East, leading to the creation of new countries
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze the causes and events of the United States' military involvement in World War I in order to determine the long-term social, political, and economic impact on the United States.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • World War I
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • mobilization
  • imperialism
  • nationalism
  • militarism
  • nativism
  • fascist
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The causes, events, and the impact of military involvement of the United States in World War I.
  • Social and political changes and attitudes in the United States related to involvement in World War I, including: American neutrality, mobilization, economic changes, and political changes.
  • The role of imperialism, militarism, nationalism, nativism, and the alliance system in World War I.
  • Geographical and political boundaries of Europe and the Middle East, pre- and post-World War I.
  • Controversies over the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, and the League of Nations.
  • Short- and long-term effects of the Treaty of Versailles.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Explain the changing role of the United States during specific historical periods and in relationship to specific historical events.
  • Describe the effects of political and social movements and ideologies.
  • Analyze the social and political causes, events, and impact of specific historical events.
  • Identify geographical and political changes related to specific historical events.
  • Analyze controversies related to political policies, plans, and agreements.
  • Analyze primary and secondary sources.
  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • There were many causes and effects of the United States' military involvement in World War I and these had significant social, political, and economic impact on the United States.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Local/National Standards:

National Council on Social Studies

NCSS - C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy - How Does the Government Established by the Constitution Embody the Purposes, Values, and Principles of American Democracy?

Primary Learning Objective(s):

  1. Students will read and analyze a letter from 1917, in which an Alabama farmer asks the sitting U.S. Senator from Alabama at the time to help in getting one of her male farm workers exemption status from the Selective Service Act of 1917.
  2. Students will answer "before, during, and after" questions in response to the document.
  3. Students will discuss in "Philosophical Chairs" class debate format the Constitutionality of the Selective Service Act of 1917 according to Executive Powers during wartime.  
  4. Students will formulate and verbally articulate their thoughts regarding the correspondence between the Alabama farmer and the U.S. Senator through an organized class debate.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Students will need:

1. Access to a personal electronic device, laptop, iPad, Smartphone, etc., that can access Google Docs. The App is free to download as a part of the Google Technology Suite. (If Google Docs is not accessible to all, those students who cannot access it will be able to complete the lesson with complete hard copy access to all materials.)

2. A hard copy of the Letters Between Juney Thompson in Siluria, Alabama and Senator John H. Bankhead in Washington, D.C. (1 copy per student):

http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/ref/collection/voices/id/3806 

and the Secondary Source Information from the Encyclopedia of Alabama (1 copy per student):

World War I and Alabama    http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1545

John Hollis Bankhead http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1495  (this document from the Encyclopedia of Alabama is useful in understanding the content of these letters.)

3. Hard Copy of comprehension questions in response to the primary source: Link to questions 
(1 copy per student)

4. Teacher instructions for "Philosophical Chairs" Summative Assessment Debate

(1 copy per student.  The students as well as the teacher can benefit from having these instructions.)

Technology Resources Needed:

1. Teacher access to the internet

2. Student access to personal electronic devices

3. Student access to Google Docs

Background/Preparation:

Before the lesson, the teacher should explain to the students that a "primary source" is a document directly from the time period being studied.  The teacher should explain to the students that a "secondary source" is a document written about the time period being studied.  

The teacher should research the Selective Service Act of 1917 and what the Act entailed.  The teacher should provide a brief explanation of the Selective Service Act of 1917 to the students before the lesson. A good source for the teacher to use to be able to help prepare the students if needed can be found at the following link from the Encyclopedia of Alabama:  World War I and Alabama    http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1545

  Procedures/Activities: 

BEFORE:

Before the lesson begins, the teacher should begin with a written "bell-ringer" or starter activity which is a question written on the board. Students should write down an answer to this question and find a partner next to them ("elbow partner") in order to compare answers.  The teacher should allow wait time for partners to discuss the answer to the bell-ringer question. This wait time should be followed by selecting several groups of partners to share their answers to the bell ringer question.  

Bell-Ringer Question:  "As historians, what information can we gain from reading primary sources that we might not be able to gain through reading secondary sources?  How could we use this information effectively when studying a particular time period in history?"

DURING LESSON:

In this lesson, students will read and critically examine a letter from an Alabama farm owner to a U.S. Senator from Alabama regarding exemption status for the 1917 Selective Service Act on behalf of one of her workers. This primary source document will allow the students to practice evaluating a complex text.

