Lesson Plan Information.

New York City

HIST 591, Summer 2010

Drs. Matt Harris and Jonathan Rees

Colorado State University-Pueblo


When in the course of human events . . .


These guidelines are intended to help you prepare your curriculum unit, one of the two major products (along with your blog) that you will produce for the New York Summer History Expedition. As this is a multi-credit course, this product should be substantial and reflect the significant work you’ve put into the two-week expedition.


Your main mission is to use specific topics from the expedition to illustrate and reinforce one or more broad themes that are important in American history. You will incorporate these topics and themes into a curriculum unit that is appropriate for your K-12 assignment. The most significant goal is to apply the content knowledge you have acquired on the New York City expedition and related activities in such a way that your students will be inspired to better understand the American history you teach them.


There are two major components to this project:

  1. An introductory contextual essay
  2. The curriculum unit overview and the lesson plans


Introductory Contextual Essay


This should be an annotated (with appropriate citations) essay of 800-1000 words in which you place the content you will be addressing in the context of American history. It should tell the reader (which may at some point include other educators who access your work via the grant web-page) what you will teach, why it is important, and how it fits in the discipline of American history. It should explicitly discuss and clarify how your specific topic(s) relate to the broad theme(s) in American history that you are teaching.


You should draw on various resources that you have encountered during the Readings and On-site sections of the New York City expedition. This includes information from your texts, from the lectures by both Drs. Rees and Harris and our invited guest lecturers, and from what you encountered at the various museums, battlefields, institutes we have visited. It can certainly also include information you have gathered from additional outside sources you may have studied in relation to this expedition.


The main goal of this contextual essay is to help a reader more fully understand what you are trying to accomplish with the curriculum unit. Perhaps it will help to consider this essay as the Teacher’s Guide to your curriculum unit, giving teachers the background information they need to teach your unit.


Curriculum Unit


The number and length of the lessons in your curriculum unit is flexible based on the nature of your teaching assignment; however, your unit should cover approximately three hours worth of teaching. This unit should fit into the required curriculum in your district. The goal is to enrich and enhance your students’ learning about a significant and interesting part of American history by implementing into your classroom the content you have acquired through the New York City expedition and related activities.


Templates for the Curriculum Unit Overview and the Lesson Plans are attached. Additional notes for clarification are also added on the templates.

Please mail a hard-copy of your finished Curriculum Unit so that it can be received by no later than July ?, 2010:


Drs. Rees/Harris, History Department

Psychology Building

Colorado State University-Pueblo

2200 Bonforte Blvd.

Pueblo, CO 81001


You should also e-mail an e-version (as one or more attachments) to this address: w.s.whited [at] colostate-pueblo [dot] edu


All documents that you use should be provided in one of these formats: doc, rtf, pdf. Please don’t use docx because older versions of Windows can’t read it.


Please feel free to discuss your curriculum unit and lesson plans with Drs. Harris and Rees, or Eileen Gose.


Template for Curriculum Unit Overview


Title of Curriculum Unit



Grade Level (the appropriate grade level for your unit) 



District Curriculum Alignment (the part of your district’s curriculum you are addressing with this unit)



Standards Alignment (the Colorado Model Content Standards you are addressing with this unit)



Introduction (your Introductory Contextual Essay)



Guiding Questions (list all the guiding questions for your lesson plans)



Learning Objectives (list all the objectives for your lesson plans)



Unit Lesson Plans (list all the titles for your lesson plans)



Template for Individual Lesson Plan 

Title of Lesson Plan (along with Title of Unit)

Grade Level (the appropriate grade level for this lesson plan) 

District Curriculum Alignment (the part of your district’s curriculum you are addressing with this lesson plan)

Standards Alignment (the Colorado Model Content Standards you are addressing with this lesson)

Time Required (for this lesson)


Introduction (short introduction for this lesson)


Guiding Question (an open-ended question that directs the search for understanding– everything in the lesson is studied for the purpose of answering it.)


Learning Objectives (“After completing this lesson, students should be able to…”)


Preparing to Teach this Lesson (give specific steps for preparation, materials needed, and any websites students will use during lesson)


Suggested Activities (This is the “meat” of your lesson plan. Include an anticipatory set to pique student’s interest and to focus their thoughts on the learning objectives. Give step by step directions to teach this lesson. Add a closure that brings students back to objectives, and that keeps the big picture in mind. Closure could also pose a related question to ponder, in anticipation of next lesson.)


Assessment (state how you will know students have met the learning objectives, including assessment instruments—essays, tests, rubrics, etc.)

Differentiation (give suggestions on how to adjust lesson for students with different abilities)

Extending the Lesson (ways for students to further investigate topic, including further reading, and perhaps tying your lesson into Pueblo’s or Colorado’s Progressive Era history


2 responses to “Lesson Plan Information.

  1. Darlene Derbigny

    There seem to be conflicting dates of when rought draft/ final lesson is due. Can you clarify that?

  2. Jonathan Rees

    It’s due July 20th. The incorrect date has been updated on the syllabus.

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