Requirements for the Senior Project: Lesson Plan Option


Must be a minimum of 25 pages in length and must be based on the careful selection of secondary scholarly materials and primary sources (including music, art, or other materials from popular culture as primary sources) that will be used in the construction of five to ten detailed lesson plans for teaching history in a 6-12 grade classroom. The 25 pages will consist of:

  • Historiographical essay that examines five scholarly monographs or anthologies in the content area that focuses on the current state of historical debate regarding the topic about which the author proposes to teach. This essay will discuss the major schools of historical thought about the subject matter, discuss issues of source interpretation related to the subject, and offer insights into the direction of current historical research related to the subject matter.
  • Analysis of coverage of the content area in three to five current popular textbooks. This will include attention to accuracy of coverage, tone of presentation, visuals, supplementary materials offered, and what historical interpretations the texts present. Students will make a judgment about the usefulness of these materials for presenting current historical understanding in the field to secondary students.
  • Minimum of five page pedagogical analysis, including a clear introduction of the grade level and course the unit plan is designed for. This section should include a survey of the national or state history standards the content will be constructed to fulfill, the major issues in psychological development for the age range that the teacher must keep in mind in constructing activities, which philosophy or philosophies of education have influenced the author’s overall approach to the unit, challenges the teacher might face in trying to communicate the current state of historical knowledge to students at the age in question, and other information the author thinks is relevant to decision making about teaching the content.
  • Minimum of five-page rationale for the specific choices the author is proposing to undertake in the unit plan that follows. This section should answer questions about why the author chose specific activities for particular days. It should include reasons rooted in historiography, educational psychology, and the philosophy of education.
  • Minimum of five lesson plans presented in the form of attachment A. These should be detailed plans for teaching specific content on each day within the context of the entire unit.

Each senior paper must include a title page, body, citations done in either footnote or endnote format, and bibliography.

  • Citation style for the bibliography and notes must conform to the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) which is available in Preus Library and in brief form in the Holt Handbook (3rd edition), Turabian, or Little Seagull Handbook.

The paper must be presented to professors and students at the end of the semester (worth 10 percent of the senior paper grade).