A Special Place

Summary

Students will explore how personal experiences can lead to conservation efforts. Students will demonstrate their understanding by creating a digital presentation proposing the conservation of a special place.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America the Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will explore how personal experiences can lead to conservation efforts. Students will demonstrate their understanding by creating a digital presentation proposing the conservation of a special place.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts
  • Art

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Math

Grades

  • 9th
  • 10th
  • 11th
  • 12th

Class Time

  • Sessions: Three
  • Session Length: 45-60 minutes
  • Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • National Park Service
  • Roles of conservationists
  • Persuasive arguments
  • Video production

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency or other equivalent classroom technology of each of the following:
    • "Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter" page
    • Photographs of Theodore Roosevelt National Park
    • "Where, When, Why?" exit slip
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter" page
    • "A Special Place Rubric"
    • "Where, When, Why?" exit slip
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Computer lab with Internet access and digital production software
  • Video production equipment (cameras, cell phones, tablets, etc.)

Preparations

  • Make overhead transparencies of the following:
    • "Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter" page
    • Photographs of Theodore Roosevelt National Park
    • "A Special Place Rubric"
    • "Where, When, Why?" exit slip
  • Make copies of the following:
    • "A Special Place Rubric"
    • "Where, When, Why?" exit slip
  • Arrange the classroom to accommodate pair or small group (3-5 students) discussion.
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one class period. (optional)
  • Locate websites that give background information about Theodore Roosevelt and The National Park Service

Worksheets

Worksheets and files (PDF)

Lesson Steps

Session 1

  1. Display and examine the Theodore Roosevelt National Park reverse quarter design. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school's location. 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.
  2. Explain that the design depicts a young Theodore Roosevelt as he surveys the Badlands terrain at an area near the Little Missouri River.
  3. As a class, review some of the conservation policies enacted by Roosevelt during his administration. Explain that Roosevelt's experiences near the Little Missouri River inspired his conservationist policies throughout his presidency.
  4. Divide the class into pairs or small groups (teacher preference). Have the students read about Theodore Roosevelt's passion for the natural world and his experiences in the Badlands. Ask the students to discuss with their partner(s) how these experiences could have influenced Roosevelt's policies while he was president. Have them consider and share a way their own personal experiences have changed the way they think or act.
  5. As a class, discuss the present-day impacts of Theodore Roosevelt's conservation efforts. Ask and discuss how students might affect change by conserving a place for the public to use. Have students provide examples of inspirational places or events which led to changes in policies or public opinions
  6. Explain to the students that they are going to create a proposal to save a place special to them. The place should be personally important to them, and should have some natural, historical or cultural significance. Distribute the "Where, When, Why?" exit slip, explain directions and collect.

Session 2/3

  1. Review the information from the previous session and distribute completed exit slips.
  2. Distribute the "A Special Place" handout to students and review the assignment instructions.
  3. Using their "Where, When, Why?" exit slip as inspiration, have the students propose the conservation of a place special to them that they think others would enjoy now and in the future.  Encourage students to think creatively about how a space can be used or enjoyed (camping, photography, ecosystems, etc.)
  4. Using the "A Special Place Rubric," have the students create a 30 second persuasive digital presentation to encourage the adoption of the proposed conserved space.
  5. Allow the students to present their completed digital presentations to the class.
  6. Encourage peer review during the presentations.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students use a graphic organizer for collecting thoughts for proposal.
  • Group students by reading/ability level for the small group discussions.
  • Group students in mixed ability level groups with higher level students serving as facilitators or discussion leaders for individual groups.
  • Allow additional time to complete the assignments.
  • Evaluate an alternative product for demonstration of the objective (collage, multimedia, etc.)

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students research other parks and forests that have been created by public policy.
  • Take class on a field trip to a local park or natural area.
  • Have students work with a Media Specialist to display the presentations throughout the school or in a shared viewing space.

Assess

  • Students will be informally assessed on their understanding by their group discussions and exit slips.
  • Students will be formally assessed by their written proposals and digital presentations (based on the rubric in the "A Special Place" handout).
  • Students will be informally assessed based on peer review of classmates' proposals.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.11-12 Writing
Grade(s): Grades 11– 12
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.11-12.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. 
    • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons and evidence.
    • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level, concerns, values and possible biases.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.11-12.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization and analysis of content. 
    • Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables) and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the
    • information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
  • W.11-12.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences. 
    • Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth or resolution).
    • Use precise words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting and/or characters.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed or resolved over the course of the narrative.

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.