Island Unit
Revisiting Pocahontas Unit
  • Unit Description
  • Objectives
  • Materials and Resources
  • Unit Lesson Plans
  • Relation to Standards
  • One Computer versus Many

  • Unit Description

        Students will engage in a critique of the historical and cultural accuracy of the Walt Disney film, Pocahontas. After viewing the film, students will undertake research using both text and web resources to gather information about the accuracy of he film. Students will work in research teams to carry out their investigations, each team will focus on a separate question of accuracy. Students will share their findings with the class and complete projects that synthesize the information gathered by the class as a whole. Up to Contents of this Page

        Students will:

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    Materials and Resources Needed

        In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components - mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc. - as well as software - operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx. In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity - in addition to those described above - and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.

    1. Special hardware requirements: a TV and VCR.
    2. Special software requirements: A copy of Disney's movie, Pocahontas.
    3. Network/Internet requirements: A high speed connection
    4. Classroom resources: A variety of textual resources for students to use in their investigations.

        For advice on how to adjust the plans if you have only one computer see the section One Computer vs. Many below. below . Up to Contents of this Page
    Unit Lesson Plans

    1. Lesson One: Introduction. Students will discuss what makes a valid historical resource.

    2. Lesson Two: Pocahontas as a Resource. Students will view the film and write guided responses in journals. Journal responses will be shaped by a set of questions that students will use through out the unit to evaluate resources they use. Students will begin to identify possible inconsistencies in the film.

    3. Lesson Three: Evaluating Pocahontas. Students will begin their research using both web and library resources. Students will work in teams to address specific concerns about the movie. This stage of the unit will most likely take several class periods to complete.

    4. Lesson Four: The Merits of Pocahontas Examined. Student research teams will report their findings. Students will take notes on their classmates' findings and incorporate the results in their final projects.
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    Relation to Standards
        We have drawn on the historical thinking standards outlined by the National Center for History in the Schools as well as evolving standards for the National Council for Teachers of English. These standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus social science work in their classrooms. Up to Contents of this Page
    One Computer vs. Many

        The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with Internet access. To accommodate the classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet access, students may work together in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.

    If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:

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