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Monday Morning Ready02.26.2016
Jumpstart Your Week!

Four elementary school students know there's something terribly awry when they win a trip to visit Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. For starters, the museum's name is all wrong -- it's not the National Museum of the Air and Winds, right?... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Do you read many books about history? Do you think you would read more if all of the books were comic books? Why?

Grade 5-6

What museums have you visited? What was your favorite exhibit? Why?

Grade 7-8

In their series, the authors want to look back and recognize important people in history who have been forgotten over time. Why do you think these people have been forgotten? Do you agree that it's important to write about them now?

Grade 9-10

Looking back, author Steve Hockensmith realized that he first visited the Air and Space Museum right when he became interested in reading comic books. "The Wrong Wrights" is actually a combination of his childhood interests. If you wrote a book 20 years from now that focused on your childhood interests, what kind of book would it be? What would it be about?

LESSON PLAN
Get Creative with History

PROCESS:

  1. Display the original version of this Smithsonian article. As a class, review the two pages from the graphic novel, The Wrong Wrights. Invite students to comment on what they see. 
  2. Guide the class to recognize that comics and graphic novels have a narrator, characters, dialogue and descriptions. They also have a plot that tells about a sequence of events and how the action finally comes to an end. These are the basic elements of any narrative text. But in comic books and graphic novels, the writer presents the information in a fun, visual way. 
  3. Have students select a historical topic that interests them. Instruct them to explore the Smithsonian's online resources to identify museum objects related to that topic. Challenge them to identify someone connected to the topic whose contributions have been forgotten over time.
  4. Give students time to write a comic strip or short graphic novel featuring that person. Encourage them to search for creative ways to include the Smithsonian resources they found.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their stories with the class. Instruct classmates to identify and discuss how the authors incorporated museum objects into the plot. Encourage students to share what they learned about the forgotten person featured in the story.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON: 

Grades 3-4:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage group members to select a historical topic they are all familiar with. Give groups time to plan and complete a six-panel comic strip. Instruct them to incorporate at least three Smithsonian objects into the plot. If students are unable to identify an important person whose contributions have been forgotten, allow them to create a character to feature in their story. Provide suggestions or assistance as needed.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage group members to select a historical topic they are all familiar with. Give groups time to create a 12-panel comic strip. Instruct them to incorporate at least five Smithsonian objects into the plot. Challenge groups to feature a real person whose contributions have been forgotten. Provide assistance as needed.

Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the project with a partner. Recommend that they choose a historical topic that they found to be challenging or hard to understand during the year. Encourage students to conduct research to learn more about the topic. Then give pairs time to create a short graphic novel that includes at least six Smithsonian objects and features a real person whose contributions have been forgotten. 

Grades 9-10:
Instruct students to select a historical topic that they found to be challenging or hard to understand during the year. Give them time to conduct research to learn more about the topic. Then have each student create a short graphic novel that includes at least six Smithsonian objects, features a real person whose contributions have been forgotten and is set in one of the Smithsonian museums.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Why Elizabeth Hamilton Is Deserving of a Musical of Her Own
Students can read this Smithsonian article to learn about Elizabeth Hamilton. She was the wife of Alexander Hamilton and can be considered an historical figure that has gone unrecognized.

History Through Graphic Novels
Students will have an opportunity to learn about the conditions of African Americans in Mississippi during the summer of 1964 through reading excerpts from the Benton County Freedom Fighters newsletter, created by students in Freedom Schools during Freedom Summer.

The Wright Brothers: The Invention of the Aerial Age
Have students explore this website to learn more about Orville and Wilbur Wright and their important contributions to flight. Activities include interactive experiments, creating a Wright biography and sending a Wright brothers e-card to see how far it can travel.

Online Autobiography—www.me.com
In this lesson, students will create their autobiographies and learn how to utilize technology in order to create an attractive, eye-catching website that expresses aspects of their personality and tells their life story.

Comic Book Hero
In this lesson, students look at a comic from the 1950s and 60s about nonviolence in the civil rights movement and think about ways those tips could help them today. Reading and discussion questions culminate in a list of do’s and don’ts of nonviolence in a handy “pocket card.”
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