Fifth Grade Unit Plan

Name of Project:   Louisiana - Then and Now           

Duration: April 23 - May 18

 Subject/Content:  American Revolution to the War of 1812                             

Grade Level:  5

Overall Driving Question:  How has Louisiana changed over the last 200 years?  Let's look at Louisiana - Then and Now!

Cluster Guiding Question:  Louisiana Culture - How has the culture of Louisiana changed over the last 200 years? (4-6)


Narrative and Expository Non-Fiction, Poetry, Biography, Almanac, Exploring the Gulf Coast
1.    Identify word meanings using a variety of strategies, including: using context clues (e.g., definition, restatement, example, contrast), using structural analysis (e.g., base words, roots, affixes), determining word origins (etymology), using electronic and print dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries (ELA-1-M1)
4.    Develop specific vocabulary (e.g., for reading scientific, geographical, historical, and mathematical texts, as well as news and current events) for various purposes (ELA-1-M1)
5.    Identify and explain story elements, including: theme development, character development, relationship of word choice and mood, plot sequence (e.g., exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution) (ELA-1-M2)
7.    Answer literal and inferential questions in oral and written responses about ideas and information in grade-appropriate texts, including: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, songs (ELA-1-M3)
8.    Identify the connections between ideas and information in a variety of texts (e.g.,cartoons, poetry, fiction, instructional manuals) and real-life situations and other texts (ELA-1-M4)
9.    Identify cultural characteristics, including customs, traditions, and viewpoints, found in national, world, and multicultural literature in oral and written responses (ELA-6-M1)
11.  Use knowledge of the distinctive characteristics to classify and interpret elements of various genres, including: fiction (e.g., folktales, fairy tales, fables, legends, short stories, novels), nonfiction (e.g., biography, autobiography, informational text), poetry (e.g., lyric, narrative), drama (e.g., one-act play or skits) (ELA-6-M3)
12.  Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including: sequencing events and steps in a  process, summarizing and paraphrasing information, identifying stated and implied main ideas and supporting details for each, comparing and contrasting literary elements and ideas, making simple inferences and drawing conclusions, predicting the outcome of a story or situation with reasonable justification, identifying literary devices (ELA-7-M1)
13.  Examine and explain the relationship between life experiences and texts to generate solutions to problems (ELA-7-M2)
16.  Explain how the author's viewpoint (perspective, bias) is reflected in the text (ELA-7-M3)
17.  Analyze grade-appropriate print and non-print texts using various reasoning skills, including: identifying cause-effect relationships, raising questions, thinking inductively and deductively, generating a theory or hypothesis, skimming/scanning, distinguishing facts from opinions and probability (ELA-7-M4)
22.  Develop grade-appropriate paragraphs and multi-paragraph compositions using the various modes (i.e., description, narration, exposition, and persuasion), emphasizing narration and exposition (ELA-2-M4)
25.  Write for various purposes, including: formal and informal letters that state a purpose, make requests, or give compliments; evaluations of media, such as films, performances, or field trips; explanations of stories and poems using retellings, examples, and text-based evidence (ELA-2-M6)
30.  Spell high-frequency, commonly confused, frequently misspelled words correctly (ELA-3-M5)
48.  Interpret information from a variety of grade-appropriate sources, including timelines, charts, schedules, tables, diagrams, and maps (ELA-5-M6)

3.    Find the greatest common factor (GCF) and least common multiple (LCM) for whole numbers in the context of problem-solving (N-1-M)
6.    Compare positive fractions, decimals, and positive and negative integers using symbols (i.e., <, =, >) and number lines (N-2-M)
7.    Read and write numerals and words for decimals through ten thousandths. (N-3-M)
9.    Add and subtract fractions and decimals in real-life situations (N-5-M)
11.  Multiply 3-digit by 1-digit numbers, 2-digit by 2-digit numbers, and divide 3-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers, with and without remainders (N-6-E) (N-7-E)
12.  Divide 4-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers with the quotient written as a mixed number or a decimal (N-7-M)

34.  Identify the components of the hydrosphere 
35.  Identify the atmosphere as a mixture of gases, water vapor, and particulate matter 
36.  Identify, describe, and compare climate zones (e.g., polar, temperate, tropical) 
37.  Identify typical weather map symbols and the type of weather they represent

