by Erin Santangelo, Bridges Community Academy
George Washington Carver
Concept / Topic To Teach:
Briefly, the life and work of George Washington Carver.
Social Studies --
History: 4. Use historical artifacts, photographs, biographies, maps, diaries and folklore to answer questions about daily life in the past. 7. Recognize the importance of individual action and character and explain how they have made a difference in others’ lives and emphasis on the importance of explorers, inventors, and scientists.
People in Societies: 4. Describe the contributions of significant individuals including artisans, inventors, scientists, architects, explorers and political leaders to the cultural heritage of the United States.
Geography: 5. Compare how land is used in urban, suburban and rural environments.
Economics: 1. Explain how resources can be used in various ways (e.g., a bushel of corn could be fed to cows, used to make sweetener, or converted to fuel).
Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities: 2. Demonstrate self-direction in tasks within the school community (e.g., classroom, cafeteria, and playground).
English Language Arts --
Reading Process: 4. Summarize text by recalling main ideas and some supporting details. 5. Create and use graphic organizers, such as Venn diagrams and webs, to demonstrate comprehension. Reading Applications: Informational, Technical, and Persuasive Text 3. List questions about essential elements from informational text and identify answers.
Reading Applications: Literary Text 2. Describe characters and setting. Writing Processes: 1. Generate writing ideas through discussions with others. 4. Use organizational strategies to plan writing.
Writing Applications: 4. Produce informal writings (e.g., messages, journals, notes, and poems) for various purposes.
Writing Conventions: 1. Print legibly and space letters, words, and sentences appropriately. 4. Spell words studied correctly. 8. Use periods, question marks and exclamation points as endpoints correctly. 11. Use correctly capitalization.
Research: 1. Create questions for investigations, assigned topic, or personal area of interest. 4. Identify important information and write brief notes about the information. 5. Sort relevant information about the topic into categories with teacher assistance.
Communication: Oral and Visual: 1. Use active listening strategies such as making eye contact and asking for clarification and explanation. 2. Compare what is heard with prior knowledge and experience. 4. Follow two- and threestep oral directions.
40 minutes to an hour
To introduce students to a famous American scientist’s life and work. To reinforce alphabetical order with students.
Students will be able to describe three events in George Washington Carver’s life and demonstrate their knowledge and application of alphabetical order.
book about George Washington Carver; KWL chart on whiteboard/chalkboard or poster board; marker or chalk; students will need drawing paper, writing paper, and crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
Primary Sources Used:
None; secondary sources can include A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by ALIKI or A Picture Book of George Washington Carver by David A. Adler.
KWL chart. List what the class knows about George Washington Carver under the “K.” List what the class would like to know about George Washington Carver under the W. Tell the class that the book will now be read and to think about what they’ve listed under W.
Read the book aloud to the class or if there are enough copies, allow silent reading, pair reading, or small group reading.
After allowing enough time for all students to finish the book, as an entire class, begin playing “Alphabet Travel.” As the leader, begin by saying, “I’m going to Tuskegee Institute, and I’m bringing an apple. The next person continues by saying what the previous person did, “I’m going to Tuskegee Institute and I’m bringing an apple and bread made from peanuts. Continue around the room until the entire alphabet is used (or you run out of class time). Make sure that the items “brought” on the trip pertain in some way to the story of George Washington Carver‘s life, suggesting items or assisting students when appropriate.
Homework and Practice:
Students draw one or more scenes from Carver’s life, based upon what they know about him and write three sentences about three important events in George Washington Carver’s life. Copies of the KWL chart will be given to students to assist in appropriate completion of homework.
Review the K part of the KWL chart. Remind students about the W part of the chart and check it as a group to see if students learned what they would like to know about George Washington Carver as you list the things that were learned in the L (learned) part of the chart.
Assessment Based On Objectives:
Students’ homework and practice will be collected and examined to see if each student has been able to identify three important events in George Washington Carver’s life. Teacher will monitor and participate in Alphabet Travel Game and keep track of students’ appropriate participation in game and guide those who are having difficulty.
Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):
Students with reading disabilities should be assisted in their reading or have the book read to them. Students with memory problems or learning disabilities can be verbally assisted in the Alphabet Travel game. The things brought on the trip could also be listed in alphabetical order on the board with a quick pictorial representation as well as the words. Students with communication problems could be encouraged to draw a quick representation of their Alphabet Travel objects.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
Students can document their own Alphabet Travel game for another historical personage, making sure to pick a destination that is significant for that famous person and create a picture book of their Alphabet Travel game.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
Art—creating a pictorial Alphabet Travel game; make prints from peanuts and other plants with which Carver worked. Physical Education and Drama—acting out the Alphabet Travel Game. Music—singing or chanting in rhythm the Alphabet Travel game. Mathematics— computing prices for the items listed in the Alphabet Travel game.