Discover George Mason: Home, State and Country is a sampler of 31 lessons for third through sixth grade teachers to use in the classroom. It is divided into four sections. In Biography Lessons, students are invited to gather information about George Mason and his times in order to create a "snapshot biography. " The Plantation Community focuses on the lives of the white and Afro-American families at Mason's home and farm, Gunston Hall. Colony into Commonwealth highlights Mason's contributions to Virginia's transition to statehood, particularly the Declaration of Rights and the first draft of the Constitution. Since these documents were used as a model by other states, Mason's work is significant beyond Virginia. Making a Nation is devoted to Mason's role in forging the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Except where noted, the lessons in Discover George Mason may be carried out as individual units.
Choosing a Lesson
The following is a quick guide to lessons related to particular subjects or skills. Click on the highlighted titles to go to that particular lesson. Titles that are not highlighted are still in development and only available in the printed version at this time.
Group Work: Be a Mason Detecter, Writing a Biography: Parts 1 and 2, Meet George Mason, Child's Play, Time for a Ball, Afro-American Music, The Work of Many Hands, George Mason's Revolutionary Words, Life in Colony Virginius, Let's Explore the VDR!, Getting Out the News, The Seal of the Commonwealth, "The Great Business Now Before Us," Live from Philadelphia, Three-Fifths of a Man?, Why Mason Objected, A Great Idea, Our Man George.
Writing: Be a Mason Detecter, Writing a Biography: Parts 1 and 2, Meet George Mason, Afro-American Music, George Mason's Revolutionary Words, Life in Colony Virginius, Let's Explore the VDR!, Letter to a Friend, The Seal of the Commonwealth, "The Great Business Now Before Us", Three-Fifths of a Man?, Why Mason Objected, Our Man George. (This list includes discussion and writing assignments carried out in groups.)
Vocabulary: Throughout the book, difficult or specialized words appear in boldface. It is suggested that teachers have their students define these words as part of the lesson.
|Description of Lesson Headings
The following headings appear in many of the lessons:
READ AND DISCUSS: Denotes a reading passage. Some of the longer passages are divided into sections with questions; these are designed to be read and discussed in small groups. Each group should elect a scribe to record the discussion and report back to the entire class.
Other "read and discuss" passages may be read aloud as a class or assigned to individual students in class or as homework. In all cases, handle the "read and discuss" sections in the way that suits the level of your students.
ACTIVITY: Denotes the "doing" part of a lesson. Activities include art projects, role play, map work, and writing assignments. The instructions indicate when activities are designed to be carried out in pairs or groups or as a class. However, do what best fits the abilities of your students; for example, you may decide that an activity earmarked for small groups will work most effectively with your entire class. In several lessons, there is an Activity 1 and an Activity 2. Either activity will fulfill the objective of the lesson. Choose one or time permitting, do both!
MORE: Denotes an additional activity or discussion topic related to the lesson. Is your class or individual student excited about a certain subject? Turn to MORE for extra project ideas.
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Gunston Hall Plantation
Mason Neck, Virginia 22079
Public Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day
©2000-2001 Gunston Hall Plantation