Alcatraz Standards of the Rock A look at the history of Alcatraz, its residents, and how one place can help you address standards in four subjects
Brief Explanation of this Presentation for L551 audience This presentation will provide a framework for a collaborative project and analyze the ways it links to the principles and key ideas as well as academic standards for four areas Check for notes on pages with clipboard icon in corner Just mouse over the icon and note will appear. Try it now!
Al Capone Lived there, but who else? Students are probably familiar with gangsters and the big names such as Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, the Birdman of Alcatraz and others who have been portrayed in movies Photos from A Brief History of Alcatraz Island (http://www.alcatrazhistory.com)
Families on Alcatraz…and Native Americans? Students will doubtfully have thought of the history of Alcatraz prior to the prison Students may not have considered the prison guards and other civilians who lived on the Rock Students may also be surprised to learn that Native Americans lived on Alcatraz Island for 19 months from 1969-1971.
Rock Populations Introduce students to the original jailbirds Alcatraz was named for Let them in on the fact that there was another prison there before the home of Al Capone Give them the true story of some of the legends of attempted escapes not
Project Aspects This is a series of ideas for collaborative projects for eighth grade students and involves the media specialist, English teacher, science teacher, and social studies teacher. Students will be challenged to move beyond their initial ideas of Alcatraz and think about the true history of the island, what life was really like there for its various inhabitants and just who exactly those inhabitants were.
Project Aspects Using the aspects of Information Inquiry Methods—questioning (I wonder), exploration (I find), assimilation (I relate to what I know), inference (what I think this means and what I will share with others), and reflection (how the process went) students will research Alcatraz to move beyond their limited knowledge. Projects can be pursued in groups or by individual students
Project Aspects Assessment of projects will be conducted by both the teacher and the media specialist Assessment will take into account the creativity of the student and group questions as well as the project Students will be expected to choose an area and look at the way it connects with something they know about or are learning in another class
Media Specialist’s Role The media specialist would meet with the teacher and discuss possible directions for student inquiry projects Assistance would be offered in the form of recommended books, websites, videos that pertain to the project The media specialist would also meet with student groups and guide them toward useful resources The media specialist would also teach mini- lessons related to the project and the research process
Project Notes Students should be encouraged to follow topics about Alcatraz that interest them. “Allowing students to focus on what interests them and figuring out ways they will learn material best will get them out of the mindset of homework just being a means for a grade instead of a way to practice and learn new concepts (Vaughn, 2005).”
Project Notes Along the way students should ask themselves: What resources are available, and which ones should I use to learn this information? How much information do I already know about this topic, and where are the gaps in my understanding? How much and what type of practice should I engage in? When should I complete this work? Do I want to work alone, or would it be more helpful to work with a classmate? Source: Vaughan, A. L. (2005). "The Self-Paced Student." Educational Leadership 62 (7).
Standards Slide Order Standards are grouped into major areas: Social Studies English/Language Arts Science Math Projects suggestions are also grouped within these categories, but English/Language Arts overlaps with presentations in all areas
Social Studies Standards Standard 1—History (discovery, exploration of America; social reform; westward expansion)
Social Studies Standards Standard 1—History Specifics Chronological Thinking—develop and interpret U.S. history timelines from 1750-1877 Comprehension, Analysis, and Interpretation— recognize historical perspective, avoid evaluation of past solely in terms of present-day norms Issues-Analysis, Decision-Making, Planning and Problem-Solving—examine causes of problems; evaluate solutions; consider alternative courses of actions
Social Studies Standard 1 Timelines Chronological Thinking—develop and interpret U.S. history timelines from 1750- 1877 Alcatraz Prison In American History (1998) presents a timeline of Alcatraz history from 1542-1973. Students can evaluate these dates and relate them to other U.S. events to begin to see correlations in historical events
Alcatraz Timeline 1542 Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails along the coast of California and claims Alta (Upper) California for the King of Spain 1769 Sergeant Jose Ortega discovers San Francisco Bay 1775 Spanish explorers Juan Manuel de Ayala and Jose Canizares chart the islands in the bay; Ayala names one island “Alcatraces” after the large number of pelicans seen there
Alcatraz Timeline 1846 Julian Workman obtains a land grant for Alcatraz Island and is ordered to build a lighthouse there 1854 A forty-foot tall lighthouse is put into operation on the island 1859 Company H of the Third Artillery occupies Alcatraz, beginning a 70-year occupation of the island by the U.S. Army.