Social Studies
1.    Describe the characteristics, functions, and applications of various types of maps (G-1A-M1)
2.    Compare the uses of different types of maps, including two different types of maps of the same area (G-1A-M1)
3.    Interpret a map, using a map key/legend and symbols, distance scale, compass rose, cardinal or intermediate directions, and latitude and longitude (G-1A-M2)
4.    Locate major landforms and geographic features, places, and bodies of water/waterways on a map of the United States (G-1A-M2)
5.    Translate a mental map into sketch form to illustrate relative location, size, and distances between places (G-1A-M3)
9.    Explain ways in which goals, cultures, interests, inventions, and technological advances affected perceptions and uses of places or regions in Colonial America (G-1B-M4)
13.  Explain how geographic differences and similarities among the thirteen American colonies contributed to political cooperation and conflict (G-1C-M7)
16.  Identify the natural resources used by people in the United States (G-1D-M3)
17.  Compare aspects of American colonial government (e.g., local, colonial governors, role of the British parliament and Crown) to present-day U.S. local, state, and national government (C-1A-M5)
20.  Construct a timeline of key events in American history (beginnings to 1763) (H-1AM1)
21.  Demonstrate an understanding of relative and absolute chronology by interpreting data presented in a timeline (H-1A-M1)
22.  Identify different points of view about key events in early American history (H-1AM2)
23.  Identify the causes, effects, or impact of a given event in early American history (H-1A-M3)
24.  Use both a primary and secondary source to describe key events or issues in early American history (H-1A-M4)
25.  Identify historical issues or problems in early America and explain how they were addressed (H-1A-M5)
26.  Conduct historical research using a variety of resources to answer historical questions related to early American history (H-1A-M6)
36.  Identify instances of both cooperation and conflict between Indians and European settlers (H-1B-M3)
39.  Describe reflections of European culture, politics, and institutions in American life (H-1B-M5)
40.  Explain why some colonists felt loyal to England due to their cultural, political, and economic ties to their homeland (H-1B-M5)

Major Products & Performances


"Tell us About the Past - Win the Present!"            

Class Competition Guidelines  Printer Friendly Contest Guidelines  

Competition Rubric  Printer Friendly Rubric

Each teacher will assist his/her class in submitting a class Presentation of Learning (POL) display that has been developed by the students of his/her class.  The displays will be featured during the School Showcase to take place May 14th - May 17th.  The class POL display may include but is not limited to:  tri-fold display board designed by the class with pictures to illustrate their work on the project; displays of individual and group products produced during the project; digital artifacts and/or products produced during the project, etc.  The class POLs will be judged at the school level and a school winner will be chosen in each cluster (K-1, 2-3, 4-6). Each class that is a school winner will be featured in the district Virtual Showcase.  The school winners will compete in a district contest and the winners of this contest will receive a set of five iPods as a reward. 

School Competitions:

  • Each school will be responsible to host a Louisiana: Then and Now Showcase (May 14-17).
  • A judging committee of the principal's choice will be established. (Suggestions include: school librarian, assistant principal, guidance counselor, curriculum coordinator, instructional practitioners, retired teachers, etc.)
  • Rubrics will be provided to classes in advance so they will understand what characteristics will be judged.
  • School contest winners must be decided by Thursday, May 17th.
  • There will be a school winner for each cluster (K-1; 2-3; 4-6).
  • Each class that is a school winner will be featured in the district Virtual Showcase.
  • Each class that is a school winner will participate in the district contest.

District Competitions:

The judging will take place during the ELT assigned school visit on May 21 - 22. The classes will present their projects to the judging committee comprised of ELT members.

  • Each class will have 5 minutes to showcase their projects to the judges.
  • Judges will ask questions after the presentation is completed.
  • Judges will score rubrics individually. ISS/IT will tabulate the rubrics. District winners will be featured at June School Board meeting.

Group/Class Products/Performances:

  • Create a group timeline of historical events in both the nation and Louisiana between 1700's and 1800's. Groups will compare the timelines noting similarities and differences in the events.
  • Create a book that illustrates the differences between the American Revolution and War of 1812 (uniforms, weapons, songs of war, battle slogans, etc.)
  • Create a political campaign podcast based on research of an historical political figure from Louisiana's past 200 years.
  • Create a map showing the original Lewis and Clark route plus two alternate routes.
  • Using recycled or household materials, students will design and build a weather instrument (rain gauge, anemometer, etc.) for the future.

