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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Monticello

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Summary

Students will identify the features of a non-fiction text including tables of contents, indexes, headings, key words, illustrations, maps, charts, glossaries, and captions to predict and gain meaning from text. Students will identify the main idea of a text and its supporting details. Students will retell the events of a story in sequence and create a non-fiction writing piece. Students will be able to describe the impact of certain figures in United States history, includ-ing Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will identify the features of a non-fiction text including tables of contents, indexes, headings, key words, illustrations, maps, charts, glossaries, and captions to predict and gain meaning from text.
  • Students will identify the main idea of a text and its supporting details.
  • Students will retell the events of a story in sequence and create a non-fiction writing piece.
  • Students will be able to describe the impact of certain figures in United States history, including Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Grades

  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Nickels
  • Nonfiction text features
  • Previewing
  • Table of contents
  • Glossary
  • Sequencing events
  • Main idea

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Monticello
  • Artifact
  • Caption
  • Timeline
  • Maps
  • Historical sequence

Materials

Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan (see "Preparations")

  • 1 copy of the 2006 Westward Journey Nickel Series™ Lesson Plans Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
  • 1 overhead projector
  • Blank overhead transparencies
  • Chart paper
  • Copies of texts that give basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (see "Preparations")
  • Web sites that include basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (optional)
  • Writing paper
  • Pencils
  • Construction paper (variety of colors)
  • Markers/crayons
  • Yarn or staples (to bind the student books)

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • "Preview the Text" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Reading Guide" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Writing Guide" worksheet (1 per student)
  • Make overhead transparencies of the following:
    • "Return to Monticello Nickel Obverse" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Journey of Lewis and Clark" map (from the Resource guide)
    • "Return to Monticello Nickel Reverse" (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Westward Journey Nickel Series" worksheet (from the Resource Guide)
    • "Writing Guide" worksheet
  • Locate copies of texts that provide basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as:
    • Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West by Steven Kroll
    • Lewis and Clark: Discover the Life of an Explorer by Trish Kline
    • The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark by Rhonda Blumberg
    • Lewis and Clark on the Trail of Discovery: An Interactive History with Removable Artifacts by Rod Gragg
    • On the Trail of Lewis and Clark: A Journey up the Missouri River by Peter Lourie
    • As Far As the Eye Can Reach: Lewis and Clark’s Westward Quest by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
    • How We Crossed the West, The Adventures of Lewis and Clark by RosalynSchanzer
  • Bookmark Web sites with basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (optional).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/176.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display the "Return to Monticello Nickel Obverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students to identify the man on the coin. The students should be able to identify the man as Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. Explain to the students that, when our country was very young, President Jefferson purchased some new land for our country. After the purchase, he sent a group of soldiers led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore this new land. Tell the students that the Westward Journey Nickel Series commemorates this important expedition.
  2. Display the "Journey of Lewis and Clark" overhead transparency. Explain that the shape of our country was not always the same as it is today. Point out the area that was the United States before the Louisiana Purchase. Note the territory’s position in relation to your school’s location.
  3. On the map, trace Lewis and Clark’s route and point out that the group traveled over both land and water. Explain that an important part of the mission for Lewis and Clark was to record information in their journals about the plants, animals, and people they met or saw during their journey.
  4. Create a K-W-L chart based on Lewis and Clark’s journey on chart paper. Ask the students what they know about the expedition and Lewis and Clark. Record student responses on the chart paper. Ask the students to share questions they have about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and add them to the "W" section on the chart.
  5. Tell the students that the mission of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was to explore the uncharted land that was acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Discuss the three main goals of the mission with the students (to study the plants, animals, and land; to form relation-ships with American Indian tribes; and to search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean). Have the students predict what items Lewis and Clark would have brought back. Record the information on another piece of chart paper labeled "Expedition Items."
  6. Display the "Return to Monticello Nickel Reverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students to identify the building shown on the coin. Tell the students that the building is Thomas Jefferson’s home called Monticello, located in Virginia.
  7. Tell the students that Lewis and Clark sent back to President Jefferson many items, some of which are artifacts (man-made objects from a particular place or time period). These items formed an important record of the trip, showing the President and the people of the United States what Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery found along the way. Jefferson collected and distributed these objects to other people and places. Jefferson also kept some of the items and displayed them at Monticello.
  8. Make sure that the students understand the importance of collecting and distributing the items for others to see. Explain that Jefferson was interested in science and in learning more about these new and unfamiliar items.
  9. Explain to the students that they will be reading texts in small groups to learn more about the journey of Lewis and Clark and the items the explorers collected along the way. All reading will be done during class time.
  10. Divide the class into small groups and choose (or let students choose) a text to read.
  11. Distribute a "Preview the Text" worksheet to the students.
  12. Have the students get into their groups to preview the text and complete the worksheet.
  13. Collect the completed "Preview the Text" worksheets.

