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To Remove or not to Remove? That is the Question

Name: Corinna Sech Date: October 26, 2017

Brief Class Description (contextual information including number of students, subject,

level, IEP/ELL/GT or other special considerations):
This is an eighth-grade U.S. History class comprised of twenty-two students. There are
two ELL students and four students have IEPs. The IEPs are for ADHD, dysgraphia, hearing
impaired (also a GT student), and an emotional IEP. Fourteen students have proficient reading
levels, three are basic (one high basic), and five are advanced.

Unit and Unit Goals: The unit is Post-Civil War Reconstruction era. Previously, students have
studied about the Civil War and by the end of the unit, students will be able to identify key
government policies that exist today because of the Civil War and Reconstruction (examples:
13th, 14th, 15th Amendment).

Lesson Topic: Connecting the Civil War (1861-1865) to the protest in Charlottesville, Virginia

Prior Knowledge (How do you know the students are ready for this lesson?):
Students have finished units on the Civil War and now the Reconstruction Era. Students
have the background knowledge of the Civil War and Reconstruction and can have a lesson on
the recent events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Common Core Objective Assessment Activity(ies)
Disciplinary (Which step(s) of
Literacy Standards DRL teach this
objective?- refer
1. 1. SWBAT 1. Silent Reading
Literacy Standard comprehend and A guided class-wide
discuss the complex discussion after Discussion
CCSS. ELA- text on Confederate reading the article will
Literacy.CCRA.R.10 statue removals assess students’
proficiently and comprehension of the
Read and comprehend independently article.
complex literary and
informational texts
independently and

2. 2. SWBAT write an 2. Silent reading

Writing Standard argumentative essay Students will write an
for or against the argumentative essay Re-reading
CCSS.ELA- removal of for or against the
Literacy.CCRA.W.I Confederate statues in removal of Follow-up writing
analysis of the Confederate statues
Write arguments to informational text. using evidence from
support claims in an the text and
analysis of substantive information learned in
topics of texts using class.
valid reasoning and
relevant and sufficient

3. 3. SWBAT 3. Silent reading

Content Standard comprehend the The assessment of
complex text on comprehension will Discussion
CCSS.ELA- Confederate statue be demonstrated in
Literacy.RH.6-8.1 removals proficiently class discussion as Re-reading
through class well as the
Cite specific textual discussion and a argumentative essay. Follow-up writing
evidence to support supported follow-up
analysis of primary writing activity.
and secondary

Materials Needed (Include Text Macrostructure):

 25 printed copies of the article “Here are the Confederate Memorials that will be removed
after Charlottesville” by Jessica Suerth (22 copies for students, 1 for the teacher, and two
 25 copies of the written script of the YouTube video (22 copies for students, 1 for the
teacher, and two extra).
 25 copies of the vocabulary worksheet (22 copies for students, 1 for the teacher, and two
 25 blank pieces of paper
 A computer with Internet access and Microsoft Office programs.
 Access to speakers, a projector, and screen.
 PowerPoint Slide Show
 Rubric for argumentative essay (not necessarily handed out during this lesson)

Technology Integration/Needs:
 A computer with Internet access and Microsoft Office programs will be needed.
Speakers, projector, and screen will be necessary to view the video during the motivation
 A white board or chalk board to write the RAFT chart.

Lesson Procedure:

1.a. Readiness: Motivation Activity

Time Allotted: 5-8 minutes
As students enter the classroom, I will have a PowerPoint slide displaying an imagine of
the Confederate flag. Once students have settled down, I will ask the class: “Can anyone
remind the class of what this flag represents?” Expected answers include: the South during
the Civil War and the Confederacy. I will continue, “Very good! Now can anyone tell me the
year the Civil War ended?” The correct and expected answer is 1865. I will then switch slides
to a picture of Charlottesville, Virginia during the protest that occurred on August 12, 2017. I will
ask the class, “Now, does anyone know what this is a picture of?” I expect some students not
to know, some may answer a generic response to a protest, it is possible someone will know
exactly what the picture is of but if students do not know, I will clarify. I will say, “This is a
picture of a protest that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017. This
protest involved white nationalists and counter-protestors and it turned violent. We are
now going to watch a two-minute video on the protest.” (stop at 1:56)

I will provide the words spoken in this two minute video on a handout for students,
especially ELL students and students with IEPs who may have a tough time understanding every
single word that is said in the news report.

