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Fifth Grade Public Issues Unit Lesson #1

Lesson Title: Whats the Issue Here?

Grade: 5th Grade
Teacher: Brittany Voich

Time Required: 50 minutes

Standard(s)-Common Core State Standard (CCSS):

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1.D Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions
in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
Social Studies-Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE):
P4.2.1 Develop and implement an action plan and know how, when, and where to address
or inform others about a public issue.
Language Arts Objective:
Learners will be able to formulate their own opinions, ideas, and thoughts about the public issue
by participating in the discussions and activities.
Content Objective:
Learners will be able to understand and learn what a public issue is, specifically at the local level
by participating in the discussions and activities.
Assessment: Students will be assessed through their participation in the discussion about public
issues and about the local issue we have chosen. They will complete a group brainstorming map
about how they think the issue should be solved only using their prior knowledge. Students will
also begin an initial action plan pertaining to the public issue and how to solve it.
Key Vocabulary (Academic/Content)

Academic example:
o Prior knowledge
o Brainstorm
Content Example:
o Public issue
o Local
o Action plan
o Rule
o Law
o Ordinance


Learner logs
Coloring utensils
Computer paper
Brainstorming map poster
Action plan templates

Anticipatory Set (Getting Started):

Students will recall what topic we chose together to learn more about and then will look
at pictures of Presque Isle Park (without them knowing it is Presque Isle) and silently think of
where this place is and why might it be related to a local public issue.

Lesson Sequence:
1. Activity #1: Students will complete a quick write for no more than 3 minutes about what
a public issue is? After completion pf the quick write, students will share their thoughts
and ideas with others in the group. (5 minutes)
2. Activity #2: Students will then learn about the public issue in their local community;
making Presque Isle Smoke Free. Students will work together to connect their own
experiences at Presque Isle and what they learned about the issue to formulate a rationale
of why the city is working to make Presque Isle smoke-free. (15 minutes)
3. Activity #3: Students and teacher will complete a large brainstorming map poster about
how they think the issue could be solved and with whose help. (10 minutes)
4. Activity #4: After completion of the map, students will learn about what an action plan is
and why it is necessary to formulate a plan when handling and changing a public issue.
(10 minutes)
5. Activity #5: Students will then begin to brainstorm a list of possible people in the
community that we could contact in regards to the public issue and what might we ask
them or want to know from. (10 minutes)
An extension activity could include having students begin work on an original art piece
that will illustrate a before and after piece of what the park looks like and what would change if
the issue were to actually be made into a law or regulation.
The teacher will close the lesson letting the students know what they will be learning and
thinking about in upcoming lessons. She will also explain that the learning logs will be taken
each tie, so that the teacher can see the progress of the students and to monitor what the students
are learning and still want to learn.
Since we have already received background knowledge about the students, I am aware
that I can push my three students to think outside of the box and into higher order level thinking.
I will need to remember this as I plan future lesson and gather more information from this first