Alcatraz Timeline Timeline example 1933—The army announces that the military prison on Alcatraz Island would be closed; The federal government announces plans to make Alcatraz a federal prison for the most dangerous inmates in the federal prison system. What else was happening in America in 1933? (Volstead Act, final year of Prohibition)
Alcatraz Timeline 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy orders Alcatraz federal prison closed; the last inmates leave Questions for students to research—why did Alcatraz close in 1963? What else was happening? What kinds of important historical events took place while Alcatraz was a prison (from 1934- 1963)? How did these events effect the inmates or change the face of crimes committed?
Information Inquiry Aspects Ask students to reflect on what else they are studying and link these dates to what they know Have students research some events they know about but are unsure of dates Have students work in groups to create different pieces of a timeline. Write it out on large sheets of paper and hang it up in the classroom to help students see the linear qualities of history Add dates of importance as they are discussed in class
Timeline Project Use a timeline website such as World Almanac for Kids www.worldalmanacforkids.com www.worldalmanacforkids.com Or the Library of Congress American Memory Timeline http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/ timeline/ http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/ timeline/
Social Studies Standard 1 Comprehension, Analysis, and Interpretation—There are may stories about Alcatraz, some true, others embellished. Students can, study maps, read primary source documents and compare their findings to fictional accounts as well as movies
Social Studies Standard 1 Projects might include comparing and contrasting non-fictional accounts with fictional stories These could take the form of papers but might also include student-written plays to illustrate truth vs. fiction Another project might be to build a model based on the map in the previous slide
Social Studies Standard 1 Recommend reading Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko This provides some background knowledge for students about life on Alcatraz Students should question how they might have reacted to life on Alcatraz Students could record these thoughts in a journal as if they were living on the island Students would be encouraged to include another event on Alcatraz, an escape or the last week before the prison was closed
Social Studies Standard 1 Issues-Analysis, Decision-Making, Planning and Problem-Solving Students can look at the reasons prisoners were sent to Alcatraz and what psychological effect that had on both the prisoners and people afraid of some of those prisoners Students might be challenged to question whether the Alcatraz concept of isolation worked better than current prison standards
Social Studies Standard 1 Another issue students can look at is the Native American occupation Students should go beyond just the facts and analyze why Native Americans chose Alcatraz The Alcatraz Proclamation lists the reasons Native Americans declared Alcatraz “suitable” for them Students should read the list and link the statements to the history these statements are based on
Social Studies Standard 1 Alcatraz Proclamation We feel that this so-called Alcatraz Island is more than suitable for an Indian reservation, as determined by the white man's own standards. By this, we mean that this place resembles most Indian reservations in that: 1. It is isolated from modern facilities, and without adequate means of transportation. 2. It has no fresh running water. 3. It has inadequate sanitation facilities. 4. There are no oil or mineral rights. 5. There is no industry and so unemployment is very great.
Social Studies Standard 1 6. There are no health-care facilities. 7. The soil is rocky and non-productive, and the land does not support game. 8. There are no educational facilities. 9. The population has always exceeded the land base. 10. The population has always been held as prisoners and kept dependent upon others. Further, it would be fitting and symbolic that ships from all over the world, entering the Golden Gate, would first see Indian land, and thus be reminded of the true history of this nation. This tiny island would be a symbol of the great lands once ruled by free and noble Indians. - Indians of All Nations, The Alcatraz Proclamation to the Great White Father and His People Source: http://www.pbs.org/itvs/alcatrazisnotanisland/landings.htmlhttp://www.pbs.org/itvs/alcatrazisnotanisland/landings.html
Information Inquiry Aspects Students might want to delve more into how the Alcatraz Proclamation relates to current situations for Native Americans Students could research the PBS website and watch a video about the occupation to get a better understanding Students who choose this aspect could share their findings by linking the proclamation to other historical events linked to Native Americans
English/Language Arts Standards Standard 2—Reading Comprehension Comprehension and Analysis of Grade- Level Appropriate Text Standard 4—Writing Process Research and Technology Standard 5—Writing Applications Write responses to literature Write research reports
English/Language Arts Standards Standard 6—English Language Conventions Sentence Structure Grammar Punctuation Capitalization Spelling
English/Language Arts Standards Standard 7—Listening and Speaking Speaking Applications
English/Language Arts Standard 2 Reading Comprehension Comprehension and Analysis of Grade- Level Appropriate Text Students could read books and websites about Alcatraz Students could choose both fiction and nonfiction to learn more about life on Alcatraz Island
Information Inquiry Aspects Introduce students to the concepts of families living on Alcatraz by reading Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. Some students may feel this book is for younger students, but for struggling readers it might be a good way to introduce the topic Students who don’t struggle with reading might enjoy trying to extend the story by introducing other inmates or by writing about what might have happened in the years following the story (the book is set in 1935)
Information Inquiry Aspects A note about levels of reading material: “The books that help (students become lifelong learners) are those that allow youngsters to think about and read about the things they want to think about and read about. They’re books that let students discover issues and topics they may have never imagined...It’s OK for students to move up and down within reading levels—most people do this all the time. We read based on interest not necessarily on what’s at our appropriate level.” Source: Carter, B. (2000). "Formula for Failure." School Library Journal 46 (7).
