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Introduction to Freedom Unit

Class/Subject: Seventh-grade Early American History

Date: Week 1, Day 1

Student Objectives/Student Outcomes:

1. Students will articulate their current understanding of the concept of freedom by


creating a collection of meaningful text and images and writing a brief rationale for
their choices.

Content Standards:
Social Science:

18.C.3a Describe ways in which a diverse U.S. population has developed and
maintained common beliefs (e.g., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights).

English:

3.B.3a Produce documents that convey a clear understanding and interpretation of


ideas and information and display focus, organization, elaboration and coherence.

Materials/Resources/Technology:

• Bulletin board
• Magazines
• Paper
• Markers
• Possibly computer and printer

Teacher’s Goals:
1. Teacher will help students achieve the objectives set forth and think critically
about the meaning of “freedom.”

2. Teaching will facilitate students in collaborating with their classmates to produce


a bulletin board on freedom that can be modified throughout the unit to show their
broadening understandings of freedom.

Time
5 minutes Start of Class: The teacher will provide some paper, magazines, and
markers; the day before, he/she will ask students to bring more
resources for the project. All materials will be collected in a central
location so all students will have access to them.

The central question, “What is Freedom?”, will be displayed at the front


of the class and at the top of the bulletin board to draw students’
attention to the topic of the lesson.

10 minutes Introduction of Lesson: The teacher will ask students what they think
of when they hear the word “freedom.” After accepting a few
responses, the teacher will explain that the focus of the next four weeks
will be on the evolving concept of freedom in North America from the
Age of Exploration to the U. S. Civil War. What has freedom meant to
people in the past? How do these old ideas of freedom affect our ideas
of freedom today? The teacher will explain that first the class will focus
on what they already know or think about freedom.

15 minutes Lesson Instruction: Teacher will have students use the provided
materials to find or create words and pictures that they associate with
the concept of “freedom.” For instance, a student could find an image
of two different religious buildings next to each other to represent
religious freedom, or an image of protesters to represent the rights of
assembly and free speech. Students will attach these words and images
to a bulletin board on one wall of the classroom. The teacher can add
words and images as well. Space will be left to add more images and
words to the bulletin board in the future.

15 minutes Assessments/Checks for Understanding: Once they have made


their contribution to the bulletin board, students will write a sentence or
two for each image, word, or phrase they have added, explaining why
they chose to add it and how it represents freedom to them. This will
allow the teacher to gauge the level of critical thinking they have put
into the assignment and understand his/her students’ current ideas of
freedom.

5 minutes Closure/Wrap-Up/Review: Any student who does not complete the


written assignment will take it home, complete it as homework, and
return it to class the next day.

Before students leave, the teacher will explain that they will continue to
add to the bulletin board throughout the unit, expanding their definition
of freedom as they explore the concept further.