Friday, April 26, 2013

The Infamous Mr. Washington

This last summer I got the WONDERFUL opportunity to get to attend the Mount Vernon Teacher Institute. While at this institute, I got to spend an entire week at Mount Vernon learning about our first President. To say I came back with many ideas is an understatement. I came back with more ideas then I will EVER be able to have time to teach.

I start teaching about Washington during the French and Indian War. We then continue to learn more about him as a leader during the American Revolution. We also compare him to King George III as the Revolution draws to a close. Finally, we talk about him as President under the new Constitution. These discussions of George Washington are done through the lens of other events. This year after testing, I decided to teach a unit just on George Washington.

George Washington Leads the Way

At my teacher institute, I got the opportunity to meet Bentley Boyd, the author of this fabulous comic about George Washington. George Washington Leads the Way tells the story of Washington's life while tying his life to seven leadership traits. This comic is great, and my students loved it!

I broke my students into groups of three or four and each group read about one leadership trait of G.W. They then reported back to the whole class what they had read and at least three examples of how Washington displayed that trait during their reading. All the students wrote down at least one example for each word. I changed the directions slightly from what the worksheet below asks.
We then took a few minutes to discuss our School Creed and the things they vow to do every day as a student. They then used our School Creed as a guide to write a creed for George Washington. They were required to use all seven of the qualities we read about. I'm actually pretty proud of how these turned out.

Lessons Learned: I really only planned one class period to do this lesson, but it took two. We didn't have much time for them to be able to read them to each other. Next year, I will allow more time so we can share. Also, I would have loved to have enough copies of the book so each student could have their own. The seven words would have also made a great vocabulary lesson. Maybe instead of doing it all in one lesson, to do seven smaller lessons. Introduce the word, read the comic, summarize how he showed that word, and maybe do a vocabulary card for each word.

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