EarthWalk

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Objectives

  • Learn basic care and use of the eBuddies®
  • Create a new Word document
  • Visit a website on the Internet
  • Assess student mastery

Software Products Needed

  • A word processing program such as Microsoft Word
  • Bundled software Show-N-Tell
  • A web browser such as Netscape or Microsoft's Internet Explorer
  • Access to the Internet

Teaching the Lesson (60 Minutes)

Basic Care and Use of the eBuddy® (15 minutes)

  • a. Value of this equipment
  • b. Definition of a laptop
  • c. Start up the eBuddy®
  • d. Use touch pad mouse to indicate items on the screen
  1. Review the rules for safely carrying a laptop to the students' desks-a two handed hold is strongly recommended. Pull the laptop ½ way out of the charging bay. Have the students place one hand on top of the laptop and one hand below to secure the hold before fully removing the laptop.
  2. You may want to emphasize the cost of this equipment to encourage its gentle care. Ask your students, "Would you leave a diamond ring unattended?" How would they feel if they dropped a museum's crystal statue? Would they allow a friend to borrow their parent's wallet?
  3. Each student should already be assigned an eBuddy®. As you get ready for this lesson, each student should pick up his or her specific laptop from its charging bay.
  4. Explain to your class that these are fully functional laptop computers.
  5. "Why are these called 'laptops'?" Accept any reasonable responses.
  6. "Where is the mouse?" The eBuddies® come with a touch pad mouse. Show the students where the click buttons are. Explain that gentle action extending from their fingertips will control the movement.
  7. "What else is different?" These computers weigh less and are easily transported.
  8. "What do you see that is missing from these laptops that you would normally have on a desktop computer?" No cords. These computers can be carried right to your desk.
  9. "How can they function without electrical cords?" The students will certainly respond that these computers use batteries. Demonstrate the method for removing and exchanging batteries. You may want to make an analogy to human sleep requirements. "Wouldn't it be nice if we could skip a night's sleep and just exchange our batteries?"
  10. Demonstrate locating the latch and opening the unit.
  11. Walk through powering up the laptops. You will need to show your students where the power button is located. Direct students to press the power button, wait for power to engage, then ask, "How do we know the unit is powered up?" Encourage some patience in allowing Windows to fully boot up. Ask students to explain or hypothesize what is happening during this boot-up process.
  12. Emphasize the importance of NOT using fingers or pencils to point at the items on the monitor. It is best to use the computer's arrow to indicate a word or graphic on the monitor thus avoiding screen damage.

    TIP: The eBuddy® laptops are a high interest device for most students. If you want the students' eyes on you or on the presentation monitor, have the students do a ¾ close of the laptop's lid to regain their full attention.

Create a new Word document (15 minutes)

  • a. Open word processing software.
  • b. Type one sentence about using the laptops in school.
  • c. Save the document.
  • d. Use Show-N-Tell software to share out with the class.
  1. Open the Microsoft Word program by double clicking on that icon or highlighting the program from the program menu. You can find this menu list by clicking on START.
  2. Have each one of your students type one sentence telling how they see themselves using the eBuddy® in the classroom. Give them several minutes to complete this task.
  3. Review the spell check option.
  4. Demonstrate the procedures for saving a document. You may want to have individual student folders on your school's network. Another method may be to create folders for each student on the eBuddy®'s hard drive.
  5. Use the Show-N-Tell software to display several examples of the students' writing on the presentation monitor. Let the students discuss the value of each of these ideas.

Visit a Website on the Internet (20 minutes)

  • a. Preselect an appropriate Internet site.
  • b. Open your web browser.
  • c. Explore Internet capabilities.
  1. Internet usage is best managed by preselecting the appropriate site or sites. You may want to have the eBuddies® preloaded with screened and appropriate sites on the Favorites list. These would be screened and appropriate. Another excellent tip is to use the hyperlink option in Word. Type the desired URL on a Word document. The icon in the tool bar that displays a globe with a chain link is the hyperlink tool.
  2. You may use EarthWalk's web page as an excellent starting point for your students to begin to exploring the materials available on the Internet. www.earthwalk.com will take your students to our home page. From there, click on Education then the eClassroom section, click on Cool Curriculum Connections to find a thematic set of related web sites selected and screened by the specialists here at EarthWalk. This exercise will give your students an opportunity to explore the various sections of any web site.

Assess Student Mastery (10 minutes)

  • a. Open "eBuddy Quiz".
  • b. Students use laptops/wireless keyboard to type answers.
  • c. Review answers with class.
  • d. Answer any questions.
  1. Discovery School.com has an impressive quiz-making tool, which will bring your quizzes to the web. An example eBuddy® quiz has been posted there at http://school.discovery.com/quizzes30/tishaloulou/ebuddy.html You may want to use this system or another device designed into your network for classroom testing.
  2. Create a brief quiz that covers the key points from your perspective. Possible questions could include: What is the correct method for carrying an eBuddy® to your desk?, What should you use to point to items on the screen?, etc.
  3. Have your students answer the questions individually at their seats.
  4. Then review the answers with the whole class. Allow one student to use the wireless keyboard to type the correct answer to each question.
  5. Always take a few minutes to answer any additional questions your students may have on the care and use of your new classroom tools. Return the eBuddies® to their cart making sure that each is placed in its designated charging bay.

Extension Ideas

You may want to create a puzzle page to review the key vocabulary from this lesson. http://puzzlemaker.school.discovery.com/ has a useful teaching tool for creating various puzzles for classroom use.

 

Shared Birthdays


Objectives:

  • Students will gather classmates' birthday
  • Students will complete an Excel chart and graph using data collected on classmates.
  • Students will go to specific web sites to find a notable person who shares their birthday. http://www.famouspeople.com or http://www.famousbirthdays.com/
  • Students will research biographical information of person that shares their birthday.
  • Students will develop a PowerPoint presentation of famous person.
  • Students will write a brief summary in Word of what is liked and disliked about the famous person.

