ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Letting Off Some Steam

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Ginger Boyd
System: Geneva County
School: Slocomb Elementary School
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35069

Title:

Letting Off Some Steam

Overview/Annotation:

In this lesson, students will explore the invention of the steamboat and the role it played in the economy, transportation, and culture of the lifestyles of plantation owners, yeoman farmers, slaves, and townspeople of early nineteenth-century Alabama.  Students will compare and contrast steamboats, wagons, and stagecoaches as different modes of transportation for goods as well as people.  Students will create a steamboat advertisement to illustrate the importance of the invention of the steamboat in Alabama. 

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
28 ) Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. [W.4.7]

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
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: Alabama Studies (Alabama)
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Describe cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.
  • Describe major areas of agricultural production in Alabama, including the Black Belt and fertile river valleys.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • plantation
  • Yeoman
  • townspeople
  • inequity
  • agriculture
  • fertile
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • During this time, most families in Alabama did not own slaves; most slaves were owned by Plantation Owners.
  • Most of Alabama's families made a living through agriculture.
  • The Black Belt and fertile river valleys were major areas of agricultural production.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Compare and contrast cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.
  • Describe major areas of agricultural production in Alabama, including the Black Belt and fertile river valleys.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • There were cultural, political, and economic inequities in Alabama in the early 19th Century between slaves, Yeoman farmers, and Plantation owners.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

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:

D2.Geo.7.K-2. Explain why and how people, goods, and ideas move from place to place.

D2.Geo.7.3-5. Explain how cultural and environmental characteristics affect the distribution and movement of people, goods, and ideas. 

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will:

1) explore the invention of the steamboat and the role it played in the economy, transportation, and culture of the lifestyles of plantation owners, yeoman farmers, slaves, and townspeople in early nineteenth-century Alabama.

2) compare and contrast steamboats, wagons, and stagecoaches as different modes of transportation for goods as well as people.

3) create a steamboat advertisement to illustrate the importance of the invention of the steamboat in Alabama.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Technology Resources Needed:

Background/Preparation:

For Students:  Students should be knowledgeable about the daily lifestyles of yeoman farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople in early nineteenth century Alabama.

For Teachers:  Teachers should be familiar with steamboats and how their invention dramatically changed the lives of the people in the South including economically providing quick cotton shipment, culturally allowing travel throughout Alabama, and transportation by decreasing transportation time for travelers.  

Teachers may want to read:

  • page 66 in The Alabama Guide:  Our People, Resources, and Government for detailed information about Cotton and Steamboats.

 Williams, Randall, and Christine Garrett. The Alabama Guide: Our People, Resources, and Government 2009. Montgomery: Alabama Dept. of Archives and History, 2009. 66. Print.                                                 

  • pages 70-71 & 135-136 in Alabama:  The Making of An American State. 

Bridges, Edwin C. Alabama: The Making of an American State. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: U of Alabama, 2016. 70-71 & 135-136. Print.         

 The following links may also be helpful:   

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before:  Introduce the lesson by asking, "Can you think of an invention that may have made your life easier, or made a task faster or cheaper to complete?"  Allow students a chance to respond.  Then, explain that today the class will learn about the invention of the steamboat and how it changed the lives of yeoman farmers, slaves, plantation owners, and townspeople in Alabama during the early nineteenth century.  

Place the students in groups of 3 students per group.  Each group needs an iPad or computer with internet connection.  Pass out the Cotton Transportation Venn Diagram (one per student, in attachments).  Show the class the 2 pictures, (1) Unloading Cotton from the Steamboat R.C. Gunter at Decatur, Alabama and (2) Bales of Cotton on a Wagon Outside of Bullock Warehouse in Bullock County on the Smart Board.  

Tell the students to closely examine the two pictures "Unloading Cotton from the Steamboat R.C. Gunter at Decatur, Alabama" and "Bales of Cotton on Wagon at Bullock Warehouse in Bullock County" with their group. Each group will complete their Venn diagram by writing down any descriptions of how the two modes of transportation are similar in the area where the circles overlap. They will write down any descriptions of how the two modes of transportation are different in the circle under each picture's title. Set your class timer for 10 minutes for groups to complete.  Then, allow students to share their answers.  Facilitate a discussion about how the invention of the steamboat changed transportation in the South and increased the economy by making it easier to transport larger amounts of cotton to market.  In most cases, steamboats would load cotton from the wharf on the plantation owner's own property. 

During:  Remind students that with the invention of the steamboat, it was easier to transport goods as well as people up and down the rivers of Alabama, and many new Alabama towns began to pop up along the river.  The invention of the steamboat brought progress to Alabama as well as industry.  Many Alabamians travelled by steamboat instead of stagecoaches.  Show students the video of The Tour of the American Queen: The Largest Steamboat Ever Built.

Show students the picture of the  "American Stage Coach". Pass out the Leisure Travel T-charts (one per student, in attachments) and have the students list attributes of the steamboat and the stagecoach.  Set the classroom timer for 10 minutes to allow students time to complete.  Facilitate a discussion about how comfortable transportation on a steamboat was compared to traveling on a stagecoach for a long distance. Transportation for leisure increased during the 1800s because steamboats made traveling more comfortable and people could carry more luggage.   Steamboats were a little bit more expensive, but well worth the trip due to the comfort.  Also, passengers might have their own rooms, bathrooms, and dining areas on a steamboat.

After:  Pass out the Create a Steamboat Ad Directions and Rubric (in attachments, one per student).  Have students create a steamboat advertisement for a steamboat from the 1800s.  This should be a one-page ad that could appear in a newspaper or magazine. The students ad should include a drawing of a steamboat, color throughout, why people should be interested, a price, a list of what a steamboat can provide the customer, and a made up quote from someone living during the time period.  Students' advertisements will be posted around the room. 



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative assessment for this lesson based on the Cotton Transportation Venn Diagram (before) and the Leisure Transportation T-Chart (during).  Summative assessment for this lesson based on the Rubric for the Steamboat Advertisement (after).

Acceleration:

Students can research specific Alabama Steamboats from the list of Steamboats from Alabama at the following link: Coosa River Boat List website: http://www.riverboatdaves.com/pics/Ken_McCulloch/Coosa_%20R/coosa_boat_list.html) and create a power point to show the class using Google Slides.  

They should include the name of the steamboat, the pilot or captain's name (if available), the date the steamboat was built or launched in Alabama, a picture if available, and the name of the owner of the steamboat. Alabama Steamboats Rubric & Directions for the Google Slides Presentation can be found under attachments.

Suggested Reading List:  

Esbaum, Jill, and Adam Rex. Ste-e-e-e-eamboat A-comin! New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. Print.

Gilliland, Judith Heide., and Holly MeadeSteamboat: The Story of Captain Blanche Leathers. New York: DK Pub., 2000. Print.

Jordan, Shirley, and Kathleen Hadam. Kemly. Benjamin Brown and the Great Steamboat Race. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook, 2011. Print.

Kroll, Steven, and Bill Farnsworth. Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat. New York: Holiday House, 1999. Print.

Intervention:

Students who need extra support should be placed in groups with teammates sensitive to the needs of that student.  The teacher may need to more closely supervise groups that contain students who are struggling with the concepts of this lesson.  Students may also be allowed extra time and additional one to one instructions by the teacher.  


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.