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This lesson was developed as an introduction to Martin Luther and the Reformation. It is intended for students in the 7th and 8th grade Lutheran school students. This lesson could be used in a public school World History class with some modification. The role of the third researcher would have to be redefined. Perhaps the history of the Protestant Reormation could be covered in more detail by the two researchers not working on the Life of Martin Luther. Another possibility is to talk about the lives of a few of the other reformers such as Calvin.


This lesson was designed primarily as a religion lesson but will involve language arts and social studies to a great extent. The students will have to read and summarize nonfiction material in both the areas of World and United States history.

An introduction to summarization and research skills along with some skills in creating Power Point presentations would be a plus before starting this lesson. Groups that contain at least one strong language arts student and one strong art student might work best.



Seventh grades social studies TEKS(Texas):

21) Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of sources including electronic technology.

(B) analyze information by sequencing, categorizing, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, comparing, contrasting, finding the main idea, summarizing, making generalizations and predictions, and drawing inferences and conclusions;

(C) organize and interpret information from outlines, reports, databases, and visuals including graphs, charts, timelines, and maps;

Seventh grade language arts TEKS(Texas):

 (8) Reading/variety of texts. The student reads widely for different purposes in varied sources. The student is expected to:

(B)  select varied sources such as plays, anthologies, novels, textbooks, poetry, newspapers, manuals, and electronic texts when reading for information or pleasure (6-8);

(C)  read for varied purposes such as to be informed, to be entertained, to appreciate the writer's craft, and to discover models for his/her own writing (4-8)

(10)  Reading/comprehension. The student uses a variety of strategies to comprehend a wide range of texts of increasing levels of difficulty. The student is expected to:

(G)  paraphrase and summarize text to recall, inform, or organize ideas (4-8);

(L)  represent text information in different ways such as in outline, timeline, or graphic organizer (4-8);

(13)  Reading/inquiry/research. The student inquires and conducts research using a variety of sources. The student is expected to:

(B)  use text organizers, including headings, graphic features, and tables of contents, to locate and organize information (4-8);

(C)  use multiple sources, including electronic texts, experts, and print resources, to locate information relevant to research questions (4-8);

(D)  interpret and use graphic sources of information such as maps, graphs, timelines or tables to address research questions (4-8);

(E)  summarize and organize information from multiple sources by taking notes, outlining ideas, and making charts (4-8);

(F)  produce research projects and reports in effective formats for various audiences (6-8);

(G)  draw conclusions from information gathered from multiple sources (4-8);

(H)  use compiled information and knowledge to raise additional, unanswered questions (3-8); and

(I)  present organized statements, reports, and speeches using visuals or media to support meaning (6-8).

This lesson is designed to be done in approximately 5 forty five minute classes. Along with factual research students are expected to produce a Power Point presentation using creativity and teamwork.



Students will be assigned to a group of 3. In order to accomplish this task in a timely manner, it is best to split up the work. Each student will be in charge of one aspect of the project, with all of them working together to get the work done. The students can assign each other one of the following roles: Research Coordinator , Editor, and Graphic Designer. The groups will work best if the Research Coordinator has good organizational and interpersonal skills, the Editor has good language arts skills, and the Graphic Designer has an eye for art.

The Research Coordinator will be responsible for splitting up the research and assigning each member a different part to research. I might suggest splitting the research into the following topics: Luther's life, the Causes and Effects of the Protestant Reformation, and the history of the Lutheran Church in the United States. This person should be organized and work well with everyone in the group. This person is in charge of making sure that all the research is getting done and by the deadlines. He is also in charge of reporting any student who is refusing to follow through with their part of the research to me.

The Editor will be responsible for editing and entering the text on the Power Point presentation. This student should be good at writing. You will proof the Power Point presentation for content and grammatical problems.

The Graphic Designer will be responsible for gathering graphics and laying them out in the Power Point presentation.This person is responsible for making sure that the Power Point slides look good visually. They will check for placement of material and pictures, size and color of fonts, and if backgrounds are distracting or complementing what you are trying to present.

The lesson is designed to be worked on during computer class, social studies, and language arts as time will permit. Depending on the class time that each discipline can devote, the project can take as little as 1 week or as long as 3 weeks.

Teachers should have a working knowledge of how to construct Power Point presentations to do this successfully.


This lesson could be completed as a simple written report or as a poster.



These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) and made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and Rice University.

Copyright © 2006 by Debbie Jeffers
Updated: Friday, June 16, 2006 9:40 AM