Materials:

  • eBuddies
  • Internet access
  • Spreadsheet and word processing applications
  • Data gathering worksheet

National Standards:

  • Language Arts:
    • Writing:
      • Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions
      • Gathers and uses information for research purposes.
    • Reading:
      • Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts
    • Listening and Speaking:
      • Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes
  • Mathematics Standards:
    • Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis

Procedure:

  • Students will fill in Data Worksheet of classmates' birthdays (see handout)
  • Students will fill in an Excel worksheet with student data (see instructions)
  • Students will create a chart using data. (see example)
  • Using the Internet, the students will use http://www.famouspeople.com or http://www.infoplease.com to search for a famous person that has the same birthday.
  • Using the Internet, the students will use http://www.biography.com to research biographical information on the famous person.
  • Using PowerPoint, the students will develop a three slide presentation with at least 2 graphics on the following information:
    • Slide 1: biographical information-birthday, death, where born etc
    • Slide 2: profession
    • Slide 3: accomplishments
  • Students will present slide presentation with narrative of famous person
  • Students will write a brief summary in Word explaining what is best liked and least liked about the famous person.

Assessment:

  • Time on task; teacher observation
  • Data worksheet correctly done
  • Excel chart correctly done
  • PowerPoint presentation with the requirements met
  • Summary

Extensions:

  • Breakdown each month with the number of boys and girls birthdays
  • Do predictions: which month has more birthdays, which season has more birthdays

Exploring with Cartography


Overview:
For centuries explorers have used cartography to navigate the high seas. This lesson is designed to introduce students to early explorers as well as mapping skills. The lesson is broken down into two components, explorers and basic mapping skills, with an extension of intermediate mapping skills.
The extension website, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/
xpeditions/lessons/
is a wonderful interactive website that includes lesson plans and activities that will actively engage the students.
Time:

  • 2 – 3. 45 minute class periods

National Standards:

  • (Geography) Standard 1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
  • (Language Arts) Standard 8: Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Objectives:

  • Students will research explorers to find specific biographical information.
  • Students will create a Power Point presentation consisting of three (3) slides depicting the explorer.
  • Students will create a fill-in-the-blank "worksheet" using Window's Paint application based on information gathered from the research.

Procedure:

  1. Have on view a time-line of early explorers http://www.enchantedlearning.com/explorers/ http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/4034/timeline2.html http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/4034/?tqskip=1
  2. Through discussion, highlight different achievements, areas explored, etc.
  3. Divide students into cooperative groups and assign or have students choose an explorer to research.
  4. Direct student to (http://www.chenowith.k12.or.us/tech/subject/social/explore.html#gama) and have them fill in the information about the explorer.
  5. After completing the information, have students complete a Power Point presentation. Review rubric for expectations of presentation.
  6. Using the Paint application, have students construct a fill-in-the-blank worksheet to be shared with fellow students.

Evaluation:

  • Teacher evaluation
  • Rubric for Power Point presentation
  • Student made fill-in-the-blank worksheet.

Freedom Fighters Throughout American History


Overview:
Through the years elementary teachers have taught their students about the first Thanksgiving in America. The focus has been on how the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of a bountiful harvest and survival of that first, arduous year on a new continent. While this is the most obvious meaning of Thanksgiving, it could/should be taken a step further with middle school students as a celebration of freedom. When recalling the reason the pilgrims left the comforts of their native land, it was for the right or freedom to worship in their own way. With this underlying fact, Thanksgiving could be considered a celebration of freedom in the new country.


From the time the pilgrims first stepped on the soil of the new continent until present day, our country has had many outstanding people willing to fight for a cause they truly believe(d) in: Freedom. Freedom can and does wear many hats and can mean many things.
This lesson will look at Freedom Fighters throughout U.S. history; their contributions, ideals, as well as their impact on our nation. Many outstanding people immediately come to mind, and then, there are those who lost their lives in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania in the recent tragedy. Lives that were taken as a means of mocking the very freedoms that we hold dear.


The overall objective of this lesson is to re-enforce how important it is to have our freedom, how fortunate we are to enjoy such freedoms, how people past and present have dedicated their lives for the protection of our freedom, and how we must continue to work for and value our freedom in America.


Time:

  • 45-90 minutes, 1-2 weeks

Grade Level

  • 6th, 7th, 8th

Materials

  • eBuddies
  • Internet Access
  • MS Office applications
  • Inspiration software (optional)
  • Adding machine Tape

National Standards:
Civics Standards:

  • What is Government and What Should it Do?
    • 1. Understands ideas about civic life, politics, and government.
    • 3. Understands the sources, purposes, and functions of law, and the importance of the rules of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good.
  • What are the Basic Values and Principals of American Democracy:
    • 9. Understands the importance of Americans sharing and supporting certain values, beliefs, and principles of American constitutional democracy.
    • 11. Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society.
  • What are the Roles of the Citizen in American Democracy?
    • 25. Understands issues regarding personal, political, and economic rights.

Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Conduct research utilizing the Internet on people in American history who have contributed to the cause of freedom.
  • Give a definition of freedom.
  • Give examples or categories of freedoms.
  • Give examples of freedoms that are important to them and then categorize the freedom from the Categories the students had previously derived.
  • Utilize MS Word application to design a sign/brochure about the person researched.
  • Work collaboratively to construct a visual timeline of researched Freedom Fighters.
  • Design a Power Point Presentation to dissimilated information gathered about the person researched.
  • Give an oral presentation to co-inside with the Power Point Presentation.
  • Design a "Wax Museum" display using information gathered from research.
  • Write a persuasive/informative paper on the merits and accomplishments of the person researched.
  • Practice the democratic practice of voting for the freedom fighter they feel has contributed the most to our country.

