America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan

    Everglades forever. Grade 4: this lesson will begin by teaching students about the everglades and everglades forever: restoring america's great wetland book by trish marx. ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu.

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America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
May Mann Jennings and the Everglades
Postcard of Royal Palm State Park, not dated, (“Postcards (Royal Palm
Park)” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091225/00001/11x
Postcard of Royal Palm State Park (back), not dated, (“Postcards (Royal
Palm Park)” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091225/00001/12x
Grade 4: This lesson will begin by teaching students about the Everglades and include history related to
the formation of the Everglades National Park. The role of May Mann Jennings and the Florida
Federation of Women's Clubs in forming the Royal Palm State Park will be discussed. This will lead to a
study of Jennings' role as an influential citizen, and to a study of other influential Florida women.
Objectives:
Students will:
 Gain an understanding of how civic leaders can make important social changes.
 Learn about May Mann Jennings and her impact on the establishment of the Royal Palm State
Park.
 Create a biographical timeline of an important Florida historical figure
 Learn about the Everglades ecosystem and associated issues
Time and Resources:
 6 forty-minute classes
 Computers with Internet access
 Library materials
 Everglades book by Jean Craighead George
 Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland book by Trish Marx
 Colored pencils or markers
 18 x 24 Poster board or paper
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
Sunshine State Standards (grade 4)
Social Studies:
 American History, Standard 1: Historical Inquiry and Analysis
o SS.4.A.1.1 Analyze primary and secondary resources to identify significant
individuals and events throughout Florida history.
o SS.4.A.1.2 Synthesize information related to Florida history through print and
electronic media.
 American History, Standard 9: Chronological Thinking
o SS.4.A.9.1 Utilize timelines to sequence key events in Florida history.
 Geography, Standard 1: The World in Spatial Terms
o SS.4.G.1.1 Identify physical features of Florida.
 Civics and Government, Standard 2: Civic and Political Participation
o SS.4.C.2.2 Identify ways citizens work together to influence government and help solve
community and state problems.
Language Arts:
 Reading Process, Standard 7: Reading Comprehension
The student uses a variety of strategies to comprehend grade level text.
o LA.4.1.7.2 The student will identify the authors purpose (e.g., to inform, entertain,
explain) in text and how an author's perspective influences text
o LA.4.1.7.3 The student will determine explicit ideas and information in grade-level text,
including but not limited to main idea, relevant supporting details, implied message,
inferences, chronological order of events, summarizing, and paraphrasing
 Writing Process, Standard 1: Prewriting
The student will use prewriting strategies to generate ideas and formulate a plan.
o LA.4.3.1.3 The student will prewrite by organizing ideas using strategies and tools
(e.g., technology, graphic organizer, KWL chart, log) to make a plan for writing that
prioritizes ideas and addresses the main idea and logical sequence.
 Writing Process, Standard 5: Publishing
The student will write a final product for the intended audience.
o LA.4.3.5.2 The student will use elements of spacing and design to enhance the
appearance of the document and add graphics where appropriate
o LA.4.3.5.3 The student will share the writing with the intended audience.
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
 Communication, Standard 2: Listening and Speaking
The student effectively applies listening and speaking strategies.
o LA.4.5.2.1 The student will listen to information presented orally and show an
understanding of key points
o LA.4.5.2.2 The student will share the writing with the intended audience.
The student will plan, organize, and give an oral presentation and use appropriate voice, eye, and
body movements for the topic, audience, and occasion.
Brief Note About May Mann Jennings:
May Mann Jennings (1872-1963) was a political activist and
champion of beautification and conservation, among other
causes. She was married to Governor William Sherman
Jennings, who, while in office from 1901 to 1905, led efforts to
drain and reclaim Everglades lands for economic development
and continued these endeavors as part of the state’s Internal
Improvement Fund under Governor Napoleon B. Broward.
Despite her husband’s economic interests in clearing the natural
ecosystem, Jennings worked to get a royal palm hammock in
Paradise Key designated as a state park during her 1914 to 1917
tenure as the president of the Florida Federation of Women’s
Clubs. After the area was established as Royal Palm State Park
in 1915 she continued work with the Federation to beautify and
improve the park. This work conserved a small piece of the
Everglades for public use and spearheaded a tourism drive to
the area, which was not seen as a contrast to her husband’s
drainage and reclamation efforts. Rather, the park was
something of a complement to other types of Everglades
development undertaken at the time. May Mann Jennings was a
powerful force in early twentieth century conservation, an
interest shared by many women’s organizations. She worked
through the 1920s and 30s to help the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs oversee the Royal Palm
State Park and eventually went on to help with the establishment of the larger Everglades National Park.
