Filling in the Blanks

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SWBAT analyze information text to determine similarities and differences between two topics.

Big Idea

I am Sparta! I Athens? Students learn about the extreme differences in this lesson!

Advanced Organizer

5 minutes

Purpose of this lesson is  to provide background knowledge about Ancient Greece for future lessons.  I want to integrate content across the curriculum to provide a rich experience for my students.  We will be starting our next unit and using Ancient Greece as our content to start with, but Language Arts skills will be taught.  In order to do this, I need to prepare my students with some background information. 

I will begin by having students look at a Map and ask them to tell me what they notice about the city-state of Athens.  Where it is located?  What do they think this would mean for the people? By having them analyze the map and draw conclusions with the image, it provides them some scaffolding to do those same things with text later in the lessons to come. 

Then, I will have them do the same for Sparta.  I want the students to gain an understanding for the vast differences in geography that these two city-states faced.  Also, I will ask the students to describe the geography of Ancient Greece.  Were there mountains? Coasts? Lakes? Rivers?  Plains?   Use the map/picture to make inferences.  This will be key when they are making claims and needing evidence to support their claims. 

I will display the map/picture and ask these questions aloud to start our conversation. 



25 minutes

Students will have plenty to contribute to this conversation because of the fact they are learning about Ancient Greece in Social Studies.  This will help them fill in those blanks they will need in a later lesson. 

I will go through a few slides on the power point that highlight some of the major differences in Athens and Sparta.  Because those two city-states will play a key role in the following lesson, it is important to provide the students with the background knowledge on these two city-states. 

I do want to review more specifically on Athens and Sparta.  I will pass out the reading handout and have the students read it quietly to themselves first.  I will prompt them to underline the key details they feel are important to know about each city-state.  I will suggest to underline details about government, lifestyle, treatment of people, economy, etc. 

I will give them about 10 minutes to read and underline Athens.  Then, we will read it together and discuss what is important to underline.  Next, we will use our notes to answer the questions that follow. 

I will repeat that with Sparta.  The students will first read about Sparta on their own, making annotations.  One time I give them, is to look for details that will tell us about the city-state's government, economy, and their life style.  I find that this really helps them sort through the more complex text. 

Then, we will read it together again, discussing what is important.  I will model the underlining and take volunteers to demonstrate their own annotations by displaying the text onto the board using the power point. 

Finally, we will answer the questions on Sparta. 

Guided/Independent Practice

20 minutes

Next, I want the students to really use the text to gain an understanding for the similarities and differences between Athens and Sparta. 

I will have the students work in their groups to complete the Blank Venn Diagram  that displays their understanding of the similarities and differences between Athens and Sparta. 

I will first give them the handout and have them work to brainstorm on the handout.  Then, once I conference with them and have checked their Venn Diagram, they can transfer it to the poster paper.  I will give them about 20 minutes to complete this activity. 

While they are working, I will be monitoring the classroom and checking for understanding. 



5 minutes

To help process the information we learned today and to help prepare them for tomorrow's lesson, I will have the students think about what city-state they think they would want to belong to and why. 

This will help them begin the process of developing claims and providing evidence to support their claims. 

I will have the students write their reflections down on the Closure Slip