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They Did WHAT?!: Living in the Adirondacks in the Old Days
Students will gain a deeper understanding of Adirondack historical towns, people, and employment by choosing to investigate an historical Adirondack figure, an historically significant Adirondack town or geographical area, or an historical method of making a living within the Adirondacks.
Goals & Objectives:

Instructional Goals:

  1. Students will effectively use the internet to find desired information.
  2. Students will use available databases successfully to find specific information.
  3. Students will successfully access information in print sources.
  4. Students will understand the history of a specific Adirondack person, place, or employment.
  5. Students will orally share with the class information about their specific Adirondack subject.
Also see attached lesson plan in supporting files.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will find two websites from which they can use information for their research.
  2. Students will find information about their research topic in one database.
  3. Students will find information for their research in two print resources.
  4. Students will tell the class three facts concerning their research subject.
  5. Students will produce at least ten organized and information-rich note cards, including appropriate citations.
  6. Students will share information on their topic in one of four oral methods: a monolog, a skit, an oral report, or reading of a book written by the student according to the oral presentation rubric.
  7. Students will produce a list of citations in the correct format.

Motivational Goals:

  1. Motivate students to continue learning about the history of the surrounding area of the Adirondacks.
  2. Increase students’ interest in the research process.
  3. Build students’ confidence in their ability to do research.
  4. Motivate students to continue to use their information literacy skills in the future.
Materials & Sources:
  • Costume and props
  • Whiteboard
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Internet accessible computer for each
  • Projection apparatus for computer
  • Handouts
    • Steps in accessing student account, internet, and databases. (specific to your school)
    • List of databases and passwords for access (specific to your school)
    • How to do citations, with examples
    • Oral Presentation Rubic (see supporting files)
    • Research ideas for students (see supporting files)
  • Highlighters and pencils
  • Paper



American Library Association. American Association of School Librarians Information Literacy Standards for the 21st Century Learner. 2007. 10 Sept 2008 <>.


Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). 2008. 20 Oct. 2008 <>.


New York City Board of Education parent brochures What Did You Learn in School Today? 2000-2001.


Small, Ruth V. (2005). Designing Digital Literacy Programs with IM-PACT: Information Motivation, Purpose, Audience, Content, and Technique. Neal-Schuman Publishers: New York.



Also see attached lesson plan in supporting files.

  • This lesson begins on a day that contains a double period (a block).
  • The Teacher librarian will dress up as an early settler/ woodsman/ trapper and will be in character doing a monologue of what she would be doing or would see that day, this week, this month, this season, this year, and for the foreseeable future.
  • This would pique the students’ interest about the early Adirondacks, the rugged life of the early settlers and some of the well-known early settlers.
  • The students will choose a person, town or region, or historical employment to research and report on.
  • Teacher and Teacher Librarian will bring up different Adirondack topics, giving a short, general summary.
  • The students, TL and teacher will brainstorm two questions concerning deeper, or less known information on the topic (town, person or employment) that would be interesting to know.
  • This process will be repeated using a number of different topics, writing the topics and questions on the board.
  • A brainstormed list of towns, people, and employments will then be started, and the students will be asked to either pick one from the list, or choose one that is not on the list.
  • Students will be given a handout containing research ideas.
  • Students will formulate two questions about the topic that would interest them.
  • TL, teacher and students will talk about the questions the students came up with.
  • Students will be encouraged to talk with their parents and neighbors about potential topics, or enlist the help of the TL or the social studies teacher.
  • Students will have a few days to decide upon their project.
  • With students at computers, they will be given handouts with the steps involved in getting into their accounts, getting onto the internet, and doing a topic search.
  • Students will be encouraged to notice how the steps are written as the TL walks students through the method of getting online, using databases, and gathering information, in order to facilitate the use of the instructional handouts when they attempt to use the internet on their own.
  • Students will spend time practicing on their own.
  • Students will receive a handout containing a list of  available databases, with passwords, and instructions on how to use them.
  • Students will be encouraged to highlight their handouts, and pencil in anything that will assist them in using the sheets in the future.
  • An Adirondack topic question will be used as the TL demonstrates the research activities.
  • The TL will talk through her thought processes as she searches and gathers information.
  • At this time, students will be given time in which to practice these new skills.
  • Students will be taught how to copy, paste and label useful internet sites into a word document.
  • Students will practice at this time.
  • Students will receive a handout on how to do citations, with examples.
  • TL will review information on citations, when and how to use them.
  • Students will practice making citations.
  • This project will be completed over a two week period.
  • Time will be provided in the library dedicated to research.
  • During the second class period in the library, the TL will talk about print resources.
  • The TL and teacher will look at the students’ topics and questions, and the students will spend the rest of the period doing research.
  • Students will produce organized note cards containing all information gathered about their subject.
  • Students will work individually on monologs or on skits with a few other students, which depict life in the Adirondacks encompassing the town, person, or employment that each student in the group researched.
  • Students that do not wish to engage in any acting may choose to give a traditional oral report or write a small book that can be read to the class.
  • Students will be given an Oral Presentation Rubic to help them prepare for their presentation.
  • Students, TL and teacher will end the project by discussing the research process; the steps, the challenges students faced, and what worked the best for some of the students.
  • TL will review why research is important, and how it improves our life experience.
Observation by teacher and TL. How student:
-Followed the research steps
-Navigated the internet
-Used the computer
-Verbalized thought processes during his research

Also see attached lesson plan in supporting files.
-Utilized print resources
-Worked together with other students
-Remained focused when working alone

Organized and informative note cards, including citations, produced by student

Thoroughness of information gathered by student

List of citations, in correct format

Final oral presentation is informative , thorough, and well done, as either a skit, a monolog, an oral report, or a self-written book reading

Compare presentation to Oral Presentation Rubric
Social Studies teacher for grade 4
Print this Lesson Plan
Presented By: Brooke Dittmar
Collaborative: Social Studies teacher for grade 4
Website by Data Momentum, Inc.