- America the Beautiful Quarters
Students will compare and contrast the groups who used the Cumberland Gap and their reasons for using the gap. Students will analyze maps and create a map showing landforms, routes and areas. Students will identify and describe the components of a topographic/contour map.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
- Sessions: Four
- Session Length: 45-60 minutes
- Total Length: 151-500 minutes
- Whole group
- Individual work
Students should have a basic knowledge of:
- Writing process
- Western Expansion
Terms and Concepts
- Obverse (front)
- Reverse (back)
- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
- Topographic/Contour map
- Contour lines
- 1 overhead projector or other classroom technology (optional)
- 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of "Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter Reverse" page
- Copies of the following:
- "Gap Map" worksheet
- "Gap Map Rubric"
- "Gap Groups" worksheet"
- "Gap Group Rubric"
- 1 class map of the United States
- Examples of different maps to include several topographic maps
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on the Cumberland Gap and the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on maps
- Chart paper, whiteboard, or interactive whiteboard
- Computers with Internet access
- Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the "Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter Reverse" page
- Make copies of each of the following:
- "Gap Map" worksheet (1 per student)
- "Gap Map Rubric" (1 per student)
- "Gap Groups" worksheet" (1 per student)
- "Gap Group Rubric" (1 per student)
- Gather examples of different maps to include several topographic map
- Locate age appropriate texts that contain information on the Cumberland Gap and the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
- Locate age-appropriate texts that contain information on topographic/contour maps.
- Arrange to use the school computer lab for two to four sessions.
- Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Worksheets and files (PDF)
- Display and examine the "Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Reverse Quarter" page. 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.
- Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the "reverse" and "obverse" is another name for the front. Locate each of this year's sites on a class map. Answer any student questions.
- Display the transparency or photocopy of the "Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Reverse Quarter" page. With the students, examine the coin design. Have the students identify the images included in this design. Display or read the coin image description at /learn/coin-and-medal-programs/america-the-beautiful-quarters.
- Lead a class discussion on the words "First Doorway to the West". Lead the students to conclude a doorway or gateway is a term that means something that serves as an entrance or a means of access to somewhere. Record the definition on chart paper.
- Lead a class discussion on the word "gap". Record student ideas on chart paper.
- Have the students research the definition of gap. Record the definition on chart paper. Lead a class discussion on the geographical definition of the word gap. Lead the class to conclude that a geographical gap is the space or v-notched shape between mountains. Record the definition on chart paper.
- Review types of maps with the students. Display different types of maps and lead a discussion on their uses. Review the use of the key/legend on a map.
- Distribute the "Gap Map" worksheet and review the directions with the students.
- Have the students use the computer lab (or other technology option) or selected texts to complete their research.
- Lead a class discussion on the research emphasizing the topographic/contour map. Review the answers to the "Gap Map" worksheet. Review the topographic maps and how the contour lines are drawn.
- Lead a class discussion on the groups of people who used the gap.
- Explain to the students that they will be creating a topographic map to show the Cumberland Gap. Distribute the "Gap Map Rubric" Review the rubric with the students.
- Allow students time to complete their maps.
- Review the maps and chart paper from the previous session. Ask the students who used the Wilderness Road and the Warrior's Path. Refer the students to the previous day research. Lead a class discussion on the different groups who used the Gap. Record responses on chart paper.
- Distribute the "Gap Groups" worksheet. Review the directions on the worksheet. Emphasize that the groups had slightly different motives for using the gap.
- Have the students use the computer lab (or other technology option) or the selected texts to complete their research.
- Distribute the "Gap Group Rubric". Review the rubric with the students. Emphasize that the students will be writing an essay comparing and contrasting two of the groups they researched. Review the writing process with the students.
- Allow the students time to complete the essay.
- Have the students complete the rubric.
- Review the maps and materials from the previous sessions. Lead a class discussion on the different groups and their motives for using the Gap.
- Have the students record on their maps the different groups and where they traveled from and to. Remind students that they need to use the key to identify the groups.
- Collect the maps and display them.
Differentiated Learning Options
- Provide pre-drawn maps with landforms.
- Provide audio or video versions of information for the student research.
- Allow students to work in pairs when they are researching.
- Have students create an interactive map using mapping software or websites.
- Have students create a multimedia presentation of the groups and their motives.
- Have the students complete the lesson plan for Shawnee National Forest.
- Use the "Gap Map Rubric" worksheet to assess student understanding of maps and gaps.
- Use the "Gap Group Rubric" to assess student understanding of the motives for the different groups to use the gap.
Common Core Standards
Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
- W.6.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
- Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
- Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
- Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
- Establish and maintain a formal style.
- Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
- W.6.2. 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; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
- Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
- Use appropriate transitions to 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 the information or explanation presented.
- W.6.3. 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 introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
- Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
- Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
- Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
- Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.7 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
- RI.7.7. Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
- RI.7.8. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
- RI.7.9. Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.