Procedure:

  • Have students brainstorm the meaning of freedom. (Using the application, INSPIRATION, is an excellent way of recording brainstorming session's ideas). From the brainstorming session, develop a class definition of Freedom.
  • Have students list or give ideas of different types of freedoms.
  • Give each student 1 or 2 sticky notes and have them record a freedom they feel most important.
  • Using the categories derived as a class, have students individually read and place their sticky note under the proper category. Have the students explain why they feel their input to be an important freedom.
  • Link our present freedoms to the freedoms the pilgrims had or didn't have.
  • Ask students to name people who, in the past or the present, fought or crusades for the listed freedoms. Make a list. ( Possible homework assignment would be to interview parents, grandparents, etc. for additional names.)
  • Compile a list of "Freedom Fighters" (a basic list is included)
  • As a class, generate a document to be used for gathering information in the research of an assigned or chosen Freedom Fighter.
  • Assign or have students choose a person to research.
  • After distributing the eBuddies, have the students go to the following websites to gather research:
  • Students will construct a sign/brochure using MS Word with information gathered about the person they are researching. (Rubric included)
  • The class will work collaboratively to construct a visual timeline of researched Freedom Fighters using the signs/brochures.
  • The students will develop a Power Point Presentation utilizing the information gathered through internet research. Information that was used in the brochure/sign. (Rubric included)
  • Using the eBuddies, have the students access the following web site: http://www.madame-tussauds.com to get an idea of what a wax museum is like. Explain to the students that as a class a wax museum will be done to display the person researched (Information sheet and rubric included). Review the requirements and grading procedures.
  • The students will write, using the information gathered and using MS Word, an informative and persuasive paper about the person researched. The focus of the paper is to inform/persuade the class the person in which they researched has made the biggest contribution to our country. The student will be presenting the Power Point Presentation along with the oration of the paper.
  • Upon completion of the presentations, the class will practice the democratic right and privileged of voting for the most deserving person. (A voting Excel spreadsheet included).
  • At the conclusion of the unit of study, the students will present a Freedom Fighter's Wax Museum.

Evaluation:

  • Teacher observation: brainstorming sessions
  • Sign/brochure
  • Information gathering document
  • Power Point Presentation
  • Informative/Persuasive paper
  • Oral presentation
  • Wax Museum presentation

Seasonal Changes


Overview:
In science, observation and gathering of information is an on-going process. In this lesson, Seasonal Changes, students take a traditional seasons lesson a step further. Students will research and gather information on changes in plants, animals and humans. While some information may be "old hat", other will be quite intriguing. With December weather being many things, from mild to freezing temperatures, one thing is for certain; changes in the season have an affect on the entire environment. This lesson encourages the observation and investigation of these effects.
Time:

  • 2, 45 minute class periods

Grade Level

  • 6-7

Materials

  • Seasonal Changes charting handout
  • eBuddies
  • Scavenger Hunt handouts

National Standards:
Life Sciences:
6.3: Diversity and adaptations of organisms

    • Populations and ecosystems
    • Regulation and behavior

Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Research seasonal changes and the affects on the environment.
  • Observe and record findings of seasonal changes.
  • Complete a graph using the information gathered on the observation walk.
  • Write summarizations on the results of the research on seasonal changes.

Activities:

  • Observation walk
  • Internet research
  • Graphing activity
  • Internet scavenger hunt
  • Summarization/documentation of results using MS Word

Procedure:

Day One:

  1. Give students the handout, Seasonal Changes Chart Explain and clarify the directions on recording observations.
  2. Back in the classroom, give students eBuddies and have them access the following website:
    (http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/grapher.html) and chart the results.
  3. In MS Word, have the students write a short paragraph summarizing the findings of the observation walk.

Day Two:

  1. Give students eBuddies. On the board, write the acronym, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Have the students do a Google (www.google.com) search to discover the meaning of the acronym. Discuss the impact of SAD in various locations across the country. Would it have more or less effect on humans depending on the severity of winter?
  2. Give students Scavenger Hunt handout. Review the websites and questions on the scavenger hunt. Have students work individually or in groups of 2 to research the answers.
  3. After completing the scavenger hunt, have the students document using MS Word, the most unusual effect of "over-wintering".

Evaluation:

  • Charting Handout
  • Graph of the results of the charting activity
  • Summary of charting/graphing activity
  • Scavenger Hunt results
  • Participation

Internet Resources:

Optional Activity:

Suddenly Snow

Overview:

With the excitement of the first snow during a school day, don't despair about getting those lessons in. Take a break from the regular curriculum to take advantage of the "teachable moment". Nature has provided a ready-made lesson that integrates all of the academic disciplines. This "on the fly" lesson will not be soon forgotten. With a little pre-planning and preparation this lesson will be ready for that first snowfall.
These activities can be done in conjunction with a structured weather unit or done in isolation.

National Standards

  • Math:
    • 4. Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement.
    • 5. Understands and applies basic and advance properties of the concepts of geometry.
    • 6. Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis.
  • Science:
    • 1. Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle.
  • Language Arts:
    • 3. Uses grammatical and mechanical conventions in written compositions.

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to:
    • Explain what elements are needed to have snow occur.
    • Identify symmetry in snowflakes.
    • Identify snowflakes by characteristics and types. (Six sided, Symmetrical, plate, dendrite, needle, column)
    • Apply parts of speech to create a diamante poem.
    • Create a chart and analyze data of different types of snowflakes collected.
    • Apply their writing skills to write summations of experiments.
  • Compare individuality of snowflakes to human beings.

