4th Grade

2nd Placement

Montgomery Unit

I enjoyed working with my fourth graders at Brent Elementary. We completed a unit on Montgomery, Alabama, because they are planning on going on a field trip to Montgomery. I wanted to give them some background knowledge to take with them on the trip. We discussed the places they were going to go to in Montgomery: Old Alabama Town, Civil Rights Memorial Center, the State Capitol, and the Department of Archives and History as well as other important places in Montgomery, Alabama. I tied this unit into reading by incorporating The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis into the students' reading lessons. The students completed Glogster posters with partners on one of the four places that they are going to visit in Montgomery, Alabama.

Day 1:

For this first lesson, I first introduced the students to Glogster and showed them a Glogster tutorial video. We then went to the computer lab for the students to complete a study guide on Old Alabama Town by using the virtual tour. The students enjoyed looking at the virtual tour of Old Alabama Town. To end this lesson, we discussed how Old Alabama Town is different from Alabama now.

Day 2:

For my second lesson of my Montgomery Unit, the students first completed a class KWL chart on the Civil Rights Movement. I then showed a video about the Civil Rights Movement, and the students completed a matching study guide while watching the video. We had to watch the video 2-3 times in order for the students to complete their study guides. After the video, I read aloud the next chapter of The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 to the students.

Day 3:

My third lesson consisted of information on the previous and current state capitols. I began this lesson by asking the students whether or not they thought Alabama has had more than one capitol city. Most of the students believed that Alabama has had more than one capitol city. The students and I then read aloud a passage about the previous and current state capitols. After the reading aloud of that passage, my students and I then read aloud a passage about only the current State Capitol. I then displayed many Alabama maps, showing the previous and current state capitol cities. The students then placed each of these cities on a blank Alabama map and wrote underneath each city the year that it became a capitol city.

Day 4:

For my fourth lesson of my Montgomery Unit, my students read about information that they could find in the Alabama Department of Archives and History. My students put this information on a timeline, using the timeline on the Department of Archives and History's website.

Day 5:

During the fifth lesson of my Montgomery Unit, the students made rough drafts of their Glogster posters. I first allowed them to write down their top three choices of what place they would want to do their Glogsters on. I then placed the students in partners based on their choices. The students used their information from the previous days to write information on their rough drafts of their Glogster posters.

Day 6:

The students began working on their Glogster posters for the sixth lesson of my Montgomery Unit. I had to make a teacher account on edu.glogster.com. I then had access to 10 student accounts in which I changed the nicknames and passwords to fit the student partners. My students did not finish their Glogsters during this lesson; however, some partners presented what they had done on their Glogsters at the end of this lesson.

Day 7:

The seventh lesson of my Montgomery Unit consisted of the students completing a KWL chart on the First White House of the Confederacy.  The students viewed the virtual tour of the First White House of the Confederacy and read aloud the infomation presented in the virtual tour.

Day 8:

In the eighth lesson of my Montgomery Unit, the students began with a brainstorming activity on the word "dream."  We then watched a clip of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  The students then wrote and presented their own "I Have a Dream" speeches.  I really enjoyed hearing the students talk about their dreams.

Day 9:

The ninth lesson of my Montgomery Unit consisted of the students learning about Rosa Parks and conducting a debate on whether or not she should have gotten up on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  I began this lesson by reading aloud Rosa  by Giovanni.  This book gave the students background knowledge on Rosa Parks and her decision not to get up on the Montgomery bus.  After the reading aloud, I told the students how to conduct a debate and told them that they will be debating on this topic: Rosa Parks was right to not get up when the bus driver told her to on the bus in Montgomery.  I placed the students into three groups: affirmative, negative, and audience.  I gave the affirmative and negative groups time to write their many statements and present their speeches.  At the end of the debate, the audience decided that the affirmative group (pro-topic) won the debate.  I then planned on reading aloud the book The School is Not White! by Rappaport; we, however, did not have time to complete this task.    

Day 10:

On this final day of my Montgomery Unit, the students and I went to the computer lab again so the students could finish their Glogster posters with their partners.  I had to help some of the students with some tools, such as uploading pictures, on edu.glogster.com.  When the students finished their Glogster posters, we then came back to the room, and the students presented their Glogster posters, with their partners, to the class.  I liked that the Glogsters helped the students express their creativity. 

My Fourth Graders