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What an Accomplishment!

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Summary

Students will understand the difference between fact and opinion. Students will understand and apply the basic tools of historical research and how to collect, interpret, and use the information. Students will understand the accomplishments of various United States Presidents in history.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will understand the difference between fact and opinion.
  • Students will understand and apply the basic tools of historical research and how to collect, interpret, and use the information.
  • Students will understand the accomplishments of various United States Presidents in history.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
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:

  • Presidents
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Research techniques
  • Government
  • Writing process

Terms and Concepts

  • Monument
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Fact
  • Opinion

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the “South Dakota Quarter Reverse” page
  • 1 overhead transparency of the “Essay Rubric”
  • Copies of the following worksheets:
    • “Is That a Fact?”
    • “Who Is That Man?”
    • “Essay Outline”
    • “Essay Rubric”
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Locate copies of texts about Mount Rushmore, such as:
    • Mount Rushmore (Cornerstones of Freedom) by Andrew Santella
    • Mount Rushmore: Historic Monuments by Julia Hargrove
    • Mount Rushmore (American Moments) by Rachel A. Koestler
    • M Is For Mount Rushmore: A South Dakota Alphabet by William Anderson
    • Mount Rushmore (American Moments) by Rachel A. Koestler
    • Mount Rushmore by Judith Jango-Cohen
  • Locate copies of texts about American presidents, such as:
    • So You Want To Be President? by Judith St. George
    • Don’t Know Much About the Presidents by Kenneth C. Davis
    • Presidents by Jerry G. Aten
    • The Look-It-Up Book of Presidents by Wyatt Blassingame

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following worksheets:
    • “Is That A Fact?” (1 per student)
    • “Who Is That Man?” (1 per student)
    • “Essay Outline” (1 per student)
    • “Essay Rubric” (1 per student)
  • Make an overhead transparency of each of the following worksheets:
    • “South Dakota Quarter Reverse” (or photocopy)
    • “Essay Rubric”
  • Locate texts about Mount Rushmore (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate texts about American presidents (see examples under “Materials”)
  • Bookmark Internet sites about Mount Rushmore.
  • Bookmark Internet sites about American Presidents.
  • Arrange to use the computer lab for two sessions. 

