Objective: Getting Acquainted
Homework: a) Bring in a "Show and Tell" object b) Get class sheet signed c) Buy class materials (by next week)
  1. Introductions: Who I am and why I teach history.
  2. Name Game: First everyone writes down their first name on a sheet of paper that's been folded in 3. This acts as a nameplate at the front of each student's desk until I learn everyone's names. I collect them at the end of the class and then try to pass them out at the beginning of the next few classes in order to learn names. Then everyone goes around and says "My name is (your name) and I am (an adjective that describes you that begins with the same letter as your name." An example would be, "My name is Sasha, and I am silly." The next person says "He is…She is…He is…and I am…," naming off everyone who's gone before them and then introducing him/herself. Helping is aloud.
  3. Class Procedures. I also pass out the information sheets. One page lists what we'll study in the class and what students need to bring (a 1-inch 3-ring binder, colored pencils and a pencil that will stay in my class, and a pencil pouch. They'll also need the usual paper and a pen. ) I tell students that if they cannot afford these things to tell me privately after class, and I will get them. (I have had some students who cannot get them.) The other sheet has a place where they fill out their schedule, brothers and sisters along with their ages and schools, and a favorite activity. Their parents/guardians provide their name, address, contact numbers, e-mail, and a signature.
  4. Partner introductions. Interview the person next to you and then introduce him/her. The questions to ask: Name, What you did over the summer, What your favorite radio station is, Something that's interesting about you.
  5. Milling to Music: Play music and have everyone walk around. Whenever the music stops, stand next to the person closest to you. The teacher calls out a question (like "What's your favorite TV show?" or "How many brothers and sisters do you have?") You each ask the other person the question. Then the music starts again.

Objective: Getting Acquainted
  1. Celebrations: Let anyone share good news that's happened lately. See "Class Procedure" to get an explanation of how this is done.
  2. Show and Tell: Students should each have an object they brought that tells us about him/her. They each go up and talk about it. If s/he forgot to bring something, tell her/him to quickly draw a picture of what s/he would have brought, and that can be her/his "object."
  3. Class Contract: Everyone signs the rules. This goes in the class notebook (see "Discipline"), so that a student cannot claim that s/he never knew the rules and/or consequences.
  4. Extended nametags: On your nametag, answer the following in each of your four showing corners: Place you spent the happiest summer OR your favorite place on earth, 3 things you do well, favorite activity to do on the weekend, name of person who taught you something important. We then share what we wrote.

Objective: Defining America
Homework: Bring class materials and get agenda signed

  1. Celebrations
  2. Survey (School info sheets)
  3. Brainstorm: Select either "America" OR "History." Write as many words as you can think of that have to do with that word. Try for 30+. (7 minutes) (I play Enya music.)
  4. Poster: Get into groups of 3 who picked the same word as you. Pick 3 words that best represent that word. Make a poster of that word including the words you selected. (45 minutes)
  5. Snap presentations: QUICKLY show your poster and what you drew. (This activity is done for 3 reasons: 1) It allows me to see the personalities of individuals and how they work together. 2) It shows them how future projects will be. 3) It provides decoration for the walls.)


HISTORY QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What seven letters do not begin any of the 50 states? B, E, J, Q, X, Y, Z

Objective: What does America look like?
  1. Warm-up: Take out your assignment book and carefully study the map of America. You'll be quizzed on it soon.
  2. Explain Notebook Set-up:
    • Explain how pages should be numbered and dated in the upper outer corner. The warm-up and wrap-up should be on the left side of the page, and the class woek should be on the right side across for the corresponding warm-up and wrap-up.
    • Cover Page (10 minutes): Your name, period, subject and a picture (if you have time)
    • Table of Contents: Date, Page, Right or Left (R/L), Assignment/Title (This will be optional to maintain. You get extra credit if you include it in your notebook. I'll always keep a master Table of Contents on one board.)
  3. Your view of America: On the upper right corner on the back of page 1, draw America. Include everything you can think of (rivers, mountains, states, etc.). (5 minutes)
  4. Pass out textbooks
  5. Physiographic Pairs Game (United States History to 1900 Program: Geography of America from Past to Present: Activity 2.1: Mapping the Physiographic Features of the United States: Accurately label a physiographic map as they decipher 30 questions about the U.S.) (25 minutes): Each pair has a question about America's physiography. They must answer the question on their sheet, draw the feature on their map, and then trade the sheet with another pair. The pair that gets the most questions answered CORRECTLY gets extra credit.
  6. WRAP-UP: On the bottom half of page 2, answer the following question: Do you think America is made up more of rivers, mountains, flatlands, or lakes? Why? Name as many of those geographic features as you can. Example: I think America is mostly bays because I have seen 6 on the map but only 3 mountains or rivers. Monterey Bay, Tampa Bay, …

Objective: How does geography affect where people live?
Homework: Get your agenda signed

  1. Warm-up:
    • Where is the furthest place from Houston you've been in the U.S.? (If you've never been outside Houston, write "Houston." )
    • What did the land and water look like (oceans, mountains, swamps, lakes, rivers, deserts, etc.)?
    • Do you think these types of geography would or would not make people want to like in that place?
  2. Flight over America (Pretend like we're flying in an airplane over these areas. I go into a short "tray-tables in up-right postion," etc. spiel as I quickly pass out a small handful of pretzals to each "passanger" to make it a bit more fun. I do add that I better not find ANY on the floor if they ever want food again.): (United States History to 1900 Program: Geography of America from Past to Present: Activity 2.1: Mapping the Physiographic Features of the United States: 2.2 A Nation of Water: Explore images of oceans, rivers, and lakes and discuss how each affects human settlement. and 2.4: The Land: View and discuss images of many of the landforms they have mapped. ). Show slides of American geography and describe them. The students take notes writing: Place, Description, and History. Do first one with them.
  3. WRAP-UP: DIARY OF A SAILOR: The year is 1590. You have been hired to explore the Atlantic Coast of the New World in order to locate a good place to start a settlement. You are keeping a journal of all you see. Write one page describing all you saw that day. 1) Include at least 1 place we discussed today. 2) Describe what that land/body of water is like. 3) Suggest if this would be a good or bad place for a settlement and explain why.

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© 2003 Mrs. G