Fourth Grade Unit Plan

Name of Project: Louisiana - Then and Now 

Duration: April 23 - May 18

Subject/Content: Louisiana's Influence on the Nation/Great Louisianians Grade Level: 4

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)


English Language Arts
Expository Non-fiction, Narrative Poetry, Narrative Non-fiction, Tall Tales, Historical Fiction, Biography, Reader's Theater
1. Use understanding of base words, roots, prefixes, and suffixes to decode more complex words (ELA-1-E1)
2. Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words using knowledge of word origins and inflections (ELA-1-E1)
3. Determine word meanings, word choices, and pronunciations using a broad variety of reference aids such as dictionaries, thesauruses, synonym finders, and reference software (ELA-1-E1)
4. Adjust speed of reading to accomplish purpose based on text complexity (ELA-1-E3)
6. Identify literary devices, including metaphor and hyperbole (ELA-1-E4)
7. Answer literal and inferential questions about ideas and information in grade-appropriate texts in oral and written responses (ELA-1-E5)
8. Connect information in grade-appropriate texts to prior knowledge and real-life situations in oral and written responses (ELA-1-E6)
9. Increase oral and silent reading fluency and accuracy with grade-appropriate texts (ELA-1-E7)
13. Identify and explain the defining characteristics of various types of literature, including the myth and the legend (ELA-6-E3)
14. Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, such as: sequencing events and steps in 
a process; explaining how the setting impacts other story elements, including the characters' traits and actions, using specific evidence 
from a story to describe a character's traits, actions, relationships, and/or motivations; confirming or denying a prediction about 
information in a text; comparing and contrasting story elements or information within and across texts; identifying stated main ideas and 
supporting details; making simple inferences (ELA-7-E1)
16. Distinguish an author's purpose for writing, including entertaining, expressing an opinion, defending an argument, or conveying 
information (ELA-7-E3)
19. Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including: supporting differences 
between fact and opinion with information from texts; skimming and scanning texts for various purposes (e.g., locating information, 
verifying facts); identifying cause-effect relationships in texts and real-life situations; generating questions to guide examination of topics in 
texts and real-life situations; explaining connection between information from texts and real-life experiences (ELA-7-E4)
20. Write compositions of at least three paragraphs organized with the following: a clearly stated central idea; an introduction and a conclusion; 
a middle developed with supporting details; a logical, sequential order; transitional words and phrases that unify points and ideas (ELA-2-
21. Organize individual paragraphs with topic sentences, relevant elaboration, and concluding sentences (ELA-2-E1)
22. Identify an audience for a specific writing assignment and select appropriate vocabulary, details, and information to create a tone or set the 
mood and to affect or manipulate the intended audience (ELA-2-E2)
23. Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes, including the following: selecting topic and form; 
prewriting (e.g., brainstorming, researching, raising questions, generating graphic organizers); drafting; conferencing with peers and 
teachers; revising based on feedback and use of various tools (e.g., LEAP21 Writer's Checklist, rubrics); proofreading/editing; publishing 
using available technology (ELA-2-E3)
24. Develop paragraphs and compositions of at least three paragraphs using the various modes (i.e., description, narration, exposition, and 
persuasion), emphasizing narration and description (ELA-2-E4)
25. Use a variety of literary devices, including hyperbole and metaphor, in compositions (ELA-2-E5)
26. Write for various purposes, including: formal and informal letters that follow a specific letter format, include relevant information, and use 
an appropriate closure; informational reports that include facts and examples and that present important details in a logical order; book 
reports that include an opinion and/or a persuasive viewpoint (ELA-2-E6)
37. Demonstrate active listening strategies, including asking questions, responding to cues, and making eye contact (ELA-4-E5)
50. Read and interpret timelines, charts, graphs, schedules, tables, diagrams, and maps generated from grade-appropriate materials (ELA-5-E6)