I will begin briefing the class on what the day’s lesson will consist of: “I understand this
video can be overwhelming when we think about people acting towards each other in a
violent way. The protest in Charlottesville, Virginia exemplifies some of the feelings the
Confederacy had during the Civil War. Today, we are going to read and discuss what
occurred in Charlottesville and what has come as a result of this protest rally.”

1.b. Readiness: Background Knowledge Activity

Time Allotted: 5 minutes

I will give the class a brief background knowledge: “As I mentioned earlier, this
protest rally involved white-nationalists and counter-protestors. This protest was a result of
the state Virginia deciding to remove a Statue of Robert E. Lee. Can anyone tell me who
was Robert E. Lee?” Expected answers include “he fought in the Civil War and he was the
general of the Confederate Army.” I will continue, “Yes, exactly, he led the Confederate army
during the Civil War. Now, we have had this statue of Robert E. Lee for a very long time
and we have other confederate statues all over the United States. These protestors were
very upset about the removal of this statue and this protest has led government and state
officials everywhere to think about if we should or should not have confederate statues.
This is the exact question I want you to keep in mind as we move through today’s lesson.”


If the hearing-impaired student has a recorder she would like me to wear, I will gladly do
so for her to hear everything I am saying.
For students struggling with this activity, I will explain what a protest is, “A protest is a
statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something.” This will help
students understand what is occurring in Charlottesville.
I will introduce the vocabulary activity: “Before we begin reading the article ‘Here are
the Confederate memorials that will be removed after Charlottesville,’ we are going to go
over a few key vocabulary words.”

1.c. Readiness: Concept Development Activity

Time Allotted: 5-8 minutes

Vocabulary: nationalist, counter protestor, monument

Students will receive a Contextual Redefinition worksheet with 3 columns. The first
column will be the three vocabulary words: nationalist, counter protestor, and monument. The
second column will ask students to place an “X” if they have heard this word before. The third
column will read “Predicted Definition.” Students will make an educated guess and fill in what
they think the definition is prior to reading the article. Towards the end of the lesson, students
will write in the fourth column labelled “Paraphrased Definition,” which is where students will
rewrite the definition based on the article and class discussion.

“The three vocabulary words I want you all to focus on today are: nationalist,
counter protestor, and monument. Before we begin reading, I want you to mark an “X” in
the second column if you have heard this word before. Then, I want you to write what you
think/know the definition is for this word. Do not complete the fourth column
‘Paraphrased Definition’ yet. You will complete the last column after reading and
discussing the article. We will then go over ideas and beliefs nationalists have and make
sure this is clear after reading.”

If students are having a tough time with this exercise, I will assure them it is acceptable
not to know the definition yet because they will know it at the end of the lesson. However, I will
ask questions like, “Based on what I have explained thus far of the protest, what do you
think nationalist means?”

After students are finished the worksheet, I will say: “Keep your eyes out for the
vocabulary words or context clues of these vocabulary words as we read the article.”

1.d. Readiness: Purpose for Reading Activity

Time Allotted: 1-2 minutes
I will handout the article.

After passing out the article I will say, “The article I handed you lists the states
removing, thinking about removing, and have decided not to remove Confederate statues.
This article is very important for you to read and to be aware of because this is a result of
the Civil War. The Civil War ended in 1865 and we are now in 2017. That is exactly 152
years later. It is imperative that you are all aware of the effect history has on our country
today and you will read about this effect in this article.”

