Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Chapter by Chapter: Exploring Fraternities and Sororities

Mariana DeLoera, Matthew McDonald


In this lesson, students will explore the history and societal impact of fraternities and sororities. Students will explore new vocabulary and read about the history behind multicultural Greek organizations. They will then watch an interview with different individuals who are members of Greek organizations who share their personal experiences about how Greek life has impacted their lives. Students will then reflect on if their perspectives on the topic have changed.

Essential Questions

  • What role do social organizations play in fostering a sense of community and belonging for their members?

Learning Goals

  • Explore the history and structure of fraternities and sororities, recognizing their value in education and society. 

  • Investigate how organizations contribute to creating supportive communities.



Students participate in a Fiction in the Facts activity to sort out fictional and factual claim statements.


Students use “terms to know” to participate in a Card Sort to match terms to their definition.


Students read about the history of Fraternities and Sororities and respond using the Sentence-Phrase-Word strategy.


Students watch an interview with Greek life members and record their takeaways from the interview.


Students respond to a prompt using the "I Used to Think . . . But Now I Know" strategy and discuss their responses.

Materials List

  • Lesson slides (attached)

  • Card Sort (attached; class set)

  • Fraternities and Sororities Article (attached; class set, one per student)

  • Explain and Extend Handout (attached; one per student)

  • Paper

  • Pen/Pencil


10 Minute(s)

Use the attached Lesson Slides to guide the lesson. Display slides 2 and 3 to introduce the lesson’s title and learning objectives. Transition to slide 4 and take some time to review the information on the slide as a class. Take time to make sure the class has a shared understanding of the term “Greek life” as it will be used in the next activity. 

Move to slide 5 and let students know that they will be using the Fiction in the Facts instructional activity. Begin by telling them that this activity is similar to “Two Truths and a Lie.” Display slide 6. Instruct students to follow along as you read out  the three statements presented on the slide, as you read students should be trying to decide which statement they feel is false. 

Once everyone is familiar with the statements, poll the class to see which statement they believe is false. This can be done by raising hands. Invite a few to share their rationale. Use slides 7-9 to share the correct answers, and provide further explanation for each statement. 

Move to slide 10 and share the essential question with the class to transition to the next activity. 

What role do social organizations play in fostering a sense of community and belonging for their members?


15 Minute(s)

Move to slide 11 and introduce the students to the Card Sort instructional strategy. Inform the students that they will be sorting cards on “terms to know” in reference to Greek life. Divide the students into groups of 3-4 and pass out a Card Sort Set to each group. Instruct students to try and match the term with the provided definitions and be prepared to explain their reasoning. A timer can be found on slide 11. 

Once students have finished sorting the cards to their best ability, have students set them aside as they will be revisiting the card sort later in the lesson.


15 Minute(s)

Display slide 13, and pass out copies of the Fraternities and Sororities Article and the Explain and Extend Handout. Explain to students that they will only be using the top portion of the handout for now.  Instruct students to use the Sentence-Phrase-Word strategy to identify the following and jot those responses on their handout:

  • Sentence: Share one sentence that expresses the main idea, or was meaningful to you.

  • Phrase: Share one phrase that evokes curiosity or stands out to you.

  • Word: Select one word that captures their answer to the question “What role do social organizations play in fostering a sense of community and belonging for their members?”.

Once students have completed the reading and identified their sentence, phrase, and word, facilitate a short discussion. Ask them to share out what they selected and explain the reasoning for their choices.


15 Minute(s)

Transition to slide 14 with the video “Chapter by Chapter: Exploring Greek Life”. Students will be using the same Explain and Extend Handout but will be focusing on the bottom half of the handout. 

Explain to students that they will be watching an interview with different professionals from various different Greek organizations who share their personal experiences about how Greek life has impacted their lives. As students watch the video, they will be using a modified version of the S-I-T strategy and identifying the following:

  • Surprising: One surprising fact or idea.

  • Interesting: One interesting fact or idea.

  • Takeaway: Overall takeaway from the interview. 

Allow time for students to wrap up their thoughts following the video and invite a few to share out their S-I-T responses.


10 Minute(s)

Display slide 15. Have students return to their original card sort groups and explain that they will now be revisiting the card sort and use the new information they have learned to make and changes if applicable. Allow for a few minutes to make changes, then review the terms as a class. 

Move to slide 16 and have students reflect on their perspective of Greek life using the strategy I Used To Think... But Now I Know and answer the following prompt: 

  • I used to think Greek life meant…

  • But now I know…

Students can use the back of their Explain and Extend handout to respond and turn this in.