A Model for Understanding by Design


Theme/Topic: Georgia’s Historical Figures

Grade Level/Subject: 2nd/Social Studies

Stage 1 - Desired Results
  • Teacher wants to know whether the student knows how to use research tools.
  • Teacher wants to know that the student knows how to produce facts and details while gathering information about their subject being researched.
  • The teacher wants to know whether the student can use what they have learned about the historical figures produce an acrostic poem.
  • The teacher wants to know that the students can produce facts and details that flows while writing a poem.

Target Standard: SS2H1 The student will read about and describe the lives of historical figures in Georgia history. Identify the contributions made by these historic figures James Oglethorpe, Tomochichi, and Mary Musgrove (founding of Georgia); Sequoyah (development of a Cherokee alphabet) Jackie Robinson (sports); Martin Luther King, Jr. (civil rights); Jimmy Carter (leadership and human rights).

Secondary Standards (list numbers): ELA2R4, ELA2W1, and ELA2W2

Understandings: In this lessons students will be able to:
  • Explainby listing facts about each of the historical figures
  • Interpretby using the positive traits of the historical figures and writing an acrostic poem.
  • Perspective by seeing through the eyes of the historical figures and being able to relate to the impact that they made on Georgia.

Essential Questions:
  • Why were the historical figures important in Georgia's history?
  • What contributions did the historical figures make in Georgia?
  • How did the historical figures demonstrate positive citizenship traits?


Students will know (content knowledge):
  • James Oglethorpe was the founder of Georgia
  • Tomochichi provided land for the Georgia colony
  • Mary Musgrove was James Oglethorpe's interpreter
  • Sequoyah invented the Cherokee alphabet
  • Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League baseball
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for civil rights nonviolently
  • Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States and now fights for human rights

Students will be able to do (process knowledge):
  • Describe the the lives of the historical figures in Georgia's history
  • Give examples of their contributions
  • Write and acrostic poem using the positive traits of the historical figures

Stage 2 - Assessment Evidence

Individual Assessment (should match target standard): Post check attached

Performance Task (group assessment using check list or rubric):
Other Evidence (quizzes, journals, portfolios, conferences, observations):
  • Teacher will observe students as they work on the task
  • Assessment of students work
  • Read Essential Questions and call on several students to give their interpretations. Ask for any misunderstandings.
  • Assess students in class through conversations and questioning

Stage 3 - Learning Plan( Day 1)

Hook or Motivator: Use Active board to show a power point of Georgia historical figures. Students may discuss things that they may know about each person to prompt discussion.
Vocabulary: colony, trader, civil rights, human rights, Savannah, and monument. The vocabulary will be discussed during the power point.

Whole Group Instructional Activities (include teacher directed instruction, readings, guest speakers, videos, class discussion, etc.):
TTW tell the students that yhey will be researching Georgia’s historical figures. Tell students that we be using the computer, encyclopedia, and text. Write the objectives/targets on the board. Discuss how and why we do research. Show students the graphic organizer (Attachment 1) and model what information needs to be on the fact sheet. Give an example using the computer (on the active board), the encyclopedia, children literature to model important facts that the students should be focusing on, such as when the historical figures were born and their contributions. Tell the students that later we will be discussing the historical figures character traits and will fill in the bottom portion of the graphic organizer at that time. However, if the student recognizes certain traits in a character, they are encouraged to write them down. Tell the students that they will need to write at least five facts about their person. For example, when and where they were born and 3 facts about the person. Remind students to use writing targets when writing their facts. Have a student to repeat directions to make sure that they understand what is expected.
Small Group Activities (variety of multiple intelligences):
Divide the students into 7 groups and assign each group a historical figure. Within each group, one person will use the computer, one will use the encyclopedia, and the other will use the text. Show each group where they will be working. Give students the graphic organizer and direct each group to their designated areas.

Stage 3 - Learning Plan( Day 2)

Whole Group Instructional Activities (include teacher directed instruction, readings, guest speakers, videos, class discussion, etc.):

TTW tell the students that they will be writing and acrostic poem and writing an acrostic poem requires turning a word into an acronym. In this case, the student will use the last names of Georgia’s historical figures as their acronym. Tell the students that they will use each letter of the historical figure’s and use the first letter in a word that captures the essence of the life or character trait that relates to their personality. Give the students an example of and acrostic poem and model how they should write in complete sentences and the lines should flow. Remind students that they should use their writing targets. Have a student to read the targets. Also remind students that this assignment should be done independently. Give the students a copy of the Expeditionary Learning Design Principle/ Character Traits chart and a piece of paper and direct them back to their tables.

Independent activity:

Have students to write a rough draft, edit and revise for their final copy. After students have completed their final draft, have the students to transfer the acrostic poem onto a piece of construction paper.