Third Grade Unit Plan

Name of Project: Louisiana - Then and Now 

Duration: April 23 - May 18

Subject/Content: Community Life - Then and Now! 

Grade Level: 3

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. Decode words using knowledge of base words, root words, and common prefixes and suffixes (ELA-1-E1)
4. Demonstrate knowledge of the meanings of common prefixes and suffixes (ELA-1-E1)
5. Use reference aids such as dictionaries, thesauruses, synonym finders, and reference software to determine word meanings, word choices, and pronunciations
6. Determine meanings of unfamiliar words using a variety of strategies, including: knowledge of common antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, and homographs; 
use of context clues; identification of base words and root words (ELA-1-E1)
8. Identify story elements including: theme; conflict; character traits, feelings, and motivation (ELA-1-E4)
9. Identify literary devices, including idioms and personification (ELA-1-E4)
10. Demonstrate understanding by summarizing stories and information, including the main events or ideas and selected details from the text in oral and written 
responses (ELA-1-E5)
11. Connect ideas, events, and information identified in grade-appropriate texts to prior knowledge and life experiences in oral and written responses (ELA-1-E6)
12. Demonstrate oral reading fluency of at least 110 words per minute in third-grade text with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression (ELA-1-E7)
15. Identify a variety of types of literature, including the myth and the legend, in oral and written responses (ELA-6-E2)
16. Identify and explain the defining characteristics of various types of literature, including the folktale (ELA-6-E3)
17. Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including: sequencing events; making predictions using 
information from texts; making simple inferences and drawing conclusions about information in texts; comparing and contrasting, including story elements 
(e.g., theme, character, and conflicts) and main points or ideas in informational texts; distinguishing between a main idea and a summary; identifying main 
ideas of texts (ELA-7-E1)
19. Identify an author's purpose for writing, including persuading, entertaining, and informing (ELA-7-E3)
21. Apply basic reasoning skills, including: identifying differences between fact and opinion; skimming and scanning texts to locate specific information; 
identifying multiple causes and/or effects in texts and life situations; raising questions to obtain clarification and/or direct investigation; connecting what is 
learned to real-life situations (ELA-7-E4)
23. Incorporate grade-appropriate vocabulary and information when writing for an intended audience and/or purpose (ELA-2-E2)
25. Develop organized one- and two-paragraph compositions using description and narration (ELA-2-E4)
27. Write for various purposes, including: informal letters using appropriate letter format; book reports and informational compositions that include main ideas 
and significant details from the text (ELA-2-E6)
28. Write legibly in cursive or printed form, using standard margins and demonstrating appropriate spacing of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs (ELA-3-
29. Use standard English punctuation, including: commas to separate phrases in a series; commas to separate parts of addresses (ELA-3-E2)
30. Capitalize the first word in direct quotations and proper adjectives (e.g., American flag, Mexican food) (ELA-3-E2)
31. Write using standard English structure and usage, including: avoiding run-on sentences; using verbs in the future tense; making subjects and verbs agree in 
sentences with simple and compound subjects and predicates (ELA-3-E3)
32. Apply knowledge of parts of speech in writing, including: using standard future verb tenses; using a variety of conjunctions, such as although, since, until, 
and while, in constructing sentences; using correct forms of possessive pronouns, singular nouns, transitional words, and prepositions; identifying and using \
irregular plural nouns correctly; using first-, second-, and third-person pronouns correctly; selecting and using adverbs that modify according to time, place, 
manner, and degree; identifying and using irregular verb tenses (ELA-3-E4)
33. Spell grade-appropriate words, including: multisyllabic words made up of both base words and roots and common prefixes and suffixes; compound words; 
common homophones (ELA-3-E5)
37. Use clear diction and tone and adjust volume and tempo to stress important ideas when speaking (ELA-4-E1)
41. Clarify and enhance oral presentations through the use of appropriate props (e.g., objects, pictures, charts) (ELA-4-E4)
44. Assume the role of discussion leader, contributor, and active listener (ELA-4-E7)
45. Locate information using organizational features of a variety of resources, including: electronic information such as pull-down menus, icons, keyword 
searches, passwords, and entry menu features; printed text such as indices, tables of contents, glossaries, charts, captions, chapter headings and subheadings; 
the Dewey Decimal system; electronic and online catalogs (ELA-5-E1)
46. Locate information from multiple sources, including books, periodicals, videotapes, Web sites, and CD-ROMs (ELA-5-E2)
47. Determine appropriateness of collected information for a specified purpose (ELA-5-E2)
48. Use keywords to take notes from written sources (ELA-5-E3)
49. Complete simple outlines with main topics and subtopics that reflect the information gathered (ELA-5-E3)
50. Use available electronic and print resources to draft, revise, and publish simple research reports, book reports, and other projects (ELA-5-E4


