Lesson Planning Workshop 2

Oct 11, 2011
Everett High School
100 Elm Street, Everett
Google Map image of Everett High School

Please come in the main doors (the side facing the park), sign in as necessary, and then walk straight back from the front doors (keeping the cafeteria and the curved red wall to your right) to the elevator in the right, back corner. Take the elevator to the 5th floor. When you get off, go left through the library doors to the main area. The TLC is in the Library Workroom (Room 5002). Note -- this is the new high school. Be careful if you are using a GPS. Thanks!

Project Researcher Elizabeth Tousignant will explain how she can help each of us find those "golden nuggets" of primary sources.

Our mission will be to find sources that best match our lesson and unit goals. And to find little-seen and little-used primary sources, the digitization of which will help not only our students but the history-learning community.

Primary and Secondary Sources

  • What is a primary source?
  • What is a secondary source?
  • Are you confident that you the difference?
  • Do you students know the difference?

From our research, we have found that many teachers and students still have difficulty determining the difference between different types of research sources. The projects librarian, Elizabeth Tousignant, has assembled a powerpoint presentation that explains the difference.
Please review this Primary Source presentation and consider adding a quick review to your lesson.
Elizabeth's PowerPoint presentation on Primary Sources -

  • discuss the Research Process again.
  • What they will do on the November Research Day.
  • How they should have a general idea of a topic that they would like to research.
  • How sometimes research can be easy and other times it can be difficult.
  • How it is ok if their lesson shifts some because the items that they hoped to find are unavailable - but how other items might be even better.
  • You can also remind them to keep forms with them in when they are researching.
Kathy Grace shows Boston Globe magazine article on school lunches (10/12/11)

Identifying Sources Exercise

In this exercise, you will complete the Identifying Sources Worksheet (below) using the Guiding Question and Standard alignment from Lesson Planning 1. You can find your question on the Unit Teams 2011 page in the left navigation bar.

For this exercise, we would like you to think about this Guiding Question.
  • Which Summer Institute workshop or Fall Seminar sparked your interest and helped you to formulate this question?

Were you aware that both the Becoming America Wiki and Blog are excellent resources for information from these workshops and seminars?

Search the Becoming America Wiki
From the home page, scroll down to the Summer Institute or Fall Seminar listings in the main body of the page. Choose the seminar/institute that helped formulate your guiding question. The wiki contains pictures from the seminar/institute, PowerPoint presentations from the instructor and more. Scroll through the page. Is any of the information provided helpful in your research? Is there a name, place, activity which you could use in your research?

Becoming America Blog
At the top of each of the seminar/institute wiki pages, you will find a link to the blog entry associated with this seminar. You can also access the blog from the left hand navigation of this wiki - See BA Project Blog just before the orange Twitter box. Also notice below the orange Twitter box, we have an RSS feed from the blog which lists the last three blog entry titles and dates. Click on one of these links to get you to the blog.

Using Keywords to search the Wiki and the Blog

We have tried to be vigilant about linking keywords to our blog entries and wiki pages. These keywords make the sites more easy to search. For example, if you type the words "Fall Seminar" in the search bar of the blog, you should receive listings of all pages for the fall seminars both from this year and previous years. You can also search on the historian name, topic, immigrant group (e.g., Irish, Italian, Jewish), places, names, etc. Please do not limit your search to only the seminar/workshop from which you began. You may find that this topic has been covered by other historians or that the Teacher Learning Center Directors have found additional information about the topic and additional entries.

Print out and complete a copy of the Identifying Sources Worksheet -
Microsoft Word Version -
Adobe PDF version with fill-in fields -


Be sure to have a completed copy of the worksheet with you for Lesson Planning 3.
In Lesson Planning 3, we will brainstorm possible sources and create research plans to aid us in preparation of the November 8 Research Day!


Teacher Questions from LP1 / Standards list

We have two levels of understanding goals: unit and lesson. In the process of backwards design, we will write rubrics for each level.

As we revisit the standards and the focus for our lesson development, again ask what are the essential understandings that we want our students to gain? Refine your essential question to match the goal(s).

To aid ourselves today, we will form groups (sometimes with multiple standards) of lesson as units. With your unit group, write a rubric that exemplifies the essential understandings (learning goals) for your group of lessons. Individual lesson rubrics will be developed on your own.