  1. Have the students read the Letters Between Juney Thompson in Siluria, Alabama and Senator John H. Bankhead in Washington, D.C, then complete the comprehension questions individually.
    • Allow an appropriate time limit for the students to work independently on the reading comprehension assignment. These questions are another form of formative assessment within this lesson to measure reading comprehension of the primary source.
  2. Once all students have completed the questions, they should find an "elbow partner" to discuss their answers.  Have the students review each other’s writing, adding more and/or asking questions, in writing. 
    • The teacher should provide feedback on this exercise formally through Google Docs or written remarks on a hard copy of the document.
  3. The students will participate in a "Philosophical Chairs" class debate regarding the merit of the farm owner's request. The Philosophical Chairs activity will allow the students to verbally articulate an argumentative position while specifically using textual evidence in order to be able to defend his or her position.
    • The teacher should refer to the procedures of the Philosophical Chairs activity. The teacher should iterate ground rules for respect and attention to anyone who is speaking. This activity will be the final formative assessment for this lesson.
  4. The teacher will place students into either “agree” or “disagree” groups based on his or her discretion. Essentially, the groups will be explaining why they agree or why they do not agree with a statement.  No one will begin the debate in the “undecided section.”

AFTER:

Students should complete a summative assessment for this lesson by articulating, through writing, one point or idea from their classmates during the Philosophical Chairs activity that resonated the most with them and why they chose that particular idea or point. They should submit these exit slips to the teacher before leaving the class for the day.

The Teacher should use the following checklist to assess the student's exit slip:

1. Did the student choose an idea that was specified during the Philosophical Chairs activity.  In other words, was the idea that the student chose actually expressed during the debate?

2. Did the student explain why he or she chose the point that he or she did in the exit slip?

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Alabama Department of Archives and History. (2010, December 7). Letters Between Juney Thompson in Siluria, Alabama to Senator John H. Bankhead in Washington, D.C.:  Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/ref/collection/voices/id/3806 

 

Cooley, A. J. (2008, March 27). John Hollis Bankhead. Retrieved July 6, 2017, from http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1495

 

Olliff, M. T. (2008, May 22). World War I and Alabama. Retrieved July 2, 2017, from http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1545

 

Seales, B. J. (n.d.). Siluria Cotton Mill Company. Retrieved July 6, 2017, from www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~alshelby/SiluriaMills.html


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative Assessments include:

1. Reading Comprehension Questions that students will answer and ultimately submit to the teacher.

2. "Elbow Partners": Once students have completed the reading comprehension questions, students will collaborate with a person in close proximity to them regarding their answers. At this time, they can make any changes they feel as though they should make to their answers before they submit them to the teacher for a final evaluation of the answers.

3. Philosophical Chairs Activity: This activity requires students to utilize the data they collected from the formative assessments to process and articulate responses to relative statements regarding the primary sources used in the lesson.

 Summative Assessment

1. Exit Slip:  This should be a prompt which asks students to articulate, in a timely manner, one aspect of the debate/discussion during the lesson that resonated with them and why. There must be a direct connection established by the student between the group debate and the primary source reading and or comprehension questions. This will be submitted to the teacher prior to leaving the classroom for the day.

 

Acceleration:

"Get to Know Senator Bankhead"

Visit the following link from Encyclopedia of Alabama and get to know a little bit about Senator Bankhead's life and career.  Find two aspects of his life that may be relevant to Ms. Thompson's request of him.  For example, she is asking him to consider her farm's employee and the protection of her crop during 1917. Would this request strike Senator Bankhead in a familiar way based on the information you have gathered from this article?

Reading List for Students to Pursue Further Information Regarding This Lesson:

Encyclopedia of Alabama:  John Hollis Bankhead

Article Written by Bobby Joe Seals Regarding the History of Siluria, Alabama

Intervention:

This particular lesson can work well in an inclusion based class with or without a Teacher's Assistant present.  If there is a TA present in class, it is beneficial for students who may struggle with reading and comprehend more complex texts to be able to gather with the TA in a small group to chunk the text and answer one category of questions (Before, During, or After).  

Also, for students who may experience challenges concerning staying on task or any other behavioral concerns, strategic placement of these students during Philosophical Chairs may be beneficial in that they could be placed with peers who may challenge them on a level that counteracts any behavioral concerns they might exhibit.  

*Note: Make sure to be aware ahead of time of any specific accommodations that a student with an IEP may require in order to be successful.

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.