Burlington County Prison Museum

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Burlington County Prison Museum

Grade _4_ Content Area: __Social Studies


Tessellations, Scale Drawings, and Architectural Plans

Suggested Sequence:

5-6 days (including Museum tour)

Core Content Standards:

6.1.4.B.1 Compare and contrast information that can be found on different types of maps, and determine when the information may be useful.

6.1.4.D.4 Explain how key events led to the creation of the United States and the state of New Jersey

6.1.4.D.11 Determine how local and state communities have changed over time, and explain the reasons for changes.

Social Studies Skills (K-4)

Chronological Thinking

  • Place key historical events and people in historical eras using timelines

  • Explain how the present is connected to the past

Critical Thinking

  • Distinguish fact from fiction

  • Identify and use a variety of primary and secondary sources for reconstructing the past (i.e., documents, letters, diaries, photos, maps, etc.)

Presentational Skills

  • Use evidence to support an idea in a written and/or oral format

Knowledge, Skills, and Instructional Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Draw tessellations

  • Read architectural plans

  • Create scale models of the Burlington County Prison Museum

  • Compare and contrast scale models to real life size buildings

  • Identify key historical events in the year of the prison’s creation

Instructional Materials/Resources/Technology

Burlington County Prison Museum’s architectural plans

Detailed measurement drawings on Prison Museum website

Class set of prison plans at jail to use during walkthrough

Internet resources of historical events in 1811

Suggested Vocabulary




Scale model

Recommended Instructional Activities:
Before Museum Visit:

  • Students view architect’s plan for prison

  • Students create tessellations to scale on paper

  • Students create tessellations outside with string

  • Students review the size of cells compared to their rooms at home and their classrooms

  • Students review the size of the prison compared to their school

During Museum Visit:

  • Students take paper scale drawings to the museum with them and compare their drawings to the actual museum

  • Students take notes on the size of windows, cells, etc. in preparation for compare/contrast essay with prison and their own room/classroom

After Museum Visit:

  • Students write a compare/contrast essay comparing the prison and prison cells to their school and classroom or their home and bedroom

  • Students create a timeline of events from 1811 (when the museum was built) of things that happened in Westampton, Burlington County, NJ and the United States

Modification Strategies/Activities:

  • Highlight important information

  • Reword/clarify instructions

  • Reading window

  • Pair visual learners with auditory learners

  • Provide alternate form or assessment

  • Pair low level readers with high level readers

  • Retell story by drawing or speaking

  • Visual aides

  • Advanced notice for tests

Extension Strategies/Activities:

  • Jigsaw groupings

  • Oral presentations of lesson

  • Simulation activities

Cross-curricular Connections:


5.G.B.3 Understand that the attributes belonging to a category of two-dimensional figures also belong to all subcategories of that category. For example, all rectangles have four right angles and squares are rectangles, so all square have four right angles.

5.G.B.4 Classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties

7.G.A.1 Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale

7.G.A.2 Draw (freehand, with ruler and protractor, and with technology) geometric shapes with give conditions. Focus on constructing triangles from three measures of angles or sides, noticing when the conditions determine a unique triangle, more than one triangle, or no triangle

W.4.2a Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

W.4.2b Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.

W.4.2c Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).

W.4.2d Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

W.4.2e Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources
Speaking and Listening

SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

SL.4.3 Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.

SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

SL.4.5 Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

SL.4.6 Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation
21st Century Skills
9.1.4.A.5 Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills in classroom and family settings

9.1.4.B.1 Participate in brainstorming sessions to seek information, ideas, and strategies that foster creative thinking

9.1.4.C.1 Practice collaborative skills in groups, and explain how these skills assist in completing tasks in different settings (at home, in school, and during play)

9.1.4.D.1 Use effective oral and written communication in face to face and online interactions and when presenting to an audience

9.1.4.F.1 Explain the meaning of productivity and accountability, and describe situations in which productivity and accountability are important in the home, school, and community.                                                                  

9.1.4.F.2  Establish and follow performance goals to guide progress in assigned areas of responsibility and accountability during classroom projects and extra-curricular activities.                                    

Suggested Assessments/ Benchmarks:

  • Compare/contrast essay

  • Scale model drawings

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