Materials/Supplies

  • Black velvet or black construction paper (kept in freezer)
  • Magnifying glass (for each student)
  • Box with lid (shoe box size)
  • Fixative such as "Crystal Clear" or "Clear Kote" or aerosol hairspray. (Must be chilled, read label instructions for limitations)
  • Glass slides (chilled)
  • Microscopes
  • Clear plastic bottles (liter soda bottles)
  • Permanent markers
  • Maps of the U.S.; Northern Hemisphere, World
  • Quarter-sheet drawing paper
  • ite and gray "tags" labeled water vapor and dust particles (1/2 class - water vapor, 1/2 class dust particles)
  • ebuddies
  • Internet connection
  • MS office suite

Activities

  • Collecting snowflakes
  • Snowflake game
  • Researching and plotting current snowfall
  • Growing Your Own Snow Crystals
  • Diamante poems
  • Paper Snowflakes
  • Virtual Snowflakes
  • Build a snowman
  • Comparison paper: Human beings to snowflakes

Procedure:

  1. Collecting snowflakes: (Make sure all materials are chilled)
    • Capture snowflakes on cloth or paper. Examine with a magnifying glass.
    • Preserve snowflakes by collecting snowflakes on frozen glass slides sprayed with aerosol hairspray or clear fixative. Place in box until hardened. Observe under a microscope.
    • Have students draw their example on a quarter-sheet piece of paper.
    • Have students bring their example to the board and begin to group by like characteristics.
    • Introduce and/or discuss symmetry of snowflakes
    • Introduce and/or discuss various types of snowflakes. Have pre-made drawings or examples of the following: plate, dendrite, needle, and column.
    • Further categorize snowflake examples using above types.
    • Using eBuddies, go to Grapher website (http://www.ambleside.schoolzone.co.uk/ambleweb/mentalmaths/grapher.html) and graph results of class collection of snowflakes.
    • Read "The Science Behind Snowflakes" or have students access the following website: (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077345/ns/technology_and_science-science/)


  2. Snowflake Game
    • Have students brainstorm how snow is formed. (This can be done before or after reading "The Science Behind Snowflakes".) List all answers.
    • Explain water vapor colliding with dust particles forms snowflakes, which changes the vapor into an ice-crystal. The process continues until the ice crystal is heavy enough to fall to the ground as a snowflake.
    • To further illustrate the concept, divide the class into tow groups and label each member either water vapor or dust particle.
    • Have students quietly and slowly drift around a cleared area. Emphasize that snow is quiet and slow.
    • When they "bump" into an opposite (water vapor into a dust particle or vice versa) they join hands. This pair drifts and the process is repeated until the whole class is joined as one large snowflake.


  3. Growing Your Own Snow Crystal

    (http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/project/project.htm)
    This is a simple, inexpensive and fun way to grow your own snow crystals using little more than a plastic pop bottle and some Styrofoam cups. This site gives detailed directions and is geared for grades 4+

    • After doing the experiment, have the students use eBuddies and MS Word to write a summation of the activity.


  4. Diamante Poems
    • Have students use eBuddies to write a Diamante poem about snow. Mount poems on diamond-shaped colored paper and arrange 6 diamante poems to form a snowflake.
    • Directions for a Diamante Poem:
    • A Diamante is a type of poem used to contrast opposites
      • Line1: one-word subject: noun, must be opposite of line seven
      • Line 2: two words: adjectives about line one.
      • Line 3: three words: participles: words about first line ending in -ing or -ed.
      • Line 4: Four words: 2 nouns about line 1 and 2 nouns about line 7
      • Line 5: three words: participles: words about last line ending in -ing or ed
      • Line 6: two words: adjectives about line seven
      • Line 7: One-word subject: noun, must be opposite of line one.
    • An example;

      DAY
      SUNNY, BUSY
      WORKING, LEARNING, PLAYING
      SCHOOL, RECESS, BED, DREAMS
      STUDYING, SLEEPING, DREAMING
      DARK, SLEEPY
      NIGHT

  5. Research Current Snowfall

    (http://www.weather.com/maps/activity/ski/uscurrentsnowcover_large.html)
    Access the above website to locate areas of snowfall. Research cities across the nation for current snowfall and chart on national map. Extend to Northern Hemisphere and world.


  6. Making Paper Snowflakes

    (http://www.highhopes.com/snowflakes.html)

    • Have students access the above website with eBuddies.
    Giving students an 8"x11 ½ " sheet of paper, have them follow the directions on this website to construct a snowflake.


  7. Virtual Snowflake

    This is a fun website for the students to design their own snowflake.
    (http://snowflakes.barkleyus.com/ )


  8. Build a Snowman

    (http://www.frontiernet.net/~imaging/build_a_snowman.html)

    Kids finished with their snow assignments? A "cool" site for building a snowman.


  9. Write a compare/contrast of how humans are like snowflakes

    • When discussing and observing the characteristics of snowflakes, students will conclude that snowflakes are different because of the molecular setup.
    • Have students construct a Venn diagram, using MS Word and eBuddies (see example) to illustrate the likenesses and differences of snowflakes to humans.
    • Have students discuss their Venn diagram, making a master diagram on the board.
    • Using the diagram, have students write a compare/contrast paper with MS Word
    • To make Venn diagram:


    1. Using the "Insert" tab, select "Shapes" and "Oval".
      1
    2. Draw the circle. Double click on the circle to select
    3. Right click and COPY.
    4. Right click and PASTE.
      2

    5. With one of the circles selected, rightclick on FORMAT AUTOSHAPE.
    6. Select the COLOR AND LINES tab and set transparency to 50%
      4

    7. To copy a circle, control+click the circle and drag.
    8. To type in the circles, click on the TEXTBOX button under the “Insert” tab and drag the box into the circle.
      6

