Visual Thesaurus

Visual Thesaurus

I would instruct students to use this device to help them learn key vocabulary terms for this lesson. I would use it as an introductory assignment, assigning each student the task of making a visual map of their vocabulary words for the lesson. I would allow for the students to print off these word maps or ask them to copy the word map into their notes (depending on the number of students and the cost of copies). When a word is typed into the word map it is defined. I also really liked how this tool gave different words that were related to the word I searched. For example, when searching “government”, terms like “governing”, “authorities”, and “political science” appeared on the spider web. This will allow students to remember words by association (ie. I know what political science means, so I can infer that government has to do with decisions, our rights and justice.  The tool separates the different words and their definitions into categories of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.

The word map could serve as a visual reference for the students to use when completing reading assignments, activities, or just studying for a test on the information.

Student Sample

word map


Key Vocabulary Terms

Seven Vocabulary Terms for Students to Know

The Creation and Development of the State and Nation

  1. Government: direction;control; management; rule; the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community,
  2. Suffrage: the right to vote
  3. Constitution: the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is
  4. Citizen: an inhabitant of a city or town, especially one entitled to its privileges or
  5. Democracy: a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
  6. Civil Rights: rights to personal liberty established by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the S. Constitution and certain Congressional acts, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group.
  7. Reconstruction: the process by which the states that had seceded were reorganized as part of the Union after the Civil War.

Vocabulary Development

Please see the following pages for the vocabulary development portion of my lesson.



Post-Reading Lesson Phase: KWL Chart

I would have the students fill out the “K” and “W” sections (know and want to know) prior to reading. This could be an additional pre-reading activity.

During the post-reading phase, I would ask the students to record any information that they learned from the text in the “L” (learned) section of this chart. I would encourage them to think back to the “W” section of the chart and the questions they had/information they wanted to know. This section of the chart would give students some sort of idea of information to look for while reading and constant questions in the back of their mind throughout the entirety of the assignment. As they finish reading, they will be able to record what they have learned in the “L” section with greater ease because of the preparation that the “W” section provided.

Reading and research series: KWL reading method. (2007). Retrieved June 9, 2016, from

Sample Student Response: 

KWL Chart for North Carolina State Constitution

Know Want to Know Learned
·         A Constitution is a plan for a government system

·         Written like the US Constitution

·         “Rules” for government in NC

·         Helps  regulate checks and balances with government power in NC

·         When was it written and signed?

·         What are the checks and balances between government powers?

·         How are the different counties/towns represented?

·         What rights are guaranteed to the people?

·         Written December 18, 1776

·         Ratified up until May 1862

·         2 distinct branches: senate and house of commons

·         2 senate members per county

·         People of the state have the right to regulate those in power

·         Rights for the people: no excessive bail, no incrimination without evidence, right to be informed of their rights when accused, trial by jury, freedom of the press, right to bear arms, freedom of religion, right to assemble,

Reading Lesson Phase: Reading Road Map

I would create a “worksheet” that highlights important points to take away from the reading, key vocabulary, and significant dates to know. This guide would help students stay on track with their reading and pay attention, looking for the answers to the questions on their sheet. The road map would also help the students in the post-reading phase when reflecting on what they have learned. Additionally, this reading road map may be used in the classroom when the students are preparing for a test/quiz/final assignment on the unit.

Daly, L. (2009, November 3). Before, During And After Reading Strategies [Slideshow]. Retrieved from SlideShare:

Sample Student Response:

