Sixth Grade Unit Plan

Name of Project:  Louisiana - Then and Now           

Duration:  April 23 - May 18

Subject/Content:  World Civilizations and Their Influence on 200 Years of Louisiana History              

Grade Level:  6

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
1.            Identify word meanings using a variety of strategies, including: using context clues (e.g., definition, restatement, example, contrast), using structural analysis   (e.g., roots, affixes), determining word origins (etymology), using knowledge of idioms, explaining word analogies (ELA-1-M1)
2.            Identify common abbreviations, symbols, acronyms, and multiple-meaning words (ELA-1-M1)
4.            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)
6.            Answer literal and inferential questions in oral and written responses about ideas and information in grade-appropriate texts, including: comic strips, editorial  cartoons, speeches (ELA-1-M3)
10.  Use knowledge of the distinctive characteristics to classify and interpret elements of various genres, including: fiction (e.g., myths, historical fiction),  nonfiction (e.g., newspaper articles, magazine articles), poetry (e.g., lyric, narrative), drama (e.g., short plays) (ELA-6-M3)
11.  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 or implied main ideas and supporting details, comparing and contrasting literary elements and ideas, making simple inferences and drawing conclusions
12.  Examine and explain the relationship between life experiences and texts to generate solutions to problems (ELA-7-M2)
16.  Analyze grade-appropriate print and non-print texts using various reasoning skills, including: identifying cause-effect relationships, raising questions,  reasoning inductively and deductively, generating a theory or hypothesis, skimming/scanning, distinguishing facts from opinions and probability (ELA-7- M4)
17.  Write multi-paragraph compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics organized with the following: an established central idea, organizational patterns   (e.g., comparison/contrast, order of importance, chronological order) appropriate to the topic, elaboration (e.g., fact, examples, and/or specific details),  transitional words and phrases that unify ideas and points, an overall structure including an introduction, a body/middle, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes important ideas (ELA-2-M1)
19.  Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include the following: word choices (diction), appropriate to the identified audience and/or purpose, vocabulary selected to clarify meaning, create images, and set a tone, information/ideas selected to engage the interest of the reader, clear voice (individual personality), variety in sentence structure (ELA-2-M2)
20.  Develop grade-appropriate compositions applying writing processes such as the following: selecting topic and form, prewriting (e.g., brainstorming, researching, raising questions, generating graphic organizers), drafting, conferencing (e.g., peer, teacher), revising based on feedback and use of various tools (e.g., LEAP21 Writer's Checklist, rubrics), proofreading/editing, publishing using technology (ELA-2-M3)
24.  Write for various purposes, including: business letters that include a heading, inside address, salutation, body, and signature; evaluations, supported with facts and opinions, of newspaper/magazine; articles and editorial cartoons; text-supported interpretations of elements of novels, stories, poems, and plays (ELA-2-M6)
28.  Apply knowledge of parts of speech in writing, including: prepositional phrases, interjections for emphasis, conjunctions and transitions to connect ideas  (ELA-3-M4)
31.  Adjust diction and enunciation to suit the purpose for speaking (ELA-4-M1)
32.  Use standard English grammar, diction, syntax, and pronunciation when speaking (ELA-4-M1)
33.  Follow procedures (e.g., read, question, write a response, form groups) from detailed oral instructions (ELA-4-M2)
35.  Adjust volume and inflection to suit the audience and purpose of presentations (ELA-4-M3)
36.  Organize oral presentations with a thesis, an introduction, a body developed with relevant details, and a conclusion (ELA-4-M3)
37.  Demonstrate active listening strategies for various purposes, including: viewing a video to interpret the meaning of the story, to determine the speaker's/character's attitude using verbal and nonverbal cues, and to draw conclusions about the presentation; summarizing the main points of a speaker's message, including supporting; details and their significance (ELA-4-M4)
38.  Deliver oral presentations and responses, including: a research-based presentation; formal and informal descriptive presentations that convey relevant information, and descriptive details (ELA-4-M4)
39.  Evaluate media for various purposes, including: text structure, images/sensory details, support for main position, background information, opinions vs. facts, sequence of ideas and organization (ELA-4-M5)
42.  Locate and integrate information from grade-appropriate resources, including: multiple printed texts (e.g., encyclopedias, atlases, library catalogs, specialized dictionaries, almanacs, technical encyclopedias); electronic sources (e.g., Web sites, databases), other media sources (e.g., audio and video tapes, films, documentaries, television, radio) (ELA-5-M2)
44.  Locate, gather, and select information using data-gathering strategies, including: surveying, interviewing, paraphrasing (ELA-5-M3)