2. Read, write, compare, and order whole numbers using place value concepts, standard notation, and models through 1,000,000 (N-1-E) (N-3-E) (A-1-E)
4. Know all basic facts for multiplication and division through 12 x 12 and 144 ÷ 12, and recognize factors of composite numbers less than 50 (N-1-E) (N-6-E) 
10. Solve multiplication and division number sentences including interpreting remainders (N-4-E) (A-3-E)
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-7E)
12. Count money, determine change, and solve simple word problems involving money amounts using decimal notation (N-6-E) (N-9-E) (M-1-E) (M-5-E)
13. Determine when and how to estimate, and when and how to use mental math, calculators, or paper/pencil strategies to solve multiplication and division 
problems (N-8-E)
14. Solve real-life problems, including those in which some information is not given (N-9-E)
35. Find and interpret the meaning of mean, mode, and median of a small set of numbers (using concrete objects) when the answer is a whole number (D-1-E)

3. Use observations to design and conduct simple investigations or experiments to answer testable questions (SI-E-A2)
10. Express data in a variety of ways by constructing illustrations, graphs, charts, tables, concept maps, and oral and written explanations as appropriate (SI-E-
A5) (SI-E-B4)
11. Combine information, data, and knowledge from one or more of the science content areas to reach a conclusion or make a prediction (SI-E-A5)
19. Describe procedures and communicate data in a manner that allows others to understand and repeat an investigation or experiment (SI-E-B5)
20. Determine whether further investigations are needed to draw valid conclusions (SI-EB6)
21. Use evidence from previous investigations to ask additional questions and to initiate further explorations (SI-E-B6)
22. Explain and give examples of how scientific discoveries have affected society (SI-EB6)

Social Studies
16. Identify ways in which people in the United States depend upon and modify the physical environment (G-1D-E1)
19. Describe the use, distribution, and importance of natural resources in different regions of the United States using geographic tools such as 
maps (G-1D-E4)
57. Identify leaders and their influence in the early development of America (H-1C-E1)
59. Identify a document/speech/address significant to the development of the nation from an excerpt (e.g., Preamble to the U.S. Constitution), 
and identify the author/speaker of a particular document/speech/address (H-1C-E1)
63. Identify how dance, music, and arts of various cultures around the world reflect the history, daily life, and beliefs of the people (H-1D-E1)

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 Who's Who on the Bayou Louisiana Celebrity Almanac.
  • Create a Reader's Theater script based on an original Louisiana legend/myth.
  • Create a solar cooker as means of alternative energy.
  • Create a class map of Prominent Louisiana Citizens and their birth/death locations.
  • Re-create a dance from a specific culture that has influenced Louisiana.
  • Create a food dish from a culture that has influenced Louisiana.
  • Learn and sing a song from a culture group that has influenced Louisiana.
  • Create a 200 Years of Louisiana History Timeline with famous Louisiana citizens' births, deaths, accomplishments, etc.

Individual Products/Performances:

  • Create a map of the Louisiana's natural resources.
  • Create a split-page notetaking chart for Louisiana's natural Resources - Then and Now!
  • Create a poster display on "Louisiana Energy Sources - Then and Now!
  • Write a persuasive essay on "Why should we celebrate Earth Day?"
  • Create a Louisiana Historic Travel Plan based on modes of travel throughout Louisiana history.
  • Create a display about one item that can be reused/recycled. Can be in the form of: 1) digital presentation, 2) Publisher
  • Document, 3) trifold display board, or 4) other publishing source.
  • Create a Who's Who on the Bayou Louisiana Celebrity Almanac entry.
  • Create a "Cell Phones from the Past" conversation overview for times before 1900 and from 1900-present.
  • Create an illustrated myth or legend that centers on Louisiana now and/or its past.
  • Write a persuasive letter to an author to convince him to set his next story in a specific Louisiana location and for his next book to contain their original Louisiana myth/legend.
  • Create a floor plan of their house and calculate the approximate square footage using the formula to find the area of a rectangle.
  • Create a model of a source of energy (windmill, oil well, nuclear reactor, etc.) commonly found in Louisiana using materials on hand.
  • Create a Famous Louisianian Trading Card.
  • Create a Famous Louisianian poster.
  • Create a 30-second (maximum) video wherein the student dresses up as and talks about a famous Louisiana citizen -past or present.
  • Create a "Louisiana Entertainment - Then and Now!" Interview Summary as assigned.
    Write an illustrated original non-fiction story based on the entertainment interviewee responses.
  • Create a Venn Diagram comparing entertainment in Louisiana - Then and Now!
  • Create an Entertainment History in Louisiana poster display.
  • Create a Famous Louisiana Citizen timeline containing major events in the person's life.
  • Create a musical instrument commonly found in Louisiana music from recycled materials.