2. Silent Reading Activity / Discussion Activity

Time Allotted: 40-55 minutes
The discussion activity will coincide with the silent reading portion of the lesson. For the
discussion, students will be participating in the literacy strategy of arguing both sides. Students
should be paired with a shoulder partner and a face partner. The desks will be arranged by fours
to create big tables; the groups of four will be predetermined and displayed on the screen. Once
students are sitting at the “table” with their group, I will explain, “you are going to argue both
sides of this article. You have a should partner – the person next to you, and a face partner
– the person across from you.” I will pass out the blank sheets of paper. “Please take this
blank sheet of paper and fold it ‘hotdog’ style. Now once you are finished, look at the
article. Do not read it yet. I want you write down on the left side of the paper reasons to
remove Confederate monuments. Then, I want you to discuss with your face partner, the
person in front of you, your justifications.” I expect reasons to remove Confederate
monuments would be, “it’s wrong, it’s racist, it symbolizes a dark time in our country’s history,

While students are discussing, I will walk around to listen to conversations and make sure
students are on task. After 5-10 minutes I will say, “Now that you have discussed reasons to
remove, I want you to think for a few minutes about reasons not to remove. Please write
these reasons on the right side of the paper. After you have gathered your thoughts, please
resume your conversations with your face partners.” I expect reasons not to remove would
be, “it is a part of our country’s history, these monuments can be used as a reminder to never do
this again, etc.”

After students are finished discussing I will instruct, “Now please begin reading. I
would like you to annotate this article as you read through it. If something seems
important, draw a ‘star’ next to it; if something confuses you or you have a question about
something, write a ‘question mark (?).’ Feel free to annotate however you like, these are my
two suggestions. Remember to keep in mind the vocabulary and underline the word and
any context clues. Also try to remember your conversations with your face partner while

After students have finished reading, I will have them turn to their shoulder partners and
number-off each group of partners by ones and twos. When students begin to finish, I will say:
“Please take the last five minutes to finish up reading and writing down any notes or
annotations. We will begin our discussion momentarily. Finished? Great! We are going to
now have a class discussion. Please turn to your shoulder partner, I am going to count off
by numbers 1 and 2. If you are a 1, you will argue to remove Confederate monuments and
if you are a 2, you are going to argue not to remove. I understand you may not get the side

you personally agree with, but for this activity, please try to argue your assigned side. I
encourage you to use your new vocabulary during this debate as well!”

The class will begin arguing both sides and I anticipate student answers will include, “we
should remove the monuments because it is a symbol of a dark time in history, they are racist
and wrong.” Reasons not to remove will include, “we should not remove because they are a part
of our history, the memorials represent the time frame/history not slavery.” Throughout the
activity, I will ask probing questions to make students elaborate such as, “Why do you think
that? Based upon what? Can you explain?” After the students are finished debating, I will ask
the class to come to a solution. “You have all made some very valid points. I want you to take
a minute and really think about this issue. As a class, what do you believe is the best
solution for this country? Should all statues be removed? Should only a few? Is it O.K. to
have these statues in front of federal buildings?” This activity should have students critically
think about this controversial topic and invent a solution. I expect a variety of solutions such as
“each statue is a case-by-case decision, all of them should be removed, only the ones in front of
federal buildings, etc.”

After the discussion has come to an end, the last column of the vocabulary worksheet will
be completed. I will instruct them to fill out the last column of their vocabulary worksheet,
writing paraphrased definitions of the vocabulary now that we have discussed (nationalist,
counter-protestor, and monument). “Please complete the ‘paraphrased definition’ column on
your vocabulary worksheet.”

Since this is article is longer in length, I will create a voice recording of me reading the
article so my students, especially basic readers, the student with dysgraphia, and ELL students,
can listen to me read the article if they are having a difficult time. If GT students finish the
article, I will ask them to prepare to be group leaders of the side they are assigned to in order to
facilitate a discussion.
During the discussion, students who may have voicing their opinions or who are reluctant
to speak may be prompted individually with guiding questions. They will be also be among other
students in their groups who can encourage them to speak or speak on their behalf as a group.

The re-reading activity and follow up writing activity will be combined. “Before we
finish for today, we are going to craft a tweet!”

