S.

Grace Jeffords
21 April 2014
ESOC 5560

Annotated Lesson Plan
Introduction
Planning lessons is a difficult task for even the most skilled educator. As gatekeepers,
teachers make the challenging decisions of information that is left in and out of the classroom
curriculum; this is an overwhelming reality for beginning teachers like myself. However, I
believe that through months of coursework and student teaching, I finally stumbled upon my
niche in writing lesson plans. I will expound on my lesson planning technique in three parts:
conceptualizing my work, an example lesson plan, and specific student assignment and analysis.

Conceptualization of Lesson Planning
While most educators prefer to adhere to whatever standards they may have, I opt to have
my students navigate their thinking of difficult overarching issues in social studies, such as race,
gender, and class in historical events. I believe that prompting my students to think critically of
these big ideas throughout history/government/economics will allow them to grow as a citizen
more than lower-level thinking and semi-comprehension of standards. I also work to show my
students the broader themes in social studies courses, such as civic responsibility, power, and
production. By teaching in this manner, students gain a version of social studies that is held
together by a line of continuity instead of a choppy timeline of events. For specific lesson
planning, I understand lesson planning differently now than I have in previous experiences.
Rather than viewing lesson planning as rigid gatekeeping wherein I first consider the content
(which sounds as though I hold all the answers), I began to think first about my students and the
methods in which they would best obtain the knowledge. In order to do the most for my students,
I scaffold my lesson as much as I can, offering different levels of support as my students move
toward stronger understanding. I conceptualize my lesson planning as a funnel: I begin broad and
work my way down to a focused understanding. I always start off in a broader fashion in an
attempt to capture the majority of my students’ attentions and vast abilities. Then, step by step, I
whittle the lesson down to the specifications of the standards by using methods by which I know
my students will learn and appreciate most. In the final stage of class, my students always have
some kind of student-centered activity by which I gauge their understanding. I often have my
students write individually or work on a group activity that synthesizes their understanding of
our lesson.

Example Lesson Plan
I student taught at Peachtree Ridge High School in Gwinnett County; it is a wonderful
school whose makeup is a wide variety of cultures and socioeconomic statuses. I taught tenth
grade world history in a “CP” or college preparatory class, which serves both gifted and special
education students as a collaborative class. This particular unit was entitled “Enlightenment and
Revolutions,” and included the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution,
Napoleon, and the Industrial Revolution; this specific lesson was on the Enlightenment. My main
goal for this lesson was to have my students focus on their writing. Because I prompted them to
pre-write and post-write, my students were given the opportunity to elaborate on their thinking
about the Enlightenment and its purpose in the modern world.


Name: _Grace Jeffords________________________ Grade Level____10th__________
Subject__World History_____________


Unit Topic
Enlightenment and Revolutions
Big idea(s)
How did the enlightenment allow revolutions to occur?
Why is it important to question the world around us?
Essential
Question(s)
What does it mean to be “just” or “fair”?



Lesson Plan
Starter/Opening
• Students will be given a half-sheet worksheet as they enter the room.
• Per their instructions on the board, students will be asked to silently respond to the following: What
is your own definition of “justice” or “fair”?
• 2-3 students will share their responses
Learning Activities & Assessments/Work Session
• Silently, students will read the statement projected on the board and pre-write their responses on the
given worksheet. Students must choose whether or not they completely agree, somewhat agree,
somewhat disagree, or completely disagree with the statement.
o There are absolutes in this world: good and evil, right and wrong.
o I have the right to challenge anything that is unfair.
• After writing, students will silently move to the corner of the room that most closely corresponds
with their feeling towards the statement. Whichever students have corresponding corners are now in
groups; these groups must choose one representative to give one statement that sums up the group’s
feelings toward the statement, answering why they completely agree, somewhat agree, etc.
o Students discuss.
• Chalk Talk – students, in groups of 3-4, will circle the room silently while reading and responding to
specific quotes from Enlightenment thinkers. Each student is given a stack of sticky notes to respond
to the quotes or other students’ responses. The student will post their sticky notes to the quote
board.
• Small group discussion – each student group is given a quote from the Chalk Talk session and asked
to go over the quotes, discussing the student responses that posed good questions or possible
explanations of the quote.
• Whole group discussion – quotes are displayed on the board, one at a time. Students who had the
quote in small group discussion have the floor first to discuss their feelings toward the quote and
may add some of the contributions via sticky notes. After, the floor is opened to the remainder of the
class to explain, expound, pose questions, or answer others’ questions about the quote.
Closer
• Students answer a “So What?” question in the last 10 minutes of class. Silently, the students must
synthesize what they have learned in class this day and relate it to modern day. Why is the
enlightenment important to discuss? Do we still see relevance to today’s world? Students must
respond in 4-6 sentences.



Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 1:05 AM
Comment [1]: I wanteu my stuuents to
have this in theii minus thioughout the
uay's lesson. What uoes faii mean to them.
As my stuuents went aiounu anu shaieu
theii uefinitions, we iealizeu that theie aie
many uiffeient unueistanuings of "faii"
uepenuing on the situation. "Faii" is an
objective teim.
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 1:13 AM
Comment [2]: It was impoitant to me that
my stuuents pie-wiite because it gives them
a chance to silently collect theii thoughts no
mattei theii ability level. If we hau begun
stuuent conveisation immeuiately, some of
my quickei stuuents may have uominateu
the flooi anu given some of my slowei
stuuents a panic. It also seiveu them as a
staiting point that they coulu ieflect on latei
in the post-wiiting piocess.
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 1:16 AM
Comment [3]: This was the seconu time
in the semestei that I hau useu Coineis of
Contention anu my stuuents BEu foi moie
each time. I wanteu to use these statements
specifically because I believe that they aie
impoitant to think on in life anu have an
unueistanuing of one's own beliefs.
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 8:53 AM
Comment [4]: I hau labeleu the coineis of
the classioom to ieflect oui lesson.
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 8:58 AM
Comment [5]: I wanteu my stuuents to be
able to uiscuss theii feelings anu
unueistanuings of the statements. I
encouiageu them to foim theii iueas into
aiguments so that they might peisuaue
otheis to move coineis. While it's impoitant
to be stiong in youi own opinions, I believe
it is equally impoitant to listen to otheis anu
come to a mutual unueistanuing.
Bemociatic citizens must always be open to
listening to all siues, ieflecting on theii own
opinions, anu changing oi stiengthening
theii oiiginal stance.
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 9:04 AM
Comment [6]: 0nuei "Resouices" link
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 9:03 AM
Comment [7]: This was my fiist shot at
whole gioup uiscussion. Ny uiiection giving
has plenty of ioom foi giowth, as stuuents
weie still somewhat confuseu as to theii
ioles in uiscussion. Bowevei, stuuents
woikeu veiy well in this anu exceeueu my
expectations foi the uay. They gave ... [1]
Grace Jeffords 4/23/14 8:59 AM
Comment [8]: This is the question that I
analyzeu in my stuuents' woik.
Assessment Analysis
Because the Enlightenment served as a springboard for revolutions around the world, I
wanted to take as much time as possible for students to understand the weight of the subject.
While I almost always give my students some sort of assessment (picture representations,
timelines, causes and effects, and many other forms), I wanted my students to go beyond the
traditional “worksheet” assessment and find a true purpose in learning about the Enlightenment.
After our whole-class discussion about several quotes from Enlightenment thinkers, I prompted
my students with the following question: What do you think would be the best way to relate
the Enlightenment to modern day? Where can you see Enlightenment ideas in effect in
today’s society? The students were instructed to write down their responses on a sheet of paper
before speaking to anyone.
I spend a considerable amount of class time talking with my students about current world
events; most often, current events are part of our warm-up activity to get students thinking about
the world at large. While writing this part of my students’ assessment, my main hope was that
they would pull from what they knew of current events and apply their understanding of the
Enlightenment to it. However, I know that not all students think like me and would much rather
relate something to their own personal lives; because of this, I did not want to put “right or
wrong” parameters on what I considered a good response. For instance, just because a student
mentioned the civil unrest developing in Ukraine does not necessarily mean that s/he responded
to the prompt correctly. While looking through my students’ responses, I found several that were
above and beyond my expectations, and some who clearly misunderstood or did not care about
the Enlightenment and its long-lasting effects. For example, a good response would be a student
reflecting over the Enlightenment quotes that we studied in class, referencing specific
Enlightenment philosophers, and then making a reference to the modern world or his/her own
life. A bad response, then, would be a student offering no reference to the Enlightenment
thinkers, merely stating techniques to relate this to modern day (e.g. “making it part of your
everyday life”), or making claims without the evidence to back it up (e.g. “the government trying
to trick Americans”). Because I gave no specific instructions on what each student’s response
had to include, these free responses give me plenty of understanding of my students.

