Second Grade Unit Plan

Name of Project:  Louisiana - Then and Now 

Duration:   April 23 - May 18

Subject/Content: ELA/Math/Science/ Social Studies

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

Cluster Guiding Question:  Community Life - How have communities changed over the last 200 years? (2-3)


1. Identify unique letter-sound patterns, including long and short vowels (e.g., ea for short e, as in bread, and ough for long o, as in though) and consonants (tch 
for /ch/, as in watch, and gh for /f/, as in cough) (ELA-1-E1)
2. Demonstrate understanding of phonics by doing the following: fluently manipulating targeted sounds by adding, deleting, or substituting the sounds to create 
new words, reading regularly spelled words with as many as four syllables, using phonetic decoding strategies accurately and rapidly in unfamiliar words 
and text
3. Identify and explain common synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms (ELA-1-E1)
5. Determine word meaning and appropriate word choices using reference aids, including dictionaries and thesauruses (ELA-1-E1)
8. Identify story elements, including effects of setting on events and characters (ELA-1-E4)
9. Identify literary and sound devices, including similes and rhythm in texts (ELA-1-E4)
12. Demonstrate oral reading fluency of at least 90 words per minute in second-grade text with appropriate intonation (ELA-1-E7)
13. Read texts and simple chapter books silently at independent reading level (ELA-1-E7)
17. Demonstrate understanding of information in texts using a variety of strategies, including: making simple inferences about information in texts, self-
monitoring consistently for comprehension using multiple strategies and self-correcting as appropriate (ELA-7-E1)
20. Apply basic reasoning skills, including: discussing the relationship between cause-effect
23. Develop compositions of one or more paragraphs using writing processes such as the following: conferencing with a teacher or peers, revising for clarity, 
grammatical and mechanical correctness, and/or to include additional information, creating a final draft for possible publication (ELA-2-E3)
28. Use standard English punctuation, including: apostrophes in contractions
29. Capitalize grade-appropriate proper nouns, initials of a person's name, and the salutation and closing of a friendly letter (ELA-3-E2)
30. Write using standard English structure and usage, including: subject-verb agreement in simple and compound sentences, past and present verb tenses, 
possessive nouns
32. Use knowledge of parts of speech, including: • selecting and using verbs in past and present tenses in writing
33. Spell grade-appropriate words, including: words with short- and long-vowel sounds when those sounds are made with a broad variety of letter combinations 
(e.g., ou, ow, ough, igh), frequently used irregularly spelled words (ELA-3-E5)
35. Use multiple spelling strategies (e.g., word wall, word lists, thinking about the base word, affixes) (ELA-3-E5)
36. Alphabetize to the second letter and some third letters (ELA-3-E5)
38. Adjust speaking tone and volume to suit purpose, audience, and setting (ELA-4-E1)
41. Adjust language during a presentation in order to inform or explain to a specific audience (ELA-4-E4)
42. Deliver informal presentations that demonstrate an understanding of a topic (ELA-4-E4)
43. Give rehearsed oral presentations about general topics using eye contact, appropriate volume, clear pronunciation, and appropriate visual aids (ELA-4-E4)
44. Use active listening strategies, including asking for clarification and explanations (ELA-4-E5)
45. Give oral responses, including: telling stories and personal experiences, giving explanations and reports (ELA-4-E5)
52. Use technology to publish a variety of works, including simple research reports and book summaries (ELA-5-E4)

5. Read, write, compare, and order whole numbers through 999 using words, number lines and models.
9. Add and subtract 1 and 2 digit numbers.
10. Round numbers to the nearest 10 or 100 and identify situations in which rounding is appropriate.
14. Measure and appropriately label measures of length and perimeter, capacity, and weight/mass. 
18. Use non-standard units to cover a given region (M-2-E)
22. Identify a reduction or enlargement of a given shape.
24. Identify and draw horizontal and vertical line segments.
25. Collect and organize data using observations, surveys, and experiments.
30. Recognize, extend, create, and explain patterns of addition and subtraction as varied forms of skip counting.

