Lesson Plan

Political Figures and Their Digital Stories

Students will perform research on a chosen political mayoral, gubernatorial, or presidential candidate and create a digital biographical story about them and the election they were involved in.
Gina P.
Media specialist/librarian
Hammarskjold Middle School
East Brunswick, United States
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Arts, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness

Find Standards addressed in this lesson here

(Day 1) Students will be able to... find credible information that passes the CRAAP test in their research. 

(Day 1) Students will be able to... perform research tasks utilizing credible web resources.

(Day 2) Students will be able to... find scholarly resources using U.S. History in Context academic database. 

(Day 3) Students will be able to... choose an appropriate medium for their digital story. 

(Day 3 & 4) Students will be able to... create a storyboard for their digital story.

(Day 5 & 6) Students will be able to... create a digital story about an elected government official. 

(Day 3, 4, 5, & 6) Students will be able to... think critically about the tone of their digital story and the visuals they select to illustrate their selected government persona.

(Day 7) Students will be able to... Share their digital story with peers and provide constructive criticism and feedback.

(Day 7) Students will be able to... Analyze their own performance utilizing a rubric provided to them. 

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/ Attention Getter (Day 1)

Share the article link with students for the Think-Pair-Share activity.

After discussion between Ss has died-down, begin discussion:

Who would use this article in an assignment? Why?

What elements did you look at specifically when determining this article's "trustworthiness?"


Student Instructions


Analyze this article. Would you use this article as a source in one of your research assignments?

2 Direct Instruction (Day 1)

Using a Google Slide presentation, the teacher will give direct instruction on how to implement the CRAAP test to judge information. 

The accompanying infographic will be referenced at the end of the presentation as well to give students more context and information regarding how to judge information.

Student Instructions

Students will listen attentively and will receive a printed copy of the slideshow presentation.

Students will analyze the infographic displayed. 

3 Guided Practice (Day 1)

The librarian will direct students to the "Is it Reliable?" Google Doc (shared with them previously by their teacher via Google Classroom or other classroom platform)

Ss will be given a maximum of 15 minutes to complete the activity and teachers will monitor and circulate.

A short discussion will follow about the answers, difficulties, tricky situations, etc. 

Student Instructions


With a partner, students will go through the Google Doc with 4 articles. They will have to judge whether each article is reliable or unreliable and describe how they came to the conclusion they did. 

4 Independent Practice (Day 1)


Librarian and teacher will monitor student progress. 

Student Instructions


Students will begin researching for news articles or other relevant resources on their own, making sure to save citation information on a Google Doc. 

5 Wrap Up (Day 1)

Exit Ticket On Google form: 

What were some useful websites or news outlets you found credible in your searching?

What is something you may do differently tomorrow?

Brief discussion of answers.

Student Instructions


Students will answer google form Exit Ticket and briefly discuss their answers with the class.

6 Flipped Lesson- U.S. History in Context (Day 2)

Students may use the first few minutes of class to continue researching from yesterday.

Librarian will have students watch the short tutorial video and will circulate and monitor student research progress as they find and take notes on valuable resources they find.

Student Instructions

Students may use the first few minutes of class to continue researching from yesterday.

Students will watch the tutorial video on their own and begin searching for valuable resources, making sure to take note and record citation information on the Google Doc provided to them yesterday. 

7 Guided Instruction (Day 3)

Teacher will give a brief overview of each possible platform students have the option of using for their presentations. 

Students will be given time to look through resources on the Smore page and select a platform. 

Student Instructions


Students will look through galleries and tutorial videos for available platforms on the Smore page.

8 Storyboard Creation and Picture Resources (Day 3 & 4)

Librarian will instruct students to move on to storyboard creation using the "Storyboard Planning" Google Doc.

Before they begin, however, the librarian will instruct students to open the pinterest page and watch the video created for them about Creative Commons licenses. 

Student Instructions

Once students have chosen their platform for which they will create their digital story using, they may move on to creating their digital storyboard. 

They will look at the curated sources on the Pinterest Page created for them and will watch the Creative Commons video before beginning their search. 

9 Create Digital Story (Day 5 & 6)

Librarian will create a rubric for the necessary technological elements and citation guidelines for the assignment and give to students for reference. 

Librarian and teacher will circulate and monitor student progress. 

Exit Ticket Day 5: What is one issue you've experienced so far in this process? What is one aspect you feel particularly confident about? 


Day 6: Students will submit their story links via a Google Form. URLs will be collected onto a Google Sheet which will be shared with the entire class to perform a collaborative feedback activity. 

Student Instructions

Students will create their digital stories using whichever platform they chose; making sure to reference the rubric for the technological/bibliographic aspects of the assignment. 

Day 5: Exit Ticket 

Day 6: Students will submit the URL to their story on a Google Form. 

10 Flipgrid Discussion (Day 7)

Activity: Assessing

Librarian will create 2 FlipGrid discussions: 

1) Reflect on your process of creating your digital story. What were some difficulties you had? What were some take-aways from this experience? Did you meet the rubric requirements; what grade would you give yourself? 

2) After looking at some of your peers' work, what were some things you saw that stuck out to you? Why? 

Students will be instructed to respond to each of these questions and also respond to two peer posts per question (6 responses in total). 

Student Instructions

Students will look at their peers' work on the shared Google Sheet.

Respond to each of the FlipGrid questions, making sure to also respond to 2 additional peer postings per question; (6 total responses per student).