Lesson #3
Home Up Graphic Organizer


Causes of Famine

Background and Rationale: 

This lesson is the third in a unit which examines coerced Irish migration to Iowa for a grade 10-12 advanced placement, American Studies class. Having learned the causes of migration and early Irish history, students learn the causes of the Great Famine (c. 1845-1849).

Why study the Great Famine? In 1845, famine hit southeastern Ireland , spreading throughout the country in subsequent waves in 1846 and 1848, and 1.5 million Irish died from a combination of famine and disease. Even more important is the fact that an additional 1.5 million Irish migrated, mostly to America (Daniels, 1991, 133-134).

Objectives and Procedures: 

(50 minute class period)

Given the following activities, the students will:

Identify the causes of the Great Famine
Discuss evidences of culpability during recurrences of famine
Construct a graphic organizer to identify persons in a genealogy

Teaching strategies:

Vocabulary building (vocabulary terms are defined during the lecture)
Guided note taking
Utilization of a graphic organizer to identify persons in a genealogy

Sequence of Events:

Minutes 1 through 5:
Administrative functions (attendance)

Minutes 5 through 10:
Topic introduction/hand out materials

Minutes 10 through 15:
Teach construction of causation and genealogic graphic organizers
Minutes 15 through 20:
Construction of a causation graphic organizer

Minutes 20 through 25:
Lecture: Causes of famine (guided note-taking)

Minutes 25 through 30:
Discussion: Causes of famine

Minutes 30 through 35:

Lecture: Reaction to the famine (guided note-taking)

Minutes 35 to 40:
Discussion: Reaction to the famine

Minutes 40 through 45:
Discussion: Culpability

Minutes 45 through 50:


Concept organization strategy: graphic organizer

How will I know this is working?

            a) Students have questions about the previous lesson
            b) Lively discussion of culpability
            c) Completion/utilization of graphic organizer

Associated projects: graphic organizer

Additional Readings :