ESS 39 Design an experiment involving evaporation (ESS-E-A3)
ESS 40 Gather, record, and graph weather data (e.g., precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, temperature) using appropriate instruments (ESS-E-A4)
ESS 41 Analyze recorded daily temperatures and weather conditions from newspapers, television, the Internet, and home/outdoor thermometers (ESS-E-A4)
ESS 44 Give examples of how the Sun affects Earth's processes (e.g., weather, water cycle) (ESS-E-B5)
SI 1 Ask questions about objects and events in the environment (e.g., plants, rocks, storms) (SI-E-A1)

Social Studies
1. Interpret a diagram (G-1A-E1)
2. Describe basic characteristics of maps and globes (G-1A-E1)
3. Use cardinal directions to locate places on maps and places in the classroom, school, and community (G-1A-E2)
6. Sketch a simple map related to the classroom, school, or community (mental map) (G-1A-E3)
9. Identify the human characteristics of the local community (G-1B-E2)
13. Identify simple demographics of a local region (e.g., mostly factory workers) (G-1CE3)
14. Identify ways of making a living within the community (G-1C-E5)
15. Explain ways in which people in the local community depend on the physical environment to satisfy basic needs (G-1D-E1)
17. Identify the necessity of local government and how it helps meet the basic needs of society (C-1A-E2)
18. Describe major responsibilities of local government (C-1A-E4)
24. Identify examples of responsible citizenship in the school and community settings (C-1D-E2)
25. Discuss the elements of fair play and good sportsmanship, respect for the rights and opinions of others, and respect for rules (C-1D-E3)
26. Describe actions individuals or groups may take to improve their community (C-1DE4)
27. Explain the significance of national holidays and the achievements of the people associated with them (C-1D-E4)
29. Explain how basic human needs of food, clothing, and shelter can be met (E-1A-E1)
30. Identify examples of scarcity in the local community (E-1A-E1)
31. Identify what is gained and what is lost (given up) in choosing one of several alternatives (e.g., skating with friends versus bowling with parents) (E-1A-E2)
32. Identify examples of choices families make when buying goods and services (E-1AE4)
33. Identify a consumer and a producer and their roles in the economy (E-1A-E5)
34. Explain how people in the local community depend on each other for goods and services (E-1A-E5)
35. Identify various ways in which resources are used (e.g., use of trees to produce wood for building, wood products, heat) (E-1A-E6)
36. Describe the roles of farmers, processors, and distributors in food production and consumption (E-1A-E6)
38. Identify the specialized work that people do to manufacture, transport, and market goods and services (E-1A-E7)
39. Describe the importance of skills and education in choosing a career (E-1A-E8)
40. Identify a local economic institution (e.g., bank) (E-1A-E10)
41. Explain why people exchange goods and services (E-1A-E11)
43. Identify goods and services provided by the local government (E-1B-E4)
44. Explain the difference between goods and services and give examples of each within the local community (E-1B-E5)
46. Identify similarities and differences in communities over time (H-1A-E2)
47. Identify sources where historical information can be found and how that information can be used (H-1A-E3)
51. Identify cultural elements (e.g., crafts, customs, music, folklore) of the local community (H-1C-E4)

