Lesson Plan Template

Name: 1930s Chicago Day One Class/Subject: 11th/12th Grade Social Studies Date: November 30, 2011

Matt Baker

Student Objectives/Student Outcomes: 1. Students will recall knowledge about the Great Depression in order to begin understanding the specifics of the depression’s effects on the city of Chicago. 2. Students will become familiar with Richard Wright’s Native Son through a quick lecture on the beginning of the book and will begin to compile a sense of the book by reading in class. Content Standards: ILS16.D.5 (US) Analyze the relationship between an issue in United States social history and the related aspects of political, economic and environmental history. Materials/Resources/Technology: i  Copies of Native Son  Computer/ Projector  Chalkboard/ Chalk  Picture of 10/30/1929 New York Times front page (Attached) Teacher’s Goals:  To make the connection between historical themes in the local (Chicago/ Illinois) area and the issues which have historically plagued our nation.  To integrate the use of popular literature as a historical document to help students learn about the past. Time

Start of Class: Show picture of New York Times front page from 10/30/1929 to provoke a discussion regarding the students’ prior knowledge of the Great Depression on a national level. Introduction of Lesson: Copies of Richard Wright’s Native Son will be passed out to each student as it is explained to them that the week will be
spent learning about 1930s Chicago through the framework of the book.



Lesson Instruction: Financial facts about the impact of the depression in Chicago will be presented, such as unemployment rates and the changes in housing rates for different parts of the city. The lesson will then switch gears
by having Native Son introduced and summarized up until Bigger first meets with Mr. Dalton at the Dalton’s house. Pages 38-46 (Bigger’s interview with Mr. Dalton) will be read in class.


8:43- 8:50

Assessments/Checks for Understanding: A brief class discussion will be held regarding Bigger and Mr. Dalton’s feelings toward one another and how they are shaped by race. This discussion will help gauge the students’ comprehension of the book and its themes. Closure/Wrap-Up/Review: Students will finally be asked to create a headline, similar to the New York Times headline which was introduced, that demonstrates an event that was read from the book. Some of these will be shared in class, and they will be turned in for a completion grade. Also, students will be assigned to read pages 54-74 (Bigger picking up Mary through his realization that she had died). They will
be instructed to focus on white attitudes toward black people, as well as Bigger’s fear.


Self-Assessment: The headlines that students turn in will be checked to see that a proper understanding of historical journalism has taken place and that the themes of the book are bein correctly analyzed.


Richard Wright, Native Son (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940).

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