4.    Recognize and compute equivalent representations of fractions and decimals (i.e., halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, eights, tenths, hundredths) (N-1-M) (N-3-M)
12.  Divide 4-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers with the quotient written as a mixed number or a decimal (N-7)
13.  Use models and pictures to explain concepts or solve problems involving ration, proportion, and percent with whole numbers (N-8-M)
20.  Calculate, interpret, and compare rates such as $/lb., mpg, and mph (M-1-M) (A-5-M)

Readiness Skills from Grade 7 - Multiply and divide positive fractions and decimals (N-5-M), Addition of Integers, Subtraction of Integers, Multiplication of Integers, Division of Integers, Solving Equations with Integers


SI4.     Design, predict outcomes, and conduct experiments to answer guiding questions (SIM-A2) 
SI7.     Record observations using methods that complement investigations (e.g., journals, tables, charts) (SI-M-A3)
SI13.   Identify patterns in data to explain natural events (SI-M-A4)
SI14.   Develop models to illustrate or explain conclusions reached through investigation (SI-M-A5)
PS14.  Construct and analyze graphs that represent one-dimensional motion (i.e., motion in a straight line) and predict the future positions and speed of a moving object (PS-MB1)
SI15.  Identify and explain the limitations of models used to represent the natural world (SIM-A5)
SI18.  Identify faulty reasoning and statements that misinterpret or are not supported by the evidence (SI-M-A6)
SI22.  Use evidence and observations to explain and communicate the results of investigations (SI-M-A7)

Social Studies

1.    Use latitude and longitude to determine direction or locate or compare points on a map or representation of a globe (G-1A-M2)
4.    Explain ways in which goals, cultures, interests, inventions, and technological advances have affected people's perceptions and uses of places or regions in world history (G-1B-M4)
6.    Explain factors or events that have facilitated cultural diffusion (e.g., the Silk Road, Crusades) (G-1C-M5)
10.  Analyze world or regional distribution of natural resources in terms of the need to import or the capacity to export (G-1D-M3)
14.  Use economic concepts (e.g., supply and demand, interdependence) to describe the economic motivations for expanding trade and territorial domination in world history (E-1A-M9)
16.  Interpret data presented in a timeline to identify change and continuity in world civilizations (H-1A-M1)
17.  Describe the defining characteristics of major world civilizations from political, social, and economic perspectives (H-1A-M2)
18.  Describe the causes, effects, or impact of a given historical development or event in world civilizations (H-1A-M3)
19.  Use multiple primary and secondary sources to describe world civilizations (H-1AM4)
20.  Identify historical issues or problems in world civilizations and discuss how they were addressed (H-1A-M5)
21.  Conduct historical research using a variety of resources to answer historical questions related to world civilizations (H-1A-M6)
22.  Describe features of the earliest communities (e.g., shelter, food, clothing) (H-1CM1)
41.  Trace the spread of major religions and cultural traditions (e.g., the migration of Jews, spread of Christianity, expansion of Islamic rule) (H-1C-M9)
50.  Explain the major social, economic, political, and cultural features of European, African, and Asian societies that stimulated exploration and colonization (H-1C-M14)

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 an illustrated Bicentennial Vocabulary Book featuring terms associated with the Louisiana Bicentennial.
  • Create an emergency plan based on the "Toussaint's Trunk" Activity
  • Class map of Louisiana Migration and Change over the Last 200 Years.
  • Create a pictograph of Louisiana Culture Groups using symbols to represent numbers of people.
  • Create a model of a dwelling that would have been used in Louisiana in a past era.
  • Create, write, and produce a script based on the "Louisiana Life - Then and Now!"
  • Create a Louisiana Food - Then and Now! Display.
  • Write an original Louisiana Weather Song to the tune of a popular song from current or historic times.
  • Create an illustrated poster with the lyrics to their new Louisiana Weather Song as compared to the original version of the song.