Individual Products/Performances:

  • Historical Maps of Louisiana Throughout 200 Years (or more) beginning with Louisiana Purchase and move to present.
  • Create a current map of Louisiana with an original compass rose and key geographical features.
  • Create a Venn Diagram on the Causes and Effects of the American Revolution and War and 1812.
  • Create an illustration showing the Louisiana Flag of Statehood (1812) and today's modern Louisiana Flag (drawing, computer generated, mosaic, etc.)
  • Create a campaign poster for an historical political figure from Louisiana's past 200 years.
  • Create a map showing the expedition of Lewis and Clark as they travel through the Louisiana Territory.
  • Create an artifact based on an item/document related to Lewis and Clark expeditions.
  • Create a chart that shows mathematical concepts such as differences in distance, costs, etc., of Lewis and Clark's expedition.
  • Create political cartoons based on the selected historical Louisiana political figure and a current political campaign.
  • Create two budgets for a political campaign - Then and Now.
  • Create a Weather A-Z poster.
  • Locate major waterways, lakes, elevations, etc., on a map.
  • Create a display (maps, illustrations, etc.) about Louisiana's wetlands - then and now.

Entry Event:  Overview of Louisiana Bicentennial (1 or 2 day)

Louisiana Bicentennial Website  

Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference 
This is a pdf file that everyone should download/save to their computer's desktop, as it will be used throughout the project-based learning unit. By saving it on the desktop, it will be convenient for future reference and use.


Week One

Notes:  The first week will begin with the entry event on the Louisiana Bicentennial.  All subjects will begin with the introduction then move to subject-specific skills based on the theme of Louisiana - Then and Now!   All of the information throughout the unit/lessons will tie in to a culminating project of a "Louisiana - Then and Now!" Almanac.

NOTE: A Louisiana - Then and Now! Project-Based Learning Unit Checklist will be completed at the end of the project-based learning unit.  The checklist will be completed by the teacher for each student and placed in the students' portfolio.  The checklist is a complete checklist for all projects across subject areas.  This is a cross-curricular unit and students should get one ultimate grade in each subject area for participation and products in all areas.  The information for this unit will cross curricular lines and will be used in all subject areas.

Procedures for Week One            


  1. Inform students they will be learning about the 200th Anniversary of Louisiana Statehood through a unit entitled "Louisiana - Then and Now!"  It will focus on map skills, key historical events, and the cultures that influenced Louisiana over the last 200 years.  Inform students that they will be learning about the 200th Anniversary of Louisiana Statehood (Louisiana's 200th Birthday!) through a unit entitled Louisiana - Then and Now. The teacher will use the SMART Notebook Lesson 5 LA Bicentennial.
  2. Assess prior knowledge by asking questions such as, "What is a bicentennial?"  and "What cultures from around the world have influenced Louisiana?", etc.
  3. The teacher will use the following resources:
    Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference (
    Intro 4-6 Louisiana Bicentennial Overview Revised SMART Notebook (provided)
    Louisiana Statehood Presentation PowerPoint (Used by permission of East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library)
  4. There are additional Louisiana Bicentennial resources at the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library wesbite.
  5. States in Louisiana Purchase Teacher's Guide (provided) 
  6. At the end of this overview, teacher will administer the Louisiana Bicentennial Overview Quiz that is provided.


