ALEX Lesson Plan

     

A Natural Attraction: The Natural Resources of Alabama During the Early Nineteenth Century

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Melinda Staubs
Organization:Jacksonville State University
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35027

Title:

A Natural Attraction: The Natural Resources of Alabama During the Early Nineteenth Century

Overview/Annotation:

This lesson looks at the natural resources that drew settlers to Alabama.  Students will explore the 1818 letter from Joseph Noble to his friend, Samuel B. Bidgood, describing the town at Tuscaloosa Falls.  Students will explain ideas within this historical text based on specific information presented in this primary source.

Follow up lesson - Alabama: A Boundless Field of Speculation


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]


NAEP Framework
Anchor Standard::
Anchor Standard 3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Cognitive Target::
Identify textually explicit information within and across texts to find evidence in support of an argument.
NAEP Descriptor::
Describe a process with text support. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Interpret information in expository passage to describe steps in a process. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize best description of character based on action described in expository passage. (Locate and Recall)



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


Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 4
Alabama Studies
4 ) Relate the relationship of the five geographic regions of Alabama to the movement of Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century.

•  Identifying natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century
•  Describing human environments of Alabama as they relate to settlement during the early nineteenth century, including housing, roads, and place names
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Geography, History
Course Title: Alabama Studies (Alabama)
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Relate the relationship of the five geographic regions of Alabama to the movement of Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century.
  • Identify natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century.
  • Describe human environments of Alabama as they relate to settlement during the early nineteenth century, including housing, roads, and place names.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • plateau
  • region
  • fall line
  • plain
  • river valley
  • flood plain
  • delta
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The distinguishing characteristics of the five geographic regions of Alabama.
  • Alabama's key natural resources including cotton, iron, timber, and rivers.
Skills:
The students are able to :
  • Analyze the relationship between Alabama's natural resources and the settlement of the area during the early 19th Century.
  • Make the connection that a region of a state greatly affects the social and economic viability of that region.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Settlers chose to live in regions based on the natural resources available in that region.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.4.4- Identify the five geographic regions in Alabama and the natural resources that attracted settlers to those regions.


Local/National Standards:

NCSS National Standard II: Time, Continuity, and Change

NCSS National Standard III: People, Places, and Environments

National Geography Standard 16. The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will identify natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and evaluate their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century.

 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will explain ideas within a historical text based on specific information presented in the text.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Sticky notes, pencils, two anchor charts, projector, computers, screen, white board

Included as attachments: 1818 Letter from Joseph Noble, Classroom Student Investigators handout, 19th Century Meets 21st Century Checklist, Adapted 19th Century Meets 21st Century Checklist, Bibliography

Technology Resources Needed:

projector, computers, screen

Background/Preparation:

Students should have a basic knowledge of the time period (including settlements and colonization), be able to work collaboratively, and have basic literacy and computer skills.

Prior to the lesson, the teacher should write the Essential Question: Why did Joseph Noble move to Alabama and leave his home behind?  on two anchor charts and have them displayed prominently in the room to refer to throughout the lesson. The teacher should download the attached letter to student computers or print out a copy of the letter for each group to have in the event computers are not available. The students should be placed in small groups.

The teacher can review background information found at http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-3155

  Procedures/Activities: 

Exploration:  The teacher will engage the students by showing a map of the United States with the state of Alabama highlighted (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama#/media/File:Alabama_in_United_States.svg).  The teacher will briefly review the concepts of colonization and settlement from previous lessons, referring to the map when appropriate.  The teacher will project the day's objective on the screen and read it with the students.  The teacher will then refer to the Essential Question, which is written on the anchor charts: Why did Joseph Noble move to Alabama and leave his home behind?  The teacher will pass out sticky notes to each group while telling the students to think about an answer to the Essential Question. Working in small groups, the students will discuss and develop an answer to the Essential Question.  One member of the group will write the answer and one member will place it on the first anchor chart. The teacher will read the answers and tell the students they will revisit their answers after the lesson to see what they need to change or add. This assessment will inform the teacher (and students) what the students think they already know about the objective, identifying natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and evaluating their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century

Lesson Development: The teacher will pull up the 1818 letter from Joseph Noble to his friend, Samuel B. Bidgood, describing the town at Tuscaloosa Falls, on the computer and project it on the screen. The students will pull up the same letter on their computers, which was previously downloaded onto their computers (the teacher can give copies to the students if computers are not available). The teacher will distribute the Classroom Student Investigators handout. The teacher will explain how completing the handout will show an understanding of the day's objective, identifying natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and evaluating their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century. The teacher will discuss how primary sources give future generations a look into the past and then begin discussing the letter; its condition and language. The teacher will model and then scaffold how to pull information from the letter by breaking down the first paragraph with the students. The teacher will refer to the Essential Question and tell the students they will now serve as investigative teams in order to find evidence to answer the Essential Question. The teacher will remind students that primary sources have evidence of what life was like in the past and they need to look closely at the text in order to find some text evidence for answering the question.

Because the syntax and vocabulary in this letter will be challenging for 4th graders, students should focus on processing just the second paragraph, not the entire document.  When the teacher models how to read and extract information from the first paragraph, he or she needs to identify and explain unusual words and phrases. As a whole-class exercise prior to the group work, students should read the second paragraph silently, then the teacher should ask students to identify specific words or phrases that are unfamiliar, and those should be defined. 

Group work: The teacher will allow time for students to investigate while moving between the groups to assist and guide.  The students will share their answers and text evidence.  Closure: The teacher and students will revisit the Essential Question anchor chart and then have groups write a new answer to the Essential Question on a sticky note and place their final answer on the second chart.  The teacher will briefly review the natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and evaluate their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century and the text evidence provided by the historical text.

Expansion: The students, either using a computer or paper, will create a twenty-first-century email describing the natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and telling their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century. The teacher will pass out the checklist and discuss what is expected from the students and how this assessment will show they can meet the day's objective, identifying natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and evaluating their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century.  Students will share their emails with others, time permitting.



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

All assessments listed below are directly tied to the primary learning objective: identifying natural resources of Alabama during the early nineteenth century and evaluating their importance to Alabama settlers during the early nineteenth century, as specifically outlined in the procedures and attached checklists.

Exploration: Anchor Chart sticky notes

Lesson Development: Classroom Student Investigators handout, Anchor Chart sticky notes

Expansion: Emails

Acceleration:

Students can visit http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1396 to explore agriculture in Alabama and then create a poster of important resources found in Alabama.  Students can use a free online poster creator such as Canva, https://www.canva.com/create/posters/, or create their poster with poster board.

Suggested reading: 

  1. Alabama Natural Resources, Kid's Encyclopedia: http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/article-196110/Alabama
  2. Alabama Natural Resources Council: http://www.aces.edu/forestry/anrc/aboutus.php

Intervention:

Students will be placed within small groups and assisted by the teacher throughout the lesson as needed.  A written copy of the letter will be provided the day before the lesson to those students who may need it.  An adapted checklist for the email is provided.


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.