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Colonial Times-Communication, Transportation, Recreation: Gather

Phase: Gather

Academic Vocabulary

Use "Word Sprinkles" (see document) to sprinkle vocabulary words around various centers. Encourage students to use these words as they write about their experiences.


Varies according to centers chosen

Flipped videos explaining centers (see Flipped Video Cards with QR Codes)

QR Code Reader (e.g., Inigma)

History journals

Source strips (to document sources)

"Word Sprinkles" to reinforce academic vocabulary


Gather / Centers

Gather Phase / Centers / Time: 60 minutes

Students will investigate resources that address class research questions.


Up to four students per center (recommended)

Centers can be repeated (e.g., have two writing centers)

Simple notes should be recorded in the History Journal using drawings and simple sentences, and source strips should be glued into journals for the centers that were visited.

Students will also document their learning by taking photographs using iPads.

Student Choice:

Student choice is important. Although a few centers (e.g., writing & PebbleGo) may be required for all students, allowing students to make some choices, tailored to individual interest, can be a great motivator.

Wrap Up:

At the end of the Gather phase, bring students together to debrief their research/activities and do a guided Quick Write as a group. Some key items to discuss are:

  • What were toys made of during Colonial times? What are most toys made of today?
  • What were pens made of during Colonial times? What are pens made of today?
  • Was it easier or harder to write during Colonial times than it is now?
  • Why were there no cars in Colonial times?

Discuss ways technology has changed communication, recreation, and transportation.

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