Essential Question: What is the best location for an Alabama State capital city and capitol building?
Teach the Vocabulary - capital and capitol by using the chart created with the term and definition.
Show the students a United States map.
Have students locate Washington, D.C. on the map.
Ask students why they think Washington, D.C. was chosen as the capital of the United States.
Tell them they are right if they say it is because at the time it was chosen as the national capital Washington, D.C. was a central location for the 13 original colonies. Explain that Washington, D.C. is not a central location now because there are many more states.
If students do not recognize this, allow students to trace or highlight the 13 original colonies on a map on the interactive whiteboard or a wall map. (See attached 1826 U.S. Map.)
Tell students that they will have the opportunity to debate if the capital city and capitol building of Alabama are in the best place or if there was a better location used in the past.
Attachments are provided for teacher and students. Download attachments prior to teaching the lesson.
Give students pictures of capitol buildings or show pictures on the interactive whiteboard.
Give students a map of Alabama, have a wall map, or have a map displayed on the interactive whiteboard.
Have students highlight, circle, or underline locations where Alabama's capital has been located, including the current capital of Montgomery.
Have students label the pictures of the capitol buildings with their county and the time the capitol building was in the capital city of Alabama. (See attachments for pictures of capitol buildings.)
Have students give their point of view as to why a capital would change from one city to another. The teacher should record student answers on a chart or interactive whiteboard.
Students should jot down notes in their journal or on the side of the picture.
Divide students into small, manageable groups and give each group a picture of a capitol.
Tell students to find as much information as possible to assist them in giving a reason why a capital city or capitol building of Alabama should remain in Montgomery or be changed to a different location.
Students should create entries in their journals of facts and opinions of their group members. Inform students that journal notes will be used as an assessment. Students should have important dates of when capitol building and their capital cities were used and then removed. Tell students they will be constructing a timeline with these important dates to be used as an assessment.
After a reasonable amount of time, reconvene.
Whole Group: Students share what they think about each capitol building and its location. Students should be able to place the picture of each capitol building on a timeline/sequence showing when a county was used as a capital city of Alabama.
Students will use facts and opinions gathered in their groups to debate their point of view.
Lastly, the students should have an opportunity to write their individual point of view after working in groups/debating in groups. (Independent assessment)