Individual Products/Performances:

  • Create a map of Louisiana featuring an original compass rose, waterways, key cities, and locations of natural resources.
  • Create Journal Entries on the following topics: "Why are primary documents so important to our history?", "How do you think survival of major weather events has changed throughout the last 200 years?", Weather Safety Predictions,
  • Create a Hurricane on the Bayou Video Viewing Guide
  • Write an illustrated, multi-paragraph essay on how they would respond to a natural disaster in our state.
  • Create an illustrated list of items they would need to survive a weather disaster in our state.
  • Create a Louisiana Travel Time Chart.
  • Create an illustrated Louisiana Science and Weather Vocabulary Dictionary.
  • Create a Louisiana Migration Map featuring the movement of major cultural groups, major lines of latitude and longitude, and locations of major developments.
  • Create an illustrated, multi-paragraph Family History based on family interviews.
  • Create a poster illustrating their family history.
  • Create a Weather Air and Water Chart.
  • Present an oral report on one of the major historical storms to have hit Louisiana in recorded historical times.
  • Create an original poster promoting one of the Louisiana festivals.
  • Create an historical outfit of Louisiana clothing to model as part of the fashion show.
  • Create an clothing outfit (using materials at home or in the classroom) that fits into one of the historical eras of Louisiana.
  • Multi-paragraph essay on the topic of responding to/surviving a natural disaster in our state/area.
  • Create a family history map and a poster that illustrates the family's traditions and information.
  • Create a bubble map as a pre-writing activity.
  • Create a multi-paragraph essay on Louisiana life either now or then.
  • Create a Louisiana Tour Spending Log.
  • Create an illustrated Lyrics Sheet featuring the words to the group Louisiana Weather Song.

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.  Then, the focus will turn to lessons on map reading skills which address GLE's 1-5 as noted above.  The key concept of maps will be revisited when the unit focuses on the regions where different groups of people/cultures settled throughout the state.

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 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 4-6 LA Bicentennial.
  2. Teacher will lead discussion of the different cultures that have settled in Louisiana throughout the use last 200 years.  Assess prior knowledge through questions such as, "What groups of people live in Louisiana?", "How have these people's customs and traditions influenced Louisiana?", "Why did the people settle where they did?", etc. (SS and ELA)
  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 other Louisiana Bicentennial resources located at the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library website. 
  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 and students will discuss vocabulary that pertains to the Louisiana Bicentennial: bicentennial, capital, capitol, centennial, commission, constitution, convention, Creole, culture, exhibition, heritage, history, state, territory, plus any others that the teacher feels relevant.
  2. Students will view "Hurricane on the Bayou" Video. A copy of the video has been placed in each school library.
    a.     Students will demonstrate active listening strategies for various purposes, including: viewing a video to 
            interpret the meaning of the story, to determine the speaker's/character's attitude using verbal and    
            nonverbal cues, and to draw conclusions about the presentation; summarizing the main points of a 
            speaker's message, including supporting; details and their significance.  
    b.     Students will record their responses to the above topics on the video viewing guide
    c.      Teachers may wish to schedule a grade-wide viewing time of the video in the library or multi-purpose room. 
  3. "What would you do...?" Activity 
    a.     Students will write an illustrated, multi-paragraph essay on how they would respond to a natural disaster in 
            our state. (LA Then and Now Writing Rubric)
  4.  "Toussaint's Trunk" Activity
    a.     From Hurricane on the Bayou Educator's Guide - 13.
    b.     Students will work in small groups to explore what supplies and preparations are needed in order to ride out a
    c.     Students will create individual illustrations (poster, display, etc.) of what they would need to survive.  
           (LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric)
  5. Students will create journal article on the topic "How do you think survival of major weather events has changed throughout the last 200 years?" (Journal Template)


