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Lesson Plan

Not Your Usual History Lesson: Writing Historical Markers

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Not Your Usual History Lesson: Writing Historical Markers

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Marcea K. Seible

Marcea K. Seible

Waterloo, Iowa


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, students will develop their understanding of writing and local history by creating their own historical markers. They begin by studying historical markers in their own communities and then draft content for an unmarked historical location.


This lesson was adapted from from a forthcoming book from Pearson by Tim Taylor and Linda Copeland.

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  • Sample pictures of historical markers
  • Access to resources about local history
  • Writing a Historical Marker Assignment & Rubric handouts

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Summarizing information is a key skill for students at all grade levels. Repeated practice at summarizing and synthesizing information prepares them for writing assignments in any class as well as for giving presentations, writing research papers, conducting interviews, and keeping journals or logs, for example. NCTE/IRA Standards explicitly refer to conducting research and synthesizing data, emphasizing their importance for good communication practices.

Similarly, researchers describe how summarizing “…links reading and writing and requires higher-level thinking…Summarizing helps students learn more and retain information longer, partly because it requires effort and attention to text” (Dean 19). The more practice students have in younger grades with summarizing, the more successful they will be in various communication contexts later on. The generality of this lesson makes it appropriate for grades 6-8 but may also be tailored to meet standards for grades 9-12.

Further Reading

Dean, Deborah. What Works in Writing Instruction: Research and Practices. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2010.

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