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HistoryFix: Nevada, A to Z...Exploring Nevada History

A Writing Across the Curriculum Lesson from HistoryFix
Historical Topic: Nevada history Students Write: a class alphabet book

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Nevada, A to Z

This writing across the curriculum lesson was created by Nevada teacher Kristin Setty.

Kristin considers this history lesson to be appropriate for students in grades 4-5.

Lesson Overview:

Note: This alphabet book assignment was created by a Nevada teacher. The Nevada-inspired book cited about is just of the books in the Discover America State by State Series. If you are from another state, you can click on the book cover above and look in the "Customers who bought this item also bought" section, and you can locate an alphabet book based on your state.

Objectives/Overview: Students will create a class A to Z book about their state. The students will research information about the state and create a page for the class alphabet book using the information they found. Students will review facts about the state through their research.

Time Needed: two 60-minute class sessions.

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

  • Idea Development (writing with a clear, central idea or theme in mind; putting researched ideas into one's own words)
  • Word Choice (incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing; and using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting)
  • Conventions (spelling skills; punctuation skills; capitalization skills)

Materials List:

Setting the Stage:

This writing lesson works best as a final project for a unit on state history. Read the book S is for Silver by Eleanor Coerr to the class. Review Nevada timeline and discuss/review events and facts already taught. Ask, "What other words might appear if we were to make an original alphabet book about Nevada?"

Teacher Instructions:

  • Create an A-Z chart for important words from Nevada history. Stress the students think of nouns assoicated with their state, unless no noun seems to be available. You might use this alphabet box worksheet and let students work in groups to brainstorm as many words as they can.
  • Assign each student to be in charge of a different letter.
  • Have students use resources to come up with the "best" topic for their letter.
  • Write topic on a class chart for other students to see so topics are not repeated.
  • Have students read about their topic and then write 2-3 sentences of description of topic for the text on paper, having them check and double-checked their conventions.
  • Have one student create a cover for the class book.
  • Have each student illustrate his/her entire page in crayon. Picture can be used as is or you can have students watercolor over the crayon.
  • Have students write or type a final draft of their text and glue on page.
  • Bind book and add it to your classroom library.

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