Major Products & Performances

Competitive:  "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 class history book/almanac on Louisiana - Then and Now! focusing on the topics of countries that influenced Louisiana, Louisiana cities, historical figures, and government as noted in the procedures below.
  • Create a wall timeline with the parishes of Louisiana and when they were created.
  • Create a class book - Let's Look at Louisiana-Then and Now! - with chapters focusing on churches, schools, businesses, hospitals/doctors, transportation, fireman/policeman, and communication.
  • Create a list of five interesting facts about an assigned Louisiana governor.
  • Create Louisiana Governor Flashcards on the SMART Board.
  • Learn and perform a song from one of the cultures that have influenced Louisiana over the last 200 years. The song can be recorded for posting.
  • Create a poster to represent an assigned culture (symbols, colors, flag of original country, etc.) that has influenced Louisiana over the last 200 years.
  • Create a list of favorite Louisiana foods, including recipes brought from home.
  • Create a grocery list needed to cook the favorite Louisiana foods as identified in the activity.
  • Create a "Hurricane Backpack" that contains items necessary to survive a major storm or weather event.
  • Create a Weather Safety PSA about storm safety/preparedness to record and post in virtual showcase.

Individual Products/Performances:

  • Create a correctly labeled map of Louisiana Parishes color-coded by the time of creation of the parish.
  • Create a map containing major cities in Louisiana.
  • Complete an interview of an elder relative about life when they were young versus life now.
  • Create a Louisiana - Then and Now Almanac (journal) which will feature journal writings and hard copies of all work completed in this unit. (Journal Topics - "What do you think life was like in Louisiana in the early 1800's before Louisiana was a state?", "Was weather prediction in the early history of Louisiana accurate? Why or why not?", E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One! What does this mean to you? How does this relate to Louisiana now?", "Why did the (assigned people group) come to Louisiana?")
  • Create reductions or enlargements of specific Louisiana shapes and symbols.
  • Create a list of parishes in the state of Louisiana and when they were created as parishes.
  • Create either a number line or graphic model that focuses on the Louisiana parishes being created.
  • Create an illustration of one of the weather myths/wive's tale showing the weather myth in a creative manner.
  • Create original illustrations of information for their assigned topic in the Louisiana communities - then and now.
  • Create a Venn Diagram of Louisiana Community Life - Then and Now!
  • Create a Historic Price List for Foods for various time periods in Louisiana history
  • Create an ad for a historical product from the price list.
  • Create 10 original Louisiana Prices Math Problems to share with the class.
  • Draw a bar graph to represent totals from the pricing activity.
  • Create a timeline of important hurricanes in Louisiana.
  • Create a hurricane tracking chart focusing on the path of Hurricane Katrina and one of other major Louisiana storm.
  • Create a craft from a specified country using materials that are available on hand.
  • Create a written letter to a historic figure from Louisiana in the style of the time period selected.
  • Create an illustrated version of the recipe brought from home.
  • Create circle/rectangle/graphic representations of fractions found in recipes.
  • Create a drawing of the items in the group's "Hurricane Backpack."

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

Louisiana has been a state for 200 years - 2 centuries. That is a long time, but not as long as some other states. The lessons in this project-based learning unit will serve to allow students to discover new information about Louisiana, its communities, and what things have had an impact on our state and communities. In the first week of this unit, students will begin to look at how our state was created. Specifically, activities will focus on parishes throughout the state, historical figures that have influenced community life, community life - then and now, and weather prediction.

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

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.  The teacher will use the SMART Notebook Lesson 2-3 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 2-3 Louisiana Bicentennial Overview SMART Notebook
    Louisiana Statehood Presentation PowerPoint - 
    States in Louisiana Purchase Teacher's Guide
  4. The teacher will administer Bicentennial Overview Quiz 2-3 that is provided. 