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.

Calendar of Activities

Week One

 Louisiana is an abundance of natural resources. However, if we don't take care of the resources we have, they will cease to exist. This week we will focus on Louisiana and its natural resources now and through last 200 years. How have our contributions of natural resources and their distribution throughout the United States impacted our nation's society?
Procedures for Week One

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.

All Subjects
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.
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:
     a.   Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference (
     b.   Intro 4-6 Louisiana Bicentennial Overview Revised SMART Notebook (provided)
     c.   Louisiana Statehood Presentation PowerPoint (Used by permission of East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library)
     d.   There are additional resources at the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Librarywebsite.  They have encouraged us to use any of their 
     e.   States in Louisiana Purchase Teacher's Guide (provided)
4.  At the end of this overview, teacher will administer the Louisiana Bicentennial Overview Quiz that is provided.


1.   Teacher will lead a vocabulary session on words such as natural resource, oil, petroleum, conservation, etc.
2.   Teacher will utilize primary documents provided in the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference to lead a discussion of fact/opinion and  
3.   Students will distinguish between fact and opinion on the primary source documents.
4.   Teachers may use the Primary Sources Notebook Lesson to work with students on using primary sources.
4.   Teacher will pull different examples of advertisements from the past and present from the resources provided and discuss persuasion.
5.   Students will identify an audience and write a persuasive essay on "Why should we celebrate Earth Day?" 
6.   Assessment will be either the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric or LA Then and Now Essay Rubric

1.   Teacher will show Hurricane on the Bayou video so the students have an introduction to Louisiana's wetlands and resources.
2.   Teacher will use the resource "Conserving Gasoline Activity" to have students work to calculate problems dealing with multiplication, 
      division, money, etc., in a real world environment. Teacher will need to determine the current price of gasoline per gallon to use with  
      the activity. (
3.   Students will have lake-centered state parks that they must visit on a trip. The chart will include how far the location is from Monroe, 
      LA, in miles. There will be three columns with different MPG per vehicle. Students must calculate how much it will cost to visit the each   
      state park for each vehicle.
4.   At the bottom of the activity, students will compare how they would have traveled to these state parks for each of the following time  
      periods: 1800-1900 and 1900-present. 
5.   Using the average horse and buggy speed of 25 mph and car speed of 60 mph, students will create a Louisiana Historic Travel Plan.
      a.  What would travel time be to each state park via horse/buggy and car? 
      b.  Students will estimate the difference in travel time for each mode of transportation for each state park.

1.   Teacher will lead a vocabulary discussion on the science words for the unit: about Recycling
2.   Using recycling resources provided, teacher will lead discussion about Earth Day, recycling, and conservation. 
3.  Students will research to find out how long it takes for certain items (e.g., plastic, aluminum, paper, cardboard, etc.) to break down in 
     the environment. One resource for this activity is 
4.  Students will complete the Louisiana Resources Worksheet from the resources section about reusable, renewable, etc., resources.  
5.  Using the information from the activities above, students will create a display about one item that fits one of the categories of  
     recycling/reusing. The display will tell how long it would have taken to decompose, tell how the product can now be used, and other 
     information. It is strongly suggested that the teacher photograph the display for archiving in the virtual showcase. The display can be:
     a.   A digital presentation using PowerPoint
     b.   Microsoft Publisher
     c.   Trifold display board
     d.   Other publishing source
6.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

