We began with our research, most of which was conducted online using our school’s computer lab. To help guide the students in their research, I used Pearltrees (my favorite bookmarking site). I provided links, videos, and images for each of the specific figures. They also had access to Google and Youtube. In addition, we read biographies online and in text during our reading time. The students used graphic organizers in their writing notebooks to organize their thoughts. I think next year, I will add more technology to this and have the students use Google Docs to organize their information.
After spending a fair amount of time learning about their subject, the students then wrote their speeches. Before we started, we watched several how-to videos on Youtube about how to give a great speech. This really helped some of the students get an idea of what their end results should look and sound like. The students wrote these in their notebooks, but this would be another great place to add Google Docs!
In addition to writing their speeches, the students were also responsible for creating an “above and beyond” project. This is where a lot of technology came into play. For this part, the students chose from a list of project ideas that I provided for them. Last year, this list included things like collages, posters, and models. This year, however, I added many more technology related choices and I was happy to see how many children chose technology! There were so many, in fact, that we had to borrow several laptops for the museum presentations! Some of the most popular choices included Prezi, Wordle, and Blabberize. I even had two students use the internet to plan vacations to places relevant to their historical figure’s life. The tech options were so well liked, I plan to have 100% of the project choices be computer based for next year. I plan to add Glogster, Weebly, TripIt, and Kodu, just a name a few.
This is a big project with a lot of elements, so I believe it hits all four of the ISTE NET-S categories:
I love this lesson idea.
How do you help to ensure the content is appropriate in content and reading level?
I like how it is labeled above and beyond, to really help the transform the learning beyond just relaying/conveying certain information.
Nice job of breaking and down how your lesson aligns to the standards.