August 6, 2018
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By Sarah Zegarra

Lesson plan

Compare and Contrast W.E.B. Du Bois and George Washington Carver

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Students will be able to write an informational paragraph, comparing and contrasting W.E.B. Du Bois and George Washington Carver.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students: What makes a person worthy of being written about in a history book? What character traits or achievements are important to being considered a hero? * Record student answers on chart paper and leave the paper up for the remainder of the lesson.
  • Tell students that today we will learn about two key African American historical heroes.
  • Inform them that they will read about, compare, and contrast W.E.B. Du Bois and George Washington Carver.
  • Tell students that no two heroes are the same, but they often share certain characteristics.
(15 minutes)
  • Show a copy of the Venn Diagram sheet on the document camera.
  • Tell students that you will compare two known African-American heroes, writer Maya Angelou and ActivistMartin Luther King Jr. Inform students that an activist is a person who works to make political or social change happen. Show a copy of the worksheet Historical Heroes: Martin Luther King Jr.And Historical Heroes: Maya Angelou* on the document camera.
  • Read aloud each text and share your thinking with the students. Fill out the Character Comparison Venn Diagram, comparing the two heroes. Write 'fought in Civil Rights movement against the discrimination of African American and for their equal rights' in the Both section of the diagram. Write 'renowned poet and writer', and 'received highest civilian honor from President. Obama' on the left side of the diagram under Maya Angelou. Write 'Civil Rights leader', 'a federal holiday honors him', and 'won Nobel Peace Prize in 1964' on the right side of the diagram under Martin Luther King Jr.
(15 minutes)
  • Hand out a copy of each of the two worksheets on the historical heroes (W.E.B. Du Bois and George Washington Carver), along with a copy of the Character Comparison Venn Diagram to each student.
  • Ask students to carefully read each page and complete the word scrambles at the bottom.
  • Instruct students to work in groups of two or three students to complete the Character Comparison Venn Diagram, comparing and contrasting W.E.B. Du Bois and George Washington Carver.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students take out their journals, notebooks, or plain lined paper. Tell students that they will now use their notes from the Venn Diagram, along with the two worksheets on the historical heroes to write a comprehensive paragraph comparing and contrasting the two figures. Make sure each student feels prepared to independently write the paragraph by circulating the room to check in with students.
  • Support
  • Read the texts aloud during Guided practise time.
  • Provide sentence frames for students during the writing portion of the lesson. Some could say, 'Their common characteristics include , , and _.' or 'Du Bois and Carver were different in that one was ____While the other was ___.' or 'Both And _ were ___Because they ____.'
  • Enrichment
  • Have students research two historical figures of their choosing to compare and contrast, make a poster or a report, and present to the class.
  • Show a video about the life and achievements of W.E.B. Du Bois and watch a song about George Washington Carver (see additional resources).
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to read their paragraphs to a partner and listen in on their conversations to get a sense of how well they compared and contrasted the two figures. * Invite a few students to read their paragraphs aloud to the class.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out a piece of paper to each student and have them answer the following 3-2-1 prompt.
  • Write on a piece of chart paper: Write 3 things you learned in today's lesson. Write 2 things you have questions about. ** Write 1 thing you want the teacher to know. "

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