    9. To remove the "box" around the textbox, right click on the textbox and select FORMAT TEXTBOX.
      7

    Click on the FORMAT TEXT BOX and select COLORS AND LINES. Click on the down arrow to the right of the COLOR option in the LINE area and select NO LINE.
    8

Internet Resources

The Effect of Volcanoes

 

Time Allotment:

  • 1-2, 45 minute class periods

National Standards:

  • Science Standard 2— Understands Earth's composition and structure
    • Grades 3 to 5
      1. Knows how features on the Earth's surface are constantly changed by a combination of slow and rapid processes (e.g., weathering, erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment caused by waves, wind, water, and ice; landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, drought)
    • Grades 6 to 8
      2. Knows how land forms are created through a combination of constructive and destructive forces (e.g., constructive forces such as crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions, and deposition of sediment; destructive forces such as weathering and erosion)
  • Language Arts Standard 1— Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process
    • Grades 3 to 5
      8. Understands structural patterns or organization in informational texts (e.g., chronological, logical, or sequential order; compare-and-contrast; cause-and-effect; proposition and support)
    • Grades 6 to 8
      6. Writes expository compositions (e.g., states a thesis or purpose; presents information that reflects knowledge about the topic of the report; organizes and presents information in a logical manner, including an introduction and conclusion; uses own words to develop ideas; uses common expository structures and features, such as compare-contrast or problem-solution)
  • Technology Standard 2— Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs
    • Grades 3 to 5
      1. Uses a word processor to edit, copy, move, save, and print text with some formatting (e.g., centering lines, using tabs, forming paragraphs)
    • Grades 6 to 8
      2. Knows the common features and uses of desktop publishing software (e.g., documents are created, designed, and formatted for publication; data, graphics, and scanned images can be imported into a document using desktop software)
      3. Knows the common features and uses of spreadsheets (e.g., data is entered in cells identified by row and column; formulas can be used to update solutions automatically; spreadsheets are used in print form, such as look-up tables, and electronic form, such as to track business profit and loss.

Objectives:

  • Students will:
    • Investigate via the Internet the effects of volcanoes.
    • Chart the negative and positive effects of volcanoes.
    • Write a compare/contrast paper on the effects of volcanoes.
    • Create a Power Point presentation illustrating the positive and negative effects of volcanoes.

Procedure:

  • Distribute the eBuddies.
  • Have the students access the websites listed in the Internet Resources section below.
  • Have the students view the contents of these websites. While viewing have students complete the chart of positive and negative effects of volcanoes.
  • Using their charts, have students write a compare/contrast paper on the effects of volcanoes using MS Word.
  • Using Power Point, have the students complete a slide each illustrating the positive and negative effects of volcanoes.

Evaluations:

  • Teacher observation
  • Student participation
  • Positive and Negative Effects of Volcanoes Chart
  • Compare/Contrast paper on the Effects of Volcanoes
  • Power Point slides of the positive and negative effects of volcanoes

Internet Resources:

Vivacious Vocabulary

 

Overview:

While vocabulary is an important aspect of comprehending the material read, it can get rather mundane to repeatedly look up the word and then write the definition. Here is an activity with a follow-up website that will surely actively engage your students at the task of learning their vocabulary without the drudgery.

Time Allotment:

1-2, 45 minute class periods

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • utilize the dictionary to locate the meaning of a given vocabulary word.
  • paraphrase or put into his or her own words the meaning of a vocabulary word.
  • construct a Power Point slide with required elements to illustrate the vocabulary word.
  • access the website, Puzzlemaker, to design a crossword puzzle or word find incorporating vocabulary words.

National Standards:

  • Language Arts
    • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
    • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
  • Technology
    • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
    • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
    • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
    • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

Procedure:

  • Distribute the eBuddies
  • Introduce the lesson by explaining vocabulary will be done in a different manner.
  • Model how to make a power point slide following the linked directions.
  • Give the students the following site: www.m-w.com/dictionary to "look up" the vocabulary words.
  • Have the students paraphrase or rephrase the definition into their own words and place on PowerPoint slide.
  • Using ClipArt, find a graphic that would best illustrate the vocabulary word.
  • Add Custom Animation.
  • Repeat the process for additional vocabulary words.

Extensions:

  • Access the following website: www.puzzlemaker.com and select the option CRISS-CROSS PUZZLE. Using the vocabulary words and short phrase-definitions, create a crossword type puzzle.
  • Combine all of the PowerPoint slides for a general review before the Vocabulary test.

Evaluations:

  • Completed project.

Internet Resources:

Interactive Fractions

 

Overview:

If your middle schoolers think working with manipulatives "baby-ish" but as a teacher you know they need the manipulatives to grasp the concept, this lesson is a great supplement. This lesson incorporates an interactive website that engages students in the concepts of equivalent fractions, adding like and unlike fractions and comparing fractions. After your students have had a hand at the concepts, let them design their own to further their understanding.

Grade Level:

  • 6-8

Time Allotment:

  • 1 or 2 class periods

National Standards:

- Math - Number Operations

  • Understanding numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, number systems.
    • Work flexibly with fractions, decimals and percents to solve problems
    • Compare and order fractions, decimals and percents efficiently and find their approximate locations on a number line.
  • Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
  • Understand the meaning and effects of arithmetic operations with fractions, decimals and integers.
  • Develop and analyze algorithms for computing with fractions, decimals and integers and develop fluency in their use.

- Technology

  • 1. Basic Operations and Concepts
    • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
    • Students are proficient in the use of technology
  • 3. Technology: Productivity tools
    • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity and promote creativity.
    • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
  • 4. Technology: Communication tools
    • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
  • 5. Technology: Resource tools
    • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
    • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • determine the common denominator of two unlike fractions.
  • add like fractions.
  • find equivalent fractions.
  • compare fractions.
  • construct simple models of equivalent fractions with MS Paint application.