Social Studies

1.   Teacher will lead a vocabulary session on words such as natural resource, oil, petroleum, conservation, etc.
2.   Using the Louisiana Natural Resources SMART Notebook, teacher will lead a discussion on natural resources that are produced in 
      Louisiana and where they are distributed throughout the nation. 
3.   Students will research (using World Book, LPB, books, and other resources) the amount of natural resources created in Louisiana, and   
      the students will locate where these resources are primarily in the United States. Other possible resources are:  
4.   Teacher will lead a discussion/activity "Natural Resources in Louisiana - Then and Now!
5.   Teacher will download and display the free Quizlet activity found at 
6.   As the teacher displays the different Quizlet flash cards that are already made as part of this site, students will make notes on their own 
      Natural Resources in Louisiana History - Then and Now! Split-page Notetaking Guide as demonstrated by the teacher in the Louisiana 
      Natural Resources Notebook.
7.   Students will create a map of the Louisiana showing the use of resources throughout the state. 
8.   Teacher will download and display the resource map for this activity may be found   
9.   After viewing the map as a class, the students will recreate the map.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.
10. Teacher will break the students into groups to study and create a presentation (poster, map, etc.) about energy sources in Louisiana - 
      Then and Now.

Week Two

 Famous Louisianians and their contributions to society will be focused on this week. The unit will feature politicians, entertainers, and scientists who have contributed to the Louisiana society and the nation as a whole. How have Louisiana residents and their contributions affected the rest of the nation? 

Procedures for Week Two

All Subjects

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


1.  Using the resources provided (or personal favorites), teachers will lead a class reading of Louisiana myths, legends, and folk tales. 
     Students will identify common themes, characters, etc., that are repeated in Louisiana stories. 
2.  After reading examples, students will write an original Louisiana myth or legend that centers on Louisiana.  Assess using the
     LA Then and Now Writing Rubric or LA Then and Now Essay Rubric
3.  As a group, students will pick one (or more) of the characters and create a Reader's Theater script based on the original Louisiana 
4.  Assess using either the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric or LA Then and Now Essay Rubric.
5.  Time permitting, students will use Audacity ( to record their original Louisiana myth/legend and create 
     a podcast.
6.  Students will write a persuasive letter to Peter J. Murray, author of the Mokee Joe series, to persuade him for Mokee Joe to come to  
     Louisiana telling him about their original character and interesting facts about the state.

1.  Teacher will lead class discussion of the costs of different forms of energy used in Louisiana (natural gas, oil, nuclear energy, wind, etc.) 
     then and now. 
2.  Students will receive and complete "The Cost of Comfort - Then and Now" chart.
3.  Students will draw a floor plan of their house (as close to scale as possible) and find the square footage of the house using how to find 
     the area of rectangles.
     a.  There are many videos on LPB CyberChannel ( for your use. Remember, if 
          you have not done so, create your free account and you may download the videos and use them in your classroom.
     b.  Websites for finding the area of a rectangle:

4.  Students will then use the current price of natural gas, oil, and coal to heat their house. Students can either:
     a.  Display the material via a poster.
     b.  Create a chart with explanations.
     c.  Resource Websites:

     d.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

1.    Students will interview a family member, community member, etc., about why we should recycle and what they do to help the  
2.    Create a class chart/graph that compiles the responses of the class interviews to be used in mathematics.
3.    Students will use World Book, science text, or other sources to locate and identify alternative sources of energy.
4.    Students will create a model of a source of energy (windmill, nuclear reactor, oil well, etc.).
       a.     Website Resources
       b.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.
5.    As a class activity, teacher will create a model of a solar cooker/oven pointing out solar energy as an alternative source of energy. As 
       a class, students will build the solar pizza box cooker and they will make s'mores or other item of the teacher/class choosing.