  1. Each student will be creating a portfolio (folder) of all individual work such as journal entries, homework, worksheets, drawings, etc. 
    A journal template (Louisiana Journal Scroll) is included for teacher use.
    Samples of all work should be included in the portfolio.  They will be displayed at the final presentation of learning.
  2. Teacher will lead a vocabulary lesson in order to create a class history book.
    It will include words, such as: Louisiana, France, England, Spain, Mexico, Mississippi River, New Orleans, and other Louisiana cities.
    It will include people words, such as: governor, Jean Lafitte, Charles Deslondes, President Madison, Andrew Jackson, etc.
    It will include words from readings, such as: police jury, parish, Catholic, Protestant, Creole, statehood, population, colonial, authority, legal, Congress, delegate, census, legislature, property, senate, troops, battle, etc.
  3. Using the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference (, chapters 4-6 lend themselves to community themes. This will serve as reading materials for this unit.
  4. Teacher will lead discussion of Louisiana gaining statehood, pages 45-50 of the desk reference. The teacher may make copies of the pages to distribute to grouped students.
  5. Students will read aloud these pages or they can be read aloud to the students.
  6. A shorter, alternate version of the highlights of this material can be found at
  7. A PowerPoint presentation for viewing is available at
  8. Students can use highlighters to mark important facts.  They will then complete the story chain activity on page 51 of the desk reference.
  9. Students will use a journal entry form to complete a journal writing on the subject "What do you think life was like in Louisiana in the early 1800's before Louisiana was a state?"


  1. Teacher will lead a math lesson on shapes, reduction of shapes, and enlargement of shapes.
  2. Use the SMART Notebook "Louisiana Shapes and Symbols" to teach/review the concept of shapes, reduction, and enlargement. In the lesson, various Louisiana symbols and shapes (state outline, fleur de lis, pelicans, flags, etc.) are featured in different sizes and the students will tell whether they are reductions or enlargements, or the same size.
  3. Given various shapes on the SMART Board, students will come to the board and follow teacher directions to create a reduction or enlargement of the shape.
  4. If the teacher feels students are capable, the teacher will allow students to use the Enlarge Ouachita Parish worksheet provided to practice enlarging a shape using a grid.
  5. Teacher will point out that a grid is simply horizontal and vertical lines in a specific pattern.
  6. Read, write, compare, and order whole numbers through 999 using words, number lines and models.
  7. Students will do this activity in many ways and with different forms of information.
  8. Using the Parish activity map from Social Studies as a basis for information, the students will:
    Create a list of the parishes as they were created in the state by numerical order
    Count the number of parishes in each of the categories as outlined in the activity in Social Studies
    Chart the number of parishes in each category either on a number line or a model.
  9. If time permits, teachers may use a piece of bulletin board paper to place along the wall of the room or in the hall. On this wall, students will create a class timeline of Louisiana parishes then and now, placing the parishes on the timeline in the order in which they were created in the state.  Timeline Rubric


  1. Teacher will lead overview of how weather predictions were made in historical times using the Weather Prediction Notebook.
    Point out that there was no radio or tv.
    How did they know what the weather was going to be?
  2. Lead discussion of old wives tales and the activity "Weather Proverbs: True or False".
  3. Teacher will use SMART Board activity and the website and to show some of the old weather proverbs.
  4. Talk about why some proverbs are true and others are not.
    Predicting Weather in the 18th Century - 
    Weather Prediction - 
    Meteorology -
  5. Next show Poor Richard's Almanac website and talk about how almanacs were used.
    The website is for Poor Richard's Almanac.
    Compare to current Farmer's Almanac at There are several resources on this page to use with the discussion such as: weather folklore of the day, today in weather history, etc.
  6. Students will create two or three products for this portion of the unit.
    Students will complete a journal activity using the Louisiana Journal Scrolltemplate on the topic "Was prediction in the early history of Louisiana accurate? Why or why not?"
    Students will create an illustration of one of the weather myths/wive's tales showing the weather myth in a creative manner.
    Students will create a homemade rain gauge using the instructions at one of the following web sites. Students will record the amount of rainfall during the week and record it in their journal/almanac using the Rain Measurement Worksheet.

