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Lesson Title: Erie Canal Wiki

Teacher: Michael Butler
Subject: Social Studies Grade Level: 5
Time Required: 3-4 40min class periods to begin initial postings
Topic: Erie Canal

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

Prerequisites (Prior knowledge)

 Cooperative learning skills
 Note-taking and organizational strategies
 Ability to use Internet resources
 Primary Sources
 Publishing information to the class wiki

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 interaction

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  Organize information from a variety
 How the Erie Canal led to of sources
© Gradel & Jabot Westward expansion
2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from Express
UbD, thoughts and opinions with
Wiggins & McTighe))
 Primary Sources one another via online resources
using proper grammar and online
 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: Students will discuss primary sources in small groups and then report the
information from their discussion on the project wiki.

Post-test: The teacher will assess the students’ wiki postings throughout the lessons
using a rubric based on their understanding of the topic. The teacher will also assess the
students’ abilities to work cooperatively with their groups.

(Performance Assessments: )

Students will be assessed throughout the project based on postings to the wiki using a

(Other Assessments: Peer, Self)

Students will assess their own postings to the wiki using a rubric.
Students will assess each other based on contributions to group assignments.

(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.

Students research answers to questions about the Erie Canal using online resources and
search engines.
The teacher sets up a Wiki for the class to use to post their primary source information
about the Erie Canal.
The students work in small groups to discuss and post information on primary sources and
the Erie Canal to the wiki.
Students individually comment on others’ findings and post further information on the wiki.

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

The teacher will briefly discuss the Erie canal based on the scenario proposed on the wiki.

The teacher will demonstrate navigating the wiki to the class. Also the teacher will
demonstrate posting information on the wiki.

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…)
Teacher leads discussion about the Erie Students discuss the Erie Canal and follow
Canal and demonstrates operating on the along with the wiki demonstration.

Assigns groups and primary source Get into assigned groups and begin
discussion and circulates around the researching the answers to the questions
classroom to facilitate students with on the wiki. Use the WWW to gather
research. information.

The teacher published the information to the The students give their suggestions and
wiki. answers to the questions.

Assist students with the searching and Students begin step 2, and search the
posting to the wiki. WWW for primary sources. Student will post
these to the wiki.

Individually students comment and share
further information on the primary sources
and the Erie Canal on the wiki.
Adaptations to the Instructional Sequence to Differentiate:
Students will be grouped heterogeneously. All students will be given an active role based
© Gradel & Jabot 2009 (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey 2005 (adapted from UbD, Wiggins & McTighe))
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)
Students will use the wiki to comment and collaborate on finding primary sources. They
will also use the wiki to discuss the importance of their primary sources to their overall
understanding of the Erie Canal. There will be a page on the wiki for students to discuss
and share information on the role the Erie Canal played in Westward expansion.

The class will discuss the importance of primary sources and how they can be used to tell
about the past.
Extensions for early finishers:
Students that finish early can browse the wiki as well as begin working on their reflections
as this will be an out of class assignment.

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)

Posting to the Wiki
1) Post information as text directly on the wiki page
2) Post as attachments
3) Post as PDF files

Searching for Information
1) Choose your favorite search engine (Google,,, etc.)
2) Type in keywords that pertain to your topic
3) Browse links provided

© 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 or in the classroom with laptops.
 A wiki will be set up for this assignment and only the students and teacher will
have access to it.
 The teacher will need the following:
Computer with projector and screen
 Students will need:
The link for the wiki
Email address and wiki logins
Web search resources (posted on wiki)

Permission from an administrator to use the wiki will be sought before this lesson is

(Parent/Community Resources)

Parents will be given access to the wiki upon request.

Community members that have relevant information to the topic will be given restricted
access to the wiki to post their information.

(Contact Information)

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