Lesson Plan 1 History: Medieval Society
Knowing how other peoples and societies lived is important. Students should be able to answer the questions like how is the Medieval society both unique and yet a continuation of other governmental and cultural structures? How does each person or class fit into that structure and how did they get there, using overarching concepts like government, citizenship and societal role? Students will be concerned with the social and economic implications of the system, which will lead them to the discussion of individual regions and their particular histories.
Students will Write a brief paragraph as if you were one of the members of this society. They will be expected to pick a specific class and explain your daily routine and answer the following questions:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of your position?
How can that position change over time?
The following class, students will be comparing and contrasting the three different power pyramids of the middle ages-feudal, church and guild.
Lesson Plan 3 Mathematics: Probability of Hitting a Target
This lesson plan was designed around the first Guiding Principle of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks stating: Mathematical ideas should be explored in ways that stimulate curiosity, create an enjoyment of mathematics, and develop a depth of understanding. Through various activities, students will have a hands on experience with probability. The focus of this lesson is on making connections between different geometric representations of targets and calculating a theoretical probability for hitting the center, being exposed to ideas behind probability through various representations (including visuals, manipulatives, and formulas), being flexible in discovering methods to solve problems, and being able to communicate problem solving techniques by reflecting on strategies and solutions with peers.
Following these activities, students will be able to use these experiences to develop a strong argument on what factors affect the calculation of a theoretical probability when shooting a target, such as an opponent, using medieval weaponry. First, students will be informally assessed on their contribution to class discussions, working cooperatively with group members, and completion of in class assignments. Finally, students will be formally assessed through a creative assignment where they need to construct their own target and calculate the probability of hitting the center they designed. A written solution will be expected which includes the method they used to solve the problem in a step by step manner. Students will be creative in their problem design because their targets will be exchanged with another classmate and this classmate will be expected to solve the problem they receive.
Lesson 4 Mathematics: Catapult Projectiles
Students will explore the concept of projectile motion through medieval catapults. Gravity acts on an object, launched at any angle, to bring the object back down to earth and all objects launched at an angle follow a parabolic path. Students have studied parabolas before and will use their prior knowledge to solve a new parabolic equation. The object follows a parabolic path but the velocity of the object must be split into two vectors: one in the horizontal and one in the vertical direction. These ideas will provide students with the necessary information to predict where a shot fired from a catapult at a given angle will land, while also connecting with any object thrown at an angle that students are exposed to in their daily lives (a football pass, a baseball hit, or a skydiver jumping from a plane). At the end of the lesson students will be assessed by a paper and pencil quiz on the projectile motion of a ball thrown straight up in the air and one launched at any angle.
Lesson Plan 5 Mathematics: Population Growth
Students will be exploring exponential functions and their relation to population growth, the spread of disease, and how exponential functions differ from the more common linear systems. Students will look at these functions in a variety of different forms, including graphical study and manipulation and application through equations. Students will also explore how a sli ght change in an exponential function can result in an e nor mous change in the end result.
The ideas learned in this lesson will be reinforced through practice of graphing and solving equations. The students are introduced to the material in an interactive group game, and this will help to make the idea of exponential growth real to them. The lesson will be assessed by their participation in the group activity, including the final review game, and a traditional test at the end of the unit.
Lesson Plan 6 Chemistry: Food as Energy (Calorimetry)
Students will be exploring the function of food as an energy source
from the body. They will look modern food samples (i.e. their own personal favorite foods) and compare them to foods eaten by people in Medieval Times. This will launch the class into a discussion about food as energy.
Given the inquiry nature of science, in chemistry students will develop ideas about heat and burning food and types of metabolism reactions based on prior knowledge and guiding questions from the science teacher. After drawing a connection between the two diets, students will use creativity to draw an experiment that will allow food to be completely burnt and result in the measurement of energy. Students will then compare their "creative-calorimeter" to the machine used by actual nutritionists.
Students will also have the opportunity to work on "normal" calorimetry problems involving transfer of heat between two substances (e.g. a hot metal placed in a cold class of water), but they will have to draw them from applied situations, more like word problems than straight out question and answer, multiple choice examinations. Students will be assessed in many areas, allowing for creativity and intelligence to come through. These areas will include a short, tradition assessment; presentation of a recipe for a food from medieval times, including preparation of the food and a nutrition label with facts about the amount of energy the body will get from metabolizing this food; and their engagement in the interdisciplinary review game.