To help you with your unit rubric creation, here is more information about rubrics, their creation and their use.

What Assessment Rubrics Are

Rubrics are assessment tools that identify criteria by which student processes, performances, or products will be assessed. They also describe the qualities of work at various levels of proficiency for each criterion. Think of them answering the question, "What will be the demonstrations of understanding?" In other words, "What are the end goals of the lesson? How will we know what the students know?"

Rubrics are helpful in that they identify, in advance, the learning goals. Giving students the rubric at the beginning of the unit or lesson helps these learners to identify the learning goals and to see examples of performance. The standards contained in the rubric serve as models for the students and enhance understanding.

Rubrics help the design of lessons that are created as webquests. Click here for more explanation and links to examples of rubrics. See below for more!


The lesson assessment rubric will incorporate both historical thinking benchmarks and American history curriculum frameworks.

It serves as a "guiding document" in our backwards-planning process of unit and lesson creation. What should students be able to know and to do after exploring the lessons in your unit?


PDF version

Fillable PDF Version

Would you like to type directly into the PDF? Download and open this version of the PDF.
You can save your rubric using Adobe Reader 8 or higher. (Reader is free)
Fillable PDF rubric. Save text using Adobe Reader.

[242 KB]

MS WORD version

Lesson Rubrics Examples

High School Lesson
Taryn Ross - View Rubric
View example of unit (content) rubric at the lesson level.

Grade 5 Lesson
Colleen Synan - View Rubric
View example of unit (content) rubric at the lesson level.

Grade 3 Lesson
Inmaculada Peters - View Rubric
View example of unit (content) rubric at the lesson level.

2. ACTIVITY RUBRICS for LESSONS -- Examples and Explanation


The following types of assessment rubrics may be used to help students determine their performance for a given activity or sets of activities for a lesson:

  • Generic rubrics provide descriptions of proficiency levels that can be applied to a range of student performance processes, performances, or products. Using the same rubric for similar tasks helps teachers manage marking assignments based on student choice, and helps students internalize the common qualities of effective processes, performances, and products.

  • Task-specific rubrics describe the criteria used in assessing specific forms such as the examination of a historical document, analyzing census data, or interpreting editorial cartoons. Complex student projects may require a different rubric for each phase (for example, a group inquiry project may require a rubric for collaborative work, information-gathering processes, oral presentations, and written reports).

  • Holistic rubrics are used to assign a single mark to a process, performance, or product on the basis of its adequacy in meeting identified criteria.

Rubrics have the power to guide our instructional choices as we design learning experiences in lessons. They are different from checklists and rating scales.
  • Checklists are lists of criteria that do not distinguish among levels of performance. They are used to assess the presence or absence of certain behaviors, and are most suitable for assessing processes (for example, “Did the student perform all the necessary steps?”). Because they require “Yes/No” judgments from the assessor, checklists are easy for students to use in peer assessment.
  • Rating scales ask assessors to rate various elements of a process, performance, or product on a numerical scale. They do not provide complete descriptions of performance at various levels.

A sample rubric table with one assessment item (for a lesson about using rubrics in evaluation) would look like this:

Students will be able to....
Use rubrics in evaluation
Fully complete all columns of the rubric;
Coordinate tasks in lesson to
descriptions of the task and
descriptions of performance.
Lists all performance tasks in
Fills in all columns.
Lists several tasks but
not all in the lesson;
briefly describes levels
of performance.
Fills in some columns.

Lists several tasks but
not all in the lesson;
does not describe all
levels of performance.
or no


The same rubric form for units may be used for lessons, however, the listing of activities and descriptions of performance will be different.

See examples of unit rubrics above.

4. Helpful Tips

To create your own rubric on your Wiki page, try inserting a "Table" (on the Tool bar when you are in Editing mode).

To edit the table, click on the table itself and then click on the table icon which appears. The drop-down menu (click on the downward arrow) will give you the options to add to or delete from your table.

Here's a blank table to get you started. Just copy and paste the whole table, then cut and paste your text into the boxes of the table. You will be able to edit the table once you have added it to your Wiki page (when you are logged in and are in the Edit mode!).

Students will be able to....