Tom Murphy

Daily Activities – Tom Murphy

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.

Optional Activities:
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:

Floor Leaders
Speaker of the House

Writing Prompts
1. Tom Murphy was a member of the General Assembly which is part of the state
government. Using your knowledge of Georgia government, write a five-sentence
paragraph explaining the role of state governments.
2. In a five-sentence paragraph explain the role of a Speaker of the House and use Tom
Murphy’s powerful role in the Georgia General Assembly as an example.
3. Tom Murphy was in power from 1961 until 2002. Use your knowledge of Georgia history
to write a five-sentence paragraph discussing some of the changes and events occurring
in Georgia between 1961 and 2002.

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 6: Power Authority and Governance; Theme 1: Civic Ideals and Practices

Grade 8 Georgia Studies

SS8H12 The student will explain the importance of significant social, economic, and political
developments in Georgia since 1970.
a. Evaluate the consequences of the end of the county unit system and
b. Describe the role of Jimmy Carter in Georgia as state senator, governor, president,
and past president.
c. Analyze the impact of the rise of the two-party system in Georgia.
d. Evaluate the effect of the 1996 Olympic Games on Georgia.
e. Evaluate the importance of new immigrant communities to the growth and economy
of Georgia.

S8CG2 The student will analyze the role of the legislative branch in Georgia state government.
a. Explain the qualifications, term, election, and duties of members of the General
b. Describe the organization of the General Assembly, with emphasis on leadership and
the committee system.
c. Evaluate how the legislative branch fulfills its role as the lawmaking body for the state
of Georgia.
American Government, 9-12
SSCG17 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the organization and powers of state and
local government described in the Georgia Constitution.
a. Examine the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
b. Examine the structure of local governments with emphasis on county, city, and town.
c. Identify current state and local officials.
d. Analyze the relationship among state and local governments.
e. Evaluate direct democracy by the initiative, referendum, and recall processes.