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HistoryFix: Selling our Nation's Symbols on ebay!
 

A Writing Across the Curriculum Lesson from HistoryFix
Historical Topic: national symbols Students Write: a wacky E-Bay advertisement

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Selling our Nation's Symbols on ebay!

This writing across the curriculum lesson was created by Nevada teacher Kristen Conway.

She considers this history lesson to be appropriate for students in grades 3-6.


Lesson Overview:

Objectives/Overview: This lesson fits into a Social Studies unit about patriotism and citizenship. Students will read about, research, and write about national symbols and landmarks. The final project is to create, as a group, either an ebay listing or “for sale” sign (such as one that might be posted on a community bulletin board) about their symbol or landmark. This assignment requires students to pull out pertinent information and rewrite it in their own words in an interesting or persuasive manner.

Students will read about national symbols, determine important information about one, and, as a group, create either an ebay listing or a “For Sale” sign for one symbol.

Time Needed: Between four and six 45-minute sessions

Writing skills (traits) to stress while teaching this lesson:

  • Idea Development (writing with a clear, central idea or theme in mind; and putting researched ideas into one’s own words)
  • Voice (capturing the "voice" of an ebay listing or a for sale sign)
  • Word Choice (using verbs and adjectives that would convince a reader to buy!)

Materials List:


Setting the Stage:

Begin by asking children what symbols and objects they think of when they think of America. Ask where they think those symbols came from ? Discuss how countries use symbols and holidays to define a nation and stand for what we think is important.


Teacher Instructions:

  • Read O, Say Can You See? to the class (or parts of it). Discuss the symbols students already knew and the ones they didn't think of while you were setting the stage.
  • Explain to students they are going to think about the important details about a symbol or landmark.
  • Using the graphic organizer, the teacher models how to takes notes on the important details about one symbol or landmark. The graphic organizer is a two-sided tool divided into 4 squares on each side. The teacher will need to model how to put ideas into "your own words."
  • Students work in groups reading about a different symbol or landmark, then fill out a graphic organizer together.
  • After all groups have finished, bring the class back together, and explain that they are going to use the details to create an ebay listing or “for sale” sign about the symbol they have researched.
  • Explain that listings or “for sale” signs need to have details that would make someone want to buy the item, so brainstorm ways of describing details in a persuasive manner. Show some examples of real ebay listings and “for sale” signs. Teacher then shows some student-made samples.


(Click on image to see it in larger form.)


(Click on image to see it in larger form.)

  • Teacher models creating a “for sale” sign for the symbol or landmark, using information from the graphic organizer, explaining the thinking as he/she writes and sketches. Model how to include important information, especially the significance of the symbol or landmark.
  • Students go back to their groups and create a listing or sign for their symbol. They should sketch a rough draft on plain paper first, then create a final draft on large white construction paper, with markers and colored pencils.
  • Students share their finished project with the class, and post them on a bulletin board in the classroom or school.

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