  1. Teacher will introduce vocabulary words for the unit:  bicentennial, revolution, centennial, constitution, convention, capital, capitol, heritage, history, state, territory, latitude, longitude, etc.  This will address identifying general words, specific vocabulary words for reading geographical texts, and words often confused.  Louisiana Vocabulary Notebook
  2. Using the theme Feats of Daring - Lewis and Clark, the teacher will help students identify and explain story elements, including: theme development, character development, relationship of word choice and mood, plot sequence (e.g., exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution).  Feats of Daring - Lewis and Clark Notebook
  3. Students will answer literal and inferential questions in oral and written responses about ideas and information in grade-appropriate texts, including: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, songs.
  4. Using the pre-Louisiana Purchase map created in social studies, students will record the journeys of Lewis and Clark as they explore the Louisiana Territory.  Resources for Lewis and Clark Expedition:
  5. Students will assume the role of an explorer traveling with Lewis and Clark.
  6. Using the Lewis and Clark Exploration Journal, students will record the sights and experiences of their journey with Lewis and Clark.
  7. They may illustrate their writings if they choose. 
  8. They should address topics such as sights, sounds, land forms, weather, etc. 
  9. Assess using the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric


  1. Teacher will lead a discussion of fractions and decimals as an overview of the week.
  2. Students will take the numbers from timelines, mileage of journeys, etc., and add, subtract, divide, and multiply fractions and decimals. 
  3. Students will use the Louisiana Purchase map created in Social Studies and map the locations of St. Charles, MO, and Portland, OR (the starting and ending points of the Lewis and Clark Expedition).
  4. Students will then work as a group to map the correct route of the journey using a scale. 
  5. Using the Lewis and Clark Alternate Routes Activity Sheet, groups will then pick two other routes and measure the approximate number of miles. 
  6. Students will create a chart that compares the original route and the alternate routes, telling the difference in distances.
  7. Teacher may include any additional math activities that reinforce the skills taught this week.
  8. Assess using: either the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric or teacher can use to grade the Lewis and Clark Activtiy Sheet as a grade itself.


  1. Teacher will lead an overview of climate zones and how they can change.
  2. Students will identify, describe, and compare the climate zones Lewis and Clark's Expedition encountered along their journey through the Louisiana Territory.
  3. Using the Louisiana Purchase Map created in Social Studies, students will locate, map, and identify the climate zones from #2.
  4. Teacher will move from Louisiana at the time of purchase to modern Louisiana and discuss the climate zones and weather patterns of modern Louisiana.
  5. Students will identify typical weather map symbols and the type of weather they represent by placing them on map of modern Louisiana.  Students/teacher may use the following resources to locate forecasts for major cities in Louisiana:
  6. Students will place their forecast information on a map of Louisiana (Louisiana Outline Map).
  7. Students/Teacher will monitor the weather for seven days and decide whether the forecasts were accurate or not, citing possible reasons for any variations.
  8. Accurate completion of the Louisiana Weather Chart will be one assessment.
  9. Assessment of the Weather Map may also use the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

Social Studies

  1. The teacher will lead a discussion about types of maps (land, relief, etc.) and then assign students the task of researching (using World Book, LPB, or other sites) how Louisiana's boundaries have changed from colonial times to the present.
  2. Students will create maps (hand-drawn, computer illustrated, clay relief maps, etc.) that show at least four different historical perspectives (Louisiana pre-Louisiana Purchase through modern-day Louisiana).  Assess using LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.
  3. Students will identify the causes, effects, or impact of the Lewis and Clark exploration of the Louisiana Territory. They may make a split-page note taking chart, bubble cluster, or other graphic organizer.
  4. Using the National Geographic resource (, students will view primary and secondary sources related to Lewis and Clark and their exploration of early Louisiana.
  5. Students will recreate one of the (primary sources/artifacts (personal property, maps, journal writing, etc.) in any manner that is appropriate and write a brief explanation of the item and why it was important in history.
  6. Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

Week Two

Notes:  This week will focus on the American Revolution, what was taking place in what would become Louisiana at the time, and moves to the Battle of New Orleans.  This portion of the unit will focus on changes that took place between the two key historic events (uniforms, weapons, etc.)

Procedures for Week Two

All Subjects

April 30 - Happy Birthday, Louisiana!! Activity - Any of these activities can be used as assessment.


  1. Teacher will pull examples of revolutionary literature and allow students to read excerpts from the books, stories, etc.  A suggested list is included in the resources section.
  2. Students will develop a grade-appropriate paragraph and multi-paragraph compositions using the various modes (i.e., description, narration, exposition, and persuasion), emphasizing narration and exposition assuming the role of one of the soldiers in either war.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Essay Rubric.
  3. Student will create a "journal" of what it was like to be in battle based on the information they read in the overview of this portion and what they might find on line.
  4. In conjunction with the social studies topic of American Revolution and tying in the War of 1812 (a key event from Louisiana's past), the teacher will provide the template for the illustrated book comparing the two war times. 
  5. Students will research uniforms, weapons, battle slogans, battle techniques, key heroes, etc., and place them in the illustrated book.  Students may draw images or use computer-generated images. 
  6. Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric or LA Then and Now Writing Rubric.


  1. The teacher will review how to compare positive fractions, decimals, and positive and negative integers using symbols (i.e., <, =, >) and number lines.
  2. Students will use information about the American Revolution and the War of 1812 to create a poster, chart, etc., that uses the mathematical symbols to portray information.  (e.g., how many states fought in each war, how many soldiers were in each war)
  3. Shown a list of how much items cost (pay for soldiers, weapons, ammunition, food, etc.) during the time of War of 1812 and given a budget of $50,000, students will create a "battle plan" from the template included in this lesson.  Students must keep accurate track of the funding and add, subtract, multiply, and divide accordingly. Assessment will be accuracy of mathematical processes on the War of 1812 Battle of the Budget Activity Sheet.


  1. Teacher will lead a discussion of meteorology and various weather instruments.  Weather Instruments and Meteorology Website:
  2. Teacher will use the resources listed below to discuss weather (as a science) then and now.
  3. Teacher will determine if the following activity will be individual or small group.
  4. Students will design and create a weather instrument that could be used in the future.  Instructions can be found at:
  5. Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.
  6. Students will create a Weather A-Z poster.  All words relate to a weather term.  Students can draw or use computer-generated graphics.
  7. Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

Social Studies - From the American Revolution to the War of 1812 - A Lot Was Happening!

  1. Assess prior knowledge about the American Revolution by asking questions such as, "How did America gain her independence?", "Why did America fight the American Revolution?", and "Where were the battles of the American Revolution fought?"
  2. Start a lesson discussion by asking about battles and wars fought in Louisiana over the last 200 years. Use resources such as LPB and World Book to discuss historical Louisiana battles, specifically the War of 1812 and the battle of New Orleans, which helped lead to Louisiana statehood.
  3. Teacher will lead a discussion on causes/effects of both the American Revolution and the War of 1812/Battle of New Orleans which the students will compile on a Venn Diagram.
  4. Using World Book, students will create a My Research account if they do not have one.
  5. Using World Book Timelines, students will then look at the US History Timeline about the Revolutionary Times. They will make notes about key events in the timeline. Staying in World Book, students will identify key events from the War of 1812/Battle of New Orleans.
  6. They will then (as a group) modify the Revolutionary Times timeline to include time-correlating events from Louisiana history up until the War of 1812/Battle of New Orleans.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Timeline Rubric
  7. To finalize this portion of the unit, teacher and students will use the Primary Sources SMART Notebook to introduce primary resources.
  8. Students will then find primary sources to compare the flag of the nation before Louisiana's Statehood and after. Also, they will compare the flags of Louisiana before statehood, at the declaration of statehood, and today's modern flag.
  9. Students will re-create one of the flags from Louisiana's history in any medium they choose (hand-drawn, computer-generated, paper mosaic, etc.).  Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

Week Three

Notes:  The focus of this week's lessons will be the culture of politics beginning with the colonial times, but shifting to Louisiana, specifically Napoleonic Code.  How has the culture of politics changed in Louisiana over the last 200 years?

Procedures for Week Three

*** The teacher may wish to coordinate with all of the other 5th-grade teachers at the school and have a local expert come talk about politics in Louisiana (see resources below).

All Subjects

  1. Using LPB and World Book (among other possible sources), the teacher will lead a discussion on politics in the nation and particularly, the state of Louisiana.  How have political campaign strategies changed throughout the history of our state (word-of-mouth, stumping, television, programmed telephone calls, internet). 