3. Use region and set models and symbols to represent, estimate, read, write, and show understanding of fractions through tenths (N-1-E) (N-2-E)
4. Use the concepts of associative and commutative properties of multiplication to simplify computations 
(N-4-E) (N-7-E)
5. Recognize and model multiplication as a rectangular array or as repeated addition (N-4-E) (N-7-E)
6. Recognize and model division as separating quantities into equal subsets (fair shares) or as repeated subtraction (N-4-E) (N-7-E)
7. Recognize and apply multiplication and division as inverse operation (N-4-E)
8. Recognize, select, connect, and use operations, operational words, and symbols (i.e., +, -, x, ---) to solve real-life situations (N-5-E) (N-6-E) (N-9-E)
9. Know basic multiplication and division facts [0s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 9s, and turn-arounds (commutative facts), including multiplying by 10s] (N-4-E) (N-6-E)
13. Determine when and how to estimate, and when and how to use mental math, calculators, or paper/pencil strategies to solve addition and subtraction 
problems (N-8-E) (N-9-E) (multiplication) (division)
15. Use objects, pictures, numbers, symbols, and words to represent multiplication and division problem situations (A-1-E)
16. Use number sentences to represent real-life problems involving multiplication and division (A-1-E) (N-4-E)
25. Select and use the appropriate standard units of measure, abbreviations, and tools to measure length and perimeter (i.e., cup, pint, quart, gallon, liter), and 
weight/mass (i.e., oz., lb., g, kg, ton) (M-2-E)
27. Compare U.S. and metric measurements using approximate reference points without using conversions (e.g., a meter is longer than a yard) (M-3-E) (M-4-E)
28. Estimate length, weight/mass, and capacity (M-3-E)
37. Identify, describe, and draw intersecting, horizontal, vertical, parallel, diagonal, and perpendicular lines, rays, and right angles in the real world (G-5-E) (G-
43. Represent and solve problems using data from a variety of sources (e.g., tables, graphs, maps, advertisements) (D-3-E)
47. Find patterns to complete tables, state the rule governing the shift between successive terms, and continue the pattern (including growing patterns) (P-1-E) 


1. Ask questions about objects and events in the environment (e.g., plants, rocks, storms) (SI-E-A1)
2. Pose questions that can be answered by using students' own observations, scientific knowledge, and testable scientific investigations (SI-E-A1)
3. Use observations to design and conduct simple investigations or experiments to answer testable questions (SI-E-A2)
4. Predict and anticipate possible outcomes (SI-E-A2)
5. Use a variety of methods and materials and multiple trials to investigate ideas (observe, measure, accurately record data) (SI-E-A2)
6. Use the five senses to describe observations (SI-E-A3)
7. Measure and record length, temperature, mass, volume, and area in both metric system and U.S. system units (SI-E-A4)
8. Select and use developmentally appropriate equipment and tools (e.g., magnifying lenses, microscopes, graduated cylinders) and units of measurement to 
observe and collect data (SI-E-A4)
9. 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)
10. 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)
11. Use a variety of appropriate formats to describe procedures and to express ideas about demonstrations or experiments (e.g., drawings, journals, reports,
presentations, exhibitions, portfolios) (SI-E-A6)
12. Identify and use appropriate safety procedures and equipment when conducting investigations (e.g., gloves, goggles, hair ties) (SI-E-A7)
13. Identify questions that need to be explained through further inquiry (SI-E-B1)
14. Distinguish between what is known and what is unknown in scientific investigations (SI-E-B1)
15. Recognize that a variety of tools can be used to examine objects at different degrees of magnification (e.g., hand lens, microscope) (SI-E-B3)
16. Describe procedures and communicate data in a manner that allows others to understand and repeat an investigation or experiment (SI-E-B5)
17. Explain and give examples of how scientific discoveries have affected society (SI-EB6)

