Lesson Plan #2Gathering Research about a European Country/Culture


Essential Question:What is culture? Specifically, what are cultural aspects of a selected European country?

Goal:The students will understand the basic definition of “culture” as defined by the William Webster Dictionary.
The students will complete a graphic organizer depicting cultural aspects of the chosen European country.

Objectives:Review the use of databases for research.
Research a European country and aspects of its culture.


Action Plan:
1. Environment/materials:
Environment:This lesson will take place in the school library’s computer lab.

Materials:- Computer for each student
- Weebly website with pre-vetted databases; http://europeanfairytales.weebly.com/
- Smart Board
- Pencils
- Folded paper, each with the name of a European country (Italy, England, Spain, France, Germany)
- Hat
- Graphic organizer

2. Special Needs:The school and class are set up for students with special needs. The class is a small size, with only five to six students in each class.

3. Outline of lesson:Lesson from 1:00 – 2:00
We will discuss the concept of culture with the students. Then each student will pick a European country out of a hat. The students will use the computer and pre-vetted databases (as displayed on the Weebly site) to research cultural aspects of the European country, guided by the boxes on the graphic organizer (GO1). The students will complete the graphic organizer as the teacher and librarian provide guidance. The teacher and librarian will then ask the students what aspects of the culture they liked most about their countries.

Enter the library:Introduction to the lesson:Introduction - Connecting:10 minutesTalk about “culture” with the class. Ask them if they know what it means or what they think it might mean. Use the following Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of culture: "characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time"; or explain that culture is “things about their lives that are special to a certain group of people.”
Tell them they will be studying Europe and each of them will research a country and aspects of its culture.

Mini-lesson:
5 minutes
Introduce students to the following Weebly website.
http://europeanfairytales.weebly.com/Show them how clicking on the buttons will take them to one of the pre-vetted databases used by the school. The students will have already received a lesson in the beginning of the year on the use of these databases, but we will provide a refresher course for each one.

Explore or experiment:30 minutesHand out a graphic organizer to each student. Tell them to use the databases to discover the aspects of the culture on the sheet and write or draw it in the box on the graphic organizer. While the students are researching, the teachers and librarian will circulate to help the students with any questions they may have.

Assessment:The graphic organizer and the students’ ability to complete it is the assessment tool for the lesson. Students will also be assessed on their ability to contribute to the five-minute discussion about the most interesting cultural aspect of the chosen country.

Conclusion:5 minutesHave the students hand in the graphic organizer. Ask them about the countries they researched and what they found to be the most interesting aspect of the culture.
Check-out time10 minutes