Procedure:

  • Access website: The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
  • Have students work through the following activities:
    • Fractions-Adding
    • Fractions-Comparing
    • Fractions-Equivalent
  • After student having demonstrated competency, have them construct examples of equivalent fractions with MS Paint. (See Directions)

Evaluation:

  • Teacher observation
  • Student examples of equivalent fractions

Internet Sources:

 

"Planet" Vacation

 

Overview:

It's that time of year to "planet" a vacation to anywhere in the world. Students will plan the ideal vacation by researching the destination on the Internet. From this research, students will share commercial and demographic information through their specially designed brochure associated with their chosen location.

Grade Level:

  • 3-8

Time Allotment

  • Minimum of 5 class periods

Materials:

  • eBuddies, Internet connection, travel brochures, travel posters, travel videos (optional), MS Office Suite; MS Publisher (optional)

National Standards:

- Technology:

  • 1.B: Students are proficient in the use of technology.
  • 4. B: Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
  • 5.A: Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

- Geography:

  • 4. Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
  • 5. Understands the concept of regions
  • 6. Understands that culture and experience influence people' perceptions of places and regions

- Language Arts:

  • 1. Gathers and uses information for research purposes.
  • 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.

Objectives:

  • Students will:

    • research through the use of the Internet, a location of their choice of an ideal vacation.
    • be able to give the demographics of the location of their choice of an ideal vacation.
    • be able to plot on a world map their choice of an ideal vacation.
    • be able to use MS Word to author a brochure of their ideal vacation location.
    • be able to use MS Power Point to author a "commercial advertisement" of their vacation location.

Procedure:

  1. Motivate the students by having a travel motif in your classroom with travel posters, brochures, suitcases, souvenirs, etc.
  2. Have a classroom discussion of past vacation spots encouraging the students to share their experiences, highlights, sights, etc.
  3. Discuss with the students place they would like to travel. List destinations on the board.
  4. Categorize destinations according to any or all of the following: hemispheres, continents, countries, states
  5. Have students decide where they would like to go on a "dream vacation".
  6. Using eBuddies have students use the following sites to research their destination:
  7. Using the demographic worksheet, have the students fill in the information from their research.
  8. Using the information gathered through research, have the students create a brochure using MS Word. (Directions included)
  9. Having completed the brochure have the students produce a television commercial using MS Power Point. (Rubric included)

Evaluation:

  • Brochure
  • Power Point presentation Rubric
  • Teacher evaluation

Extensions:

  • Determine the mode of transportation. If driving, research using MapQuest the route and time necessary to get to the chosen destination. If flying, airlines and approximate cost.
  • Plan a side excursion. Give necessary details i.e. where, what, cost, etc
  • For older students, give a budget and have the students use MS Excel and show how the money was spent.

Internet Sources:

 

 

 

Virtual Nature Walk

Overview:

Summer time is an excellent time to take a nature walk, especially in the woods, to explore and observe the natural habitat of the animals. What, no woods nearby or lack of time? Check out this lesson plan to enable your students to experience the animals of the forest.

Grade Level:

  • 3rd through 8th

Materials:

  • eBuddies
  • Internet access
  • MS Office suite

National Standards:

  • Life Sciences
  • Understands relationships among organisms and their physical environment.
  • Technology:

    1. Basic Operations and Concepts
  • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
  • Students are proficient in the use of technology

3. Productivity tools

  • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity and promote creativity.
  • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.

4. Communication tools

  • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences

5. Resource tools

  • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
  • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.

Objectives:

The students will be able to

  • identify animals found in a forest habitat.
  • list the characteristics of the animals found in a forest habitat.
  • initiate research on animals by accessing the Internet.
  • produce a Power Point presentation illustrating the information gained from the research done on an animal.

Activities:

  • Read: One Gorilla: A Counting Book (1990) to engage the students in the lesson.
    Discuss the animals that were mentioned in the book.
  • Possible questions:
    • Have they seen these animals in their natural habitat?
    • How do these animals co-exist?
    • Are there prey/predator relationships?
    • What makes these animals special?
    • What is liked or disliked about the animals?
  • Access website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/forest/
  • Brain-storming
  • Research
  • Power Point presentation

Procedure:

  1. Read the story: One Gorilla: A Counting Book (1990) to engage the students in the lesson.
  2. List on the board animals in the story.
  3. Discuss the animals on the list and use the above possible questions.
  4. Ask the students if they have ever been on a nature walk. Discuss.
  5. Pass out eBuddies and tell the students they will be taking a virtual nature walk through the forest. Explain what virtual is.
  6. Access the following website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/forest/, and begin the nature walk.
  7. After the nature walk, list the animals seen. Discuss these animals with the above questions.
  8. List the characteristics of the animals discovered through the nature walk.
  9. Have the students chose an animal to research.
  10. Access the following website for research:http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/facts/?source=NavAniFact
  11. Have the students make a simple Power Point presentation on the chosen animal.
  12. Have students give their presentation.

Evaluation:

Sources:

 

 

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

 

Overview:

Remember back, as students, when we returned to school from summer vacation and the teacher always had us write what we did on our summer vacation? Take this same assignment and add a new twist. This one time boring assignment can set your students' imagination free. (Note: if a student "didn't do anything" during the summer, use Camp BAH - Back At Home)

Grade Level:

3rd through 8th

Time Allotment:

Minimum of 5 class periods

Materials:

  • eBuddies
  • Internet connection
  • Travel brochures
  • Travel posters
  • Travel videos (optional)
  • MS Office Suite
  • MS Publisher (optional)

National Standards:

Technology:

  • 1. B: Students are proficient in the use of technology.
  • 4. B: Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
  • 5. A: Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.