Social Studies
1.     Teacher will use the SMART notebook - Famous Louisiana People - to introduce this portion of the unit.
2.     Other Resources for the lesson unit: 
3.    Teacher assist the students in creating a list of famous Louisiana citizens of the past and present. 
4.    Using the "Who's Who on the Bayou" activity sheet, teacher will lead a class discussion of one famous Louisiana person (such as 
       Drew Brees or other currently popular person) to show students how to complete the activity. 
5.    Teacher will introduce class activity of Who's Who on the Bayou! Louisiana Celebrity Almanac. 
       a.   Students will create individual entries as assigned below.
       b.   All entries will be "published" in one almanac for the class. Can be published using:
            • Word
            • Publisher
            • StoryJumper (
            • Hand-written and hand-drawn creation
       c.   Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.
5.    Students will work together to complete the "Who's Who on the Bayou" sheet with each student completing a copy of the activity. 
       Information will be used to complete the "Cell Phones from the Past" Activity. 
6.    Each student will complete a "Cell Phones from the Past" for two famous Louisiana persons - one from 1900 to the present and one  
       from a date prior to 1900.
7.    For further review of famous Louisianians and Louisiana history, teacher can use one of the listed Jeopardy Labs games provided.

Week Three

 This week the focus of the lesson will continue the theme of Louisiana's contributions in the field of entertainment and music. Louisiana has a proud heritage of music and culture that has impacted the nation, and even the world. Let's look at famous Louisiana entertainers throughout the 200 years of Louisiana history. How were people entertained throughout the last 200 years?

Procedures for Week Three

1.   Teacher will locate examples of songs from Louisiana history. There are some examples in the resources section below.
2.   After listening to examples of songs throughout Louisiana history (You Are My Sunshine, etc.), students will identify themes and trends  
      of music from the different time periods in Louisiana. The Treasured Traditions of Louisiana Music A Brief History of Cajun, Creole, & Zydeco Music History of Jazz Louisiana History Music Hall of Fame
           * Click on Famous Musician and you can see the history including songs sang or written. Scroll down an find song writers. Notice  
              that it includes Huey Long very interesting for your political component. If you wanting song titles I think you could get all you 
              need here. Digital Journal: the Country Music Museum article Louisiana Music: excellent with great info and song names.
3.   Students will interview an older family member (or neighbor) about what they did for entertainment when they were young. An     
      "Entertainment in Louisiana - Then and Now! Interview Guide" is included in the resources.
4.   Students will write an illustrated narrative non-fiction story based upon their interview responses. 
      a.   The narrative will be about a young person who was living in the past and a typical day in their life. 
      b.   How did they pass the time? 
      c.   What was school like? 
      d.   What did they do for fun?
      e.   Assess using the LA - Then and Now Essay Rubric.
5.   Students will then use a Venn Diagram to compare entertainment in Louisiana - Then and Now. 
6.   Students will create a poster focusing on one of the time periods in Louisiana history and how entertainment may have been. The 
      poster may be:
      a.  Trifold display board
      b.  Poster paper
      c.  Bulletin board paper
7.   Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric.

1.    Using the Louisiana Timelines SMART Notebook lesson, teacher will review how to read a timeline and create a timeline.
2.    Using the information discovered in Social Studies and ELA, students will work as a class to create several timelines:
       a.   Class timeline of 200 Years of Louisiana History that will feature the birth/death of famous Louisiana persons, dates of major 
            inventions, dates when different cultural groups settled in Louisiana, prices of major commodities throughout history, etc.
       b.   Individual timeline featuring the dates and information for their specific famous Louisiana persons. The timeline may be created by: 
            World Book timelines, SMART Notebook Lesson Activity Toolkit, or poster.
3.    Using the class timeline, calculate differences in ages of famous Louisiana person or how many years are between the births of 
       famous people, prices between the decades, etc.
4.    Assess all of the above activities using the LA - Then and Now Timeline Rubric.

