Using Prior Knowledge to Connect Journeys to Human Sacrifices in Pre-Colonial Times

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SWBAT pose questions about information expressed by others, questions, and artwork related to the pre-Colonial time period.

Big Idea

Pose for the Camera! Now Click your Thoughts Back Into Pre-Colonial Times

Lesson Introduction

When I think of a journey, I  see words like passing, travel, relaxation, adventure, etc. This first lesson of this unit allows students to think of journeys, connect to a prior experience, and brainstorm ways that this travel equates self-discovery in individuals. The beginning activity allow students to experience a minimal level of thinking about journeys. However, as the activities in this lesson progress, students will take this initial information and truly understand the experiences and emotions individuals must endure to end with a self-journey of discovery.

Warm-up: Brainstorming Activity

5 minutes

To start this level of thinking for students, they will jot down and share all of their ideas associated with journeys. I choose to introduce the unit with a brainstorming activity so students can connect to their prior knowledge about journeys. Once a bucket list of ideas is recorded in students' notebooks, a small discussion is held around the image of journeys and how it has various associations in all of our lives. 

Building Knowledge: Question & Answer Form

15 minutes

Questions will be provided for students to answer about the unit. Students will select three questions to answer. I selected a limited number of questions for students to answer so that they could think and write more responses to the questions they selected for the activity. From my observation, students initially select the shortest questions not realizing that all questions require complex thinking about the idea of a journey. In addition, I decided to organize the questions so students relate journeys personally to globally. This process of thinking allows students to make a personal connection then connections to the world. I want to purposely create an experience for students to think more critically about the big ideas of the unit.

Application: Pictures Tell a Thousands Words

20 minutes

Two pieces of artwork from the Pre-Colonial Time Period are shown in the power point. Students will with work with their shoulder buddy to analyze two pictures that encompass the idea of a journey. A suggested response from students could relate to the idea that journeys impact people, setting, and conflict. Students will be given four minutes to look at each picture and formulate a list of new traits about journeys. As students work, I copy words from their list and add them to the class’ pre-existing brainstorming list on journeys on the board. I will ask students who suggested a response to explain their rationale to the class and relevance to the discussion we have had today about what is involved in journeys.  

Exit Ticket

7 minutes

Students will select an activity on the left-sided possibility handout that best describe how they understood the journeys to be discussed in this unit. I encourage students to select an activity that encompasses how they learn the best when building new concepts in class. For students who like written expression, they can choose an activity that involves writing out their ideas of the unit. Likewise, students who are artistic or visual can draw how they processed the information. See the following examples of what students selected to do during this closing activity of the lesson!

The learning processes of this lesson required students to extend their thoughts about journeys from a very broad to specific set of ideas that can be expressed through characters and literature. This self-generated list of ideas from students sets the premise of the sacrifices individuals in this unit will endure to journey through the Pre-Colonial Time Period of American history.



Here are the handouts on the interactive notebook which explains the functionality of the right and left side of the notebook. In addition, the power point used throughout the lesson is attached if modifications are to be made in the teaching of this lesson.