Social Studies

  1. Teacher will lead a discussion of Louisiana parishes using the Louisiana Parishes SMART Notebook lesson, making sure to emphasize cardinal directions (north, south, east, west, etc.)
  2. Teacher will display the state map with parishes labeled ( on the SMART Board.
  3. Student will use this map as a reference to label their individual map, copied from page 68 of LA Bicentennial Desk Reference. (Provided in resources as Louisiana Map with Parishes)
  4. Next, students will use the information on the "Louisiana Parishes and Dates Created" Word Document to label their maps with the dates each parish was created.
  5. Then, students will color the parishes according to the legend:
    U.S. Territorial Period (1803-1812) - yellow
    Antebellum Period (1812-1860) - light blue
    Civil War Period (1861-1865) - light green
    Reconstruction Period (1866-1877) - pink
    Bourbon Era (1877-1923) - white
  6. Teacher will have the students list cities they know in Louisiana as an introductory activity/discussion.
  7. Using the map from page 68 of LA Bicentennial Desk Reference, the teacher will allow students to come to the SMART Board and locate/label the major cities in Louisiana.
  8. Students will then copy the cities onto their individual maps.
  9. Teacher will transition into "Then and Now Interviews."
  10. Teacher will print and make copies of Then and Now Interview Guide.
  11. Students will receive the Then and Now Interview Guide and the teacher will read the questions aloud with the students.
  12. Teacher will instruct students to complete the sheet over the weekend.
  13. Students can video the interviews if they have the equipment.
  14. Students can take a picture of the person they are interviewing, or have a parent take a picture of the student conducting the interview.
  15. Individual interviews will be kept in the student portfolio as described in the ELA section below.

Week Two


Louisiana communities have changed drastically over the last 200 years - some for the better, some for the worse. What has led to the changes in Louisiana communities? The services that come and go in a community can alter the way that community functions or its very existence. This week, students will look at various aspects of community life, government and its role, food sources/availability, and weather disasters/events that have influenced communities over the last 200 years, locally and throughout the state. 

Procedures for Week Two

All Subjects

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


  1. Teacher will review the word "governor" and Louisiana Governors.
  2. Make copies of page 52 of the desk reference for each group.
  3. Student groups will come up with five facts for each governor. They may make their notes on paper to report out to class.
  4. After completion of the activity as groups, class will come back together to create Quizlet ( or WordStash ( flash cards to create Governor Flash Cards on the SMART Board. Teacher will need to create a FREE account to be able to store and print the flashcards created during this activity.
    On both websites, the teacher has the option of playing a game with the flashcards created in the activity.
    Option - Teacher can print out the flash cards and copies made to distribute to students for their portfolios.
  5. Teacher will lead a lesson on primary sources to gather information.
    Use the Primary Source Document SMART Notebook as a resource.
  6. Teacher will share information gathered from the information below the artifact.
  7. Students will take notes individually at their desks as the teacher tells about the clipping.
  8. Students will write five facts as they read the clipping displayed on the SMART board. If necessary, the teacher may read the material aloud to the students. After 10 minutes, the teacher will lead a discussion of the clipping.
  9. Students will tell one fact they have and come to the board and circle or underline the location of the information on the clipping that will support their fact.
  10. Teacher will break students into groups and the groups will either read independently or the teacher can read aloud to the groups.  Using the information on page 50 of the desk reference, groups will read about the "War of 1812." (  Students will answer questions such as, "Why did the British want New Orleans?", "How long did the war last?", "What battles were fought near us?"
  11. Students will write in their journal on the topic "E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One! What does this mean to you? How does this relate to Louisiana now?"