  1. Teacher will overview the week's activities with a discussion of miles per hour and conversion of miles to kilometers, miles to feet, etc.
  2. Using the scale on the map of Louisiana created in social studies, students will create a Louisiana Travel Time Chart among major cities in Louisiana.  They will have to have the time of travel for traveling at 50 mph, 60 mph, and 70 mph.
  3. Students will convert mileages into kilometers for distances between major cities.
  4. Using the provided SMART Notebook activity, the teacher will lead a discussion on the metric system and conversion. 
  5. Steps to Metric Conversion SMART Notebook Reference


  1. Teacher will introduce the overall theme for the three week unit, which will be the fact that students are going to become employees of the MCS Junior Meteorologists and Prediction of Hurricane Readiness (JUMPERS).
  2. Using the resource book Hurricane on the Bayou (located in each school library), the teacher will lead a discussion of vocabulary for the unit.  
    a.   Students will create an illustrated Louisiana Science and Weather Vocabulary Dictionary.  
    b.   The illustrated dictionary may be computer-generated (using or other website) or hand drawn.
    c.   Use the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric for assessment.
    d.    Words for the dictionary are: conservation, erosion, freshwater marsh, habitat, millibars, natural resources, non-
          point source solution, point source solution, pollutant, predator, prey, runoff, Saffir-Simpson Scale, Saltwater 
          marsh, storm surge, swamp, watershed, wetland, wetland restoration.  Definitions of these words are located 
          on page 17 of the Hurricane on the Bayou Educator's Guide.
    e.   Dictionary May Be Created Using: StoryJumper ( , MixBook (, 
          or other website, hand-illustrated, Microsoft Publisher document
  3. Hurricane/Storm Preparedness  
    a.    Point out that even though we are not in direct lines for "hurricanes," Monroe and Ouachita Parish often 
           receive residual effects.
    b.    The local meteorologist is a subject-matter expert (SME).  The teacher should try to arrange a time for the 
           meteorologist to come talk to the class.  It may be beneficial to have the meteorologist talk to the entire 
           grade at one time.
  4. Guiding Questions for Meteorologist Talk -
    a.    What are signs that bad weather may be approaching?
    b.    What can you do to prepare for an approaching storm?
    c.     If you don't see lightning, but you hear thunder, can you be struck?
  5. Students can predict their answers in a journal entry (LA Journal Template) and then see if their predictions are correct when the meteorologist talks.  If the meteorologist cannot get to the school, the questions could be emailed by the teacher, and the responses be obtained that way.
  6. Time permitting, it would be great project to have the students video questions to send to the meteorologist.
  7. View video of Hurricane on the Bayou in conjunction with ELA class.

Social Studies

  1. Assess prior knowledge by asking questions such as, "What is a bicentennial?" and "What cultures from around the world have influenced Louisiana?", etc.
  2. The teacher will use the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference (, provided SMART board lessons, and web tools to guide the overview. 
  3. Louisiana Map Activity - Each student will draw a map of Louisiana labeling key features and having an original compass rose/legend.  The map must feature key cities, waterways, and natural resources.
  4. Teacher will use World Book and the Primary Sources SMART Notebook to introduce the lesson on primary/secondary documents. 
  5. Students will look at examples of the original Louisiana Purchase document, maps, etc., that represent Louisiana history over the last 200 years.
  6. Students will journal (LA Journal Template)on the topic - "Why are primary documents so important to our history?"
  7. Teacher may choose to have students create an "Iberville Stone" as a primary source for an important location of the student's choosing.
    a.     Instructions and materials needed (water, flour, bowl, etc.) are located on page 10 of the Louisiana 
            Bicentennial Desk Reference.
    b.     Project completion can be used as yes/no assessment.

