Accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson
Direct students using Google Earth on their tablets to search for "Monticello" (or project the web-based version on the overhead). Explore along with students the interesting and unique features of the house and grounds. Ask students who they think the owner/builder of this house might be and how it reflects their interests and personalities. Reveal the owner of the house as Thomas Jefferson. Let students know that this interesting house reflects an even more interesting man, who was the third President of the United States, but had many accomplishments prior to that that affected the development of America as a young nation (and also how we see it today).
2 Direct Instruction
Introduce students to Thomas Jefferson and his some of his major accomplishments by presenting BrainPop's video on the 3rd President. Stop video at major points highlighting some of Jefferson's major accomplishments and compiling a projected list on the smartboard using Lucid Chart through Google Drive. This engaging video will grab students' attention, leave them asking questions about Mr. Jefferson, and give opportunities for class discussions regarding what students already know about Mr. Jefferson and what they want to know about him. These discussions can be used as a launch pad for the students' subsequent research and project.1
3 Guided Practice
Using the Google search app (either that or the custom search engine feature on laptops if enough tablets are not available) model and work with students to find websites that have credible information and resources about the accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson. Break students into small groups to begin building their own Scatch programs that give interactive reports about accomplishments in Jefferson's life as choosen by the students. Review and remind the students how to build with Scratch using both video and audio components.
4 Independent practice
Students in groups will create a working Scratch program report that highlights three accurate historical accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson that impacted America, uses an audio component (student dictation or downloaded audio) to describe the chosen accomplishments, using video, image, or animation components to reinforce accomplishment description.
5 Wrap up
Following the completion of this assignment, groups should share their creations with the class and verbally describe the accomplishments of Mr. Jefferson that they chose to include. Use overhead projection/whiteboard utilities to allow Scratch creations to be shared with the whole class. Encourage peers to ask questions about why groups chose to include the accomplishments of Jefferson that they highlighted in their programs, as well as the code they used to create their program.