One Forty-Five Minute Class Period and Recess Time
The learner will:
- respond to the experience of losing freedom to choose.
- respond to the text and others' interpretation of the text.
- write in a journal from the point of view of a Mayflower passenger or a person who chose to stay in England.
- recognize that having freedom is important.
- recognize that human rights and freedom to choose are the foundation of the forming of democracy.
At recess time, tell the students that today you will be telling them with whom they must play and what they must play. Assign students to specific parts of the playground, give them specific toys or activities and tell them with whom they must play.
Teacher Note: Assure the students that this is a one-time experiment. Tell them that they must be respectful and kind to each other. Tell them that this experiment is part of the social studies lesson and after recess, and they will understand why they are doing this at that time. It is important that you, the teacher, are outside during this experiment. You will want to supervise their behavior and also enforce that they do what was assigned to them. Remind students in advance not to say anything that hurts the feelings of another student.
- When the students return from recess, ask them to talk about how it felt to be told where to play, what to play and with whom to play. Write some of their key words on the board (not fair, didn't like it, wanted to do ______, you can't tell me what to do).
- Ask the students what they would think if the government started telling them where to live, where to go to school and where or how they may worship? Allow them to articulate their responses/feelings.
- Tell them that you are going to read two stories about families who wanted freedom from a government that told them where and how they should worship.
- Read Across the Wide Dark Sea (see Bibliographical References ). Talk about where the events of this book fit on a timeline. Talk about why the boy's family left their home to seek a new home in a strange new place. Lead the students to understand that they were taking a great risk, causing themselves much discomfort, and facing uncertainty. Does having freedom seem that important? Why?
- Read How Many Days to America? (see Bibliographical References ). Talk about why the family left their home to seek a new home in America. Talk about the risks and uncertainties they faced. What did they have when they came? What was the most important thing to the family about America? Discuss the opportunity costs of leaving their home. Talk about how this story could be today or any time or place as many families from many countries are coming to America to escape oppressive governments. Discuss the importance of respect and sensitivity (and tolerance) toward others.
- Talk about the people who chose to stay behind in their home countries in both books. What life did they face? Why did they stay?
- Talk about the similarities and differences between the two books. Pass out a blank Venn diagram. Have students write the names of the books at the top of the circles in the diagram. Tell them to write about these similarities and differences in the Venn diagram.
Journal entries clearly demonstrate an understanding of the lesson and use five or more adjectives and/or comments discussed in class.
Journal entries demonstrate an understanding of the lesson and use three or four adjectives and/or comments discussed in class.
Journal entries somewhat demonstrate an understanding of the lesson and use at least two adjectives and/or comments discussed in class.
Journal entries demonstrate a lack of understanding of the lesson but use at least one adjective and/or comment discussed in class.
Journal entry shows no understanding, but an attempt has been made to make a journal entry.
Read Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. This lovely book is about a Russian immigrant girl who feels embarrassed about being different from her classmates. She must make a pilgrim doll for a school project. She seeks the help of her mother who makes a doll that looks like herself. Molly learns that her family members are pilgrims because they came to America for religious freedom.
Lesson Developed By:Rebecca Stroube
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