Lesson Plan

Secondhand Accounts

Teaching students to decipher between firsthand and secondhand accounts.
Jennifer S.
Classroom teacher
Parkview Elementary School
Valparaiso, IN
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Learning

Students will recognize a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event.

           Students will compare and contrast the information provided in each account.

English Language Arts
Grades 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

I will show 2 quick video clips - one a firsthand and one a secondhand account of the first landing on the moon.  As a class, we will compare and contrast the information in each on a Venn Diagram. Students will turn and talk as needed to come up with ideas.

Student Instructions

Students will turn and talk as needed to come up with ideas.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Presenting

Create an anchor chart with students describing firsthand and secondhand account and including key terms to expect in each.

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Reading

We will cloze read accounts of Christopher Columbus landing in America and add to the venn diagram.

4 Independent Practice

Activity: Reading

I will distribute task cards to the students in their groups.  (I will have the 3 students sitting independently join groups that have been pre-chosen.)  The groups will read their task cards and fill in the venn diagram provided to them on Hapara.  In this document, students will label which task card is firsthand and which is secondhand. It will also allow them to compare and contrast the information in each card.  (20 minutes)

The way I have grouped students, I know that the front 3 tables will take longer to complete the task than the back 2 tables.  The back 2 tables will have multiple task cards to go through. If they finish all of them, I will have them open a google doc and begin to write their own firsthand and secondhand accounts.  I will let them choose a topic, but if they need inspiration, I will have them write about the solar eclipse we experienced this year.

5 Wrap-up

Activity: Conversing

As a wrap-up, we will discuss why it is important to know the difference between firsthand and secondhand accounts in life.