This lesson, which is a part of a series of lessons that I teach at the beginning of the year to get to know my students, will focus on Brazil, since my students share that heritage. Other lessons are available within this unit that show more cultures that we explore.
I create a Promethean Flip Chart to guide my lesson. My aim is to show views of Brazil that appeal to different senses. First, I introduce the goal and the rubric to measure student progress in achieving this goal. A rubric is a learning continuum. I explain to students that it is like learning how to ride a bike. You may start needing a lot of help, and gradually gain more independence as your skills improve. So, as long as you are making progress, you are developing your skills. I ask students to rate themselves to show me where they think they are on the rubric at this time. Then, I present a KWL chart to access prior knowledge and to generate questions that drive instruction. Students complete the Know part of the KWL to communicate their prior knowledge. The "Want to know" section serves as guiding questions and our focus regarding the information we are trying to retrieve from information presented.
I present a video clip of Brazil, various images, a pre test of facts about Brazil, timeline of Brazil's history, a day in the life of a Brazilian, and the language spoken from timeforkids.com. Afterwards, students recall information and elaborate on them. We write down what we have learned on the "Learned" section of the KWL.
As a pre-requisite for this activity, I taught a preceding lesson on timelines. Click on link to view: Lesson on Timeline I recommend that students practice making timelines prior to working independently as they do in this lesson.
Once they have the ability to construct timelines independently, I ask students to further research Brazil in small groups. Once they have gathered all the information they need, they are to create a timeline of Brazil's history. Students use timeforkids.com or other searches to gain information for their timeline. Students collaborative roles, norms, expectations/ rules are reviewed prior to working in cooperative groups (see resource). I make the timeline from an accordian book.
Students share their timelines with the class by presenting their facts orally. Students in the audience listen actively to agree or disagree with the accuracy of the timelines presented. If inaccuracies are found, students are to elaborate on the sources they use to defend the facts of their timeline. This is a great opportunity to discuss using multiple sources in order to increase accuracy in research findings.