EL Support Lesson
Analyzing Primary Sources with Past Tense Verbs
Students will be able to analyze primary sources and answer questions about those sources.
Students will be able to analyze a primary source with past tense verbs using sentence frames.
- Tell students that people who study history often use primary sources to help them learn about the past.
- Show students the vocabulary card for primary sources and read the definition aloud.
- Explain to students that today they will be focusing on one type of primary source called a census.
- Show students the vocabulary card for census and read the definition aloud.
- Tell students that today they will be looking closely at different censuses and analyzing the information they provide.
Building academic language
- Display the vocabulary cards for relationship, race, and sex on the document camera. Read each word and the student-friendly definition aloud. If applicable, describe the image. Tell students that these are some of the headings they will see on the censuses.
- Follow the same process with the words historian and evidence.
- Distribute a copy of the Glossary to each student.
- Instruct students to write "Sentences" in the last column of the Glossary. Show a teacher copy on the document camera and model how to come up with a sentence for the word "race" (e.g., "The race of the head of household was African-American.").
- Tell students to complete the last column of the Glossary for the remaining vocabulary words.
- Ask students to share one of their sentences with the person sitting next to them before calling on volunteers to share their work on the document camera.
- Tell students that as we look at censuses we will be using past tense verbs to write about the information provided. Show students the vocabulary card, read the definition aloud, and provide an example of a past tense verb. Inform students that the censuses we are analyzing were conducted in the late 1800s and in 1930. Therefore, we will be using past tense verbs to write about the census information.
- Project the Understanding Primary Sources: Censuses worksheet using a document camera. Read aloud the passage and the information presented in the census. Point to the different columns and rows as you read the information aloud.
- Assign students into effective partnerships.
- Explain to students that you will ask them a series of questions about this census and they will work with their partners to answer the questions by writing sentences with past tense verbs. Tell students that to make a verb past tense they will add an "-ed" to the end of the base verb (e.g., "jump"/"jumped"). Remind students that some verbs are irregular and do not follow the "-ed" rule (e.g. "sing"/"sang" and "run"/"ran").
- Ask: "Where did the workers collect this census information?"
- Write this sentence frame on the board: "The workers ____this information from ____."
- Tell students to answer the question with their partner by writing the sentence frame on their whiteboard and filling in the blanks using a past tense verb and information from the census (e.g., "The workers collected this information from Calhoun County, Michigan."). Instruct students to hold up their whiteboards when they are finished.
- Continue this process with the following questions and sentences frames:
- What was the value of Sojourner Truth's property? ("Sojourner Truth's property was____ at $ ____.")
- In what years did the workers conduct these censuses? ("The workers ____ these censuses in ____ and ____.")
- Where did William Boyd work? ("William Boyd ____ at ____.")
- Distribute and preview the Analyzing a Census worksheet to each student and display a teacher copy on the document camera.
- Read the passage at the top of the worksheet aloud. Define any unfamiliar words for your students.
- Instruct your students to reread the passage with their partners and closely examine the information from the 1930 U.S. Census.
- Tell students to answer the questions on the worksheet using past tense verbs.
- Circulate and offer support.
- Group two partnerships into groups of four students to compare their answers and reflect upon the following questions:
- Do you think this is a valuable document for a historian to study?
- What are some other types of primary sources?
- Regroup as a whole class and call on students to share their reflections.
Additional EL adaptations
- Pre-teach a lesson to a small group on past tense verbs.
- Bring in hard copies of examples of primary sources for students to observe and explore.
- Provide students with less complex sentence frames during the Sentence and Discourse Level Focus. For example, provide students with a sentence frame with only one blank where students either input a past tense verb or data from the census (e.g., "The workers ____ this information from Calhoun County, Michigan," or "The workers collected this information from ____.").
- Allow students to complete the assessment orally instead of writing on the index card.
- Provide bilingual resources such as online dictionaries and glossaries for students to use throughout the lesson.
- Ask students to think of a synonym for each of their new vocabulary words as they are filling in their glossaries during the Word Level Focus.
- Challenge students to think of a list of irregular verbs and create a list of these verbs in the present and past tense forms.
- Encourage students to deepen their partner small group discussions during the Discourse Level Focus by thinking about some of the values and limitations that primary sources present.
- Tell students to think about something more they would like to learn from a census that they did not already learn from today's lesson during the assessment.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(3 minutes)
- Distribute a blank index card to each student to use as an exit ticket.
- Project the Understanding Primary Sources: Censuses worksheet back onto the board using a document camera.
- Tell students to answer the following question: "What is one thing you can learn from the 1880 U.S. Census?"
- Write this sentence frame on the board: "I ____ that ____."
- Instruct students to answer the question by writing the sentence frame on their index card and filling in the blanks using a past tense verb and one thing they learned from the census.
- Collect students' exit tickets.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Post the piece of chart paper titled "Class Census" on the board.
- Tell students that they are going to take a class census using information from our classmates.
- Read the headings aloud to each student.
- Call on students, two at a time, to fill in their information.
- Observe the data as a class and ask students to share what they observe with a partner (e.g. "Most people are nine years old.").
- Call on students to share their findings with the whole class.