Daily Activities – Murder in Savannah Inspires Bestselling Book
The daily activities created for each of the Today in Georgia History segments are designed to meet the Georgia Performance Standards for Reading Across the Curriculum, and Grade Eight: Georgia Studies. For each date, educators can choose from three optional activities differentiated for various levels of student ability. Each activity focuses on engaging the student in context specific vocabulary and improving the student’s ability to communicate about historical topics.
One suggestion is to use the Today in Georgia History video segments and daily activities as a “bell ringer” at the beginning of each class period. Using the same activity daily provides consistency and structure for the students and may help teachers utilize the first 15-20 minutes of class more effectively.
Level 1: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video have the students write a complete sentence for each of the vocabulary terms. Student created sentences should reflect the meaning of the word based on the context of the video segment. Have students share a sampling of sentences as a way to check for understanding.
Level 2: Provide the students with the vocabulary list for that day’s segment before watching the video and have them guess the meaning of each word based on their previous knowledge. The teacher may choose to let the students work alone or in groups. After watching the video, have the students revise their definitions to better reflect the meaning of the words based on the context of the video. As a final step, have the students compare and contrast their definitions to their textbook, dictionary or other teacher provided materials definitions.
Level 3: Provide the students with the vocabulary list and have them use their textbook, a dictionary, or other teacher provided materials to define each term. After watching the video, have the students write a five sentence paragraph based on the provided writing prompts.
Vocabulary/Writing Prompts:Vocabulary Terms
1. Have you ever thought of tourism as an industry? In a five-sentence paragraph explain
the importance of tourism to Georgia’s economy.
2. In a five-sentence paragraph talk about the importance of characters in creating a
popular piece of fiction. How does an author create characters that people remember?
3. How does a city sell itself to tourists? In a five-sentence paragraph propose at least one
idea to help Savannah sell itself as a tourist destination.
Related Georgia Performance Standards:
Reading Across the Curriculum (Grades 6-12)
SSRC1 Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by:
c. Building vocabulary knowledge
• Demonstrate an understanding of contextual vocabulary in various subjects.
• Use content vocabulary in writing and speaking.
• Explore understanding of new words found in subject area texts.
d. Establishing context
• Explore life experiences related to subject area content.
• Discuss in both writing and speaking how certain words are subject area
• Determine strategies for finding content and contextual meaning for unknown
Common Core, College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using
valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and
information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Theme 1: Culture; Theme 7: Production, Distribution and Consumption
Grade 8 Georgia Studies
SS8E1 The student will give examples of the kinds of goods and services produced in Georgia in
different historical periods.
Grade 8 English Language Arts
ELA8R1 The student demonstrates comprehension and shows evidence of a
warranted and responsible explanation of a variety of literary and informational
For literary texts, the student identifies the characteristics of various genres and produces evidence of
c. Analyzes a character’s traits, emotions, or motivations and gives supporting evidence from the
d. Compares and contrasts motivations and reactions of literary characters from different historical
eras confronting similar situations or conflicts.
ELA8R4 The student acquires knowledge of Georgia authors and significant text
created by them. The student
a. Identifies a variety of Georgia authors both male and female.
b. Identifies authors’ connections to Georgia through a variety of materials including electronic
c. Identifies award winning Georgia authors.
d. Examines texts from different genres (e.g. picture books, poetry, short stories, novels, essays,
informational writing, and dramatic literature) created by Georgia authors.
e. Relates literary works created by Georgia authors to historical settings and or events.
f. Explains how Georgia is reflected in a literary work through setting, characterization, historical
context, or current events.
g. Evaluates recurring or similar themes across a variety of selections written by Georgia authors,
distinguishing theme from topic.