Curriculum

This lesson builds on our popular Lunchroom Fight activity. While the first Lunchroom Fight focuses specifically on sourcing, this lesson requires students to evaluate evidence by sourcing, contextualizing, and corroborating different eyewitness accounts. This lesson introduces historical thinking skills through engaging students to build a case for who started a fight in the lunchroom.

Image: Photo of Virginia high school cafeteria taken by Philip Bonn in 1943. From the Library of Congress.

Comments:

As an opener I showed the illusion picture of a young lady and an old lady. Some students could identify the young lady and others the old lady. It was a great opener to show how there could be different perspectives of the same event.
While I think this lesson touches on great skills, I was wondering if their was a version or way to make the background story a little more positive? Scenes like fights and one student's parent firing the other's seem a bit negative to bring into the classroom, especially with middle schoolers. Again great lesson, but how can the storyline be modified?
Hey Jwalker1967, do you think you could share your questions on eye witness accounts and the video you showed to your class?
I taught the whole of this unit and it was a great way to start the year! Interestingly, when it came to completing the suspension report, 90% of my students did not believe that either student should be suspended. They believed there should be a consequence plus a session where they both sit down and discuss their issues with one another. I work at a Catholic Secondary School in New Zealand (most NZ schools have a restorative justice policy) so I'm intrigued if this compassion is a NZ thing or a Catholic School thing! I'm going to edit accordingly for next year, as the summative task failed to actually assess students' ability to weigh up the validity of evidence.
I taught the Lunchroom Fight, Evaluating Sources, and Lunchroom II in that order with my sixth graders, and it was GREAT! The kids were very engaged in the activity and made the connection to studying history, especially in the context of evaluating primary sources. As a pre-activity, I showed a two-minute clip of a random Nickelodeon TV show at the beginning of class, then 20 minutes later asked 10 questions about what the characters were wearing, what they said, etc. It was very helpful later when we looked at eyewitness statements and I could tie it back to their own faulty memories. The whole sequence taught them a great set of critical thinking tools that they will be able to use all year.
I used this lesson, along with Lunch Fight I, on the 2nd day of this new school year. I truly enjoyed working on this with my students. One student came up to me after class and said that she liked the activity because it was a good way to think about history! I think many of my students realized that they can and often use the skills of a historian.
or register to post comments
Dana Mejías
Teacher
San Diego, CA
/upload/Mejias.jpg

I am a middle school teacher in San Diego and was fortunate enough to attend a SHEG workshop in...

Mark Helman
teacher
Taichung, Taiwan
/upload/webform/mark_helman.jpg
A huge thank you to the Stanford History Education Group!  Your incredible work and stimulating...
Loi Laing
Teacher
Miami, FL
/upload/webform/Loi%20Lang%20testimonial.jpeg

I can't recall how or when I stumbled upon Reading Like a Historian, but it was a...

Nicole Ritter
Teacher
Fort Mill, SC
/upload/webform/testimonial_ritter.jpg

I am using these lessons and loving them.  I have always been a firm believer in use of...

Ermelinda Sosa
Teacher
Dallas, TX
/upload/webform/Image7.jpg

I have really enjoyed the lessons from your group. Thank you very much. I love the primary...

Bobbi Young
Teacher
Colorado Springs, CO
/upload/webform/School%20Photo.jpg

I'm thrilled that I found this site! I have wanted to try this methodology in my classroom, but...

Tammi Holman
Teacher
Dothan, AL
/upload/webform/me2-2.jpg

Congratulations!  I have begun to integrate your curriculum into my U.S. History and U.S....

Sandy Smaltz
Teacher
Big Rapids, MI
/upload/webform/s_SMALTZ.jpg

I came across your site while researching to update and improve my U.S. History classes. I was...

Quinn Longhurst
Teacher
Taylorsville, UT
/upload/webform/Q_Longhurst.jpg

I just wanted to thank you all for this brilliant curriculum. I have been trying to find primary...

Heather Ihde
Teacher
Nashville, TN
/upload/webform/photo-1.JPG

I just wanted you to know how much I love and appreciate all of the Reading Like a Historian...

Matthew McDonald
Teacher
Woodbridge, VA
/upload/webform/313136_815290694063_2667634_n.jpg

I love using your lessons in my classroom! I teach both 6th and 7th-grade U.S. History in...

Paul C. Beavers
Teacher
Nashville, TN
/upload/webform/pb1.jpg

I use these documents and lesson plans all the time!  This is an amazing resource...

Kevin Hodges
Teacher
Pereira, Colombia
/upload/webform/P1130617.JPG

Let me just say that I love this program. It has a variety of useful information that helps...