  1. On Friday of previous week, the teacher will send home a list of foods that the students will need to get current prices for. Over the weekend, parents will help the students to locate the prices of the items in food sale papers or by going to the grocery store. (Teacher may wish to have sale papers on hand in the classroom for students who may need them as a resource.)
  2. Teacher will begin this week's discussion using SMART Notebook: Food Prices - Then and Now, and will brainstorm with the students what people in Louisiana ate then and now. The teacher will create a chart of the foods on the SMART Board while discussing how important food is to Louisiana culture.
  3. Teacher will ask the question, "Do you think food cost more then or now?"
    Early American Food Prices -
    1900 Food Prices - 
    1930's Prices -
  4. Students will complete a worksheet with prices they have gathered as homework. The teacher will have a table on the SMART Board and fill in as a class activity and discuss the results. As an individual activity, the students will write a sentence to compare and contrast each item at the bottom of their homework page.
  5. At the end of the SMART board table activity, the students will total each column on the board and on their individual paper.
  6. Each student will create 5 math problems using the information.
  7. Students will pick one object from their Historic Price List and draw an advertisement for their product.
  8. As a culminating activity for the week, the students can draw a bar graph to represent the total of each column for each year. The teacher will then discuss the chart and findings with the students.
  9. On Friday of the week, the student will be assigned to bring a recipe from home.


  1. Teacher will lead discussion of Hurricanes: Then and Now using the SMART Notebook lesson provided. A Hurricane vocabulary quiz is also provided for assessment purposes.
    a. What is a hurricane? 
    b. How do they form?
  2. Teacher will show the following videos and then lead a discussion about hurricanes and wetlands, then and now.
    Hurricanes -
    Mississippi River -
    Louisiana Wetlands -
  3. Once students have a basic understanding of the key concepts as listed above, the teacher will lead a lesson on Hurricane Katrina and hurricane tracking.
  4. Using information from various websites and the SMART Board, the teacher will help understand that hurricanes of long ago often were more dangerous and damaging because there were not accurate predictions and the people did not know to prepare.
    Hurricanes Have Been Recorded from Very Early Dates - 
    Top 10 Historical Hurricanes - 
    History of Hurricanes -
  5. Students will use information given to them and shown on these websites to make a timeline of important hurricanes. 
    This can be done as groups or individually.
    Students may use poster paper, bulletin board paper, or copy paper.
    Teacher may assist students in creating the timeline using the SMART Lesson Activity - Timeline Reveal in the SMART gallery.
  6. Hurricane Tracking Today!  Teacher will make copies of the Hurricane Tracking Chart Activity Sheet -  Using Hurricane Katrina as the storm of record, the teacher will distribute the Hurricane Tracking activity sheets and lead the discussion on hurricane tracking.  
    Important question - Why should we track hurricanes and know where the storm is heading?
    Hurricane Tracking Chart -
    Gulf Coast Interactive Hurricane Tracks - 
    Students will create a hurricane track on the chart for Katrina and one of the other historical storms that impacted Louisiana.

Social Studies

  1. Teacher will lead a discussion using the SMART Notebook: Interview Activity. Teacher will compile class interview information of where the subjects interviewed were born/grew up.  Students will use their interview sheets to complete the activity.
  2. Students will come to the SMART Board and locate what parish/city their interviewee was born and raised in. If it is not the same, that can lead to a discussion of change, and why people move. They go from "then" to "now."
  3. Students can use their copy of the map from their portfolio to locate the same information for their interviewee on their individual map to keep.
  4. "Let's Look at Our Community - Then and Now!" - Create a Book
    Teacher will divide students into groups of no more than four and assign one of the following topics:
    Fireman/Policeman/Elected Officials
  5. Student groups will draw pictures as examples of their topic. It can be hand drawn, but if computer programs such as Tux Paint ( , Paint ( , or Drawing4Kids ( are available, they may be used for this activity. If the teacher feels the need to do so, they may locate pictures on the internet to show as examples.
  6. Students can draw any pictures they think may help explain about the differences in our community then and now.
  7. Student group information will be compiled into a "Then and Now" booklet with the chapters based on the above topics.
  8. venn diagram on "Then and Now" about each topic listed above will be included in the final book.


Week Three


This week, students will focus on the various people groups/cultures that have influenced community life. A community's culture is very dependent on the people who live in the community, and they influence the community through their customs, foods, traditions, and music. Students will explore the various cultures that have influenced our community and the state of Louisiana. In addition, activities will focus on communication, food, and weather safety.

