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EPSE 408 Assignment #2 Famous Five

Completed by Samantha Epp


Lesson: Students will complete a project-based learning unit on the topic of
civilizations. They will complete research on different civilizations and then create a
project to display their answer to the following questions: Considering civilizations of
the past and life today, what does an ideal civilization look like? Is it possible for
such a utopia to exist?
Student #1
Student Profile

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lesson

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lesson plan

Rationale

Student #2
Student Profile

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lesson

Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon shows great strength and interest in studying
military tactics. He is a very capable leader during militaryrelated exercises but shows very little interest when it
comes to other topics. He gets along well with the other
students and they are quick to follow his lead.
Napoleon should be interested in this project as long as he
is able to focus on civilizations with strong military
histories. He may need guidance in how to develop his
project to demonstrate his answers to the units questions.
Napoleon will need suggestions to help guide his project in
a direction that will keep him interested. For example, he
will need recommendations on past civilizations with
interesting military histories so that he will be interested in
the research he conducts.
By focusing this project on a topic that Napoleon is already
interested in, hopefully he will want to complete this
project to the best of his ability instead of searching for
other things to occupy his time.
Adolf Hitler
Adolf is very popular with his peers and shows great
leadership skills. He has great potential to be
academically successful but tends to give up when
facing competition from other students. Adolf
demonstrates great interest and talent in the areas of
writing, public speaking, and painting.
Adolf shows great talent for writing and delivering
engaging speeches but the civilizations fair that presents
student work at the end of the unit is very casual without a
chance to do presentations to large groups of people at
once. Since students are all able to present their ideas in
their own ways, Adolf may choose to make use of his
painting or writing talents. Furthermore, since students
will all choose to present their projects in different ways,

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lesson plan

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Student #3
Student Profile

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lesson

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lesson plan

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hopefully Adolf will feel less competitive with the other


students and choose to try his best.
Due to Adolfs strong public speaking skills, he may choose
to present his project orally which would mean that the
civilizations fair needs to be altered for him to present his
project to everyone or he needs to be given the proper
support to use technology to allow him to record or make
use of his speech-making skills.
One benefit of using the project-based learning model is
that it allows students to present their findings in a way
that is best suited to their learning needs and/or interests.
In Adolfs case, he can play to his strengths to present his
project while still developing his inquiry skills throughout
the research/discovery portion of the project.
Christopher Columbus
Christopher is a very persistent student who does not give
up easily when working on projects he is interested in. He
has dreams of traveling to new places and is very
interested in learning about new places. Sometimes he
can become distracted from learning activities in the
classroom in favour of his own ideas and projects. He has
shown business acumen when organizing fundraising
events for the class.
It is very important that Christopher becomes engaged
and interested in this project early on in order for him to
complete the project to the best of his ability. Additionally,
it is important that Christopher does not only focus on the
places that he can visit but also the cultures and histories
of past civilizations. Without proper supervision and
guidance, Christopher may not conduct the correct
research and work to complete the project properly.
Christopher will need to be provided with direct guiding
questions when conducting his research and be given
specific activities (ie. Brainstorming, group work) to
formulate answers to the project questions.
In the Big Ideas article, one of the big ideas presented is
that it is important to scaffold knowledge complexity (p.
38). While all students will be given scaffolding
throughout the project, some students may require more
than others to achieve a rich and deep understanding of
the material. In Christophers case, the scaffolding will
also help to keep him on task and on the right track.

Student #4
Student Profile

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lesson

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lesson plan

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Student #5
Student Profile

Catherine II of Russia
Catherine is a capable linguist who is fluent in three
languages: French, German, and Russian. She is strong
academically and is a fantastic critical thinker but is often
falling behind on her school work due to being pulled out
of school to go on trips with her family.
As Catherine is a very strong critical thinker, this type of
project would be great for her as it allows her to develop
thoughtful ideas based on her analysis of information.
With the help of technology, Catherine should be able to
keep up her research for the project independently if she
were to be pulled out of school for a family trip but it may
be more difficult for her to work on her project depending
on its portability if she is taken out of school for a period of
time.
Catherine will need to be given very clear parameters for
the entire project when it is first assigned so that if she is
taken out of school without warning, she can continue her
work without falling too far behind her classmates. This
may seem very overwhelming so it is important to give
due dates with each part of the project. (The rest of the
class will be given the project in chunks so that it doesnt
seem as overwhelming.) Furthermore, it will be important
to help Catherine come up with a project that is easily
portable (such as something she could create with the use
of an ipad or laptop) so that she can take it with her if she
is taken out of school.
Although Catherine exemplifies the three major
characteristics of gifted learners: precocity, intensity, and
complexity (VanTassel-Baksa), the main problem she faces
is that she is not always in the classroom environment to
learn along with her peers. Receiving all of the
instructions and information related to the project may be
too much for some students but in Catherines case, she
would rather be able to keep up with her peers than to fall
behind because she isnt sure what the rest of her class is
working on. Hopefully the characteristics mentioned
earlier along with her independent nature will allow her to
complete the project well with or without the constant
support of a teacher in a classroom environment.
Queen Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth faces some family struggles at home but does
not let these issues stop her from excelling with her school

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lesson

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lesson plan

Rationale

work. She does particularly well with languages and


music. Elizabeth has a very hard work ethic, desires to do
well, and does not give up easily. In fact, she often feels
the need to prove that she is a top student but does not
express her feelings of stress and anxiety when she
pushes herself too hard.
Although Elizabeth is a very capable student, she may
become overwhelmed with this project if she becomes too
focused on creating the best project and therefore,
creating too much work for herself. Additionally, the
lesson does not specifically play into Elizabeths strength
in languages and music but she could easily incorporate
one or both of these elements into the creation of her final
project if she chooses to do so.
It will be important to work with Elizabeth to set up
parameters for her project so that she does not overwhelm
herself with work. Due to her affinity for languages and
music, her big project guiding question could be altered to
incorporate or at least bring attention to the importance of
the arts and culture in civilization. As Elizabeth is such a
strong student, it may be best to re-develop the question
with her as opposed to for her.
In Elizabeths case, she is a very independent learner who
strives to work to the best of her ability so the
differentiation for her is meant to accommodate for her
stress and anxiety levels. By setting up parameters and
checking in with Elizabeth on her project to make sure that
she isnt overwhelming herself, hopefully she can make
sure not to become too overwhelmed and if she does that
further interventions can be put in place to make sure she
her learning is happening in a positive way.

References
Biography Channel. (2015). Napoleon. Retrieved from
http://www.biography.com/people/napoleon-9420291
Biography Channel. (2015). Queen Elizabeth I. Retrieved from
http://www.biography.com/people/queen-elizabeth-i-9286133
Ellis, E., Farmer, T. & Newman, J. (2005). Big ideas about teaching big
ideas. Teaching Exceptional Children, (38)1, 34-40.

Famous People. (n.d.) Christopher Columbus. Retrieved March 7, 2015, from


http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/christopher-columbus-3854.php
History Channel. (2014). Adolf Hitler. Retrieved from
http://www.history.co.uk/biographies/adolf-hitler
VanTassel-Baska, J. (1995). The development of talent through curriculum. Roeper
Review, (18)2. 98-103.