  1. Louisiana Political History is the theme for this activity.  Students will select an historical political figure from Louisiana politics.
  2. They will use the Louisiana Politics - Then and Now! Research Guide to organize their findings. 
  3. Students will create a political campaign poster for their selected candidate.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.
  4. After looking at a political figure and campaign in social studies, students will identify the connections between ideas and information in a variety of texts (e.g.,cartoons, poetry, fiction, instructional manuals).
    History of Louisiana (Politics, architecture, etc.) -
    Political Campaign -
  5. Create political cartoons based on the selected historical Louisiana political figure. ( is a good online website where students can write words and thoughts to create a political cartoon. 
  6. Teacher will locate current statistics on different political races in the city, state, and nation and have students talk about the information that can be gathered from the charts, graphs, etc.  A good source for his information will be the local newspapers and their websites.
  7. Assess political cartoons using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.


  1. Teacher will lead discussion on "budget." Focus on terms related to budget (budget, entry, deduction, etc.) and point out that a budget is simply adding and subtracting.
  2. Using the Louisiana Politics Then and Now SMART Notebook pages 7-10, teacher will guide students through the campaign activity.
  3. Students will create a budget for a political campaign budget, not to exceed the given amount..  
  4. Teacher will create situations where the students would have to amend their budget (campaign contributions drop, costs go up, etc.).
  5. Assessment will be the checking of the Campaign Budget Sheet.
  6. Students will utilize research from the social studies and ELA portions to compare the prices for a campaign then and now (campaigns have moved from personal speeches to internet/media.)  Working in groups, students will create a chart to summarize the findings.


  1. Teacher will tie in the "political atmosphere" from the last 200 years in Louisiana as a lead-in for a study of the earth's atmosphere.  Both classes can actually discuss how political decisions can actually be based on weather/atmosphere (Katrina levees, flood, floodgates opened, etc.).
  2. Using the map of Louisiana created earlier in Social Studies, students will locate major flood plains, major waterways, elevations, and lakes (If needed, a map of Louisiana may be found here.)
  3. Use the resource to take students on an interactive tour of the Louisiana wetlands.  Students could also use "Mapping the Loss" page 10 from the Hurricane on the Bayou Educator's Guide.
  4. Students will create a map, illustration, etc., of the Louisiana Wetlands - Then and Now.  This product will be used for assessment.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

Social Studies

  1. The teacher will lead a discussion on the Napoleonic Code, which Louisiana is the only state in the US which follow this code.  How does this code make our laws different from other states?  Create a Venn Diagram on the SMART board while students create one at their desks.
  2. Teacher will divide class into groups for the political podcast activity. 
  3. Each group will select an historic political figure, research the platform, and create a 30-45 second political campaign ad (podcast) in the manner of their figure. 
  4. Each school library has a set of 5 iPods to use. 
  5. After sharing the podcasts (which will be linked on the web) with the class, students will hold a mock election. 
  6. The group podcasts will be used for assessment using the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric,  LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric, and/or the LA Then and Now Oral Expression Rubric.
  7. Teacher can then move into the current political events (presidential election, etc.) and how they affect both the nation and the state of Louisiana.  Using information from local newspapers/websites, the class will discuss current events in both Louisiana and national political arenas.
  8. If time permits, students can assume the roles of current political leaders and prepare for a mock debate.  Information gathered should include platform, campaign promises, etc.  Can be assessed using the LA Then and Now Oral Expression Rubric or the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric.

Week Four

Notes:    Week Four will be presentation week.  The presentation may be at the end of the week in order to finalize any projects that need to be finished.  Presentation will be finalized by the teachers at each school, but MUST include a presentation of learning (product showcase).  Suggestions are listed below.

  1. Louisiana - Then and Now Showcase 
    Have a large room divided into two halves (Louisiana-Then and Louisiana-Now).  The student products created during the activities of this unit would be displayed in the proper area of the room.
  2. Louisiana - 200 Years of History Timeline
    In conjunction with all of the grades at the school, create one long timeline around the gym/multipurpose room/cafeteria that reflects the historical events and products created by all grades that participated in the Louisiana-Then and Now unit.  Parents and community member can come view the display while students tell about their products, show their podcasts, sing historical songs/battle songs, etc. 


Formative Assessments  (During Project) 

Louisiana Bicentennial Overview Quiz

Practice Presentations
Create a map of Lewis and Clark's Exploration of the northwest portions of Louisiana Purchase
Create a current map of Louisiana with a compass rose and legend

Journal/Learning Log
Lewis and Clark Exploration Logs for various locations and dates of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Notes
Comparisons and contrasts between the American Revolution and the War of 1812
Differences in Louisiana's map outline over the last 200 years
Costs of a political campaign over the years
Locate major waterways, lakes, etc., on a map

Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes 

Rough Drafts
While no specific rough draft is outlined in the unit plan, the teacher may decide to use any of the written activities (interview, historical letter, etc.) as an additional rough draft assessment.                             