Procedures for Week Three


  1. Teacher will overview this week's topic - Louisiana Growth and Change.  Teacher will use the resource,21 items 32-37.
  2. Teacher will discuss the purpose of each letter and help the students to understand how important letters were during this time period as a means of communication.
  3. After a discussion on the parts of letters, students will write a letter to a historical Louisiana figure. The students should be creative.  Students must decide who the letter is to and why they are writing the letter.  Students will write their letters individually using the Historical Letter Template provided. Teacher should print out and make copies.
  4. Teacher will finish the unit activity by discussing how communication has changed throughout the years in Louisiana history: letters, telegraphs/telegrams, Pony Express, telephone, radio, television, computers, cell phones, etc.
  5. Teacher will read aloud "Immigration" - pages 74-75 of the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference.
  6. Teacher will lead discussion about immigration. Information is found on pages 75-77 of Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference.
  7. Students will be divided into groups and receive one of the immigrant groups (Germans, French, Jews, etc.) and they will orally summarize the information about their group.
  8. Information will be discussed as a whole group activity.
  9. The next day, student groups will be given a small blank poster. The group will create a poster to represent their assigned people group.
  10. Students will make a journal entry about why their people group came to Louisiana.


  1. The teacher will begin the week's discussion by explaining that food is part of the home culture and, therefore, Louisiana culture.
  2. Ask the students how many of them eat gumbo. Ask the students if they know how gumbo became a favorite food of Louisiana. The earliest record of gumbo in a book is 1829-1830. ( ).
  3. Explain gumbo came from French, African-American, and Choctaw cultures.
  4. Show two different recipes for Gumbo.
  5. The teacher will lead students to understand that these recipes contain ingredients that would have been easy to get if you were a hunter, fisherman, and/or farmer. Very little would have been bought from the store.
  6. The teacher will ask if the above recipes would be large enough or too large for their family. Discuss how you could make more or less to meet your family's needs.
  7. The teacher will show the potato salad recipe ( on the SMART Board.
  8. Students will come to the board and circle the fractions in the recipe.
  9. Students will create a circle/rectangle representation of the fractions in the recipe.
  10. Using the recipes the students brought, the teacher will assign the student the task of drawing the fractions in their recipes as a circle/rectangle representation.
  11. Students will then illustrate their home recipe using Louisiana foods, symbols, and cooking utensils, etc.
  12. The teacher will lead a class activity where the group creates a class graph of their favorite recipes.
  13. Students will work in groups to make a group grocery list of foods they will need to make their favorite food recipes.
  14. Using grocery sale papers, groups will calculate the group cost of the grocery list. (Teacher will need to have sale papers on hand for several activities in this unit. This activity will make use of the sale papers on hand.)
  15. Using the price table from last week, ask the students to estimate how much they think their grocery list would have cost in the early 1800's.
  16. Groups will complete a Grocery List: Then and Now page and report back as they compare and contrast costs of grocery lists.


  1. Teacher will lead a review discussion of why prediction and tracking of hurricanes is so important using the Weather Safety SMART Notebook lesson provided.
  2. Tying into recent events in Louisiana history, the teacher can ask questions such as, "What could have been done differently?" or "How can we keep this from happening again?"
  3. The teacher can then go into a discussion about the fact that Monroe/West Monroe does not often feel the effects of hurricanes, but we should all be prepared for safety in severe weather situations. Everyone should be prepared to react to severe weather quickly and wisely.  Use the websites below to learn about weather safety:
  4. Students will break into groups and create "Hurricane Backpacks" to be prepared for storms.  They will include what items they will put in their emergency backpack and explain why it needs to be in the backpack.  Students will use the "My Hurricane Backpack" sheet that is provided to complete this activity (Hurricane Backpack Activity Sheet).  Teacher will need to print and copy the "My Hurricane Backpack" sheet for the students for this activity.
  5. Weather Safety PSA Activity - Teacher will lead a class discussion on staying safe during a storm/weather event.
    Guiding Questions
    Have we had severe storms lately?
    Have you seen houses/property that had damage?
    Where were you when the storms took place?
    What should you do when you are at home and a storm comes up?
    What should you do if you are playing outside, etc.?
    What should you do if you are at school?
    What are some good, basic rules about what to do during bad weather?
  6. As a class, the group will write a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) for weather/storm safety.
  7. The class can then record the PSA for the virtual showcase.

