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Sample Lesson Plan 

Microsoft Access
VA/US History--Grade 11
American Wars (Revolution)

America’s Wars

Lesson Summary

This lesson could use the Internet to find resources to enable students to compare American involvement in war.  The lesson will use Microsoft Access to create a database of information on various wars and America’s participation.  Facts that will be analyzed include the impact on population, expansion, and financial health of the United States.

Objectives / SOL Correlation

VA/US.1          The students will develop skills for historical analysis, including the ability to: analyze documents, records, and data, develop perspectives of time and place, including the construction of various time lines of events, periods, and personalities in American history.

VA/US.4          The student will demonstrate knowledge of events and issues of the     Revolutionary Period by (a) analyzing how the political ideas of John Locke and those expressed in Common Sense helped shape the Declaration of Independence; (b) describing the political differences among the colonists concerning separation from Britain; and (c) analyzing reasons for colonial victory in the Revolutionary War.

C/T 8.1            The student will communicate through application software.

C/T 8.4            The student will communicate through networks and telecommunication; Use local and worldwide network communication systems. (Optional)

Expected Student Outcomes

Students will create a database that will be added to during the course of study in American History.  The database will include: Name of war, significant battles, basic causes, population at time of war, participation in the war, percentage of participants in war, casualties of war, ratio of casualties to the total enrollment in the war, cost of war in current dollars, per capita cost of war.  At various points in the semester, students will be requested to analyze the costs of war on American society—financially, socially, and emotionally.  This written analysis could occur after the study of each conflict (VA/US.7, VA/US.9, VA/US.10, VA/US.11, VA/US.12) noted in the Standards of Learning for Virginia/United States History (grade 11).


Field, record, query, filter, and content specific vocabulary.

Materials Needed

Computer, MS Access, Internet connectivity (if Internet option is chosen), Almanac, resource books, text

Prerequisite Skills

Basic skills to create a database.  Add table, create fields, enter data, add records, sort records, filter/find records, create query, and create reports.


1.      Analyze the level of student knowledge of basic database creation.  Review/teach, as necessary, the skills needed to create a database.  The initial lesson, to set up the database should take one/two class periods.  For most students, one period is sufficient if they have the prerequisite skills.

2.      Set up a database with the following fields

·        War

·        Basic causes

·        Battles

·        Population at time of war,

·        Participation in the war

·        Percentage of participants in war

·        Casualties of war

·        Ratio of casualties to the total enrollment in the war

·        Cost of war in current dollars

·        Per capita cost of war     

3.      Have students connect to the Internet and research the location of the information needed to complete the database.  The data can also be found in Almanacs, the textbook, and other resources.  The Internet component of the lesson is optional.  The research could be accomplished using other resources. Visit the Access Indiana Teaching and Learning Center,

Guide to Wars at  This site has links to sites that offer information on wars throughout history.  There are also teacher lesson plans available on this site.

4.      Have students enter the data for the American Revolution. 

5.      This is the introductory lesson.  This database is a long-term project and will require entries as each war period of American History is studied.  As additional information is added, analysis of the costs of war and comparisons of war periods may be assigned.   


This lesson creates the database.  It offers the entries on the Revolution.  The evaluation rubric would be on the creation of the database and the accuracy of the information.  After this lesson, as wars are studied the comparisons and analysis levels could be evaluated.  A second rubric is an evaluation rubric for the analysis level of writing.  An analysis essay could be composed on the Revolutionary War information but would not compare this war to others in history as would be possible using the data base for SOLs taught later in the course.

Rubric for Analysis Essay 


Writing is descriptive, clear, and detailed.  Analysis is complex with detailed logical sequence, transitions are effective and the reasoning is valid.  Introduction is clear and thesis expresses central idea of paper. Analysis objectively picks apart the topic and provides evidence to support the thesis of the paper.  Conclusion clarifies and establishes the importance of the thesis. Free of error in usage and format.


Writing identifies the problems and details the issues. Introduction sets the overall theme and the thesis is clearly stated.  Conclusion reemphasizes the thesis.  Analysis provides information and description with facts to back up thesis.  Largely free of usage and format errors.


Writing is concrete, simple analysis of data.  Introduction complete.  Thesis stated and constant throughout the paper.  Presents the data and briefly discusses the issues.  Organized with a conclusion that restates the thesis.


Writing is difficult to understand.  Analysis is disconnected with unrelated thoughts.  Analysis is present in form but underdeveloped.  Essay is descriptive with little commentary.  Unclear focus and thesis is unsupported.  Evidence in the paper is subjective and not objective.


Writing is vague and the analysis is non-existent.  Thesis is too broad and fails to provide the reader with the focus of the essay.  Errors are frequent and may confuse the reader.  Serious flaws in terms of organization, usage, style, and organization

 Rubric for Database Creation 


Highly complex database with additional fields of information that exceed requirements, well organized, accurate information references properly cited, grammar and spelling correct.


Database exceeds minimum requirements, accurate data, well organized, references listed and cited, and grammar/spelling correct.


Minimum requirements of database are present, accurate data, references listed,

grammar/spelling correct.


No more than three of the required fields are missing, some data is inaccurate or missing, reference page may be inaccurate or missing, spelling/grammar mistakes.


Major components of the database are missing.  Data is inaccurate or missing. 

Database is not set up correctly, is inaccurate, or is incomplete, and does not function properly on the computer, spelling/grammar mistakes.


Extension Activity

This lesson is the beginning of a long-term review of America at war and will continue to grow as students cover different war periods.  Students should be encouraged to add to the database and as each war is added to compare data to determine the effect of the war effort on the life of an average American citizen.

This page was updated on:  04/10/02