Print version of this lesson plan or all six.

Historical Journals: Overview of historical journal project (Part 4 of 6)


Social Studies, History, Religion, Art


Middle School, 6-8
High School, 9-12

Time required

45 minutes

Materials required


Related background reading


Related documents


Related links


Lesson Plan


In this lesson, students will be introduced to the historical journal project, and begin by writing their first entry.


  • Students will learn about their historical journal projects, be assigned a viewpoint, and learn how to create their entries.
  • Students will begin writing their journals.

Questions or Assessment

  • Does the class know the parameters of the project?
  • Do students understand the perspective they need to take?


Teacher prep

Overview to Historical Journal Project (30 minutes)

  1. Have the class recall examples of historical accounts from the first lesson in this unit. Ask them to share what they remember.
    • Guide the discussion to include mention of differing perspectives on the same historical event.
  2. Explain to students the historical journal project:
    • Each student will be assigned a specific person in a given time period of Guam’s history. (If the optional lesson was done, then students have already selected their individual).
    • In class, student will listen to a scenario.
      • Example: One a rainy, stormy evening, a group of new Spanish missionaries enter a CHamoru home. They need a temporary place to stay, and a family moves out of their home to give the missionaries a place to sleep for the night.
  3. Students will then write a journal entry from the perspective of their historical individual.
    • Example from missionary perspective: “We were traveling up the coast when suddenly a storm struck. In the pouring rain, we came upon a village. This village is under our spiritual oversight, and the church has historically done much to aid the local population; we felt it permissible to seek a place to shelter. After requesting a place to stay, a generous family yielded us their home for the night.”
    • Example from CHamoru perspective: “On a stormy evening, a group of strangers walked into our village. They were new to us, but claimed their religious leaders had given them rule over our land for many years. They demanded a place to stay, and pressured a family to give up their home for the night.”
    • Have students come up with their own examples, and critique the exercise with the class. Make certain that everyone understands the method by which the journals are to be written.
  4. Remind students that they will write from the perspective of their historical individual for the duration of the project. They are not to write from any other perspectives.
    • This may be confusing if students do not pay attention, so be sure to remind them multiple times.
  5. If students wish to write in the tone and manner of their historical individual, encourage it. However, assure them that it is not necessary. Some of these historical individuals never wrote down their accounts, so emulation is difficult, if not impossible; the important aspect to note is that the class is practicing viewing these events from different perspectives. If they use contemporary terminology, it will not detract from the purpose of this overall exercise.
  6. Encourage students to decorate their journals.

Assigning Historical Perspectives (10 minutes)

  1. Assign historical perspectives to the students
    • Assign half the class one viewpoint, and the remaining half a differing viewpoint.
      • Example: CHamoru villager and missionary
    • [Grades 7-12] Assign every student a different historical individual, or if time does not allow, assign groups of students with different viewpoints.
  2. Review the project with students. Make certain they understand the task at hand, and if time allows, do one last example for the class.

Recap (5 minutes)
Recap what we’ve done and learned in the lesson:

“Today we’ve introduced the new historical journals project, and we assigned ourselves specific viewpoints to embrace. Each of us will write our journal entries from the perspective of our historical individual, and we will share our work with each other at the end of the unit.”

Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.