Print version of this lesson plan.

Historical Journals

Selecting and researching a specific to historical individual (optional)

Note: This is an optional lesson to be included between lesson’s 3 and 4. While possible for all grade levels, it’s perhaps most appropriate for grades 9-12.


Social Studies, History, Religion, Art


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

Time required

45 minutes

Materials required

Computer and projector (optional)

Related background reading


Related documents


Related links

Guampedia: People

Lesson Plan


In this lesson, students will choose an historical individual relevant to the time-period selected for this unit.  Students will conduct research on this individual and write their journal entries from their perspective.


  • Students will select a historical individual to research and incorporate into their journal entries.
  • The class will discuss ways to collect information about their individual.
  • This optional lesson will aid students in informing their journal writing to be more authentic to the time period.

Questions or Assessment

  • What individual will I use as the viewpoint for my journal?
  • How will this historical individual shape the format and content of the journal?
  • What sources can I use to research this person and time-period?


Teacher prep
(Optional) Computer and projector to demonstrate online resources.

Researching Overview (8 minutes)

  1. Ask students for ways to research topics and list their responses on the board.  They may include:
    • Teachers
    • Experts
    • Libraries (books, newspapers, textbooks)
    • Internet

Overview of Research Resources for Guam History (12 minutes)

  1. Ask students for ways to research Guam history.
  2. Guide them to the following answers and list them on the board:
    • Textbooks
    • First-hand accounts (parents, grandparents, relatives, and community leaders)
    • Libraries (identify any school libraries or local libraries accessible to the students)
    • If students are old enough, likely high school sophomores or older, suggest the University of Guam Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC)
    • Experts (teachers and professors)
    • Internet sources such as Guampedia
      • If time and resources permit, then use a projector to demonstrate Guampedia to the class.

Selecting Historical Individuals (20 minutes)

  1. Define a time period to be used for the historical journal’s exercise.
  2. Explain to students that they will be selecting an individual during this time period to research, and that this individual will later be used in their ongoing historical journal exercise.
  3. Have students select individuals they would like to research. If the time period is new to the students, then list historical individuals on the board, or assign them at random.
  4. Ask students to name some important information that may be useful when writing their historical journals. List these on the board; some examples may include:
    • Age?  Gender?
    • Rank in society?
    • Level of education?
    • Temperament?
    • Cultural background?
    • Examples of their writing?
  5. Advise students to conduct this research as homework, and to incorporate the information into their journal entries (the project will be explained in depth during the next lesson).

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

“Today we’ve reviewed how to conduct research, and more specifically, where to go to conduct research on Guam. You’ve also chosen an historical figure to research on your own and incorporate into your historical journals.  Lastly, we arrived at some general questions that will be useful in informing our journal writing activities. As homework, please spend some time researching these questions, and use your answers to shape your journal entries.”

Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.