The classroom activities that will be a part of this unit will include viewing multiple resources, both print and digital in order to get a good understanding of the historical time period. The classroom activities should promote student-centered discussions and a stimulation of mental pictures or images that the students can become excited to learn about. The information that is chosen to be used for the classroom activities should be essential in the planning and preparation of the information that is learned. There will be three classroom activities that the teachers can modify and adjust according to the needs of the students. These activities may take up to three classroom sessions before they are complete, and cannot be expected to be finished within one fifty minute class period. The first classroom activity will invite students to learn about Cuba and become familiar with its location and surrounds.
Activity One: A Tour of Cuba
Students will learn about the culture of Cuba and will invite others to learn about the Spanish-American War as well as the island through an informational, travel brochure, or poster.
The brochure can be done electronically through Microsoft Publisher, or it may be completed on construction paper. Students will be asked to focus their brochures or posters on three focal points: the culture of the island, tourist attractions, and interesting facts about the Spanish American War. The students will work in small, cooperative groups of three or four, depending on how many students you have in the classroom. Each group of students will have the following materials:
chart paper, colored pencils, crayons, markers, computers, construction paper, scissors, glue, and pictures of the topics printed from the computer.
Length of Time:
52 minute class period x 4 days, if possible. If not, then the teacher may choose to split the activity time, or do it in sections.
Students will be instructed to form groups of three or four and each student must choose which point of interest; culture, tourist attractions, and interesting facts, and begin to research them using the following websites.
or students can use the internet search engines to visit websites about Cuba and record their findings. Students will record their observations and get started. The group must decide if they are going to use the computer to design their informational brochure, or use chart paper to design their posters.
Students will use one or two class periods to construct their travel posters or brochures, and they may spend part of one class, researching and the other part, illustrating the brochure. Students must be well versed on the contents of their project and must make sure that they have pictures to demonstrate their focus points. Students must collaborate and decide how the brochure or poster should be decorated and how the information should be designed.
Before, during, and after the project is completed the students will be talking about what facts should be included in the posters and decide how the project will be presented. If there are questions, the teacher will be able to instruct the students about the task, observe, and circulate around the classroom. The teacher will also make sure that the students are not having difficulties with others in their groups, or any other issues that may arise while working together. A rubric can be made to instruct students what needs to be included in the project so that they do not get off track during the activity. There will be constant monitoring done by the students to ensure that students are working to the best of their ability.
At the completion of the activity, the students will pretend to take you on a tour around the beautiful island. They will be your tour guides. They will present the information to the class and answer any questions about Cuba that are asked. The teacher can then ask the groups any questions if necessary.
Activity Two: Women in the Turn of the Century Internet Activity
Students will navigate through a virtual website, http://www.cct2.edc.org
that allows them to learn information about the roles of women at the turn of the century.
They will examine eight historical documents of the time period and write about what they see the women doing and why they are doing these roles. The students can decide if the pictures that they are viewing are newer roles for the women, or roles that existed for the time period. The website is an interactive website for middle and high schoolers where they can explore illustrations, build virtual exhibits, and investigate inventions of the time period. The students can work alone, or in groups depending on the number of laptops, classroom computers, or technology center computers there are. It may even be that the teacher has to use his or her Eno Board to do the lesson with the whole group if there are no computers available to use. The teacher knows his or her own school setting.
Computer, pencils, paper
Length of Time:
52 Minutes, or one class period.
Students will work in pairs, or independently, and visit the appropriate website and navigate to
Women at the Turn of the Century
activity page. Students will type their responses in the boxes on the website. They do not need to write anything on paper. They may use paper and pencil if they wish to record notes. The activity is fairly simple; there are 8 pictures of women participating in an activity, or role and the students must write in the box next to the picture what they see in the picture, and what new role women should have.
Students can discuss with their partners the various roles women played and talk about what is going on in the picture. For example, in one picture, the women are on the farms with their animals, the students have to discuss what the women are doing. The students can also navigate through the website to look at ways women industrialized and became urbanized. There are connection questions that the students can also discuss as they go through the website.
At the completion of the activity, the students can complete a peer-share activity and discuss the images of the women in their advancement of roles. Students can also choose to compare and contrast today’s woman to the women at the turn of the century. The students will also have a chance to become an image detective and pose a question about the image and look for clues within the picture to answer the question. The students can learn background information from the picture and lastly, draw a conclusion about what they have learned from the pictures. It is a user friendly website that encourages students to create meaning and purpose.
Activity Three: The Modern-Day Laboratory
Students will compare and contrast the modern-day laboratory to the laboratory used by the four scientists in the story,
The Secret of the Yellow Death: A True Story of Medical Sleuthing.
This activity is taken from the Plugged-In materials, but it can be modified to fit the needs of the students.
The students will view images and compare and contrast the instruments used in both of the laboratories using a Venn Diagram, or a “Y” chart. The students can record their details on a graphic organizer that encompasses all of the elements that a Venn Diagram covers. Students will note similarities and differences. The activity can be shown on the Eno-Board, or photocopied so that everyone has a copy of it.
Picture of the lab and its instruments, a Venn Diagram, pencil, and Eno-Board so the teacher can show the students the picture blown up.
Length of Time:
52 Minutes, or one class period
Students will work as a whole group, individually, or in pairs to complete this activity. They will cite the similarities and differences on the chart and give responses about the images that are seen.
The students will talk about the lab and the use of technology as it applied to the past and present.
At the conclusion of the activity, the students can talk about why the laboratory should be a sanitary place for scientists to work on the discovery and cure of diseases. The students should be able to tell why the spread of diseases is more easily detectable today than in the early 1900’s, based on the equipment that they were shown throughout the illustrations and documentations.