4. Using a Critical Eye to Analyze Source, Draw Conclusions, Make Inferences, and Theorize about Events, People, and/or Ideas

(This is the Lesson Plan 4 for Shana Brown (Yakama)’s curriculum, “A Thousand Celilos: Tribal Place Names along the Lewis and Clark Trail.)

CCSS Focus/Objective

Choose an area of research; identify the text structure of at least two different texts. Summarize the texts by determining main idea and supporting details; determine author’s point of view and how it impacts readers.

  • RL.4.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.4.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.4.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the points of view they represent.
  • RI.4.9 Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.AIntroduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.BProvide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1.CLink opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).

Essential Questions

  • What does the future hold for this place?
  • How might tribal cultures, languages, cultural landscapes, place names, sacred sites, and communities of this place be preserved and sustained?
  • How can tribal peoples and other stakeholders work together to forge their future?


  • This is dependent upon which form the visual and oral presentations take.




Depending on the level of your students, you might need to insert a lesson on text structure. *Optional lesson follows this unit of study.

  • Tie-In: For the past two weeks we have been gathering information about our community. Today we will get into our groups and talk about what we have collected in order to make some theories about how and why places change.
  • Entry Question: Why do places change?
  • Lead-In: Let’s look at pictures of the place we’ve been studying together: Celilo Falls.
  • Lesson
    1. Show pre-inundation photo from Lesson Plan 1.
    2. Show photos of tribal people fishing at Celilo from Lesson Plan 1.
    3. Show pictures of Celilo Falls today from Lesson Plan 1.
    4. How did this place change? Where did the falls go?
    5. Refer to “The First World Trade Center,” by Shana Brown, to explain
      • Inundation.
      • Falls today.
    6. Give overview of the “Then and Now” Graphic Organizers
      • Names
      • Uses
      • People
      • Compare/Contrast
  • Conclusion Assessment: Discussion: Is change good or bad?
  • HOMEWORK: Completion of graphic organizers and daily goals set by student research teams.



Students will revisit the importance of names and what names say about a particular place.


  • Group sets of “Then and Now” Graphic Organizers.
  • One teacher copy of “Then and Now” Graphic Organizers completed with Celilo examples.
  • Tie-In: Yesterday we started taking a closer look at why and how places change over time. Today we’ll take a look at names.
  • Entry Question: Why are names important?
  • Lead-In: Lewis and Clark thought that they were naming certain mountains and rivers, but really they were renaming these places. They had well-established names for thousands of years!
  • Lesson
    1. Celilo has always been called Celilo. It means “Echo of Falling Waters.” But other places were renamed.
    2. The Columbia River was called “Nch’i-Wana” (recall first week of lessons).
    3. Other places, too.
    4. Show “Umatilla Place Names.”
    5. Show how to complete the “Then and Now” Names Graphic Organizer.
    6. Allow partners to complete their own graphic organizer for their places.
    7. Students share their discoveries.
  • Assessment: Check the graphic organizer; assign as homework if needed.
  • HOMEWORK: Pace your handouts: organize and assign by group members and have them due at the end of Day 5 so that they are ready to synthesize information and draw conclusions.



DAYS 3-5

Flex day(s) for students to do independent research and re-teach certain skills while conferring with students or working in small skills groups. Repeat the day 2 lesson for each of the handouts, using Celilo readings as your mentor texts in order to complete the graphic organizers.

Week 5

Synthesizing and presenting research in an organized, meaningful way.

CCSS/Focus or Objective

Create a multimedia presentation that explains the history of a specific place and makes reasonable predictions about the future of the selected place.

Because I am not dictating the form the end product takes, it is difficult to provide specific lesson plans for how you will showcase them. The product itself and the reflection writing will serve as summative assessments.

  • SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.4.5 Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Essential Questions

  • What does the future hold for this place?

Students will help answer the remaining essential questions for Celilo Falls as a class and then answer the same essential questions for their researched places.

  • How might tribal cultures, languages, cultural landscapes, place names, sacred sites, and communities of this place be preserved and sustained?
  • How can tribal peoples and other stakeholders work together to forge their future?


Here are some product ideas that align with CCSS

  • Presentation with a clear claim, supporting evidence and visuals, and closure. Questions answered accurately. CCSS Oral Presentation Rubric is attached.
  • Dramatization (writing a play).
  • Panel discussion with local community members.
  • “Street Fair” in the hallway of the school and student teams have “booths” to present visually and orally (tri-fold boards, for example) to audience several times.
  • You can choose to display projects, have a museum exhibit in your classroom or have students create oral presentations.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you have a large celebration of past, present, and future.

Final Reflection

Have students write a letter or explain to you what they learned from this project.