Sample unit plan
This sample plan includes suggestions for introducing the course and covering Unit 1, Part 1 of the Student's Friend. The lesson plan may be adapted for use with later units by incorporating alternate activities such as those found in Teacher's Aids.

Unit 1 - Origins of the Earth and Humans:
the stage and the actors

1. Major Objectives
At the end of Unit 1, students shall be able to
- identify the major astronomic theory regarding the formation of the universe.
- identify the major geologic theory regarding the structure of the earth's surface.
- discuss the development of early man and human culture including agriculture.

2. Duration: 10 days (see: developing a course schedule)

3. Text: Student's Friend, pages 1 and 2

4. Major assignments and activities for Unit 1 -
Students shall

- Review class information and policies.

- Complete course pre-test

- Select a subject for research paper.

- Begin library research and complete five research notecards including bibliography card.

- Read pages 1 and 2 in the Student's Friend. (see: covering the material)

- Identify key points from topics on pages 1 and 2. Write key points in complete sentences.

- Participate in class discussions regarding key points and the content of Unit 1.

-View and discuss video materials relating to the content of Unit 1.

-Complete unit exam.

5. Procedure - teacher shall

a. Welcome students to the course.

b. Advise students to bring with them to class every day a three-ring binder, lined paper for the binder and a pencil or pen with blue or black ink .

c. Administer the pre-test before any course content is discussed.

d. Provide an overview of the the objectives and content of the course.

e. Hand out and review with students the class information packet. Students sign the cover page and return it to the teacher.

f. Hand out the Student's Friend and briefly explain its organization. This should be done on the second day of class after students have brought their 3-ring binders to class.

g. Hand out Research Paper Package and review with students the project instructions and student products. The paper will include at least one visual, a bibliography and a minimum of three sources including one primary source.

h. Discuss strategies for choosing a research paper subject and provide examples of how to either broaden or narrow the topic. Students should have an additional day to consider topics before choosing.

i. Conduct a "lubricating the gears" class discussion about the objectives and content of Unit 1. Invite class participation to connect the students' prior knowledge with new content .

j. Have students read to themselves the five topics on page 1 of the Student's Friend and analyze each topic for key points, "What is it?" and "Why is it important?" Students write key points for each topic in complete sentences.

k. Lead a class discussion during which students take turns reading the five topics and discussing student choices regarding key points. Divergent opinions are encouraged. The class develops consensus and underlines consensus key points in the Student's Friend. Teacher ensures that the most important key points are included. Key points become the basis for exam at end of the unit.

l. Provide visual support of content during class discussion by using overhead transparencies, maps. chalkboard or bulletin board/poster materials.

m. Have students select their research subjects from the major topics or subtopics in the Student's Friend 

n. Discuss research strategies including the use of notecards and how to record source information in proper bibliographic style.

o. Take the class to the media center where students begin their research.

p. Hand out outline maps and use the overhead projector to review map locations from Student's Friend page 1. (Overhead transparencies can be made on your school copy machine.)

q. Introduce and use video material or Internet activities supporting unit content.
(The experts say it is best to use brief video clips surrounded by discussion. Sources could include quality video series such as Civilisation, The Living Earth, The Ascent of Man, Lost Civilizations, and others.)

r. Have students read the five topics on page 2 of the Student's Friend and analyze for key points. Follow-up with class discussion and reach consensus on key points.

s. Continue with video material or Internet activities supporting unit content.

t. Administer Unit 1 exam after coverage of unit content is completed. Unit exam includes questions correlating to the ten topics covered in the Students Friend plus map identification and short answer essay questions. In subsequent units, approximately half of the topic-based questions and many of the map identification questions will be taken from content covered during previous units. In this way, students recognize that course content is meant to be learned and not merely memorized for a test and forgotten.

u. Have students hand in the key points writing assignment which teacher will grade and return.

6. Optional Activities:

a. Other activities from Teacher's Aids.

b. Discuss current news events involving world history or geography. (When considering news events, it might be helpful to review related background material from Unit 7, Part 2 of the Students Friend, the Current Issues unit.)

c. Plays, skits, or reader's theater; such as: "24 Exciting Plays for Ancient History Classes." available from Social Studies School Service, See Internet and Video Resources..

d. Museum field trip.

e. Guest speaker.

f. Supplemental activities from Online lessons, websites, or Videos identified in Internet and Video Resources.

7. Assessments:

a. Pre-test which is not graded at this time but retained for comparison to post-test results at the end of the course.

b. Assessment of Student's Friend key points writing assignment. Check for complete sentences and for adequate coverage of key points: "What is it?" "Why is it important?"

c. Assessment of five completed research notecards. Corrections are made, and notecards are returned to students before additional notecards are prepared.

d. Personal communication and observation, primarily during writing assignments, research time and during class discussions.

e. Unit exam over Student's Friend topics plus map identification locations and perhaps video/Internet material

© 2001 - 2014 maxwell learning l.l.c.