5. Culminating Project: Becoming Part of the Story

(This is the Learning Episode 5 for Ella Inglebret’s teaching unit, Telling the Lewis and Clark Story.)

photograph-by-nick-sanyal-used-with-permission

Photograph by Nick Sanyal, Used with Permission

OVERVIEW

As a culminating project, student teams design a new symbol for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail that is inclusive of both tribal and non-tribal perspectives. To accompany the symbol, each team develops a text that summarizes its topic, purpose, perspectives, audience, design, actions taken to promote cross-cultural understanding, and reflection. As a final step, student teams compose a letter that attempts to persuade Trail administrators to adopt their symbol.

 

LESSON PLAN

Selected Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA–Literacy

  • Reading—Informational Text 4.1, 4.4, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9
  • Speaking and Listening 4.3
  • Language 4.4
  • Writing 4.1

Entry Questions

  • How can you use this experience to make a contribution to cross-cultural understanding?

 

MATERIALS

Reproducibles

PDF: Reproducible 4-1                                                                                                                           KWL Chart

PDF: Reproducible 5-1                                                                                                                                  Designing the Symbol Guide

PDF: Reproducible 5-2                                                                                                                                  Evaluation of Learning

Supplies

  • Trail Portfolio (also used in Episodes 1, 2, 3, and 4)

Learning Spiral

Transformed Practice

Learning Modalities

  • Auditory
  • Visual
  • Movement/Gesture
  • Linguistic
  • Tactile
  • Spatial
  • Spiritual
  • Smell/Taste

 

ACTIVITIES

Designing the Symbol

Days 1-3

Instruct students to take out Reproducible 4-1, the KWL chart from Episode 4, and give each student a copy of Reproducible 5-1, Designing the Symbol Guide. Each team will complete the L (what they learned) section of their KWL chart. This will involve them in reviewing and summarizing the main points they identified in researching the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition. They will use their “eagle eye” perspective to identify texts that represent both tribal and non-tribal perspectives and serve a “bridge building” purpose. Next, have them complete the Designing the Symbol Guide that involves answering questions and describing potential components of their design, including topic, purpose, perspectives, audience, design, actions they will take to promote cross-cultural understanding, and reflection.

Give each student team a large piece of poster paper on which they can draw their Trail symbol. Students might brainstorm ideas and place sticky notes on the poster containing components they want incorporated. When the team has come to agreement on what to incorporate, they can draw the symbol, first, in pencil and then by using colored markers. The final version of the symbol should be produced in a format that can be easily disseminated, such as a power point slide or a scanned copy of an original drawing.

Accompanying Text

Days 4-5

To accompany the symbol, each team uses their responses to items on the Designing the Symbol Guide to develop a text that summarizes its topic, purpose, perspectives, audience, design, actions taken to promote cross-cultural understanding, and reflection. This text can take on various forms, such as a brochure, a concept map, a power point presentation, a videotaped oral presentation, or videotaped dramatic presentation. Various types of media might be incorporated into the text, such as artwork, music, the oral tradition, tools of survival and daily life, patterns of nature, in addition to written words. This allows students to tap into their strengths and various ways of knowing.

Composing a Persuasive Letter

Days 6-8

Involve student teams in the process of composing a letter that attempts to persuade Trail administrators to adopt the team symbol. Begin by having students review examples of persuasive texts. For example, Text 1-7, For Us, This is Not a Celebration and Text 2-4b, A Guide to Visiting the Lands of Many Nations and to the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, are persuasive texts. Note how language is used (e.g., patterns, repetitions, descriptions, examples) and how visual strategies (font, spacing, lines) are used to highlight the key points. Analyze use of various other design modes. Have the students brainstorm ideas for persuading the reader that the team’s symbol should be adopted. Then have them identify the key points and design modes that are most important to incorporate. At this point the student teams can draft their own persuasive letter going through a process of peer and teacher review before writing the final draft. Once all of the materials are in final form (the symbol, the accompanying text, and the persuasive letter), send them to Trail Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

 

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION

Advanced

  • Rubrics are provided for self-evaluation
  • Various forms of media can be incorporated into the culminating project

Emerging

  • Rubrics are provided for self-evaluation
  • Various forms of media can be incorporated into the culminating project

 

SUGGESTED FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Students respond to questions on a Designing the Symbol Guide
  • A symbol prototype is designed

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Students and teachers complete an Evaluation of Learning Guide
  • Students submit their Trail portfolios containing all project materials