Social Studies

  1. ELA teacher will introduce the concept of "Louisiana is a state of many cultures!" Many groups came to Louisiana at various times and for many different reasons.
  2. Teacher will continue on the theme of Cultural Diversity in Louisiana.  Identify cultural elements (e.g., crafts, customs, music, folklore) of the local community.
  3. Using one of the resources below, the teacher will help students select a culture that has influenced Louisiana.
  4. Teacher will help students decide on a craft from that country that is found on one of the websites. Students will make a craft from the nationality of origin (Irsh, Spanish, French, etc.) to display.
  5. Music plays a very large role in the culture of a community, state, and nation.  Using the SMART Board to record the information, teacher will lead a discussion of popular songs from modern times and allow the students to list any famous musicians/singers from Louisiana they may know of.
  6. Teacher will then talk about specific music styles of Louisiana using the key resource
    c. Teacher will tie in the cultures that influenced Louisiana throughout history by showing some of the songs that are featured on the sites listed below. available on site) 
    Any other web resources you may find.
  7. Teacher will lead the students in learning one of the songs they have viewed. The teacher will record the students performing the song for the virtual showcase.

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.


Formative Assessments 
(During Lesson/Unit) 

• Bicentennial Overview Quiz
• Hurricane Vocabulary Quiz Practice Presentations 

Journal/Learning Log
• What do you think life was like in Louisiana in the early 1800's before Louisiana was a state?
• Was weather prediction in the early history of Louisiana accurate? Why or why not?
• E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One! What does this mean to you? How does this relate to Louisiana now?
• Why did the (assigned people group) come to Louisiana? Notes
• List of five correct facts about Louisiana Historical Governors
• Primary Sources Information Notes 

Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes 


5 Correctly-written Louisiana math problems 

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
Venn Diagram - Louisiana Community Life - Then and Now
Hurricane Backpack Diagram 

Online Tests/Exams 


Louisiana Parish Chart
Student-created Louisiana shape reduction or enlargement
Louisiana Prices - Then and Now! Chart 

Summative Assessments  (End of Lesson/Unit) 

Written Product(s), with rubric: 
Community Life - Then and Now Interview
Louisiana Community Life Almanac - Then and Now
Louisiana -Then and Now History Book
Louisiana Historical letter Other Product(s)/Performance(s), with rubric: 
Weather Myth Illustration
Historic Food Price Advertisement
Hurricane Timeline
Louisiana Cultures Craft - craft from an influencing people group
Weather Safety Public Service Announcement (PSA) 

Oral Presentation, with rubric
Louisiana Cultures Song
Louisiana Community Cultures Oral Summary 

Peer Evaluation 
Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test 


Essay Test 

Color-Coded Louisiana Parish Map
Louisiana Parish Timeline
Illustrated Louisiana Recipe

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 grocery store managers to discuss prices of items and what affects the prices
International Students from the local university groups (ULM, Tech, Grambling)
Ouachita Parish Homeland Defense for weather safety
Local reporters to discuss proper ways to conduct interviews
Local chefs to talk about Louisiana foods and ingredients
Local farmers to discuss growing produce
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 numerous 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 School Board -

Celebrating Louisiana's Birthday - Vermilion Parish Schools

East Baton Rouge Parish Library

If links are broken, please email Nancy Hodges at