Social Studies

2. Differentiate between a bar, pictograph, and circle graph (G-1A-E1)
3. Interpret a graph, chart, and diagram (G-1A-E2)
28. Explain the responsibilities of individuals in making a community and state a better place to live (C-1B-E2)
29. Identify the qualities of people who were leaders and good citizens as shown by their honesty, courage, trustworthiness, and patriotism (C-1D-E3)
30. Identify a state issue and describe how good citizenship can help solve the problem (e.g., participation in an anti-litter campaign) (C-1D-E5)
33. Explain reasons why people save money (E-1A-E3)
34. Identify examples of making an economic choice and explain the idea of opportunity cost (i.e., what is given up when making a choice) (E-1A-E4)
35. Describe ways in which people are producers and consumers and why they depend on one another (e.g., in the school and/or in the community) (E-1A-E5)
36. Identify examples of natural, human, and capital resources used to produce goods and services (E-1A-E6)
37. Identify the concepts of specialization (i.e., being an expert in one job, product, or service) and interdependence (i.e., depending on others) in the production 
of goods and services (E-1A-E7)
38. Describe the requirements of various jobs and the characteristics of a job well performed (E-1A-E8)
40. Identify various types of economic institutions that make up the economy (e.g., households, businesses, banks, government) (E-1A-E10)
41. Discuss trade in the local community and explain how trade benefits both parties (E-1A-E11)
42. Describe the basic principles of supply and demand and how competition can affect prices of goods (E-1B-E1)
43. Explain the effect of increase/decrease in price upon the consumer and producer (E-1B-E2)
45. Identify major goods and services produced in Louisiana (E-1B-E5)
55. Identify and describe the significance of various state and national landmarks and symbols (H-1C-E2)

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. 


  • 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.

Calendar of Activities

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.
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:
     a.  Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference 
     b.  Intro 2-3 Louisiana Bicentennial Overview Revised SMART Notebook (provided)
     c.  Louisiana Statehood Presentation PowerPoint - (Used by permission of East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library)     
     d.  States in Louisiana Purchase Teacher's Guide (provided)
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.  A journal template (Louisiana Journal Scroll) is included for teacher use.
     b.  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. 
     a.  It will include words, such as: Louisiana, France, England, Spain, Mexico, Mississippi River, New Orleans, and other   
          Louisiana cities.
     b.  It will include people words, such as: governor, Jean Lafitte, Charles Deslondes, President Madison, Andrew  
          Jackson, etc.
     c.   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.
     a.  Students will read aloud these pages or they can be read aloud to the students.
     b.  A shorter, alternate version of the highlights of this material can be found at 

     c.  A Statehood PowerPoint presentation for viewing is available.  (Used with permission of East Baton Rouge Parish Public   Library)  
     d.  Students can use highlighters to mark important facts. They will then complete the story chain activity on page 51   
          of the desk reference.
5.  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?" This activity can be used for assessment.


