Lesson Title: Using an Electronic Organizer as a Pre-Writing Activity about Lincoln and King
Curriculum Area: English Language Arts
Technology Strand: Uses technology but does not address a technology strand
Grade Level: 5
Essential Question: How can you use an electronic graphic organizer for pre-writing?
A Activity Summary Students will read poems about Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Then they will compare and contrast Lincoln and King using a Venn diagram on the computer.
C Curriculum English Language Arts
4.05 Use a variety of preliminary strategies to plan and organize the writing and speaking task considering purpose, audience, and timeline.
T Technology Uses technology but does not address a technology strand
Activating Strategies
Matching Lincoln and King facts. Each student will have half of a fact about Abraham Lincoln or M.L. King, Jr. that they have to match to another student in the room. The students will be using prior knowledge to be able to match the facts. After the students find their match they will tape their matching facts to a poster in the room. Each pair should then return to seat sitting next to each other. (See "Matching Sentences" in Resources)

Note: (There are only enough matching sentence parts for 12 students to have their own individual strip. This same activity could be done by giving a group of students all of the cut up sentences scrambled to see if the group could put the sentences together correctly.)
Technology Vocabulary: 
Detailed Technology Instructions:
Cognitive Teaching Strategies
1. Begin the class by telling the students they are going to prepare to write a paper comparing and contrasting Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. using a new pre-writing technique. Have the class read the essential question: How can you use an electronic graphic organizer for pre-writing? Ask the students how they organize information that compare and contrast two topics. If they are familiar with using graphic organizers they may mention using a Venn diagram. Tell them they will be pre-writing using this technique on the computers.

2. Next have the class review the matching facts by having each pair read their matching fact. This is a good time to begin to compare and contrast the factual information about Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. as the class discusses their facts. The teacher will draw a venn diagram on the board. One circle will represent Abraham Lincoln and one circle will represent Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on the information given in the matching sentences, compare and contract these two leaders.

3. Now give each student a copy of the two poems which are available on the web at http://pphsp.uis.edu/some_poetry_on_abraham_lincoln.htm "Abraham Lincoln" by Rosemary Carr and Stephen Vincent Benet, and http://www.fno.org/poetry/standing.html "Standing Tall" by Jamie McKenzie. Have the pairs read the two poems to each other. Then give each student a highlighter. They will use them to highlight facts about Lincoln and King.

4.Demonstrate how to access the Venn diagram on the computer. Assign each pair of students to a computer so that they can enter their information on the Venn diagram template.( See Resources) Give the pairs a time limit to complete their diagrams, using the information they highlighted on their poems and other prior knowledge. They should print three copies. I suggest a working time of 10 to 15 minutes.

5.After the groups have completed their diagrams, the pairs can add additional information from their Venn diagrams on the large class Venn diagram.

6.Tell the students that they will be writing papers comparing and contrasting Lincoln and King during their next class.

Summary Strategies
Line Dance:
As the students prepare to leave the class or transition to another subject they will line up facing another student. Each student will hold his or her Venn diagram in front of him or her so that the facing student can see it. Each student will read one fact to the person facing him or her. Then the two lines will shift down one place to the left and repeat the process. Do this three or four times.
For directions on how to download files choose: Mac (Kid Pix or Microsoft  Works), Windows (Kid Pix or Microsoft Works or Office), or Mac/PC (AppleWorks).

Matching Facts Activity

The Venn Diagram

"Abraham Lincoln" by Rosemary Carr and Stephen Vincent Benet at http://pphsp.uis.edu/some_poetry_on_abraham_lincoln.htm

"Standing Tall" by Jamie McKenzie at http://www.fno.org/poetry/standing.html
Re-teaching and Enrichment Activities
1. (Reteaching) Students will reinforce using an electronic graphic organizer by making another Venn diagram. The second graphic organizer will concentrate on the feelings and emotions in the poem rather than on facts. They should make a second class sized Venn diagram from their findings. This will be followed up by having the students use both diagrams to write a compare and contrast paper.

2. (Enrichment)Students can visit web sites about Lincoln and King and learn more about their lives and careers.They can continue to add information to the class Venn diagrams.

3. (Enrichment) Have students visit a reading center that has books about Lincoln and King. They can continue to add information to the class Venn diagrams or make posters about one of these heroes.

The concept for this lesson plan was submitted by

Amie  Whitaker

 Murphey Traditional Academy, Data last modified: 3/26/2004