Historians look for clues. In this lesson, students figure out why there is an architectural elephant on the beach in Margate City, New Jersey. In the process, they will use what they have learned about maps to use maps and architectural drawings to develop theories as to why the elephant is on the beach. Students will also read visual images and newspaper articles for clues. Students will be making inferences throughout the lesson and then supporting their claim with evidence.
“As a second and third grade teacher for the entirety of my career I had long taught students history through inquiry. Seeing students explore history in this way has been SUCH a joy! Lightbulb moments galore! A teacher’s dream!...unlike lessons I had taught in the past, I didn’t have to find the primary sources. I didn’t have to research them. I didn’t have to write the lesson plan from scratch. I didn’t have to do anything but read the lesson plan… and teach the lesson!”
“I just used the first lesson in the Mapping Unit. It was so great to get students talking about what they noticed and also expand their thinking on how maps have a special purpose to the user.”
"I love that students got to look at REAL court cases! And it was so easy to use!"
"I liked the simplicity of the handouts. Not too much there to be overwhelming--just enough. Simple, clear directions. The photographs of the clues were great for the students to have."
This Mystery is included in the following Private i History Detectives Unit:
How Do Maps Help Us Understand the World?
Other Mysteries in this Unit: