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Lesson Title: Erie Canal Webquest

Teacher: Michael Butler
Subject: Social Studies Grade Level: 5
Time Required: 3-4 40min class periods
Topic: The Erie Canal/ Primary Sources

Essential Question:
What are primary sources? How do primary sources tell us about the past?
How did the Erie Canal help increase Westward expansion?

Prerequisites (Prior knowledge)

• Cooperative learning skills
• Note-taking and organizational strategies
• Ability to use Internet resources
• Primary Sources

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Content Area Standard(s) (include complete standard, not just standard #)

Social Studies:
Standard 1: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate
their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and
turning points in the history of the United States and New York.
• investigate key turning points in New York State and United States history
and explain why these events or developments are significant
• gather and organize information about the important achievements and
contributions of individuals and groups living in New York State and the
United States
Standard 3: Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate
their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which
we live – local, nations, and global – including the distribution of people,
places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.
English / Language Arts:
Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and
Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response
and expression.
Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis
and evaluation.
Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social

Intended Learning Outcome (Should define what students will know and be able to do and at what
level of mastery they should be able to do it.)

Students will know… Student will be able to…
• History of the Erie Canal • Apply and make sense of a variety of
• How the Erie Canal led to information from web sources
expansion •
© Gradel & Jabot 2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from UbD,Distinguish
Westward primary sources
Wiggins & McTighe))
• Primary Sources 1 • Explain why a source is primary
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Students will demonstrate their learning/understanding in the following way(s):
Teacher-Created Assessments
Pre-test: The class will discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources in
groups and then the whole class will share the discussion.

Post-test: Primary source information from the webquest.

(Performance Assessments)

Student groups will turn in a page of primary sources taken from the webquest.

Students will be assessed based on observed group participation during class time.

(Other Assessments: Peer, Self)

Students will assess their groups based on input and effort towards the completion of the
group product using a rubric.

(Assessment Adaptations)


© Gradel & Jabot 2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from UbD, Wiggins & McTighe))
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Learning Activities
Instructional Strategies/Learning Activities:
e.g., demonstration, discussion, small groups, role play, etc.

That lesson will begin with small group discussions about primary sources and this will lead to a
whole class discussion.
The teacher will demonstrate how to navigate the webquest using a projected screen in the front of
the classroom.
Students work in small groups to complete the webquest.

Introducing the lesson:
(capturing students’ attention, activating students’ prior knowledge).

The class will discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources. The
teacher will then talk about the Erie Canal and the class will listen to songs from the Erie
Canal era.

After the songs, the teacher will show the students the webquest navigation using a
computer and a projector.

Before allowing students to begin, the teacher will put the class into groups for completing
the webquest.

Instructional Sequence:
(representing the content: teaching/learning activities, connecting to students’ prior knowledge, etc.)

Teacher activity (The teacher is doing….) Student activity (The student is doing…)
The teacher will ask the students to discuss Students discuss primary sources in their
primary sources in a small group of people groups.
near them.

The teacher demonstrates how to complete Students observe the teacher using the
the webquest and assigns the groups for webquest and get into their groups.
the project.

As the students are working, the teacher will Students are completing the webquest
circulate around the classroom to facilitate based on the directions given on the web.
and answer any questions that students

Teacher will assist students with completing Students will make a primary source page
their finished product to turn in. using Microsoft Word software. Finished
pages will be printed and handed in.

As students finish, they will share their
primary sources with each other. Also
students will complete the rubric based on
group participation.
© Gradel & Jabot 2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from UbD, Wiggins & McTighe))
Adaptations to the Instructional Sequence to Differentiate:
Students will be grouped heterogeneously. All students will be given an active role based
on their ability. Students with lower abilities will be given the task of recorder. This student
will record the information gathered by the group. The teacher will assign this role.

Discussion and Assessment of Learning:
(Pointing out to students how what they are learning is related to the driving question; assessing students’
learning as a result of the lesson)

The students will give examples of primary sources that they have found in the webquest.
The teacher will then lead a class discussion on the importance of primary sources. The
discussion will also include what was learned about the Erie Canal.

Students have the opportunity to share their primary sources with other groups.

The class will go over the difference between a primary source and other types of sources.

Extensions for early finishers:
Students will begin sharing their primary sources with other students in the class.

Alternate strategies for struggling students or those who learn differently:
Students will be able to consult with group members about any difficulty that they come

(already established procedures to be used and procedures to be taught for this lesson)

Completing the Webquest
1) Go to the webquest URL
2) Follow the instructions given on each link of the webquest

Copying and Pasting Images or Text
1) Find the image or text you would like to use
2) Highlight the text or image
3) Right click on the selected area
4) Choose Copy
5) Open the Microsoft Word Document
6) Right click on the area you would like the text or image to go
7) Choose Paste

© Gradel & Jabot 2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from UbD, Wiggins & McTighe))
Lesson Development Resources
Technology Tools and Materials:
(classroom set-up, preparations, resources, etc.)

• This lesson will be taught in a computer lab
• The teacher will need the following:
Computer with projector and screen
• Students will need:
URL for the webquest
Microsoft Word software (already loaded on computer)

(Parent/Community Resources)

Parents will be provided with the link to the webquest

(Contact Information)

© Gradel & Jabot 2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from UbD, Wiggins & McTighe))