*This lesson coincides with section 5, play is frivolous, from A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech.
Lesson written by Crystal Pickett
Grade level range: 8th
Length of time to teach lesson: 20-30 minutes
Objectives (Learning targets) of this lesson: Techniques to refocus/ get past a mental block, Review of Donner Party knowledge
Resources/supplies/handouts needed to teach this lesson: Sentence stems regarding Donner Party, Hardships the Donner Party faced were: Resources the Donner Party needed were: What I would do differently if I were in the Donner Party: Pass chips/tokens – 3 per student
Step-by-step teaching instructions for the activity/lesson:
Introduce new topic of Donner Party
2-3 minutes “think time” for prior knowledge
Divide into groups of 3 or 4
Give sentence stem to each student
Each student to complete sentence stem with 1 new idea
When completed with first sentence stem, pass to next person to add onto that thought. If a student gets stuck, s/he can use a pass chip
Stems should circulate 2-3 times between students
Assessment: I would share this rubric with the students prior to starting the activity. As they pass the cards around I would have them tally how many details they add. During the activity I would have them initial next to their contribution. I would review the note cards after the activity is completed and compare my scores to the students’ score.