Connecting Ideas, Events, and Individuals

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SWBAT to analyze interactions between ideas, events, and individuals by creating a graphic organizer.

Big Idea

How many connections between ideas, events, and individuals can we find?


5 minutes

To begin today's lesson, I draw my students' attention to the word clusters we have created on the white board showing the ideas, events, and individuals we have explored during this unit.  

We add events from yesterday's reading of an excerpt from I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson.  

  • Rickey overlooked Robinson's reputation as a "racial agitator."
  • Rickey explodes and says to Robinson, I'm looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back."
  • Rickey acts like a mean white player and says many horrible things to show Robinson what he will have to endure.
  • Rickey offers Robinson a contract with Montreal.


I again draw their attention to the timeline we have continued to add to in class.  I ask them to think about how all of these people, ideas, and events are connected to each other even though some of them happened more than 100 years apart from each other.

Getting Down to Business

35 minutes

Before class I have prepared three different containers.  They are labeled, "Ideas," "Events," and "Individuals."  In each one I have slips of paper with the terms from the whiteboard.  Yes, even the events we "added" today.

I hand out the graphic organizer (making sure that it is copied on both sides).  For the first part of our activity, I am going to model how we are going to fill the organizer out.  

I reach into the containers and pull out one slip of paper from each.  We put those terms on our graphic organizer.  

On the lines that connect each terms, we write 2-3 sentences that describe the connections between our terms.  

You may end up with some wacky combinations, but being able to explain and articulate the connection between Mark Twain, Jackie Robinson signing a contract, and the idea that people are equal can be an intellectual stretch that is a lot of fun!

For the second side of the graphic organizer, we pull another set of terms.  Students will work independently, writing the connections between the idea, event, and individual.


Did They Get It?

10 minutes

Today's assessment is formative.  I circulate as they work, reading over shoulders and asking guiding questions if they seem stuck on explaining a connection.

I will collect the graphic organizers as an exit ticket.