1.  Teacher will lead a class overview of sounds and other related concepts using Louisiana Sounds SMART Notebooks.
2.  Teacher will show the different instrument families as a basis for the next activity.
     a.  How Sound is Made - 

     b.  Louisiana Musical Instruments -

3.   Students will use recycled materials to create a working musical instrument that is commonly found in Louisiana music. Student must 
      be able to discuss how the instrument was made and how it produces the sound. For assessment use the Check List Rubric for  
      Recycled Musical Instrument that is provided.
4.  Teacher will lead discussion of inventions that have impacted entertainment (newspaper, radio, television, computers, etc.) both in 
     Louisiana and the nation/world. 
     a.  How have the inventions added to or taken away from society as a whole? 
     b.  How have the inventions changed the way we live?
5.  Use the dates for entertainment inventions to create a timeline in mathematics.

Social Studies
1.  Teacher will lead a class brainstorming session on famous Louisiana entertainers, athletes, etc.
2.  Teacher will use the provided Famous Louisiana Notebook about famous Louisiana entertainers and athletes to open this week's unit.
3.  Using a class map of Louisiana, students will map where famous Louisiana entertainers/athletes were born.
4.  As a P.O.L., students can choose to:
     a.  make a "Famous Louisianian" Trading Card - Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference - page 18
     b.  make a "Famous Louisianian" poster
     c.  make a 30-second video where the student dresses up as the famous Louisiana entertainer/athlete and tell important facts. 
5.  Teacher will lead a discussion on the different culture groups in Louisiana focusing on the music, dances, food, etc., that each group has 
     contributed to America and the world. - African American - Rich Diversity - The Creole State: An Introduction to Louisiana 
           Traditional Culture - The Louisiana Purchase - Historical Perspectives - The Cajuns  - CODOFIL - Great Louisiana's French History Timeline (simple) - German History and Culture in Southeast Louisiana - Black Creoles of 
           Louisiana - Explore Natchitoches - Central Louisiana a cultural melting pot - Louisiana A History 
6.  Teacher will divide the students into groups and assign them a culture group (or the student groups can draw from a hat, etc.).   
     Students will research the music, dances, food, etc., creating one of the following:
     a.  Re-create a dance from that culture (Irish jig, Cajun two-step, Mexican Hat Dance, etc.)
     b.  Create a food dish from that culture and bring it for the other students to sample
     c.  Sing a song that comes from the assigned culture
7.  Assignments will be rubric-graded using a the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric or the LA - Then and Now Oral Expression Rubric.

Week Four

 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.

Assessments  (To be designed as units are finalized) 

Formative Assessments  (During Lesson/Unit) 

• Bicentennial Overview Quiz 

• Who's Who on the Bayou Louisiana Celebrity Almanac entry - notes on form
• Louisiana's Natural Resources Then and Now! - Split-page Notetaking 

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
• Cell Phones from the Past
• Venn Diagram on Louisiana Entertainment - Then and Now!
• Famous Louisiana Citizen Timeline 
• LouisianaNatural Resources Map
• Louisiana Historic Travel Plan

Summative Assessments  (End of Lesson/Unit) 

Written Product(s), with rubric: 
• "Why should we Celebrate Earth Day?" Essay
• Original Louisiana Myth/Legend
• Persuasive Letter
• Original non-fiction story based on day-in-the-life interviews

Other Product(s)/Performance(s), with rubric: 
• "Louisiana Energy Sources - Then and Now!" Display
• Recyclable Item Display
• Model of a source of energy commonly found in Louisiana
• Entertainment History in Louisiana poster/display 

Oral Presentation, with rubric
• 30-second video/presentation on Famous Louisianian
• Participation in song/activity of Louisiana music 

• Floor Plan of Home to show Area of Rectangles
• Famous Louisianian Trading Card or Poster
• "Louisiana Entertainment - Then and Now!" Interview
• Create a musical instrument commonly found in Louisiana music

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.

Staff from Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum
Local reporters to discuss proper ways to conduct interviews
Local architects to discuss rectangles/shapes/area
Political experts from the local universities (ULM, Tech, Grambling)

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. Focus Group

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)

Additonal 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