1. Teacher will lead a math lesson on shapes, reduction of shapes, and enlargement of shapes.
     a.  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 
     b.  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.
     c.   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.
     d.  Teacher will point out that a grid is simply horizontal and vertical lines in a specific pattern.
2.  Read, write, compare, and order whole numbers through 999 using words, number lines and models.
     a. Students will do this activity in many ways and with different forms of information.
     b. 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.
3.  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.


1.  Teacher will lead overview of how weather predictions were made in historical times using the Weather Prediction Notebook.
     a.  Point out that there was no radio or tv.
     b.  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".
     a.  The teacher will use SMART Board activity and the websites 
          and to show some of the old weather proverbs.
     b.  Talk about why some proverbs are true and others are not.
     c.  Predicting Weather in the 18th Century - 
     d.  Weather Prediction - 
     e.  Meteorology -  
3.  Next show Poor Richard's Almanac website and talk about how almanacs were used.
     a.  The website is for Poor Richard's Almanac.
     b.  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.
4.  Students will create two or three products for this portion of the unit.
     a.  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?"  This activity can be used for assessment.
     b.  Students will create an illustration of one of the weather myths/wive's tales showing the weather myth in a creative 
     c.  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.  
          The rain gauge and/or worksheet can be used for assessment.

Social Studies

1.  Teacher will lead a discussion of Louisiana parishes using the Louisiana ParishesSMART Notebook lesson, making 
     sure to emphasize cardinal directions (north, south, east, west, etc.)
     a.  Teacher will display the state map with parishes labeled ( on the 
          SMART Board. 
     b.  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 Maps with Parishes)
     c.  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.  The completed map can be used for assessment.
     d.  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
2.  Teacher will have the students list cities they know in Louisiana as an introductory activity/discussion.
     a.  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.
     b.  Students will then copy the cities onto their individual maps.
3.  Teacher will transition into "Then and Now Interviews."
     a.  Teacher will print and make copies of Then and Now Interview Guide.
     b.  Students will receive the Then and Now Interview Guide and the teacher will read the questions aloud with the 
     c.  Teacher will instruct students to complete the sheet over the weekend.
     d.  Students can video the interviews if they have the equipment.
     e.  Students can take a picture of the person they are interviewing, or have a parent take a picture of the student 
          conducting the interview.
     f.   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.
    a.  Make copies of Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference, page 52 
         ( for each group.
    b.  Student groups will come up with five facts for each governor. They may make their notes on paper to report out to class.
    c.  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.
    d.  On both websites, the teacher has the option of playing a game with the flashcards created in the activity.
    e.  Option - Teacher can print out the flash cards and copies made to distribute to students for their portfolios.
2. Teacher will lead a lesson on primary sources to gather information.
    a.  Use the Primary Source Document SMART Notebook as a resource.
    b.  Teacher will share information gathered from the artifact. 
    c.  Students will take notes individually at their desks as the teacher tells about the map. 
    d.  Students will write five facts as they view the map 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.
    e.  Students will tell one fact they have and come to the board and circle or underline the location of the information on the map that will 
         support their fact.
3. Teacher will break students into groups and the groups will either read independently or the teacher can read aloud to the groups.
    a.  Using the information on page 50 of the desk reference, groups will read about the "War of 1812." 
    b.  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?"
    c.  Students will write in their journal on the topic "E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One! What does this mean to you? How do this relate 
         to Louisiana now?"


