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Title: Which Decade is the Most Important?

By: Emily Childs

Subject: Social Studies, Reading, Writing
Grade Level(s): 5th grade
Duration: 45 minutes one day
Standards and Elements:
Social Studies:
SS5H7 The student will discuss the origins and consequences of the Cold War.
a. Explain the origin and meaning of the term Iron Curtain.
b. Explain how the United States sought to stop the spread of communism through the Berlin airlift, the Korean War,
and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
c. Identify Joseph McCarthy and Nikita Khrushchev.
SS5H8 The student will describe the importance of key people, events, and developments between 1950-1975.
a. Discuss the importance of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War.
b. Explain the key events and people of the Civil Rights movement; include Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the
Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and civil rights activities of
Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
c. Describe the impact on American society of the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy,
and Martin Luther King, Jr.
d. Discuss the significance of the technologies of television and space exploration.
SS5H9 The student will trace important developments in America since 1975.
a. Describe U. S. involvement in world events; include efforts to bring peace to the Middle East, the collapse of the
Soviet Union, the Persian Gulf War, and the War on Terrorism in response to September 11, 2001.
b. Explain the impact the development of the personal computer and the Internet has had on American life.
ELACC5RI4 Craft and Structure: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and
phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
ELACC5RI5 Craft and Structure: Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison,
cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
ELACC5RI10 Range of Reading and Complexity of Text: By the end of the year, read and comprehend
informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 45
text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Speaking and Listening:
ELACC5SL1 Comprehension and Collaboration: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others ideas and
expressing their own clearly.
TAG standards:
HO/CTS 1: HO/CTS 1: The student asks probing, insightful, and relevant questions.
HO/CTS 2: The student responds to questions with supporting information that reflects in-depth knowledge of a
HO/CTS 3: The student conducts comparisons using criteria***
HO/CTS 4: The students makes and evaluates decisions using criteria***
CT&CPSS 3: The student incorporates brainstorming and other idea-generating techniques to solve problems or
create new products.
CT&CPSS 5: The student develops original ideas, presentations, or products through synthesis and evaluation.
CT&CPSS 8: The student tolerates ambiguity when solving problems.
ARS 2: The student formulates original and appropriate questions to test the limits of an existing body of
ARS 1: The student uses a variety of print and non-print resources to investigate a topic of interest.
ARS 3: The student uses concepts within and across disciplines to develop valid hypotheses, thesis statements, or
alternative interpretations of data.
ARS 5: The student gathers, organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes data from multiple sources to support or
disprove a hypothesis.

ACS 2: The student produces written and/or oral work that is complex, purposeful, and organized, includes relevant
supporting examples and manipulation of language.
ACS 7: The student responds to contribution of others, considering all available information.
ACS 8: The student participates in small group discussions to argue persuasively or reinforce others good points.
ACS 10: The student supports and defends his/her own opinions while respecting the opinions of others.
Summary: This lesson will allow students to start compiling the importance of the decade of US History they have
been studying. Students have spent 1+ days researching a particular decade and will now try to defend why their
decade is the MOST important decade being studied.
Enduring Understanding(s): At the end of the lesson,. Students will have a basic understanding of the decades from
the 1950s-2000s. (Previously, students focused on one decade in this era.) Students will recognize and be able to
describe important events of various decades.
Essential Question(s):
How did government systems change international relations after World War II?
Which events occurred in the 1950s/1960s/1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s that were significant and had an impact?
Evidence of Learning:
What student should KNOW: There are many important events during these decades, Germany split into 2
parts at the end of WWII;
What students should BE ABLE TO DO: (SWBAT) Identify and explain important events from their
decades as well as other decades during the 1950s-2000s.
Suggested Vocabulary:
segregation, decade, cold war, communism, korean war, vietnam war, civil rights, democracy, president, explain,
space race (others)
1. Students have already been placed in groups for a decade project and now they will start to share
their decade information with other groups. Students should be sitting with their decade group to start.
2. Sparking opening question: Which decade is the most important?
Open Socrative and complete Quick Question as a poll. Write choices below on the board.
(Will redo poll at the end of class and compare scores. Were peers able to sway your vote? How? Why?)
A-1950s-Communism/Korean War,
B-Civil Rights Movement
C-1960s-Kennedy, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War
D-1970s & 1980s
E-1990s & 2000s
3. Fill out Why is your decade important? sheet. Each member should give a different reason(s) for
why they think their decade the most important decade. (5-10 minutes)
4. Call attention to the class. Discuss how to share information. Must meet with one group member
from each decade and have them VERBALLY talk to you about their decade and explain why it is
important. You should have meaningful conversations. Stress how to verbally communicate. Work on this
skill. (Will be hardest for 1st period/not as chatty.) (15-20 minutes)
5. Open Socrative and Quick Question Poll again; retake the quiz and see if it changed. Discuss if
you stayed the same, changed, etc. Why did you change decades? How did this person or certain events
change your opinion for why is was an important decade? Discussion/Debrief. (5-10 minutes)
6. Glue in page to their notebook
A. Classroom observation based on engagement, participation, and information relativity.
B. Pre-activity Socrative
C. Post-activity Socrative
Technology Integration:
Socrative poll for pre and post-activity; Use of information used in class discussions

TAG students must provide two different responses for the second column.
Go around and help students pick a reason to support their decade as the most important.
Help IEP, ESOL, and TIERed kids pick the best reason to support their decade with a discussion AND to
highlighting it in order to help them during discussions with peers.
chromebooks/surfaces/BYOT, page below, pencil, SS textbook & notes on previous decade research

Which Decade is the Most Important?

Student Name: _________________________________________

Which Decade are you researching?: _______________________
(1950s, 1960s, Civil Rights Movement, 1970s & 1980s,
1990s & 2000s)
A) Include a drawing related to your decade in the box (on the right).
B) What has your group learned about this decade so far?
-Each group member should provide at least one piece of
information about your decade.
-Just facts here, please! :)
TAG students must provide two (different) responses for the second column.
Name of each group member



Responses to: Why is this the most important decade?




Name of group member

Korean War

Civil Rights

Cuban Missile
Crisis, Vietnam

1970s & 1980s

Why is this the most important decade?

1990s & 2000s

Now, you get to make a choice! THINK INDEPENDENTLY!

Which decade do you think is the most important?

Why do you believe this is the most important decade?