Week Two

Notes:     The focus of this week's lessons will be the different cultures that have come from around the world to settle in Louisiana and how their traditions, beliefs, and customs have influenced the overall culture of Louisiana over the last 200 years.

Procedures for Week Two

All Subjects

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


  1. Teacher will assign the family history project.
  2. Students will receive and complete the Then and Now Interview
  3. Students will talk to family members to find out about their nationality/heritage and maybe how/why their family got to Louisiana, Monroe, etc. 
  4. Students will record their findings and place them on the map that is created in the Social Studies unit. 
  5. Students will write an illustrated, multi-paragraph family history.  
    a.     It may be produced in any of the following formats:
            Microsoft Publisher
            Microsoft Word
            StoryJumper (
    b.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric
  6. Students will create a poster that illustrates their family traditions and information about their family.  
    a.     Poster may be:
            Hard copy using bulletin board paper or poster paper
            Glogster (
            Microsoft Publisher
    b.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric


  1. Teacher will lead a lesson on number lines and time lines.
  2. Louisiana Storm Timeline Activity (LA Then and Now Timeline Rubric)
    a.     Students will use the information from the hurricane research in other subject areas to complete the activity.
    b.     Students must make an appropriate scale to limit the size of the timeline.
  3. Students will create graphs/pictographs representing the information discovered in the family project from ELA.  Graph can show number of people in family, number of people from out of state, etc.
  4. Students will create/demonstrate a timeline of when their family came to Louisiana/Monroe, etc., in conjunction with major state events (LA Then and Now Timeline Rubric).
  5. As a group, the class will create one final graph compiling everyone's information onto a class graph.
  6. Louisiana Culture Groups Activity
    a.     Website Resources
    b.     Using information found at the above sites (whether viewed individually or as a group), students will create  
            an illustration that represents the populations of different culture groups (Spanish, French, German, etc.) 
            that have settled in the various areas of Louisiana throughout the years.  
    c.      For example, they may use symbol to represent designated numbers of Spanish, Eiffel towers for French, etc.
    d.     Chart must have an appropriate key/legend.
    e.     Assess using the La Then and Now Project/Product Rubric


  1. Students will research the hurricanes that have impacted Louisiana over the last 200 years, or at least since the beginning of records.  Resource Websites:      
  2. Using the "Hurricane Tracker" activity from Hurricane on the Bayou Educator's Guide - page 12, students will track Hurricane Katrina's course and determine her strength throughout her course.  Each school received copies of the video Hurricane on the Bayou and the Educator's Guide.
  3. From information in the above videos and Hurricane on the Bayou Educator's Guide (Page 5-6), students will understand the factors that affect a hurricane's intensity. 
  4. Using Probeware (with the assistance of Joyce Tate), teachers will lead an inquiry activity on the impact of temperature on hurricane formation.  Teachers will assist students in measuring temperature of air and water. 
  5. Create a class chart (on SMART Board or bulletin board paper) recording the temperatures of air and water and determine if they would contribute to or deter from the formation of a hurricane.
  6. "Historical Hurricane Chaser Challenge" 
    Resource Websites:
  7. Students will select an epic hurricane and collect data about the hurricane (key landfall location, category, rainfall, damage estimates, etc.)
  8. Students will prepare and present an oral report (Oral Expression Rubric) and place the findings in their learning log. 
  9. It is strongly suggested that teachers use the school flip camera or digital camera (in video mode) to record the students' oral presentations.

