Rosa Parks Performance Task

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SWBAT evaluate multiple accounts of Rosa Parks' choice to remain seated on the bus

Big Idea

Which account is more historically accurate? YOU DECIDE!

Cue Set

20 minutes

I show scholars the What Does the Fox Say video.  My students are obsessed with this song and I find it incredibly annoying.  This is a perfect example of us experiencing the same event (watching the video) but describing it differently.  

I ask scholars to write a description of the video (most of them will say it was entertaining, they enjoyed watching it and that they want to watch it again).  Then, I read my description of the video.  I will say that that I thought the lyrics were funny but the chorus is SO annoying.  It actually gave me a headache.    

Then, I give scholars 2 minutes to quickly jot down a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts our two descriptions of the event.  Then, they have 1 minute to share with a friend.  Then, I pull 2 friends from my cup and take 3 volunteers to discuss how the differing perspectives are the same/different and why. Here is a Student work sample.  

Rationale: I spend time comparing/contrasting because this skill is one which my scholars struggle with on tests and performance tasks.  I want to build this skill a bit before they are independent on their performance task. 

Performance Task Pre-Writing

25 minutes

I explain that today we are going to do a performance task.  We are going to end our unit on Rosa Parks by pretending that we are a reporter for the Star Democrat (local paper) in 1996.  Our editor just assigned us to write a column about literature written about Rosa Parks.  Our job is to read her autobiography and Keith Bates' storybook.  Then, we must evaluate which account is more accurate.  

I give scholars the descriptor (in the resources section) and the PARCC rubric for scoring.  I share scoring with scholars on the front end so that they know exactly what they need to do to be successful.  

Scholars then have 15 minutes to create a Venn Diagram that describes how the two accounts are the same and different.  It is important to give them this time so that their performance task is more focused and will include a deeper analysis.  This will help scholars to become accustomed to brainstorming even when taking an assessment.  

Performance Task

43 minutes

During the performance task my ELL co-teacher provides scholars with accommodations.  I will actually be giving IRI's during this time (a running record assessment that my county requires).  Click here for an IRI overview.  The performance task will last two days and will give me an opportunity to finish assessments and will provide closure to our unit.  

Scholars work independently during this time.  i will allow scholars to get up out of their seats and sit in the library, the brown table or in stools at the counter as long as they are working hard and remain focused.  

They are given the following guidelines to help them organize their column: 

Organize your response in the following way: 

1. Paragraph #1 - How Rosa describes the event 

2. Paragraph #2 - How Keith Brant describes the event 

3. Paragraph #3 - How the descriptions are the same and different 

4. Paragraph #4 - Why the descriptions might be the same/different 



2 minutes

Scholars turn and tell their friends what they accomplished today and what they need to complete tomorrow.  The idea here is that scholars reflect on what they've done and set a goal for tomorrow.  This helps them remember what they did and it also helps them to stay focused the following day.  Here is a Student reflection.