Blast from the Past Uncovering Tacoma’s History



Uncovering Tacoma Unit Plan

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Established Goals:

  • 8th grade Common Core Writing Standard 9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Common Core Writing Standard 3-Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • GLE 5.2.2 Evaluates the logic of positions in primary and secondary sources to interpret an issue or event.
  • EALR: 3.1.2 Understands and analyzes physical and cultural characteristics of places and regions in the United States from the past or in the present.
  • CCSS 8:8: Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • CCSS 1.Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Understandings (including Propositions ++):Students will understand that…Their own lives connect to the history that is apart of their community or cityThere is a connection between history and modern eventsThere are universal themes of humanity, including conflict and repair (content)They can make critical observations for fact and opinion (cognitive)


They can make historical meanings from facts and primary sources (content); integrate sources


That monuments, buildings, statues, and parks have historical signifigance.

Unit/Essential Questions:

  • What makes something historically important?
  • How the history of your community affected the present?
  • How can historical reserachers uncover information that creates a narrative about someone or something in the past?

Stage 1 – Desired Results (cont.) Learning Targets (Standards deconstructed below)

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence (Appropriate to the target type: Refer to Stiggins  p.94)

Knowledge (Refer to Cappuis & Stiggins pp. 44-47)

  • Research  methods
  • Local history
  • Oral histories
  • Historical narrative
  • Cite sources
  • Students will keep a research log in the form of a journal.
  • Students will complete graphic organizers that help them cite sources
  • Students will use note taking graphic organizers to help them delinate what information is pertinant to their historical phenomenon.


Reasoning (Refer to Cappuis and Stiggins pp. 47 – 53)

  • Students will be able to identify and communicate the central ideas from primary & secondary sources.
  •  Students will be able to cite specific textual evidence from primary sources
  • Students will be able to synethezize evidence they have uncovered through research.
  • Students will keep research logs where they summarize information they have uncovered by searching through historical databasis
  • Students will complete graphic organizers that help them cite sources
  • Students will use note taking graphic organizers to help them delinate what information is pertinant to their historical phenomenon.


Skills (Refer to Cappuis and Stiggins pp. 54-55) 

  • Students will take photographs of the historical places or things in their communites and upload them to group websites.
  • Students will be able to develop a web page
 Students will submit group photos to flickr class site.Student groups will publish a web page about the person, place, or event they investigated.
Products (Refer to Cappuis and Stiggins pp.  55-57)

  • Students will construct a 3 page narrative of a historical event.
  • Students will create a webpage about their groups chosen historical person, place, thing, or event.  This webpage will include pictures they have taken that relate to their subject and pictures researched through internet databases.
  • Student will present their website to the class giving a brief synopsis of what they learned.
  • Students three page historical narrative that explores the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their person, place, or event. This will be graded using a rubric that assess mechanics, content, organization, and grammar.
  • Groups  will publish a webpage about their historical person, place, or event that includes present day pictures, archived pictures, and information that explains the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the person, place, or event.
  • Students will also cite where they found their information about their historical person, place, or event in their three page group narrative.
  • Students will create links on their webpage to the places they found their researched information.
  • Students presentations will be evaluated by their classmates on if they displayed understadning of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their person, place, or event.


Stage 3 – Learning Plan

What learning experiences and instruction will enable students to achieve the desired results? How will the designW: Help the students know Where the unit is going and What is expected? Help the teacher know Where the students are coming from (prior knowledge, interests, Funds of Knowledge, Smartnesses)H: Hook all students and Hold their interest? E: Equip students, help them Experience the key ideas and Explore the issues? R: Provide opportunities to Rethink and Revise their understandings and work? (Disequilibrium, Student Voice)E: Allow students to Evaluate their work and its implications? (Student voice)T: Be Tailored (personalized) to the different needs, interests, and abilities of learners including connections to the communities?O: Be Organized to Maximize initial and sustained engagement as well as effective learning?



Technology Activity type What to anticipate to use effictively ? How does it support learning?
Digitial archives, websites, electronic books Read text Model the proccess show groups how to format research quieries.Create student activity they help them practice researching on the unit by answering specific questions about a random subject.Give students resouces with database cites they can use.Give students website resources Teaches analytical skills.Teaches research skills.Teaches critical thinking skills.
digital camera View images Go over ethics of taking pictures in public placesModel how to upload picturesCreate tutorial resources sheet on how to upload photos to flickr citeArrange groups so that there is a technology strong student in each group if possible. It teaches students to play the role of a reporter and investigator which are crucial roles to every historian.
blog/Wiki Generate an Historical narrative, Do a Presentation, Historical Weaving What functions on Wiki are essential to teach?-How does webpage presentation best serve this project?-Is there value in having student work on an online database? Organizes Information for students-Helps students showcase their research-Allows for easy student collaboration
Word Processor, wiki/ Google docs Generate a narrative Students ability to analyze primary and secondary documents.Modeling of examples of historical narratives.Group roles regarding who types when using group wiki or google doc Teaches students how use word processors to write for different circumstances.Allows for easy students colloborationHelps students with the mechanics, grammar, spelling, and structure of their papers.
Iphoto/flicker View images What functions on iPhoto and Flickr are essential to teach?-How does taking pictures best serve this project?What if students are unable to use travel to take photographs? Helps students get see their community through an artistic lens.Helps students display knowledge of their subject by providing visual aids.