1. On Friday of previous week, the teacher will send home a list of foods for which students will need to get current prices. 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 Board 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?"
    a.  Early American Food Prices -
    b.  1900 Food Prices - 
    c.  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 chart activity, the students will total each column on the board and on their individual paper.
6. Each student will create10 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 LPB CyberChannel videos and then lead a discussion about hurricanes and wetlands, then and now.
    a.  Hurricanes -
    b.  Mississippi River -
    c.  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.
    a.  Using information from various websites and the SMART Board, the teacher will help students 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.
    b.  Hurricanes Have Been Recorded from Very Early Dates - 
    c.  Top 10 Historical Hurricanes -
    d.  History of Hurricanes -
    e.  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.
4. Hurricane Tracking Today!
    a.  Teacher will make copies of the Hurricane Tracking Chart Activity Sheet -
    b.  Using Hurricane Katrina as the storm of record, the teacher will distribute the Hurricane Tracking Chart activity sheets and lead the 
         discussion on hurricane tracking.
    c.  Important question - Why should we track hurricanes and know where the storm is heading?
    d.  Hurricane Tracking Chart -
        Gulf Coast Interactive Hurricane Tracks - 
    f.  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.
    a.  Students will use their interview sheets to complete the activity.
    b.  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."
    c.  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.
2. "Let's Look at Our Community - Then and Now!" - Create a Book
     a.  Teacher will divide students into groups of no more than four and assign one of the following topics:
          • Churches
          • Schools
          • Businesses
          • Hospitals/doctors
          • Transportation
          • Fireman/Policeman
          • Communication
    b.  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.
    c.  Students can draw any pictures they think may help explain about the differences in our community then and now.
    d.  Student group information will be compiled into a "Then and Now" booklet with the chapters based on the above topics.
    e.  A venn diagram (provided in resources) 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.
    a.  Teacher will use the resource,21 items 32-37.
    b.  Teacher will discuss the purpose of each letter and help the students to understand how important letters were during this time as a 
         means of communication.
    c.  After a discussion on the parts of letters, students will write a letter to a historical Louisiana figure. The students should be creative.
    d.  Students must decide who the letter is to and why they are writing the letter.
    e.  Students will write their letters individually using the Historical Letter Templateprovided. Teacher should print out and make copies.
    f.  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.
2. Teacher will read aloud "Immigration" - pages 74-75 of the Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference.
    a.  Teacher will lead discussion about immigration. Information is found on pages 75-77 of Louisiana Bicentennial Desk Reference.
    b.  Students will be divided into groups and receive one of the immigrant groups (Germans, French, Jewish, etc.) and they will orally 
         summarize the information about their group.
    c.  Information will be discussed as a whole group activity.
    d.  The next day, student groups will be given a small blank poster. The group will create a poster to represent their assigned people  
    e.  Students will make a journal entry about why their people group came to Louisiana. Posters and journal entry can be used for 


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.
     a.  Students will come to the board and circle the fractions in the recipe. 
     b.  Students will create a circle/rectangle representation of the fractions in the recipe.
8.  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.
9.  Students will then illustrate their home recipe using Louisiana foods, symbols, and cooking utensils, etc.
10. The teacher will lead a class activity where the group creates a class graph of their favorite recipes.
11. Students will work in groups to make a group grocery list of foods they will need to make their favorite food recipes. 
      a. 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.)
      b. 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.
      c. 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   
     a. 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
     a.  Teacher will lead a class discussion on staying safe during a storm/weather event.
     b.  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?
     c.  As a class, the group will write a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) for weather/storm safety. 
     d.  The class can then record the PSA for the virtual showcase. A Flip Video camera and set of iPods are available in the school library.  

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.
     a.  Identify cultural elements (e.g., crafts, customs, music, folklore) of the local community.
     b.  Using one of the resources below, the teacher will help students select a culture that has influenced Louisiana.
     c.  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. 
3.  Music plays a very large role in the culture of a community, state, and nation
     a.  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.
     b.  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.  (previews available on site)  
         Any other web resources you may find.
4.  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 Project) Quizzes/Tests
• 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? 
• List of five correct facts about Louisiana Historical Governors
• Primary Sources Information 
Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes 

• 10 Correctly-written Louisiana math problems 
Rough Drafts 
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 Project) |
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
Musicians (professors or students) from the local universities (ULM, Tech, Grambling) on the various activities concerning music
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

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 Schools -

Celebrating Louisiana's Birthday - Vermilion Parish Schools

East BatonRouge Parish Library

If links are broken, please email Nancy Hodges at