Lesson Plan

I can't leave the past behind!!!

A lesson on comparing and contrasting the past and the present.
Denise W.
Classroom teacher
Fairview Elementary School
Roanoke, VA
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My Grades K
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to compare and contrast life in the past and life in the present time.

Social Studies
cultural understanding
Grades K
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Open the lesson with the SchoolTube video "Long Ago and Today".


It is a short video but it covers many aspects of Long Ago and Today such as clothing, food, toys and furniture.  It is a good way to get the students thinking about how things are very different in the society that we live in today.  They can see how some of the items are similar yet changes have been made to make the items meet the demand of the culture today.

2 Direct Instruction

For the instruction part of the lesson read the book entitled Long Ago and Today Learn to Read by Rozanne Lanczak Williams (Author).  This gives the basis for comparing and contrasting the items to be discussed.  Then visit the Library of Congress for concrete pictures of the times the students will compare and contrast:






daily living



As you discuss the topics and talk about how it relates to long ago and today be sure to show the pictures so the children can get a visual idea of how things have changed.  If possible, bring in items (old dial telephone, old cameras)

3 Guided Practice

As a class fill out Venn diagram for a topic of interest. Discuss results and list the things that are similar and different.  Most of this will be open discussion so the children have the opportunity to question results and show how to support their decision.

4 Independent Practice

Break into small groups and assign each group a topic of interest.  Give them pictures to use and have them list characteristics that are similar and different.  Students will fill out the Venn diagram and discuss in their small group. This allows the students to pay attention to detail and be very specific in their comparisons.

5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Creating

Have students come back together and share their results in small groups.  As an extension activity, have the students predict what types of transportation, communication, toys ect.....will be around in the future.  Children can pick on futureistic project and replicate either by drawing or building.