Teacher's Guide for APPLESEEDS Inside the White HouseSeptember 2000
Teacher's Guide prepared by: Mary Shea, Ph.D. Dr. Shea teaches undergraduate and graduate reading courses at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.
The following project would be done as an extension activity after reading and discussing the articles in this issue. It will take several days to complete and require the rereading of articles and, possibly, the use of additional resources. Students will be highly motivated by the prospect that several audiences may actually use their work. This lends authenticity to the task. An art teacher, librarian, and / or computer teacher in the school (or parents, older students, classroom helpers) could assist with the project.
Objective: Students will use the facts and details they've gathered in reading and discussing the articles in this issue on the White House to create a brochure that can be sent to the White House web page, distributed to travel agencies, and passed out to young visitors before they start a tour of the White House.
Higher Level Thinking Skills: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, and Synthesis.
Materials: September 2000 issue of APPLESEEDS, art materials, writing paper, art paper.
- Share sample visitor guides to local attractions. Ask students if they've ever been given such a guide when visiting a tourist site.
- Discuss how guides help visitors.
- Tell the students that they'll be working in groups to put together a visitor's guide for the White House. Each group will use information from the articles in APPLESEEDS and other sources to create a page about a room in the White House that is on the tour as well as other areas in the White House that are not open to the public. These will be compiled as a brochure and sent to travel agencies, the White House web site, and to the White House Visitor Center.
- Examine how the sample guides are set up, pointing out to students that they have maps, interesting information about the sites, and pictures that catch a reader's attention.
- Discuss how the information is presented in short, compact paragraphs that stick to the topic with a main idea and a few important and / or very interesting details.
- Point out how maps and pictures have brief captions explaining what they show.
- Introduce other resources (books, websites, videos, pamphlets, etc.) that will be available to students. If other teachers are collaborating, explain to students that the art teacher, librarian, or computer teacher will be helping them as well.
- Reread the article "Let's Take a White House Tour" with students in order to trace the sequence of the tour. On chart paper, the teacher will record this sequence.
- Students will be directed to form small groups. Each group will review another article to find facts and interesting details that can be added about any of the stopping places on the tour as listed on the chart. Groups will also decide on other areas of the White House, not included in the tour, that they want to describe. This will provide visitors with information on places that they won't get to visit. For example, the article entitled "Fala and Other Furry Friends" tells about the adventures of famous White House pets and where they could be found in the White House.
- As groups share interesting facts they've found in other articles, the teacher will record them on the chart paper with the tour stop they are associated with. Examples could include:
- Algonquin, the pony who belonged to Roosevelt's son Archie, in the family sleeping area!
- Susan Ford photographing her father in the Oval Office.
- Details on The First Party at the President's House held by the Adamses.
- John F. Kennedy Jr. hiding under the President's desk.
- Working groups will be formed. Each will be assigned a stop on the tour or an area of the White House that is significant to the American people, but not included on the tour.
- Group members will decide who will be responsible for each part of their section. These parts include:
- A map of the White House with a "you are here" designation for the area they're working on.
- A picture of the area as it appears today, pictures of the way it looked in the past, and / or pictures of interesting things that happened in that place (i.e. examples in #3). These will have captions that explain the event.
- A brief description of the area or room, how it is used by the President today, and how it may have changed over the past 200 years.
Closure (for each class): Have groups report on their accomplishments for the day, any additional materials or resources they think they'll need, and their plans for the next work period.
- Groups will work on their section of the brochure. The teacher will circulate and provide assistance as necessary. Work may be continued during an art, library, or computer class, if such integration has been planned.
- The teacher will collate the sections. Together, the class will compose a cover letter to be included when the project is sent to one of the audiences.
The teacher will assess students' ability to:
- Work harmoniously and productively with peers in a group.
- Contribute to class and group planning for the project.
- Reread articles and effectively select salient information for a brochure.
- Fulfill their responsibilities to the group and produce a high quality section for the brochure that has all the required components.