Student A
After first reading this student’s response, I was very taken aback by his understanding
and apparent following of the events in Europe. While he is very knowledgeable about current
events, I was a bit worried at first glance because he did not appear to have written anything
about the Enlightenment thinkers or their quotes; however, as I began to analyze the student’s
response, I realized that the student was able to prove his understanding despite having included
a direct quote. This was one of the only students to start his paragraph with the word “example.”
I believe that if a student can give a concrete example, as in something that is factual or
occurring, rather than a hypothetical situation, then s/he clearly has a tight enough grasp on the
material to make comparisons. In the second sentence, Student A makes an explicit statement
about the Ukrainian government; which makes it clear to me that he relates the Enlightenment
period to dealing with government. It is intriguing to me that the student speaks about the
government as if it was a monster completely separate from the Ukrainian people, when in fact
the people in charge of the government of Ukraine were elected by the governed. The student’s
last sentence leaves me a bit troubled. Student A speaks of revolt caused by lack of power of the
common man, but I question how the student could know this. How could he have shown
evidence to his claims? It is possible that he could be pulling from his prior knowledge of world
revolutions, but without evidence I believe that this is all conjecture. Student A does, however,
offer evidence on his former speculation of World War III by offering a possible scenario and
evidence for it.
Though this student did not quote specific Enlightenment ideas or thinkers, he did make a
well-rounded argument in which he elaborated on his original idea and related it to the
Enlightenment period. I would argue that this students’ understanding of the Enlightenment
period is very literal; we learned about the Enlightenment in terms of government, so his
reflections and comparisons will be in terms of government as well. While clear that this student
has grasped the governmental side of the Enlightenment, I worry that this student has missed the
personal aspect of the Enlightenment and how it applies to his personal life; he makes no attempt
at reflecting on the Enlightenment from a student’s perspective.

Student B
Right out of the gate, Student B has done something that most other students have failed
to do – relate the Enlightenment to her own personal life. Out of the few students who were able
to understand that the Enlightenment extends beyond federal authority, Student B was the only
one to compare this time period to something she sees pertinent in her own life. In the second
sentence, Student B indirectly references the quotes that we studied in class (by stating “These
rights…”). By analyzing the same sentence, it seems as though this student views “these rights”
as a catalyst for people to do good in their immediate lives rather than a call for revolution.
Continuing her assessment, Student B offers the ramifications that she has seen in her own life,
stating that her rights allow her to “stand up to high school bullies.” The student then extends her
thinking, claiming that these rights even work against “world wide bullies.” I can only assume
that she means provoking military powers; if so, I believe that there is something to be said about
a student who can relate the Enlightenment to both herself and the rest of the world. This student
is very insightful to consider all levels of Enlightenment engagement still in effect. Furthermore,
in her final sentence, Student B expresses her understanding of the Enlightenment again on a
personal level. In stating “everyone is entitled to [his/her] own opinion,” Student B is expressing
that the Enlightenment ideas brought personal freedoms first and foremost, rather than
governmental freedoms.
Like Student A, this student does not cite any of the Enlightenment quotes, but chooses to
imply certain quotes in the beginning of the response. I believe that this student proves her
understanding in very abstract ways; while she does not give me specific accounts of her using
Enlightenment ideas presently, she does offer insight as to life in the absence of these ideas –
evidenced by her statement, “If there weren’t rights like these…” Even so, I believe that she has
a firm grasp on this material especially. Student B is able to relate the material on the
Enlightenment period on two levels: her personal beliefs (line 6), and her view of the world (line
7).

Student C
In the very beginning sentence, Student C elaborates on the effect of the Enlightenment –
for “people to question their government.” Because we explicitly discussed governments in
association with the Enlightenment in class, this is a pretty simplistic leap for her to make. By
the student’s argument about “fair” in sentence two, it is clear to see that the student understands
that a government “taking their rights away” would be unfair. It is this unfairness that led her to
consider the current events in Venezuela between the government and the common man. In line
6, Student C uses direct (almost) quotes to reflect on the Enlightenment as a comparison to
current events in Venezuela. After recognizing liberty as a quintessential human right, she
elaborates on the Venezuelan government taking away that liberty from its people. By speaking
of this liberty in her sixth sentence, Student C shows that she understands liberty as freedom
from oppressive governments; she then, in turn, explains how the oppressive Venezuelan
government is in disagreement with its people.
While this is a wonderful beginning to what I think could be a well-thought out paper, Student C
lacks the elaboration to go one step further. In her third sentence, it is made evident that she has
seen these Enlightenment ideas cause revolt, but it is unclear how she has made this connection.
Similarly, her final sentence is rather anti-climatic, I think; I only wish that she had gone on to
explain with explicit detail how the Enlightenment ideas could cause the Venezuelan people to
rebel. I believe that this student is very empathetic, and understands material when looking at it
from another perspective. However, her understanding of the Enlightenment is still very literal,
as she does not compare this period to anything beyond government. Because of this, I believe
that her grasp on the material is very firm, and I believe that she would be able to recall many
facts about the Enlightenment, yet I still worry that Student C did not explain anything in her
own life relative to these Enlightenment ideas.

Conclusion
My focus here has been student writing: from pre-writing to post-writing, my students
were given room to form an opinion, discuss their opinion, and reshape or strengthen their
original arguments. I believe that it is important to ask students to relate the things we learn in
class to modern day in order to prevent the trivialization of historical events. Though students
may sometimes dislike these questions that make them think more critically, open-ended
questions allow students to defend their own arguments rather than forcing them to choose a
canned option.