Social Studies

  1. Using the resources from the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference (pages 20-36) teachers will lead a discussion of Louisiana's Early Colonial Settlers and the Migrations of People Groups in Louisiana.  Focus on the groups that settled in the state along with the push/pull factors, differences/similarities, and contributions/developments that have helped Louisiana over the last 200 years.
  2. Teachers will group students to create a Louisiana Migration and Settlement Chart based on page 82 of the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference. 
    a.     The chart should include all regions of the state.
    b.     The chart may be done in several media:
            Bulletin board paper
            Poster paper
            SMART Notebook
    c.     Research Sites
    d.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric
  3. Each student will create a Louisiana Migration Map showing major lines of latitude and longitude.  The map will also show migration routes of people to their current settlements.  Map may be done using:
    Poster paper
    Microsoft publisher
    Other online drawing tool

Week Three

Notes:  This lesson will be a continuation of cultures in Louisiana and their influence on state life (including festivals, music, etc.).  Also, this lesson will focus on types of shelter, food, and clothing through history (from Poverty Point to the present).

Procedures for Week Three


  1. Teacher will lead a class discussion using a thinking map (bubble chart) on the SMART Board to help students think about Louisiana Life -Then and Now!
  2. Students will prewrite using an individual bubble map to examine life (traditions, culture, religion, food, clothing, etc.) 200 years ago in Louisiana and life today.
  3. Write a multi-paragraph composition on Louisiana life organized that meet GLE criteria as stated above.  Assess using the LA Then and Now Writing Rubric.
  4. Teachers will divide students into pairs.
  5. Louisiana Life - Then and Now! Theater
    a.     Each pair of students will use their written essays about Louisiana life to create a speech/script about 
            Louisiana life then and now.  
    b.     Scripting Resources
    c.      Assess using either the LA Then and Now Writing RubricOral Presentation Rubric, or both.
  6. They may dress up in appropriate clothing/costumes and video their presentation. 
  7. The presentation can also be performed as part of the "presentation of learning" showcase.


  1. Tours of Louisiana Festivals - introduce the topic of festivals and explain the activity to students. Information on Louisiana Festivals can be found at
    Activity scenario: You are going to take a family tour of major Louisiana festivals.  You and your family want to visit three festivals.  You are given a budget of $5000.  You must pay for lodging (if needed), food, and souvenirs.  Your budget must include travel/gas.
  2. Teacher will place the current price of gasoline per gallon and the miles per gallon of a selected car on the SMART Board.  The teacher must also place the "fee" for a hotel room, price per person for a meal, and prices for several different possible souvenirs (t-shirt, hat, stuffed animal, etc.)  This information is located in the prepared Louisiana Festival SMART Notebook lesson.
  3. Students will be given an imaginary budget of "$5000" and they must plan a route of travel that will get them to three major Louisiana festivals most economically.
  4. Students will create a spending log for their journey that includes all the necessary deductions/spending for everything they will need for their tour of Louisiana festivals.
  5. Students will create a Food - Then and Now display focusing on the prices of major commodities for 1900, 1925, 1950, 1970, 2000, and 2010.  
    a.    Information can be found at:
    b.    Students can create the activity as a poster, display board, etc.
    c.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric


  1. Teacher will break students into groups for this week's activity.
  2. Louisiana Weather Song Activity
    a.     Students will pick a popular song, beat, or rhythm from the past or present to adapt into a song about one of 
            the following:  hurricane preparedness, weather safety, types of Louisiana weather, etc.
    b.     Groups will be assessed using the LA Then and Now Oral Expression Rubric
    c.     It is highly recommended that the songs/raps/etc. be recorded for the virtual showcase.
  3. Student groups will create:
    a.     Individually, each student will create an illustrated lyrics sheet decorated with weather symbols and Louisiana 
            symbols.  (Assess with LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric)
    b.     Group poster/display of the lyrics to their Louisiana Weather Song
  4. Student groups will create a PSA about hurricane/storm safety. 
    a.     PSA will be 30-45 seconds in length.
    b.     PSA will cover the information they covered in their revised song which can be a part, but not all, of their PSA.
    c.      Students will record their PSA on the iPods which may be checked out from the school library.
    d.     Can be assessed using LA Then and Now Oral Expression Rubric or LA Then and Now Writing Rubric

