Student-Directed Investigation Lesson

TOPIC FOR LESSON: Michigan’s Role in the Civil War Date:
Grade Level/Course:

Lesson Objectives (information, disposition, and skill objectives):

1) P1.2 Analyze point of view, context, and bias to interpret primary and secondary source documents.
2) P2.4 Use multiple perspectives and resources to identify and analyze issues appropriate to the social studies discipline being
3) Know significant periods and events in world history; social, religious, and political movements; and major
historical figures who influenced such movements.

Assessment Tools: 1) Provide Students with a project checklist/timeline for completion
2) Conference with each student before they start working
3) Paper & Presentation

-After teaching a unit on the Civil War
-The teacher will give a short presentation on Michigan’s involvement in the Civil War

-30 minutes
Teacher’s Activities
-Give students background knowledge on the role(s) that Michiganders played in the Civil War
-Provide students with sources for information regarding Michigan’s involvement in the war
-Assist students will researching their/choosing their topics
Students’ Activities
-Research about a specific person or group of Michiganders that played a role in the Civil War
-Write a 2-3 page paper about how this person or group was involved in the war
-Prepare a presentation for the class to display their findings; PowerPoint, speech, movie, etc…
2 weeks
-Present findings in class
-Submit findings in the form of a paper

1-2 days

Atomic Bombing Discussion Lesson Plan

TOPIC FOR LESSON: Past Wheel Discussion- Dropping Atomic Bombs on Japan Date:

Grade Level/Course: high school U.S. History class

Unit: WWII

Lesson Objectives (information, disposition, and skill objectives):

1) 8.1.1 Origins of the Cold War

2) 8.1.4 Mapping the 20th Century

3) 7.2.2 U.S. and the Course of WWII

Assessment Tools: Exit Slips, Class observations, and Position Essay


- Show a clip of the U.S. atomic attack on Japan to end WWII ( this discussion will take place at the end of the WWII unit so students will have background knowledge of the conflict’s events that led to the bombing)

10 minutes
Teacher’s Activities
- Map the issue/solutions to the issue on the board
- Play the devil’s advocate during the discussion
Students’ Activities
- Critique the President Truman’s decision to drop the bombs on Japan through a discussion
- Write a short paper on the one possible alternative solution to the bombing and what the consequences of the alternative would be

40 Minutes
-Exit slip answering the question; do you think the U.S. should have dropped to the bombs on Japan and why/why not?
- Paper 1-2 pages discussing an alternative action to the bombing and what the consequences for the U.S and the world this action would have.

5 minutes

1 week

Possible Solutions:

Solution 1: To not drop the bombs entirely

Consequence: It was estimated that the United States would lose an addition 1 million American lives invading and taking control of the Japanese mainland.

Solution 2: Only Drop 1 bomb instead of 2

Consequence: The military might of the United States would not have been displayed for the nation’s post-war enemies (USSR). At the time it was thought that the earth only contained enough atomic materials for one atomic bomb to be built; by dropping two it proved this theory wrong and made the United States an uncontested superpower.

Solution 3: Show U.S. atomic strength to Japan without dropping the bomb on people

Consequence: The American people wanted revenge for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and inhumane tactics during WWII; the majority of the American population wanted to drop the bombs.

Stock Simulation

TOPIC FOR LESSON: Stock Exchange Date:
Grade Level/Course: High school economics
Unit: markets/stocks

Lesson Objectives (information, disposition, and skill objectives):

1) 1.2.2 Price in the Market – Analyze how prices send signals and provide incentives to buyers and sellers in a competitive market.
2) 4.1.3 Personal Finance Strategy – Develop a personal finance strategy for earning, spending, saving and investing resources.
3)Understand how buyers and sellers interact to create markets

Assessment Tools: Investment Log/ Reflection Paper

Introduction to market game/ demonstrate how to buy and sell stocks as well as navigate the game’s interface.

Time 10-15
Teacher’s Activities
-Demonstrate how to compete in the stock exchange game.
-Assist students as they participate in the stock exchange
-Participate in the game
Students’ Activities
-Compete in the stock exchange game
-Keep a log stock transaction log
-Write a reflection paper after the simulation is complete
6 Fridays
2-3 page reflection about the student's experience with the stock exchange game; the paper should contain: student strategy, what they would do the same and what they would do differently if they played again, also the students will discuss what they learned about the stock exchange and how they can apply this knowledge to the real world.


-Students will participate in a six week stock exchange simulation using the site Class time for the simulation will consist of six Fridays in the computer lab, but students will be allowed access to the game for the entire six weeks at their own convenience. Students will buy and sell stocks to increase their capital using the exchange game. After each class students will record their daily transactions of the week in a log to organize their exchanges. Also they will write a paragraph reflection explaining their weekly strategy. At the end of the simulation students will write a 2-3 page reflection paper about their approach throughout the simulation; what they would do differently or the same if they participated in another simulation and lastly they will discuss what real-world knowledge they gained from the project and how they might use this information about markets/stocks in the future.

Transaction Log EX:

Week #:

Stock Symbol

Stock Symbol


Cooperative Learning Lesson

TOPIC FOR LESSON: Early American Civilizations Date:
Grade Level/Course: 7th/ World History
Unit: Early American Civilizations

Lesson Objectives (information, disposition, and skill objectives):

1) W2 WHG Era 2 – Early Civilizations and Cultures and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples
2) 1.3 Geographical Understanding
3) Work cooperatively in groups in order to achieve a common goal

Assessment Tools: Group and Self-Assessment of the Project

- Clip on the benefits of working in a group

2 minutes
Teacher’s Activities
-Give instructions
-Divide students into groups of 6
-Observe group work to determine the accuracy of the self and group-evaluations at the end of the project
-Provide students with materials needed to create maps and compile similarities and differences in an appropriate fashion
Students’ Activities
- Play the role (in pairs) of map maker, similarities and differences compiler, or presenter
-Take individual notes on one of three sections assigned for the project
-Report individual findings to the other two groups members
- Create a map that shows the locations of the three Early American Civilizations and also contains information on the similarities/differences of each society (origin, social structure, religion, Achievements, and decline)
-Present findings and map to the class
Remaining class time/present the during class the following day
Group/Self Evaluations

7 minutes

-First students will watch a clip on the benefits of working in a group in order for them to become focused on how and why they should work cooperatively in a group. Then the teacher will give the assignment to the students regarding the three early American civilizations; Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs. The teacher will then split the class up into groups of six assigning three sets of pairs within the larger group. Students will divide the three civilizations amongst the pairs and then begin taking notes on the section in the book concerning the civilization they are focusing on; paying special attention to origin, social structure, religion, achievements, and decline of each ancient society. The group will then come back together and present their findings to the rest of the group. From here the pairs will choose between three roles; map marker, similarities and differences compiler, and presenter. This must be done in a fair and orderly fashion within the group as the teacher will make all three pairs complete each role individually if it cannot be achieved. Next, the pairs will achieve the requirements of their role;
-Map Marker: create a map of that contains the locations of the all three civilizations
- Similarities/Differences: create a chart that contains the similarities and differences of the three civilizations
-Presenter: present the findings of the similarities and differences as well as the map to the rest of the class
If the role requirements cannot be completed in class then the work must be taken home to be finished (this fact will be given to students at the beginning of the assignment so students can plan ahead). The next day the students will be given 10-15 minutes at the beginning of class to finish/ prepare for the presentation. Presentations will take place; after the students will individually complete group/self-evaluation forms to be turned in at the end of class.