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What Was the Effect? Chaco Culture National Historical Park

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Summary

Starting with the Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter, the students will research Chaco Culture Historical Park, focusing on the park’s geographical features and climate.  The students will identify how the geography and climate affected the Chaco culture.  The students will complete a cause/effect chart; analyze an area’s physical, economic, and cultural characteristics; and write a five paragraph essay.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will analyze how physical features and climate affect people and places.
  • Students will analyze physical, economic, and cultural characteristics of an area.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Climate
  • Economy
  • Culture
  • Stratigraphy

Materials

  • Internet
  • Writing tools

Preparations

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/109.pdf.

  1. Display and examine the Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter design. Locate this site in New Mexico on a class map. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Discuss the nature and value of national sites.
  2. Visit the Chaco Culture National Historical Park website and research the geographical features and climate found in the park. Identify how the geographical features and the climate of the area affected the lives of the Chaco culture.
  3. Distribute the “Cause and Effect Chart.” Review the concept of cause and effect. Use the example of the presence of stone (cause) leading to the houses being made of stone (effect). Note the absence of trees and clay in the area to build houses.
  4. Write a five paragraph essay about the causes (geographical features and climate) and effects using the chart. Organize the writing with the following five paragraphs:
    • Introduction
    • Physical features cause and effects
    • Climate cause and effects
    • Economic cause and effects
    • Conclusion
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.

Use a rubric including “accuracy of information,” “making connections,” and the “writing process” and use it to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.7 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.7.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.7.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 7.)
  • W.7.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.8.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 8.)
  • W.8.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.8.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.7 Language
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
    • Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
    • Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
  • L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.8 Language
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
    • Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.
  • L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.
    • Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
    • Spell correctly.

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.