Her exhaustive work with the Women’s Club conservation committee on the planning of all aspects of
the Royal Palm State Park is evident in her correspondence, particularly of June and July, 1916. Her
letters indicate numerous meetings to plan and resolve issues related to building a lodge to house
overnight visitors, constructing a road through the park that would bypass some large and valuable trees,
and the potential construction of a bird sanctuary and botanical garden. This correspondence showcases
the dedication and zeal with which the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs approached the
management of this protected area.
Portrait of May Mann Jennings, not dated, (“May Mann
Jennings” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091239/00001/8x
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
Vocabulary:
May Mann Jennings
Everglades
Primary source
Secondary source
Royal Palm State Park
Biography
Activities:
KWL: In order to prepare students for learning about the Everglades and related subjects and to
encourage active reading and building on existing knowledge, use a KWL chart to record student
reactions to the topic. Ask students what they already know about the Everglades and record their
reactions on an overhead or white board. Then, ask them what they would like to know about this topic
and record those reactions. Finally, return to the chart once the reading and discussion has been
completed and ask students to detail what they have learned about the Everglades.
Related Literature: Read the illustrated book Everglades by Jean Craighead George. This book is a
fictional tale about a Native American storyteller recounting the history, beauty, and destruction of the
Everglades to his five young boat passengers. This reading will give students an understanding of the
basic Everglades ecosystem and issues that have plagued this area. Have several students take turns
reading aloud to the class.
Book: Everglades by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Wendell Minor, published in 1997 by
HarperCollins, ISBN: 0064461947
Read the book Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland by Trish Marx. This book
contains a photo essay and related text that showcases history and environmental aspects of the
Everglades. It depicts the studies of a fifth-grade class in Homestead, Florida, and will give students
information about the Everglades while exposing them to students of a similar age enjoying studying
and learning about this topic.
Book: Everglades Forever: Restoring America's Great Wetland by Trish Marx, illustrated by Cindy
Karp, published in 2004 by Lee & Low Books, ISBN: 1584301643
Choose one book or read both, depending on time allowances. If the class reads both books, hold a short
discussion comparing the two. Ask students to identify the differences between fiction and non-fiction.
Then ask them to consider the message in each text and to share what the author intended audiences to
learn. Ask them to identify how actual facts can be incorporated into a fictional story, and to give
examples from the George text. Discuss the use of photographs and drawings within literature and ask
the students which types of illustrations they feel are better for fiction or non-fiction resources, or
whether they can convey the same messages; have them explain their ideas about this.
Biographical Study: Explain to students that many important people have been involved in efforts to
conserve the Everglades and to create a national park. Tell them that they will be studying a woman
named May Mann Jennings who lead efforts by the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs to create a
park area that preserved a portion of what would eventually become the Everglades National Park.
To begin, explain to students that a primary source is a document that was created during the time being
studied, such as a letter, interview, or diary, and provides information from a person that witnessed a
particular time period or event. A secondary source is a document that interprets and explains
information taken from primary sources; examples include textbooks, encyclopedia articles, and
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
biographies about the lives of famous people. Point out how both types of resources give us important
information when studying the life of a particular person.
Next, use documents from the May Mann Jennings collection within the University of Florida Digital
Collections (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/jmann) to teach students about Jennings’ life and activities as an activist
and leader of the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs. Some documents should be summarized to
provide students with background information about Jennings. Ask students to create a timeline of
Jennings’ life, noting any important dates and the related events as the information is presented. Then,
have students share their timelines with a partner and fill in any gaps.
Timeline of selected events in Jennings' life:
 1872 Born, April 25th
 1874 Moved to Crystal River, FL
 1889 Graduated from St. Joseph Convent in St. Augustine (valedictorian)
 1891 Married William Sherman Jennings
 1901-1905 First Lady of Florida
 1914-1917 President of Florida Federation of Women's Clubs
 1916 Royal Palm State Park was dedicated, November 23
rd
 1917-1919 State Chairman of Conservation for Florida Federation of Women's Clubs
 1918-1920 Florida Director and Vice President of General Federation of Women's Clubs
 1931 Honorary degree, Doctor of Law from Stetson University
 1946 Appointed to Everglades National Park Commission
 1963 Died, April 24th
Suggested documents include:
 http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091227/00001/31x : Manuscript about May Mann Jennings’ life and
activities, not dated (“Biographical” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
Brief overview of Jennings’ early life and later role as an activist and leader.
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091227/00001/1x : Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs document
presenting Jennings for election to president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, dated
June 1924 (“Biographical” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
Document from the biennial convention of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs detailing
Jennings’ background, activities, and accomplishments. Includes a timeline of club-related
service.
 http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091227/00001/25x : Jacksonville Journal article, dated October 6, 1957
(“Biographical” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
Newspaper article by Jayne Brumley titled, Various Honors Have Enriched Life of Mrs. W. S.