Social Studies

  1. Louisiana Festivals and Tourism -Then and Now!
    a.     Class will discuss why certain festivals are held in the locations where they are.  
    b.     Resource: 
    c.     Teacher can also tie in why possible local natural resources lead to the festivals held in the area.
  2. Students will select a Louisiana Festival for further research.  
    a.     There are numerous graphic organizers and guides in the Louisiana Desk Reference as referenced above.  
    b.     The teacher may print them out and make copies for the students as a guide for gathering information.
  3. Students will locate all the critical information for the festival.
  4. Students will create an original poster for the Louisiana festival of their choice that must include location and facts about the festival.
    a.     Other Website Resources:
    b.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product Rubric
  5. Teacher will lead discussion of clothing and shelter from early civilizations through the present.  Teacher will move from Poverty Point through early Louisiana settlers to the present day.
    a.     Teacher will group students together to create a model of a type of dwelling/shelter from one of the historical 
            eras of Louisiana. 
    b.     Possible Information Sources:
  6. Students will create an outfit (using available materials at home and in the school) to fit into one of the historical times of Louisiana. Website reources include: 
  7. Students will model their outfit in a Louisiana History Fashion Show.   
    a.     The show should be documented on video for the virtual showcase.  
    b.     A Flip Video camera and iPods are available in the school library.
    c.     Assess using the LA Then and Now Project/Product 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.

NOTE:  In addition, this week may be used for students to finish any outstanding products/projects for the completion of the Louisiana - Then and Now! Project-Based Learning Unit Checklist.  The teacher can print the checklist for each student and complete the sheet for each student, thereby creating one final summative assessment for the unit.

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.

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 Practice Presentations

Journal/Learning Log

  • "Why are primary documents so important to our history?"
  • How do you think survival of a major Louisiana weather event has changed over the last 200 years?"
  • Weather Safety Predictions Notes
  • Hurricane on the Bayou Viewing Guide
  • Louisiana Weather and Water Chart
  • Facts about a Louisiana Festival
  • Louisiana Tour Spending Log

Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes                    


Rough Drafts
There are many activities/projects in this unit that the teacher can choose to use as a graded rough-draft should the need be there.                  

Concept Maps

  • Pre-Writing Bubble Map

Online Tests/Exams                       


  • "Toussaint's Trunk" Emergency Plan
  • Louisiana Historical Map

Summative Assessments  (End of Lesson/Unit)       

Written Product(s), with rubric:

  • Bicentennial Vocabulary Book
  • Louisiana Life - Then and Now! Essay
  • "Louisiana - Then and Now!" Script
  • Illustrated, multi-paragraph essay on responding to a natural disaster
  • Illustrated, multi-paragraph Family History Other Product(s)/ Performance(s), with rubric:
  • Louisiana Migration and Change Map/Chart
  • Louisiana Culture Groups Pictograph
  • Historical Louisiana Dwelling Model
  • Louisiana Weather Song Poster
  • Family History Poster
  • Louisiana Festival Poster

Oral Presentation, with rubric

  • Original Louisiana Weather Song
  • Oral Report on a Major Historical Louisiana Storm Peer Evaluation

Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test                          


Essay Test                         


  • Louisiana - Then and Now! Summative Checklist
  • Louisiana Food Display
  • Louisiana Travel Time Chart
  • Illustrated Louisiana Science and Weather Dictionary
  • Louisiana Weather Song Illustrated Lyrics Page

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 safety
Local representatives from the Monroe/West Monroe Convention and Tourists Bureau
Ouachita Parish Homeland Defense for weather safety
Local reporters to discuss proper ways to conduct interviews
International Students from local universities (ULM, Tech, Grambling)
Local scriptwriter and movie producer - Rodney Ray
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.

Located at Each School:
Video - Hurricane on the Bayou
Hurricane on the Bayou
 Educator's Guide


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

Journal/Learning Log
The students 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 Schools -

Celebrating Louisiana's Birthday - Vermilion Parish Schools

East BatonRouge Parish Library

If links are broken, please email Nancy Hodges at