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The objective of this lesson is to make the students understand the Louisiana Purchase. By the end of this lesson, the student should understand why this purchase happened, the importance of this purchase, why the deal happened and how it affected the United States and its rise to become a major world power. The students should also be able to understand how the United States would be if the Louisiana Purchase never happened. The students will be able to understand how this purchase defined the United States history politically, socially, and economically.
Common Core State Standards
Standard 10: Ability to read and effectively comprehend complex informational texts in an independent and proficient manner.
To ensure that students have a better understanding of the Louisiana Land Purchase, the lesson will involve the use of visuals. One of the biggest issues that raised a lot of controversies was the fact that this new territory was home to a number of foreigners, most of whom were African American slaves. The opponents of this purchase argued that this purchase would lead to cases where the United States will be home to a higher number of slaves despite the effort by the leaders to fight slavery. To make students understand this concept in an effective manner, the teacher will use images to help enhance student’s ability to understand this topic. There are a number of YouTube movies that also explain the Louisiana Purchase. These movies explain both the benefits and challenges associated with this purchase. Using these movies will enhance students’ knowledge about the pros and cons of this purchase. The short films will be particularly important to slow learners who may find it complex to understand this important historical fact. Using of maps will also enable the students to understand the significance of this purchase (Haynes 28). The map will enable the students to understand the shape of the United States before the purchase. The following is the map that will be used in this lesson.
- This lesson requires students to understand the significance of Louisiana Purchase. The students should specifically understand the reasons for, benefits, and challenges of the purchase. To facilitate the teaching process, it will be necessary to have relevant books, journal articles, video clips, maps, and relevant website sources.
- The teacher will need to develop a list of words that students should understand before starting the lesson. Understanding these words will help in eliminating any difficulty in comprehending the concepts that will be taught in class.
- The teacher will then develop class notes in form of PowerPoint presentation that will be given to the students during the class lesson. The teacher intends to prepare the notes and send them to the students, hours before the classes begin. This will enable the students to understand the core concepts before the actual onset of the classes. By the time the lessons begin, students will be clear about what they need to ask based on what they understood through the notes.
- A number of questions will be developed by the end of the notes to help test the level of knowledge of the students. The test will involve testing their knowledge about the map of the United States before and after acquisition of Louisiana, significance of this purchase, and the pros and cons associated with the purchase.
It is in the interest of both the teacher and the students to make this lesson as interesting as possible (Paradiž 61). The teacher will try and make sure that the students consider the process as an experience of a lifetime, a process that will enable them have a better understanding of their country’s history. The following are some of the steps that will be followed in this lesson. It is important to note that the lesson shall begin after students have received class notes.
- The lesson will begin by explaining words considered specific and important for the students to understand the topic of Louisiana Purchase. The teacher will use dictionary and personal knowledge to explain these terms, both in their literal context and their meaning based on the topic of the study.
- The teacher will then allow students to watch a number of films available in the YouTube that talk about Louisiana Purchase. The movies will be carefully selected to ensure that they discuss significance of the purchase, the benefits that the United States got from the purchase, and the shortcomings that made a section of the politicians resist this purchase. It is planned that the session for watching the movies will last for thirty minutes.
- The students will be instructed to go online, find the Louisiana Purchase map and have a print out of the same. Immediately after watching the film, the students will be instructed to keenly comprehend the map. After that, the teacher will collect all the maps from the students. They shall then be instructed to draw the map based on their memory of what they watched in the film and the map they had printed out.
- The teacher will then review the maps drawn by the students to determine how well they understand how the map of the United States was redefined by the Louisiana Purchase. This activity is meant to make the students have a more comprehensive knowledge about this purchase and how it shaped the current United States of America.
- The teacher will then engage the students in class discussion to help address issues that are still not clear to the students. The first session will be group discussion involving students in groups of five. This will then be followed by a discussion of the entire class moderated by the teacher. The students will discuss why and how it happened, its importance, what the deal was, how it affected the United States and its rise to world power, and what would have happened if the deal never went through successfully.
- The last stage will be a question and answer session that shall be moderated by the teacher. By the end of the lesson, the teacher will ask random questions to the students to determine what they know about this topic. The teacher will then give out a take-away assignment to the students. The assignment will focus on all the core aspects of the lesson. They shall then be reminded learn more about Louisiana Purchase in their preparation for the end-term exams.
- During group discussions, students will be encouraged to develop PowerPoint presentations to help them have coordinated discussions. They will be motivated to use visual tools to make their work interesting and more comprehendible when explaining specific concepts to their colleagues. Each student will be requiring making oral presentation about this topic before the entire class. This is a deliberate attempt to ensure that the students make personal effort in doing research and gathering data needed for this topic. It is particularly important because the approach that the teacher is using is student-centered. It is an approach where students are encouraged to play active roles in the learning process.
- After the end of the lesson, the student will be instructed to prepare a written essay about the topic. In the essay, the students will be expected to explain Louisiana Purchase in their own words based on historical records. They will be required to reference their work accordingly. Within the same essay, the last section will require the students to give their own point of view towards this purchase. They will provide a justification of why they support or reject this deal and what the government of the United States would have done differently to get a better deal than what it accepted.
Fradin, Dennis. The Louisiana Purchase. Marshall Cavendish Benchmark Publishers, 2010.
Haynes, Anthony. The Complete Guide to Lesson Planning and Preparation. Continuum, 2010.
Landau, Elaine. The Louisiana Purchase: Would You Close the Deal? Enslow Elementary, 2008.
Lynette, Rachel. The Louisiana Purchase. Power Kids Press, 2014.
Paradiž, Valerie. Lesson Plan a La Carte: Integrated Planning for Students with Special Needs. AAPC Pub, 2012.
Zurn, Jon. The Louisiana Purchase. ABDO Publishers Company, 2008.