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Unit 1: Series Introduction


Professional Development

Consider designating an hour or two within a professional development inservice or staff meeting to watch Unit  #1 and/or #19, and to brainstorm, in groups, cross-curriculum lesson plans and project ideas students from each grade level could do with the Finding Missouri series, Missouri studies and local history projects

Developing Activities

The videos may be used in United States history courses as a tool to show how events in the history of the nation affected and were affected by events in Missouri.

Student Research Projects

Following is an approach teachers might use with the Finding Missouri videos in developing a major unit that challenges students to conduct historical research:

1. Present students with the topic of the program, which may also be the topic of their unit.

2. Have students generate questions of interest to them about the topic.

3. Present and have students observe the video.

4. Have students expand on the questions they identified in Step 2.

5. The questions may be placed on cards or separate sheets to facilitate sorting and organizing into some sort of logical outline.

6. Discuss the importance of each of the questions, and eliminate any questions students consider to be unimportant.

7. Help students organize themselves into small groups to investigate whichever questions they would like to investigate.

8. Provide resource information (see attached Bibliography) to assist students in conducting research on topics of their choice.

9. Engage students in their small groups and as a class in discussion of strategies they might use to investigate their research topics. While conducting that discussion, have students plan how they would present their ideas, whether by poster display, oral report, dramatization, or written booklet or magazine, and for whom, e.g., for classmates, other students in the school, and/or parents and other members of the community. They might decide to have their projects used in conjunction with History Day. One resource that may be used prior to this discussion is the video for Program 19, which deals with how to conduct historical research and present findings.

10. Have students draft plans for how they will conduct their research and submit their plans for teacher reaction and approval. Their plans should include criteria for evaluating the quality of their research efforts.

11. Students conduct their research.

12. The teacher monitors student research efforts and helps students evaluate and modify their processes, as needed.

13. Students make their presentations to the audiences for whom they conducted their research.

14. Celebrate the students’ good work!

To Obtain Additional Information:

  • Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education
    P.O. Box 480
    Jefferson City, MO 65102 
    (573) 751-3469
  • Department of Natural Resources 
    Historic Preservation Program
    P.O. Box 176
    Jefferson City, MO 65102  
    Phone:  573-751-7959

For more information about the historic or prehistoric places featured in the Finding Missouri videos, call the Historic Preservation Program at (573) 751-7861 or (573) 751-7959.

This video series was partially funded by a federal grant from the Missouri Department of Natural  Resources’ Historic Preservation Program and the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and with state funds through the Video Instructional Development and Educational Opportunity Program. Grant awards do not imply an endorsement of the contents by the grantor. Federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, handicap or ethnicity. For more information, write to the Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240. This program was produced by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.