Geography:

  • 4. Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
  • 5. Understands the concept of regions
  • 6. Understands that culture and experience influence people' perceptions of places and regions

Language Arts:

  • 1. Gathers and uses information for research purposes.
  • 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts.

Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • research, through the use of the Internet, the location of their summer vacation trip.
  • give the demographics of the location of where they visited.
  • plot on a world and or United States map their vacation location.
  • use MS Word to author a

Procedure:

  1. Motivate the students by having a travel motif in your classroom with travel posters, brochures, suitcases, souvenirs, pictures of summer vacations etc.
  2. Have a classroom discussion encouraging the students to share their experiences, highlights, sights, etc. of their summer vacation.
  3. Discuss with the students places they traveled. List destinations on the board.
  4. Categorize destinations according to any or all of the following: hemispheres, continents, countries, states, home.
  5. Have students discuss activities participated in during their vacation.
  6. For those students that stayed at home, discuss their activities: baseball, swimming, etc. They will use these activities for Camp BAH.
  7. Using eBuddies have students use the following sites to research their destination:
  8. Using the demographic worksheet, have the students fill in the information from their research.
  9. Using the information gathered through research, have the students create a brochure using MS Word. (Directions included)
  10. Having completed the brochure have the students produce a television commercial using MS Power Point. (Rubric included)

Evaluation:

  • Brochure
  • Power Point presentation Rubric
  • Teacher evaluation

Extensions:

Determine the mode of transportation. Construct a graph using the following site Grapher:
http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/grapher.html
Internet Resources:


 

Football Fever Fun

 

Overview:

With the start of school and fall around the corner, Friday night football fever is in full force. Football Fever Fun engages students in research of print or online sources of the week's high school football game statistics. What a great way to bolster school spirit by keeping up with the home and area football teams. (This activity could also be used for professional football teams as well.)

Football Fever Fun encourages students to use their prediction skills to predict the outcome of the next football game based on the spreadsheet and chart created from the statistical data gathered from their research. Use the activity for one week or extend through the football season, either way, this is a great way to harness the football frenzy.

Grade Level:

5th through 8th

Time Allotment:

1-2 class periods

Materials:

  • eBuddies
  • Local newspapers
  • Internet access
  • Spreadsheet software

National Standards:

Technology Standards:

  • Know the characteristics and uses of computer software programs.

Math Standards:

  • Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis.
  • Understands the general nature and uses of mathematics

Objectives:

The student will:

  • gather statistics of the school's football team and opponent through printed information such as a newspaper or through the internet by access the local televisions' website.
  • construct a spreadsheet with the appropriate fields and input the researched data.
  • be able to use the Autosum feature to total the statistics.
  • be able to construct a chart/graph using the chart wizard to analyze the data.

Procedure:

  • To engage the students in the activity, have motivating school football displays in the room. Discuss the football game, the plays, and highlights.
  • If the students aren't familiar with football statistics, brainstorm ways the teams are evaluated. For example, points are TDs (touchdowns), how far the ball was passed (passing yardage), how far the ball was run (rushing yardage) and how many first downs. The students may come up with others. Write these "fields" on the board for future use.
  • Distribute the eBuddies and have the students launch the Internet browser.
  • Have the students access the local newspaper website or have the local newspaper's sport section available.
  • Distribute the Data Collection sheet to the students and have them fill in the necessary information.
  • Distribute the directions for setting up the Football Fever spreadsheet. Have the students use the fields previously discussed in the brainstorming session.
  • Students are to input the data into the spreadsheet.
  • Using the spreadsheet setup directions, have the students construct a chart using the data that was collected. Print the spreadsheet and chart.
  • Create a chart using the data collected for the teams that will be playing in the upcoming game.
  • Have the students write a persuasive paper, supporting their prediction for the up-coming game based on the data collected.

Evaluation:

  • Spreadsheets and charts
  • Persuasive paper
  • Student participation

 

 

 

Interesting Idioms

 

Overview:
This is a great lesson for ESL students as well as students who are learning about figurative speech and expressive writing. This lesson is designed to introduce the many idioms and their meanings that often confuse the ESL student and at the same time illustrate to the novice writer how idioms add “color” and  “voice” to their writing. Students will love this fun and enjoyable lesson.

Time allotment:  2, 45 minute class periods.

Grade level: 2-4 grade; higher for ESL students

Materials:

  • eBuddies
  • Internet access
  • MS Office
  • Children’s literature books:
    • Mad as a Wet Hen (Terban, 1987)
    • Punching the Clock: Funny Action Idioms (Terban, 1994)
  • Optional software application: KidPix

National Standards:

Language Arts

  • 1.  Students read a wide range of print and nonprint text to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world, to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies and their understanding of textual features (e.g., correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • 4.  Student adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes).
  • 6.  Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
  • 8.  Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • 9.  Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
  • 10.  Students whose first language is not English make use of their first language to develop competence in the English language arts and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum.
  • 12.  Student use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Technology Standards:
3. Technology productivity tools

  • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
  • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, produce other creative works.

4. Technology communications tools

  • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

5. Technology research tools

  • Students use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources.

 

Objectives:

  • To introduce students the concept of idioms as figurative speech.
  • The learner will determine the definition of an idiom through the use of literature.
  • The learner will be able to identify an idiom through the use of literature.
  • The learner will be able to use idioms in written and oral language.

