Is the Sculpture Aileron an appropriate Monument to the History of the Land that is currently McCabe Park?

Length: 2 class periods; 50 minutes each

In the spring of 2012, the Aileron sculpture was installed in McCabe Park. This is the former location of the McConnell airfield. The sculpture represents the biplane of the early 20th century. It was fabricated by artist Michael Dillon using traditional blacksmithing techniques and tools that were used in the manufacturing of railroad equipment—another historic reference to Sylvan Park.

In this Social Studies Lesson, students will:

  • Students will be formatively assessed through discussion in whole group and small group.
  • Students will mark the texts for evidence that supports their claim.
  • Students will engage accountable talk.
  • Students will be formatively assessed through discussion in whole group and small group.
  • Students will provide evidence of thorough analysis through the use of an evidence graphic organizer.
  • If students choose to write a letter to the editor, the letter will be assessed using a rubric for writing.
  • If students choose to create a presentation, the presentation will be assessed using a rubric.
  • For the Letter to the editor and the presentation, an assessment criteria will be the incorporation of facts regarding the changes to the landscape and the historical discoveries made on the land that is now McCabe Park.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use...
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Tennessee Content Standards:

  • 7.5.02 Recognize that places change over time.

Clear Learning Targets:
“I can” statements:

  • I can decide if Aileron is an appropriate monument for the history of McCabe Park, based on the various uses of the land and the many transitions that the land has gone through.
  • I can base this decision on evidence from primary and secondary documents.
  • I can express my opinion on the  appropriateness of Aileron in a letter to the editor or a presentation to my  class.
Essential and guiding questions: 

Assessing Questions:

  • Base closely on the work student has produced;
  • Clarify what the student has done and what the student understands about what s/he has done;
  • Provide information to the teacher about what the student understands.

Advancing Questions:

  • Use what students have produced as a basis for making progress toward target goal;
  • Move students beyond their current thinking by pressing students to extend what they know to a new situation;
  • Press students to think about something they are not currently thinking about.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 
  • ELL Modifications: How will I provide access to the academic content and/or make modifications for the student whose primary language is one other than English?
  • SPED Modifications How will I provide access to the academic content and/or make modifications for the student who has an IEP?
Interdisciplinary opportunities: 

Cross-curricular Connections:

There is a strong connection between this ELA lesson and the following 7th grade Visual Arts Standards:

  • 3.2 Demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meanings in artworks.
  • 3.3 Reflect on the effective use of subject matter, symbols, and ideas. 

Helpful Hints

Materials and Resources:

  • Picture of Aileron sculpture (primary document)
  • Site information from Metro Arts Council (secondary documents)
  • Metro Arts Council RFQ Call to Artists (primary document)
  • Graphic organizer for picture “read”
  • Accountable Talk illustration and goal setting handout
  • Graphic organizer for areas of focus on text analysis
  • Yes/No/Consensus Graphic Organizer
  • Handout of options for deliverables
  • Rubric for letter and presentation assessment
  • Rubric for sculpture aligned with RFQ Call to Artists