Information Inquiry Aspects As mentioned previously, students should ask themselves how their lives might have been if they had lived on Alcatraz Students could research fiction and nonfiction and relate to a family member, guard, or even a prisoner Students might also want to write a journal from the perspective of someone living on the island
English/Language Arts Standard 4 Writing Process Research and Technology The media specialist will help students locate helpful websites to explore more about Alcatraz—from the look of the island through virtual tours, to populations on history websites Students can present their findings through websites, power point presentations, or blogs
English/Language Arts Standard 5 Writing Applications Write responses to literature Write research reports This standard could be worked in with any of the standards. Students will write to take notes on their research and their presentations will rely on a written aspect
English/Language Arts Standard 6 English Language Conventions Sentence Structure Grammar Punctuation Capitalization Spelling Also covered in anything written.
English/Language Arts Standard 7 Listening and Speaking Speaking Applications Students may wish to share the results of their research through a play or an oral presentation to their classmates
Science Standards Standard 3—The Physical Setting Forces of nature Standard 4—The Living Environment How living things function and interact with each other
Science Standard 3 The Physical Setting Earth and the Processes that Shape it— how physical features of the earth formed Students can do a more in-depth look at how many notable geographic landscapes were formed—Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, etc.
Science Standard 4 The Living Environment Interdependence of Life and Evolution— how environmental conditions affect the survival of individual organisms and how entire species may prosper in spite of poor survivability or bad fortune of individuals
Science Standard 4 The Living Environment Originally there were no native plants on Alcatraz Island. Students could conduct a botanical study of vegetation introduced and study the plant varieties to see which might have thrived and what in the conditions of the island allowed this survival. Students might also do a study on the bird populations and how sea gulls acted as nature’s alarms.
Math Standards Standard 5—Measurement Convert common measurements for length, area, volume, weight, capacity, and time to equivalent measurements within the same system
Math Standard 5 Measurement Convert common measurements for length, area, volume, weight, capacity, and time to equivalent measurements within the same system Students could study escape attempts and figure the distance from Alcatraz to the nearest shore in different measurements (miles, kilometers, feet, meters, nautical miles—whatever makes the most sense). They could also try and factor in variable such as wind speed, current, water temperature, etc. on the probability that a person could survive in these factors.
Conclusion These are just brief sketches of ideas that should serve as jumping off places for projects The real goal of the presentation is to show just how many standards you can meet in just one place. Choose another location and imagine the possibilities Every place has history and anything can be linked to knowledge students already have
Internet Resources AlcatrazHistory.com http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/mainpg.htm http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/mainpg.htm Alcatraz—A Merry and Illustrated History http://members.aol.com/OtherToons/alcatraz.html http://members.aol.com/OtherToons/alcatraz.html Alcatraz Indian Occupation http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/indian.html http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/indian.html Alcatraz is Not an Island—Reclaiming Native Land http://www.pbs.org/itvs/alcatrazisnotanisland/landings.html http://www.pbs.org/itvs/alcatrazisnotanisland/landings.html
Internet Resources Alcatraz! (A WebQuest) http://www.users.interport.net/r/-/r-acaron/Alcatraz/ http://www.users.interport.net/r/-/r-acaron/Alcatraz/ Federal Bureau of Prisons: Alcatraz http://www.bop.gov//about/history/alcatraz.jsp http://www.bop.gov//about/history/alcatraz.jsp Historic Posts, Camps, Stations, and Airfields: Post at Alcatraz Island http://www.militarymuseum.org/Alcatraz.html http://www.militarymuseum.org/Alcatraz.html Tour Alcatraz http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/tours/ http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/tours/ Virtual Tour http://www.virtuar.com/alcatraz/ http://www.virtuar.com/alcatraz/
Other Resources Choldenko, Gennifer, 2004. Al Capone Does My Shirts. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Oliver, Marilyn Tower. 1998. Alcatraz Prison in American History. Springfield, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc. Brownlie, Alison. 2000. Crime and Punishment: Changing Attitudes 1900-2000. Austin, Texas: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers. Gregory, George H. 2002. Alcatraz Screw: My Years as a Guard in America’s Most Notorious Prison. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press.
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