A fight breaks out in the lunchroom and the principal needs to figure out who started it.  But when she asks witnesses what they saw, she hears conflicting accounts. Why might these accounts differ? As students wrestle with this question, they will hone the ability to reconcile conflicting claims, consider multiple perspectives and evaluate the reliability of sources. Not only does this lesson engage students, it helps to lay the foundation for historical thinking throughout the year.

Image: Girl Scout Building Lunchroom, New York City. Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc. From the Library of Congress.


I like the lessons presented by SHEG, and I am grateful that they made them available to the public. With this lesson, however, I don't understand how students can be engaged with some of the questions if there is no real example given of a fight scenario. Can anybody chime in here?
I am a student teacher and I was looking for a way to introduce students to historical thinking skills. They loved this lesson but Lunchroom fight 2 went even better on day two.
This looks fantastic. Planning on doing it this year. I'm making some changes though. I'm going to use the example of a shooting. There's a great documentary called 3/12 minutes, 10 bullets about the shooting of Jordan Davis. The truth is, you could use any of the recent shootings of unarmed african americans by police, even though my example from the documentary is not a shooting by police. I'm just going to change some of the questions to fit and place them in the jury box. It achieves the same chance at analysis. Just felt it was more pertinent to the time.
I am using this lesson next week. I feel the students will be engaged in the learning.
I really look forward to using this lesson. It reminds me of the 1950 Japanese film "Rashomon," in which 4 different people witness the same crime but have different accounts of what happened. I'm totally revamping our Social Studies curriculum and plan on fully utilizing the SHEG work! Thanks!
I used this with my 6th-8th Social Studies classes. Awesome! I centered the discussion around a video clip showing a lunchroom fight from the movie Spiderman. The kids loved it and really connected with it. This was the first lesson plan I've used from this curriculum, and I am so excited for more. I cannot give enough thanks to the people who have created these!!
I used this activity the second day of school and had the students work in pairs. Not only was it highly engaging, since the students can relate to the story and the role of the principal, but they developed an appreciation for the challenges a historian has to engage in their effort to arrive at the truth. The students also arrived upon the notion that historians must be fair-minded and just in their efforts as their written work can influence how future generations think about the past. I will be using this activity again next year!
I love this lesson. I used it on my first full day of classes, and it worked incredibly well. This site has been so useful to my teaching. I love using primary docs in my classes, and the structure of these lessons is very useful.
This is such a useful resource (overall) to begin teaching History with - thank you! Where I teach we don't have "lunchrooms" and, as a new teacher, didn't feel as if I could pull off the "have you heard?!" line. So, instead, I used the context of the movie "Mean Girls." I showed students the scene in which the characters are making animal noises and fighting in the lunchroom and asked what would they do if they were the principal. They loved it!
I used this on the second day of school to get students to start thinking critically and historically and it worked great. As I was passing out the handouts, I said casually to the students, "Hey, did you guys hear about the fight in the lunch room yesterday?" They started trying to figure out what lunch it was and were asking questions and I just let them engage as I finished handing out the worksheets. A few of them looked down at the worksheet to see where I was going with it. It really hooked the students from the outset to engage. I agree with question 2 that there may be too many examples which doesn't give the kids a lot to expand upon. Otherwise, great lesson which will set us up for the rest of the school year! Thanks!
First, I am immensely grateful for these lesson plans. They are so helpful, especially as I start my first year of teaching. I agree that objectives would be helpful if written in the format of "Students will be able to . . ." and using verbs from higher levels of bloom's taxonomy.
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