4. Re-reading Activity / Follow Up Writing Activity (Closing Activity)

Time Allotted: 8-10 minutes
Students will complete an exit ticket in the form of the RAFT literacy strategy. In this
writing exercise, student will write a short explanatory statement from the perspective of a
student tweeting to the Mayor of Baltimore (Catherine Pugh), why we should have or should not
have removed Confederate monuments.
Students will use the article, specifically the section regarding Maryland’s removal of
monuments, to create this tweet. Students should be reflecting on the vocabulary, the information
previously learned about the Civil War and today on the protest that occurred in Charlottesville
to create this tweet.

I will say, “As a closing activity and exit ticket we’ll be tweeting from the
perspective of you, a student! I’d like you all to go back to the article and look at the
section for Maryland. Think about everything you have previously learned about the Civil
War, Reconstruction, and what you learned today about Charlottesville from the article
and our discussion. I want you to write a tweet to Baltimore’s Mayor, Catherine Pugh,
letting her know if the decision to remove was justified or not. Please feel free to write in
abbreviated form, to use hashtags, and to be creative! Be sure to write down this tweet in
your notebooks and on a half sheet of paper.”

A written copy of this chart will appear on the board:

Role Audience Format Topic
A student Mayor of Baltimore, Tweet If it was or was not a
Catherine Pugh good idea to remove
the Confederate

Students will write their tweet in their notebooks and then copy it onto a half sheet of
paper that I will collect. I will say, “I had you write down this tweet in your notebooks
because you will be writing an argumentative essay. I wanted you to write this tweet to
understand your perspective on the removal of Confederate monuments. Please think
about what you have learned about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and now Charlottesville
tonight as we will begin the writing process for your essay tomorrow. Please turn in your
tweets on the way out.”

If students have trouble crafting the tweet, I will give them some examples to show them
what I am expecting.
If students struggle with writing, I will suggest that they keep it simple. I will remind
them that this assignment is to get them thinking towards their argumentative essay in a fun way.
If a student has difficult time physically writing, they are allowed to use technology to write the
tweet and email it to me.
ELL students can use a translator app or dictionary.
An adaptation for a GT student is not necessary as he or she has finished all the necessary
work in my class for the day.

Argumentative Essay Rubric

At the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction unit, students will write an argumentative
essay. Students are to write an essay arguing for or against the removal of Confederate
monuments. This essay should apply the history they have learned throughout the Civil War and
Reconstruction Unit as well as using evidence from the article.

CATEGORY 4 3 2 1 Score
Position The position The position A position There is no
Statement statement statement statement is position statement.
provides a clear, provides a clear present, but does
strong statement statement of the not make the
of the author's author's position author\'s position
position on the on the topic. clear.

Thesis The thesis The thesis The thesis The thesis

Statement statement names statement names statement outlines statement does not
the topic of the the topic of the some or all of the name the topic
essay and outlines essay. main points to be AND does not
the main points to discussed but does preview what will
be discussed. not name the topic. be discussed.

Evidence and All of the Most of the At least one of the Evidence and
Examples evidence and evidence and pieces of evidence examples are NOT
examples are examples are and examples is relevant AND/OR
specific, relevant specific, relevant relevant and has an are not explained.
and explanations and explanations explanation that
are given that are given that shows how that
show how each show how each piece of evidence
piece of evidence piece of evidence supports the
supports the supports the author's position.
author's position. author's position.

Accuracy All supportive Almost all Most supportive Most supportive

facts and statistics supportive facts facts and statistics facts and statistics
are reported and statistics are are reported were inaccurately
accurately. reported accurately. reported.

Grammar & Author makes no Author makes 1-2 Author makes 3-4 Author makes
Spelling errors in grammar errors in grammar errors in grammar more than 4 errors
or spelling that or spelling that or spelling that in grammar or
distract the reader distract the reader distract the reader spelling that
from the content. from the content. from the content. distract the reader
from the content.

Name: Date:

Charlottesville, VA Vocabulary Worksheet

Vocabulary Have I heard this Predicted Definition Paraphrased

word before? Definition

counter protestor

DRL 10


Vocabulary Have I heard this Predicted Definition Paraphrased

word before? Definition
nationalist I haven’t heard this
word but maybe a
person who likes
his/her country.

counter protestor Someone who is

against the fight

monument like a statue