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Lesson 4
Events as Catalyst/Trigger for Response or Non-Response

Events as Catalyst/Trigger for Response or Non-Response

Lesson Focus†
How Events Affect Individuals and Communities

Lesson Objectives: Students will understand that there are different kinds of events and will explore how individuals and groups respond when an event takes place. Students will also learn about how identity and being part of a community (or apart from a community) affect responses to an event.

Curriculum Areas: Social studies, life skills

Time Required: 40 minutes

Materials Needed: Copies of Lesson 4 Reproducible (PDF); board and markers

Key Concept: How one responds or does not respond to an event is influenced by oneís perspective. Oneís perspective is in turn influenced by oneís identity and the groups or communities one is a member of.

Lesson Background: When an event takes place, it is something people either observe or hear about, and something to which they often must respond. It can present them with choices. A personís perception of an event (beyond its factual characteristics) will affect the way he or she remembers it. When an event takes place, the facts about that event can be determined by exploring the ďfive Ws": who, what, where, when, and why. But even the reporting of the five Ws is affected by each personís perspective and what he or she remembers.

What You Will Do:

  • Review with students the definition of event (see below). Explain that when events happen, people form an opinion. They then choose to either respond or not respond. How one responds or not to an event or how one remembers an event is influenced by who that person is (his or her identity) and his or her point of view.
  • Explain to students that to sort out the facts of any event, a tool to use is the "five Ws": who, what, where, when, and why. For example:
    • Who participated in the event?
    • What happened at the event?
    • Where did the event take place?
    • When did the event take place?
    • Why did the event occur?

You might describe a recent event in class and sort through the facts for students.

  • Next, hand out Reproducible 4, "What We Remember," and tell students that they will be reading through three different versions of one event, and then answering questions. Discuss the student responses as a class.

Summary/Wrap-up:
Reinforce the idea that individuals and communities respond to events. How an individual or community responds is influenced by many different factors. Individuals or communities can be categorized based on their response to an event. Not responding to an event can be the result of a deliberate choice, or of an unconscious reaction.

Extensions:
Ask your students to think of a community event and then interview a parent or family member about what he or she remembers about it. If students are able to share their interview results with the class, see if they can discern similarities and differences among the reactions they describe.

Student Journey Book Connection: What Would You Do? (PDF)
Answers: Click here for answers to the Student Reproducibles and Student Journey Book (PDF).