Reading Road Map for Voting Rights for Women

  1. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries women could not _legally own or inherit _property
  2. By the beginning of the 20th century few women had the right to vote
  3. The right to vote is called: _suffrage
  4. The _19th_ amendment guaranteed women the right to vote in _1920___ (year).
  5. The _Seneca__ Falls_ Convention made the declaration that men and women should have equal rights.
  6. What two women helped organized the Seneca Falls Convention? _Mott___ and _Stanton___
  7. What did the Seneca Falls Declaration mirror? _The Declaration of Independence__
  8. What famous abolitionist lead was present at the Seneca Falls Convention? _Frederick Douglass_
  9. “Women are too economically dependent” was one reason people didn’t think they should vote. True or False? ____True_______
  10. What was Susan B. Anthony opposed to? _alcohol__
  11. What state was the first to grant women the right to vote? __Wyoming______
  12. What would universal suffrage do? _allow everyone to vote____
  13. What did the 14th Amendment do? _protected black men____
  14. What did the 15th Amendment do? _granted voting rights to black males____
  15. Women were granted the right to vote by the 15th True or False? _False___
  16. Stanton and Anthony formed The __National__ _Woman’s_ _Suffrage_ _Association__ to gain women’s suffrage.
  17. What did the Supreme Court say about the right to vote in 1874? __not a right guaranteed by the government__
  18. From 1894 to 1913 _11_ states had granted women the right to vote. Which elections were women still not able to vote in? _national__
  19. The __Triangle_ Shirtwaist__ Factory__ was destroyed by a fire in 1911_ (year). This event pushed the suffrage movement even more.
  20. How many marched in the suffrage parade in New York? _20,000_
  21. What was done to stop the attackers in the suffrage parade? _nothing_
  22. Did the Wilson administration support women’s suffrage? _no__
  23. Dramatic protests decreased media attention. True or False? _False__
  24. What does NAWSA stand for? _National_ American Woman _Suffrage_ Association
  25. Who was the president of NAWSA? __Catt_____
  26. What convinced President Wilson to grant women the right to vote? _World War I and American women’s work___
  27. What amendment granted women the right to vote? _19th_ When was this amendment passed? _1920_
  28. How long after the Seneca Falls Convention was it before women gained suffrage? _72_ years.
  29. What 3 things helped gain voting rights for women? __the “Winning Plan”_, __patriotism__, and __72 years of asking____
  30. Do you think it took too long for women to be granted the right to vote? Why or why not?

I do think that it took too long for women to be granted this right. Women paid taxes and did a lot for other people in the world. They deserved the right to vote and chose who the president and other government officials would be.

Pre-Reading Lesson Phase: Circle of Viewpoints

I would do this activity with my students to get them thinking about the government, its roles, and democracy. This would address the learning targets and topical questions regarding the ways in which different people view the government and democracy. Additionally, I could have students think about the viewpoint of different groups in the past, to get them thinking about how those that were oppressed (ie. African Americans) attained more rights and how they may have thought about the government.

Visible Thinking. (n.d.). Circle of Viewpoints: A routine for exploring diverse perspectives. Retrieved June 9, 2016, from Harvard Project Zero website:

Sample Student Response:

Teacher: “Imagine you are an African American man in 1822 working on a farm as a slave. Your white master treats you poorly and you have tried to go to the government to get away from him. You are scared he may hurt your children and wife. You have told government officials about the ways your master has abused you and your family but the official tells you there is nothing he can do because you are black. Record on a sheet of paper what your opinion would be of the government and democracy. What would you do to gain more civil rights?”

Student: “I would be very angry and upset if I were the African American slave being treated unfairly. I would think that the government official was not being truthful and that there had to be something he could do. I would also be confused about why it was okay for the white man (my master) to treat me poorly just because of the color of my skin. I would be disappointed that the government only cared about and stood up for certain people. I would also feel scared because I wouldn’t have anyone to help me and defend me if my master did hurt my family or me badly.”

Alternate Text Resource #3

PBS (Producer). (1987).Eyes on the Prize Ain’t Scared of Your Jails: 1960-1961[Video file]. Retrieved from

This video has a running time of 60 minutes. I would not show the entire video at one time, instead I would go through and plan “clips” of the movie to show over a span of time. Each clip would precede a lesson and would serve as an introduction/”hook” to the lesson- to give the students an idea of what they’re about to learn, as well as get them interested in the topic. The video covers the fight for civil rights, focusing on Greensboro sit-ins and the segregation movement. It is more powerful for students to see a visual of all that individuals who fought for civil rights and to see the way in which they were treated, rather than reading about it. I also really like how this video had personal accounts peppered throughout it. These accounts address the topical question of how people felt differently than one another about the government and its roles in democracy.  The video addresses the topical questions of democracy, civil rights, and the fight for an increase in democracy for oppressed groups in NCs’ past. PBS is a reliable resource and I believe that all information in the video is accurate and appropriate to show in a classroom. Lastly, I really liked the video because it has the option of closed captioning. As a future educator, it is important for me to remember that I may have students that need accommodations to activities, like watching a video. I really like that this video provides this option and implements UDL.