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/322.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Locate South Dakota on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Display the “South Dakota Quarter Reverse” transparency or photocopy. Have the students identify the images, including Mount Rushmore, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Lead a class discussion regarding the images and explain to the students that the image of the presidents on the coin is part of a “monument” (a reminder of someone or something notable or great or a memorial stone or a building erected in remembrance of a person or event) called “Mount Rushmore.” Write the name “Mount Rushmore,” the term “monument,” and the term’s definition on chart paper.
  4. Ask the students what all of these men have in common. Students should respond that they were all Presidents of the United States. Briefly discuss each president. Talk about when they were in office (Washington 1789–1797, Jefferson 1801–1809, Lincoln 1861– 1865, and Theodore Roosevelt 1901–1909). Ask the students how they know this information to be factual. Student responses may include they learned it in another class, read about it, or heard it on the news. Discuss what each man was best known for, such as:
    • Washington helped the nation achieve its independence from England.
    • Jefferson was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the nation.
    • Roosevelt oversaw the completion of the Panama Canal, which connected the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
    • Lincoln saw the nation through the Civil War and helped to keep the states together as a Union.
  5. On chart paper, record the terms and definitions “fact” (something that can be proven) and “opinion” (something a person thinks or believes). Discuss with the students the importance of knowing whether information you learn about an event or person is a fact or an opinion.
  6. Write the following sentences on a piece of chart paper. “Today is (insert the day of the week and the date).” “I think the best day of the week is Friday.” Read the first sentence aloud and ask the students if the first sentence is a fact or an opinion. Ask students to explain their answer. Explain that the first sentence is a fact because it can be proven.
  7. Read the second sentence aloud and ask the students if it is a fact or an opinion. Ask students to explain their answer. Explain that the second sentence is an opinion because it is what someone thinks, but may not be true apart from those thoughts.
  8. Explain to the students that dates, numbers, and events are usually provable. Phrases like “In my point of view,” “best,” “worst,” and “always” are words that usually show that an opinion is being expressed. Also, adjectives like “beautiful” and “boring” tend to be opinions, while adjectives like “longest” and “oldest,” which can be measured and compared, tend to be facts. Even so, facts can be misstated. “President Lincoln was born in 1999” is stated as a fact, but is not factual. Opinions are often stated as facts as well, as in a statement like “That movie was great.”
  9. Discuss places where knowing the difference between a fact and an opinion is important. Student responses may include magazine and newspaper articles, the Internet, and news reports on television. Tell the students that, at times, they hear information about people, such as the President of the United States. They may also read information about them in newspapers or magazines. This information could be in the editorial section or on the front page. It’s important to distinguish whether this information is fact or opinion.
  10. Distribute an “Is That a Fact?” worksheet to each student. Allow time for the students to complete the worksheet.
  11. Review the answers as a class, then collect the worksheets.
  12. Have the students get into small groups. Have them brainstorm current events as a class to generate ideas for statements that are either fact or opinion. Have each group write down 4 to 6 sentences as examples of facts and opinions.
  13. Ask for student volunteers to role play a reporter and give a statement to the class from the small group. The class then decides whether the statement is a fact or an opinion and explain the reasons why.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Display the “South Dakota Quarter Reverse” transparency or photocopy. Review the material covered in the first session.
  2. Ask the students what they know about Mount Rushmore. Create a K-W-L chart on chart paper.
  3. Introduce the students to the selected text about Mount Rushmore. Read the selected text or excerpts of a chosen text to the class. Add any new information to the chart.
  4. Explain to the students that the four presidents shown on Mount Rushmore are part of a symbol. Remind the students that we have had many presidents in this country, but only four are shown on the monument. Ask the students why were those four presidents might have been chosen. Discuss their answers and add them to the K-W-L chart.
  5. Tell the students that they will each be conducting research to find factual information about one of the four presidents and about Mount Rushmore. They will be looking for the background and presidential accomplishments of the four men to understand why they may have been chosen to be part of the monument in South Dakota. Ask each student which president he or she would like to research, to make sure all four presidents are covered.
  6. Distribute a “Who Is That Man?” worksheet to each student. Explain that this is their research outline. They can use available resources to complete the outline.
  7. Take the students to the computer lab. Allow them access to bookmarked Web sites and time to do their research.
  8. Collect the students’ worksheets.

Sessions 4 and 5

  1. Redistribute the “Who Is That Man?” worksheet to the students and discuss their findings. Create a class chart with the students’ responses, emphasizing the accomplishments of each president.
  2. Display the K-W-L chart and add any new information about Mount Rushmore based on the students’ research.
  3. Tell the students they will be writing a five-paragraph essay about their president and Mount Rushmore. Distribute an “Essay Outline” worksheet to each student. Explain to the students that they will need to provide information on Mount Rushmore, describe the background and presidential accomplishments of the president, and explain why they think he was chosen to be one of the four faces on the monument. Tell the students they also need to think about and state what message they think is given to the people of the United States by showing the four presidents together and explain why they feel that way.
  4. Display the “Essay Rubric” overhead transparency. Review the criteria for the essay with the students.
  5. Direct the students to begin writing their outline and rough draft of their essay.
  6. Allow time for the students to complete their essay using the writing and editing process.
  7. Allow the student to share their writing with others.
  8. Collect the essays and worksheets.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work with partners to complete their research outlines.
  • Allow students to dictate their essay to a scribe.
  • Add other theme-related books about the presidents of the United States and Mount Rushmore to the class library.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students write a newspaper article explaining the significance of the presidents shown on Mount Rushmore.
  • Have students use modeling clay to create their own masterpiece of their favorite president.
  • Have students debate why another president of their choice should be featured on Mount Rushmore.
  • Have students reply to the question “What would the presidents on Mount Rushmore say if they came to life?” Invite students to act out their responses for the class.
  • Have the students research other monuments or items around the nation that commemorate the presidents on Mount Rushmore.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students’ research outlines for achievement of the lesson’s objectives.
  • Evaluate students’ essays and rubric for integration of the historical information.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.6.2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • RI.6.3. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.6.7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RI.6.8. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • RI.6.9. Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • W.6.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
  • W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”).
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • Form and use prepositional phrases.
    • Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
  • L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use correct capitalization.
    • Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • RI.4.5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
  • RI.4.6. Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
  • RI.4.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
  • RI.4.9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • RI.5.5. Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
  • RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.5.2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • RI.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.