Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

A Look Into the Life of John Lewis

Subject Area

English Language Arts




In the previous learning activity, students had to discern biographical information from a picture book based on the life of Senator John Lewis. In this part of the lesson, students are going to continue learning about the senator by conducting research using Gale in Context: Elementary Edition. They will demonstrate their comprehension by utilizing the content of the informational text to complete a biographical map of the senator.

This learning activity was created as a result of the ALEX - Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) Resource Development Summit.

    English Language Arts (2021) Grade(s): 4


    Demonstrate comprehension of literary and informational text by utilizing its content when discussing or writing in response to the text.

    Unpacked Content



    • Comprehension
    • Literary text
    • Informational text
    • Discussing
    • Writing
    • Response


    Students know:
    • Comprehension of text can be demonstrated by referring to the text in discussions or written responses.
    • Informational text is nonfiction text, and literary text is fictional.


    Students are able to:
    • Demonstrate understanding of literary and informational text by referring to the text in discussions.
    • Demonstrate understanding of literary and informational text by referring to the text in written responses.


    Students understand that:
    • They can show that they understood literary and informational text by discussing or writing about specific content from the text.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The students will utilize the content of informational texts to complete a biography map of John Lewis.

    Activity Details

    1. The teacher will direct students to John Lewis. However, if that does not work, then they can visit the Alabama Virtual Library. 
    2. The teacher will have the article displayed via projector.
    3. Students will click the link and follow along, as the teacher breaks down the main components in the article and demonstrates the highlight tool.
    4. Students will then read the article on their own.
    5. Students will access the Biography Map that has been shared with them digitally or paper copy
    6. They will discern what information is needed to fill out the main areas of the biography map: Birth Date and location, Important Facts, Famous Quotes, Personal Accomplishments
    7.  Students can also add information and images to the Biography Map as long as they cite the source. For the article they are reading on Gale in Context, students can scroll down to the bottom of the webpage. They will select the MLA 9th edition citation, then click the 'select' button. Then students will paste the information into the Biography Map.
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    The ultimate assessment for this lesson will be the completed Biography Map on John Lewis. The teacher will collect the maps to determine if the students comprehended the text and utilized its content when writing their responses.

    Informally, teachers can talk to the students and check in with them throughout the research process to make sure that they understand the objectives of the lesson.


    Students who want to further pursue their knowledge may use the more detailed entry in Gale in Context or look at the relevant newspaper links made available on the resource page.


    The article in Gale has an audio option that students can use to listen to the information. This tool can be used with students who need assistance with reading.

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    46 to 60 Minutes

    Related Learning Activities

    Learning Activity (Before)

    Learning Activity (During)

    Learning Activity (After)

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Teacher Preparation: 

    1. Visit the Alabama Virtual Library. Then choose the Elementary School resources. From there click Gale in Context.  When that page opens, type "John Lewis" into the search bar. Then that will pull up the article.
    2. The teacher will project the AVL resource and briefly explain why this is a relevant and safe resource.  Then they will show students what the important headings are in the article and how to use the highlight tools in the GALE article. Then the teacher will direct students to get back with their partner from the previous activity, so they can continue to learn about John Lewis. Students will receive the Biography Map, which will be reviewed together as a class before students will fill it out.

    Student Preparation:

    1. Completion of the associated before activity. 

    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    Teacher Materials:

    • projector/interactive whiteboard

    • digital device

    Student Materials: 


    Digital Tools / Resources