Jennings. This article details the many accomplishments of "one of Jacksonville's most
outstanding citizens."
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
 http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091183/00001/1x : Document granting Royal Palm State Park to the
Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs (chapter 6949, No. 143), dated June 15, 1915
(“Correspondence: 1919 February” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
Legislative announcement granting Royal Palm State Park to the Florida Federation of Women’s
Clubs for care and management.
 http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091227/00001/22x : The General Federation Clubwoman article, dated
December 1947 (“Biographical” folder, May Mann Jennings Papers)
Article by Mildred White Wells, titled “Florida Clubwomen See Dream Realized in Everglades
Park,” detailing activities of Jennings and the Florida Federation of Women’s Clubs to establish
Royal Palms State Park.
 http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091227/00001/36x : Certificate appointing May Mann Jennings to the
Everglades National Park Commission, dated April 22, 1946 (“Biographical” folder, May Mann
Jennings Papers)
Certificate signed by the Florida governor that states the date of Jennings’ appointment to
Everglades National Park Commission.
Ask students to share their thoughts about what made Jennings an important person. Ask them to think
about why she might have decided to work toward the creation of Royal Palm State Park. Encourage
them to think about the books they read about the Everglades when they answer this question and, if
necessary, prompt them to think about their reactions to the beauty and destruction of the ecosystem and
how they might react.
Biographical Timelines: After studying the life and accomplishments of May Mann Jennings and
creating a timeline of events, students will be prepared to research and create their own illustrated
timeline. Tell them that a biography is an account of someone’s life story and that it can be written as a
book, made into a film or TV show, or created in some other format. Explain that they will be creating a
biographical timeline that tells the story of an important Florida woman who has somehow shaped
history. Review how students can use books and the Internet to search for information on their chosen
subject and remind them to write down where they found information that they will use.
Download the Biography Book Report Graphic Organizer from:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonplans/pdf/feb05_unit/BiographyChart.pdf
Explain that students will be using a graphic organizer to take notes during their research. Go over the
handout and make sure they understand the five categories they need to complete:
 important characteristics
 reasons person is famous
 important contributions,
 experiences that make this person important,
 things you admire about this person
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
Explain that these notes will help them to write an informative paragraph about their chosen figure.
Additionally, remind the students that they will also need to write down important events and dates from
the person’s life in order to create their timeline.
Suggested list of notable Florida women:
 May Mann Jennings, activist and civic leader
 Marjory Stoneman Douglas, activist and author
 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author
 Zora Neale Hurston, author and anthropologist
 Jacqueline Cochran, pilot
 Harriet Beecher Stowe, author
 Beth Johnson, state legislator
 Ruth Law, pilot
 Mary McLeod Bethune, civil rights leader and educator
 Marjorie Harris Carr, environmental activist
Once students have chosen a notable figure they should conduct research during class (and as homework
if needed). Once they have completed their research they will create a timeline poster using an 18 x 24
sheet of paper or poster board. This timeline should:
 Include at least 10 dates of important events in the person’s life, including birth, death, and
significant accomplishments, as appropriate.
 Include a paragraph explaining why the student feels this figure is important.
 have at least 5 drawings depicting significant events along the timeline.
 showcase attention to details such as a good layout; dates and events that have been carefully
selected and edited; clearly written dates, captions, and additional text; historical figure’s name
appears on the poster; and so forth.
Have students draw their timeline on smaller paper before creating a large version on the poster board.
Have them use colored pencils or markers to illustrate the timeline. This process can be completed in
class over one or two periods or can be completed as homework. Display the finished posters around the
classroom. Have each student give a short presentation to the class explaining three events that illustrate
why their historical figure is important and memorable or how they contributed something positive to
society.
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
Web Resources:
 A Guide to the May Mann Jennings Papers: Brief biographical description and finding aid for the
collection from Smathers Libraries
http://web.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/pkyonge/JenningsMayMann.htm
 Reclaiming the Everglades: Brief Biography of May Mann Jennings from the Everglades Digital
Library
http://everglades.fiu.edu/reclaim/bios/jenningsmm.htm
 America’s Swamp: The Historical Everglades: Digital library displaying papers from the
Smathers Library Special Collections Department
http://ufdc.ufl.edu/swamp
 Everglades Digital Library: Digital library project of the Everglades Information Network that
provides access to a number of collections related to the Everglades
http://everglades.fiu.edu/
 Images of Women's History in Florida: Listing of some notable women with accompanying
photographs from the Florida Memory Project, State Library and Archives of Florida
http://floridamemory.com/photographiccollection/photo_exhibits/women/
America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades Lesson Plan
Created by Rebecca Fitzsimmons
KWL: Everglades
What do I Know?
What do I want to know?
What did I learn?