Impacting Our Space

port of tacoma

Washington State History, 7th Grade

Unit: Changes and Impact in Tacoma

Brief Description: This has been imagined as a two to three week unit. Students will begin by participating in an inquiry based research project. Set up as a jigsaw, students will be provided files that contain guiding questions, primary and secondary resources as well as web links to support/guide online and image and text research. The different groups’ materials will have a focused lens, as each file will attend to economics, technology and industry, law and individual rights, social issues, geography and resources. There is a lot of cross over in these categories; students are expected to identify these connections. This attends to perspectives and impact. Along with this process students will create an online presentation to share out and as a class create a timeline with details and brief description. Then, after discussion and guidelines are presented, as a form of reflection students will design their own invention or idea to make an impact in their area.

Established Goals

Looking through different conceptual lenses students will address the impact made by different ideas and technologies in the lives of people.

  • What from this history is evident here in Tacoma.
  • Washington State’s relationship with significant contributions that were made by individuals who advanced science, technology, and the arts?
  • What else is needed and why.


Standards: 7th Grade

Social Studies/ EALR 4 History

  • S.S.4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.
  • S.S.4.2.3: Understands and analyzes how technology and ideas have impacted Washington State… (their community).


CCRS Literature

  • 1: Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • 2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.


Technology Standards 6-8

  • 1.2: Collaborate: Use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
  • 1.3: Investigate and Think Critically: Research, manage and evaluate information and solve problems using digital tools and resources.



Students will understand that…

  • How the movement of ideas, goods, and people affect cultures.
  • What motivates and stimulates the crafting of goods and ideas. (Desire, need and demand created these and they can vary in different areas/cultures.)
  • Challenges at the time – societies’ attitudes shifting and changing beliefs?
  • What is changing us now – what impacts us now?


Unit/Essential Questions

  • What is “change”?
  • What is an idea?
  • What constitutes technology?
  • How have ideas, inventions and technology impacted lives?
    • Motivations, multiple perspectives and current attitudes?
  • How to inform ourselves and others of how our own ideas can impact groups of people?


Desired Results

Knowledge, SWBT:

  • Students will be able to…identify 5-7 significant invents, ideas and people that made an impact on Tacoma, Washington State, their community and lives.
    • Events, Ideas and current gadgets we now have because of…
    • Identify names, places, landmarks, ideas and impact?


Reasoning, SWBT:

  • Analyze living -shifting and changing culture.
  • Analyze themes, motivating factors, and outcomes.
  • Explain how ideas and technology have made an impact in Tacoma.
  • Determine effectiveness after comparing needs and wants.


Skills, SWBT:

  • Generate questions and research what has made an impact in their local situation and lives.
  • Use multiple resources, including digital and online resources, to answer questions and determine outcomes.


Products, SWBT:

  • Create a presentation using Prezi or Power Point (consider what is more useful) containing both images and text that speaks to the content of their jigsaw – the ideas/inventions that have made an impact in peoples’ lives in the Tacoma community.
  • Provide written explanation of these and provide evidence as to why they are impactful and/or inspiring.


Assessments: Informal formative assessments include short written responses identifying and briefly explaining analysis with evidence (reference to images, texts, primary and secondary resources). Student reflections in journals identifying and attending to jigsaw content.  More formal assessments include presentation in Prezi (or Power Point if they want to learn about it) with written explanations that make clear connections between their questions, research and conclusions. In addition, the concluding reflective piece is designing their own idea to impact their area, it is supported with clear reasoning.



“Haunted History” – Files: They contain guiding questions, information and directions for digital archives, online text, artifacts and primary/secondary resources. A small inquiry based Internet Research (mini web-quests), with specific web sources provided and students present findings. Consider a “group worthy” task that has roles and status attended to.

  • Activity Types: Short Written response; Generate Questions; Design a presentation to present findings/discoveries using Prezi, Power Point, or other online resource.
  • Students will be supported in generating questions about change, impact and consideration of multiple perspectives when doing so. The guidelines and online resources in the files create and use research questions, analyze ideas and notes and ask students to determine need for additional information. The theme/concept of the research is impact and change.
  • The primary/secondary resources I choose to set up the inquiry, along with the websites and text resources I provide will have to support the students and the learning objectives. There are time management issues, as well as having Library/computer lab back up.

Timeline: Students will coauthor this in class and incorporate their findings and what was provided for them in their “Haunted History” Folders. Consider using OR OR

  • Activity Types: Generate Questions, Historical Chain, Historical Weaving
  • Students generate questions, look up other timelines or facts to piece together the sequence of events. This attends to students considering change as it takes place over time, what were motivating factors, including what came before a big event or idea.
  • Timeliness and focus will need to be supported. The coauthoring of this piece will need to be framed and launched with specific ideas of what we are looking for and assistance in using the free software.

Presentation Software: Prezi, Power Point or other. Students will present the findings of their jig saw research.

  • Activity Types: Generate questions, a short historical narrative in response. Determine conclusions based on evidence.
  • Students will generate questions, attend to the timeline and present the impact of what their source material spoke to. They present conclusions, connections, and ideas about what they see as still evident in the area. Taking into consideration multiple perspectives.
  • To support this process the teacher should frame research material from the beginning in a way that attends to the presentation style, including how students might attend to concepts, connections  and impact. Making visible the thinking that students went through to arrive at the conclusions they did.
  • More on Prezi within this unit.

Invention: Drawing with explanation. Students can draw 2-D on paper, or provide 2-D image rendering tool. Give students a choice of what is effective for them. Have a rubric that attends to the objectives being met regardless of method. Consider using – online drawing/paint pad. There are free versions of Corel Draw and Photoshop online, but consider the time needed to teach the tool.

  • Students reflect of what needs/wants they were satisfying and possible impact or challenges.
  • Students generate questions in order to plan and execute effectively.
  • Draw/build a model, create a game or picture, written instruction or outline of planned thing and uses.
  • Students will need support in sketching and rendering of 2D even 3D things, planning and revision. Students need to be engaged, so consider how much choice and self-expression they get to pour into their invention? Consider brain storming tools and perhaps sentence stems to help support explanation.


Resources to Support Investigation

More on Prezi within this unit.