Session 2

  1. Review the K-W-L chart from Session 1 with the students.
  2. Distribute a "Reading Guide" worksheet to each student.
  3. Review the directions. As a class, discuss and complete the vocabulary definitions at the top of the worksheet (see answer key). The students will use the definitions to help them complete the rest of the worksheet. Review the rest of the questions with the class.
  4. Have the students get into their reading groups from Session 1 and begin reading the chosen texts.
  5. Circulate among the groups and check for comprehension of the texts.
  6. When there is about 10 minutes left in the class period, bring the class back together. As a class, discuss overall themes and content from the texts.
  7. Add student information to the K-W-L chart. 8. Collect the "Reading Guide" worksheets.

Session 3

  1. Review the K-W-L chart from the previous sessions.
  2. Have the students get into their reading groups from the previous sessions. Distribute the "Reading Guide" worksheets to the students.
  3. Have the students continue reading from the chosen text. The students should continue to fill in information on their "Reading Guide" worksheets. Circulate among the groups.
  4. Once the students have completed the reading, discuss some of the student responses from the "Reading Guide" worksheet.
  5. Add any new information to the "L" section of the chart.
  6. Display the "Louisiana Territory Map" overhead transparency.
  7. On a separate piece of chart paper, use the information from the texts, the K-W-L chart, and the "Louisiana Territory Map" overhead transparency to discuss and record the sequence of main events from Lewis and Clark’s journey and create a timeline.
  8. Display the "Westward Journey Nickel Series" overhead transparency. Discuss the sequence of main events from Lewis and Clark’s journey using the images on the coins. Remind the students of the goals of the journey (to study the plants, animals, and land; to form relationships with American Indian tribes; and to search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean) and incorporate the goals into the class discussion. Add any new information from the discussion to the chart paper. Keep the chart on display in the classroom for student reference.
  9. Provide time for the students to add any information from the chart to their "Reading Guide" worksheets.
  10. Collect the "Reading Guide" worksheets.

Session 4

  1. Review the K-W-L chart and the sequence of events chart with the students.
  2. Distribute the "Reading Guide" worksheets to the students for the class discussion.
  3. As a class, review the definitions of the terms on the worksheet. Write the definitions on chart paper.
  4. Display the timeline from Session 3. Tell the students that they will use this timeline to identify the major events from their text.
  5. Using the K-W-L chart, information from previous sessions, and the student worksheets, discuss the major events from Lewis and Clark’s journey and add them to the timeline.
  6. As a class, discuss the importance of these events and why the students think these events are the most important.
  7. Distribute a "Writing Guide" worksheet to each student.
  8. Have the students get into their small groups from the previous sessions. Direct the students to each choose a different event from Lewis and Clark’s journey. Tell the students that they need to use resources from previous sessions, such as charts and worksheets, to complete the "Writing Guide" worksheet, and that all of the stories will be made into a group book during class. The group books need to include all the features of a non-fiction text, including a cover.
  9. After the students choose their events, have the students retell the events in writing.
  10. Allow the students sufficient time to work on the retelling of their event.
  11. Collect the students’ worksheets.

Session 5

  1. Distribute the "Reading Guide" and "Writing Guide" worksheets to the students.
  2. Allow the students time to finish creating their non-fiction stories using the worksheets and chart paper from previous sessions as a guide.
  3. Have the students get into their small groups from the previous sessions. Have the students work together to create a book of their non-fiction stories.
  4. In a central location, provide a variety of art materials for the students to use in creating their group books.
  5. Allow the groups sufficient time to create their books.
  6. Invite the students to share their stories with a partner.
  7. Collect the students’ worksheets.
  8. Display the student-created non-fiction books in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide students with a scribe for the story writing.
  • Allow students to listen to a text on tape.

Enrichments/Extensions

Have students examine the images of the obverse and reverse of the Pre-2004 Monticello Nickel and the Return to Monticello Nickel. Have them compare and contrast the images.

Use the worksheets and group books to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.3 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.3.3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.) 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • RI.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • RI.3.9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.3 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 3
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.3.4. With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3.)
  • W.3.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 3.)
  • W.3.6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

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