Procedure:

  • Read to the class, Mad as a Wet Hen (Terban, 1987) to introduce the concept of idioms. Before reading the story, explain to the students to pay close attention to the use of words in the story. When reading an idiom, use vocal intonation and facial expression to emphasize an idiom.
  • After reading the story, write the word “Idiom” and have the students brainstorm to determine the definition of the figure of speech. (Remember, all answers are acceptable.) Write what is suggested on the board.
  • Using context clues take an idiom that was used in the story and decide the actual meaning.
  • Take the sentence that uses the idiom and replace with the actual meaning. This is to illustrate to novice writers how idioms liven-up writing.
  • Distribute eBuddies to the students, have the students access the following website: http://www.idiomsite.com; Have students explore the origin of many of our idioms.
  • To further illustrate the use of idioms in the English language, access the following website Virtual Language Centre, Pictorial Idioms; http://www.edict.com.hk/vlc/idioms/default.htm or Toon In To Idioms; http://www.elfs.com/2nInX-Title.html
  • Have the students demonstrate mastery of idioms by playing the multi-level  “Paint By Idioms” game at http://www.funbrain.com/idioms
  • Have students choose an idiom from available literature or by going to http://www.eslcafe.com for a listing of idioms. Have the students launch the Power Point application of MS Office and create a slide to “illustrate” the idiom. Illustrations can come from various sources: MS Office clipart gallery; original artwork done in Paint (located in Accessories) which has been copied and pasted on to the slide; from clipart sites; or scanned original artwork. Compile the individual slides that have been saved to a shared drive or on a floppy into a Power Point presentation for the class.

 

Evaluation:

  • Teacher observation
  • Power Point slide
  • Student Participation

Resources:

Building Bridges

 

Overview:

Have you ever wondered how bridges are built of tons of cement and wire cable and span across bodies of water? This lesson will introduce your students to the theories behind bridge building. The students will research through a scavenger hunt, observe experiments through a virtual lab, build a bridge on a virtual bridge building site then apply their knowledge to constructing their bridge.

Grade Level:

Grades 7-9

Time Allotment:

4-5, 45 minute class periods

Materials:

National Standards:

  • Science:
    • Standard 1: Understands forces of motion.
      Understands effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on an object's motion (e.g., if more than one force acts on an object along a straight line, then the forces will reinforce or cancel one another, depending on their direction and magnitude; unbalanced forces such as friction will cause changes in the speed or direction on an object's motion)
  • Mathematics:
    • Standard 5: Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of geometry
      11. Uses properties of and relationships among figures to solve mathematical and real-world problems (e.g., uses the property that the sum of the angles in a quadrilateral is equal to 360 degrees to square up the frame for a building; uses understanding of arc, chord, tangents, and properties of circles to determine the radius given a circular edge of a circle without the center)
    • Standard 9: Understands the general nature and uses of mathematics
      9. Understands that mathematics often stimulates innovations in science and technology
  • Technology:
    • Standard 1: Knows the characteristics and uses of computer hardware and operating systems
      3. Connects via modem to other computer users via the internet, an on-line service, or bulletin board system
    • Standard 3: Understands the relationships among science, technology, society, and the individual
      10. Knows that technology can benefit the environment by providing scientific information, providing new solutions to older problems, and reducing the negative consequences of existing technology (e.g., monitoring a habitat or measuring greenhouse gases, improving renewable energy sources, and creating scrubbers to improve coal-burning facilities)
    • Standard 6: Understands the nature and uses of different forms of technology
      7. Knows that construction design is influenced by factors such as building laws and codes, style, convenience, cost, climate, and function.

Objectives:

The learner will be able to:

  • identify types of bridges.
  • research information from the Internet to complete a scavenger hunt on bridges.
  • determine the correct type of bridge for a specific area.
  • correctly apply vocabulary words in diagrams.
  • construct a specified bridge with given materials.
  • diagram key points of a bridge.

Procedure:

  1. Pass out blank sheets of paper (can be manila) and have the students draw a picture of a bridge. Group the pictures according to the different types of bridges (arch, beam, suspension) without labeling the bridges. (This will be done later).
  2. Brainstorm by presenting the question: "How do bridges hold weight?" Record all answers down to refer to at a later time.
  3. Tell the students they will be participating in a Scavenger Hunt on bridges. While doing the scavenger hunt, important facts and vocabulary will be recorded.
  4. Pass out the eBuddies and the Building Bridges Scavenger Hunt and Building Bridges Vocabulary worksheets. (These can be done separately or together)
  5. Have the students access the website on the worksheets to complete the information. (Students can work individually or in groups).
  6. After completing the Scavenger Hunt, discuss the type of bridges that the students drew. Have them categorize them according to the type of bridge.
  7. Have the students use geometric terminology to label the bridge: (acute angle, angle, congruent, diagonal, edge, obtuse angle, parallel lines, parallelogram, perpendicular line, polygon, quadrilateral, right angle, straight angle, trapezoid)
  8. Access the following website to do the virtual experiments:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/lab/forces.html
    have students do the virtual experiments as well as see real life examples.
  9. Have the students access the following virtual bridge-building site to construct the correct type of bridge for a specific area.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/bridge/challenge/index.html
  10. Have the students complete the Comparison Chart on bridges using the following website:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/bridge/index.html
    from this site the students can go to the links of individual bridges.
  11. After the students have worked through the websites, give them materials to construct their own bridge. You may want the students to diagram their bridge on graphing paper prior to construction.
  12. Have a contest to see which bridge holds the most weight.

Evaluation:

  1. Scavenger, Vocabulary and Database Worksheets
  2. Time on Task-student participation.
  3. Construction of bridge

Resources:

Other Available Links

 

  • Model Lessons - These lesson plans have been designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of having a computer available for all students at all times with access to the Internet, network printing, and the latest software.
  • Excel/Spreadsheeting - Tips and shortcuts for using Excel in a variety of high school level courses.
  • Using MS Office - Terrific classroom applications for the Microsoft Office Suite software.