Social Studies Lesson: Determining Importance in Pre-Suffrage AmericaCreated by Melissa Slater, 2009Page
2 of 3
Lesson Launch – Build Background for New Learning:
Do Now: For the beginning of the lesson students will complete three document-based questions about the Declaration of Independence as away to review the document.2.
As a whole class, have the students review the answers to the questions.3.
Have a discussion with the students about the following: What does it mean to declare something? What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence? What are sentiments? (If students are unfamiliar with the term, explain that sentiments are a person’s feelings or emotions.)4.
Have the students generate ideas about the following questions and as they share out write their ideas on the board/overhead/LCD:
What do you think the Declaration of Sentiments might contain since women in the mid-1800s wrote it?
Why do you think the women used the same format as the Declaration of Independence? Who might their audience be?5.
Hand out the photocopies of the background information on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Seneca Falls Convention and have the students readas partners, individually, or as a whole-class.6.
Explain to the students that they will be using a literacy strategy called determining importance to summarize excerpts from the Declaration of Sentiments. They will then share their summaries with their fellow peers and discuss what they learned about the struggles women faced during the mid-1800s.7.
Model your thinking of determining importance from an excerpt of the Declaration of Sentiments by circling key words, re-reading key parts of theexcerpt, and writing a summary by paraphrasing the main ideas of the excerpt. Make sure and explain your thinking process and why certainwords or ideas are more important than others. (If technology is available project the excerpt and write the summary next to the projected excerpteither on the computer or on the board. If technology is
available, write the excerpt big on chart paper so students can follow along.)8.
Deconstruct the think-aloud with the students: How did I decide which words to circle? How did I figure out which ideas were the main ideas?How did I decide what details to include in my summary? What makes a great summary as opposed to a good summary? With this last question,have the students share out some ideas for a good summary versus a great summary and write their ideas on the board, overhead, or LCD.(Students should come up with ideas such as the summary should be the gist of the paragraph and should make sense to anyone who did notread the paragraph. The summary should be in your own words (paraphrasing) and should include some of the main supporting details.)9.
Have the students practice as a whole-class determining importance and creating a summary by giving the students one practice excerpt to readand summarize. Individually, have the students circle key words and write a summary in their notebooks. Give the students about five minutesand make sure to walk around and assess how the students are doing. If students are struggling, the following are questions to use whileconferencing:
Why did you circle those key words? Why did they stand out to you?
If we determine those are important words or ideas, how can you put them into your own words?
How did you decide which supporting details to include in your summary?
If you wanted to explain this paragraph to a friend, what would you say?