Concept Maps
Create a Venn Diagram on the Causes/Effects of the American Revolution and the War of 1812
Create mathematical charts showing differences in distance, costs, etc.

Online Tests/Exams                        


Summative Assessments  (End of Project)  

Written Product(s), with rubric: 
Comparison/Contrast essay on American Revolution and War of 1812
Create political cartoons about a specific Louisiana Historical Politician Other Product(s) /Performance(s), with rubric:
Comparison Book between American Revolution and War of 1812
Create a weather instrument (rain gauge, anemometer, etc.) out of recycled materials
Series of four (4) historical Louisiana maps showing changes over the last 200 years
Create a drawing, model, poster, etc., of the Louisiana Flag of Statehood (1812) and today's modern Louisiana Flag
Create a Weather A-Z poster

Oral Presentation, with rubric
Create a political campaign podcast Peer Evaluation

Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test                           


Essay Test                          

Louisiana Timeline
Create a map of Alternative Travel Routes for Lewis and Clark
Create a campaign poster for a Louisiana Historical Politician
Create a replica artifact from Lewis and Clark's expeditions
Create budgets for political campaigns in Louisiana - then and now
Create a Louisiana Wetlands Display

Subject Matter Experts (SME):

Subject Matter Experts are people who can come talk to (or the class may go to) who are considered to be experienced in a certain field of knowledge.  It is an integral part of a project-based learning unit to utilize SMEs.

Local Meteorologists for weather prediction
Local genealogy expert from Ouachita parish Public Library
International Students from the local university groups (ULM, Tech, Grambling) to discuss culture
Local reporters to discuss proper ways to conduct interviews
Local chefs to talk about Louisiana foods and ingredients
Local farmers to discuss growing produc
Political experts from the local universities (ULM, Tech, Grambling)
Local advertising agents/creators

Field Trips

Below is a linked list of possible field trips.  The list includes historical attractions in North and Central Louisiana.   These field trips could be a virtual tour or real world field trips.  Please remember when taking students on a field trip that the purpose of the tour or trip is "Louisiana:  Then and Now."  Plan the trip so that students will be able to interview or hear from officials the history of the attraction.  Please video the children while they are interviewing or talking to the officials.  Assigning them questions and letting them work in groups may facilitate a better interview.   It might be possible to check out the iPods from the school so the students could take pictures or videos. 

Upon returning from your field trip have students write a paragraph or an essay about the trip particularly in reference to what they have learned about "Louisiana:  Then and Now."  Or you may choose to assign them drawings or models to help illustrate what they have learned.  You may want to ask each group to make a presentation to the class about what they have learned.  Allow them to be creative with their presentation.  If possible let them use technology such as the iPods, digital cameras, etc. to help them with their presentation.  Students may be able to use Animoto, Voki, or other Web 2.0 websites to help them prepare their presentations.  When the students make their presentations have other students video the presentations.  Please remember to submit all videos and digital photo albums to the Virtual Showcase so they can be posted online.

Field Trip List

The teacher should review the list of trips and decide which trips would be best suited for the appropriate grade level theme.

Reflection Methods         
(Individual, Group, and/or Whole Class)

Journal/Learning Log
The student had opportunities to express their learning through formal journal entries in the unit.  The teacher can assign any other journal writing they feel appropriate and necessary in addition to the basic requirements of the unit.                                 

Whole-Class Discussion
There are many whole-class discussions/activities built into this unit plan.  The teacher can scaffold and use appropriate questioning techniques, providing feedback and adjusting lessons where needed              

There are numerous group activities planned in this unit.  As a result, students will be able to discuss their learning and reflect upon what they know and what they still want to know. (KWL)  

Additional Resources

LA Picture Perfect - Vermilion Parish Schools -

Celebrating Louisiana's Birthday - Vermilion Parish Schools

East BatonRouge Parish Library

If links are broken, please email Nancy Hodges at