Technology-Supported Lesson Template-

Please answer, in detail, the following questions about your technology-supported lesson. If you prefer to answer electronically, look for our form in the Master Teacher section of our web page at http://edtech.boisestate.edu/bridges This form is also found on your ZIP disk.

 

Your Name:  Susan Prestel

Lesson Number:      1

Title:  Scavenger Hunt for Ancient Egypt   

Content Area/Grade Level: Language Arts & Social Studies/middle school (grade 7)

Content Area Objectives Addressed:

According to Idaho Language Arts and Social Studies Achievement Standards: 

Language Arts

            Speaking

·         The learner will be able to engage in conversation with others where he/she can develop his/her ability to ask for and share information imparted to him/her.

·         The learner will be able to engage in many formal and informal discussions with a group.

Viewing/Rep

·         Viewing for information and understanding.

Writing

·         Write to inform and explain.

·         Write to gather, synthesis, and communicate research findings.

Reading

·         Read a variety of traditional and electronic materials for information and understanding.

·         Read to locate information from traditional and technical materials

·         Read for technical information.

·         Write to gather, synthesize, and communicate research findings.

·         Identify a variety of visually presented materials:  books, films, video, and internet.

Social Studies

History of Human Civilization

·         Understand the development and role of religion in early civilizations.

·         Understand how human communities populated the major regions of the world and adapted to a variety of environments.

·         Understand that the practice of agriculture influenced the patterns of human settlement (Egypt’s reliance on the Nile River).

Geography

·         Understand the spatial organizations of peoples, places, and environments on the earth’s surface.

·         Identify location of cultural hearths (Nile).

·         Compare student drawn sketch maps with atlas maps to determine accuracy of place and location.

·         Understand the human and physical characteristics of places and regions.

 

 

 

Technology Objectives Addressed:

            Language Arts & Technology

·         The learner will be able to use on-line services.

·         Viewing for information and understanding.

 

On a side note, my goal was to use a lesson that integrated both Language Arts and Social Studies.  I also wanted to demonstrate to pre-service teachers that technology can  easily be used in the classroom with very few computers.

 

Activity Description

What was the process that your students went through to complete this lesson?

 

Background

The students have already studied the following units:  Archaeology, Early Humans, and Mesopotamia.

 

Chart Learning Progress

            One of the easiest charts to use in the classroom to find out where the student’s

learning begins and how much they have learned is the KWL chart.  K stands for what you Know, W stands for what you Want to know, and L stands for what you’ve Learned.  I had the students fill out what they know.  We discuss their K answers as a class (often I pass the “squishy ball” around the room.  (Only one person talks at a time.)  Then I have them do the same with the W column.  Tell me questions you have or curiosities about Ancient Egypt.  The last column remains blank until the end of the station rotation.  (see attached).

 

Getting the students started

For this lesson I had the students establish their own groups, the criteria was that they were heterogeneous (boys & girls) and were no larger than 4.  Sometimes I have students pick their own groups and other times I choose the group for them.  I had chosen the groups for the last 2 activities, so I decided to allow them to choose the groups this time.  It is good for the students to go through this process, even though sometimes it takes them a bit longer to get established.  Another additional benefit is that the students cannot complain about their group members because they chose them.  

 

Pass out the scavenger hunt

Remind the students to put their correct heading on their paper and tell them that today they are detectives looking for clues to discover information about the Ancient Egyptians.  I like to compare Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes and help them discover that archaeologists are usually more like Sherlock Holmes, trying to uncover information about humans from the past.  

 

Explain the rules, rotation process, and give a brief explanation

Put the station rotation on the board and describe each of the station’s main objectives at each of the stations.   I also tell the groups that they need to be careful with the materials because they are expensive and that before they rotate they need to make their station’s materials are neat and back in preparation for the next group. 

           

How did you monitor student progress? 

 

Teacher Observation

I monitored the students progress by walking around the room reviewing there answers to the assignments and listening to the group discussion.

 

Class Discussion and the scavenger hunt sheet turned in

I collected the scavenger hunt assignment and glanced through to see which students have the answers filled out.  Is it the group as a whole (off-task) or is it a lack of understanding.   During the class discussion, I listen to observe who is participating and understanding the most, which students need extra assistance.  This allows me to see who needs extra classroom assistance, who is an independent learner, and find students who will be members of the Advanced Learning Team (members who need a challenge in the classroom). 

 

Was there a template or an example that students were expected to follow?

 

I didn’t use a template, however, I explained to the students what a sample question might look like and how to go about finding the answer.  This activity requires students to find information using the resources.  (I did have to explain to a few groups how to use an index and table of contents.  Some didn’t want to take the time, they just wanted the information to be right in front of them, but I feel it is important for the students to learn research skills.)

           

How much time did you dedicate to this project?

                        Total—1-1½ weeks

                        Daily (approximate)---30 minutes each day

 

How was the final product presented? 

Group discussion and their KWL chart (What you Know, Want to know, and Learned)

           

Who was the audience for the final product?  Students, peers in class

           

Learning Issues

What prior knowledge was required on the part of the students in order for them to be successful in this project? (include curriculum and technology knowledge)

           

The only knowledge they needed was a basic understanding of how to get in the Internet, move forward and backward, and gain access to the website.  The website was book marked for them in Internet Explorer and the instructions were on the paper in front of them.

 

Resource Management

What was the student to computer ratio?

3 to 4, however, I noticed that the students preferred to work as partners.

 

How did you schedule your students’ computer time?

            Through the station rotation (15-20 minutes per station)

 

What was the location of the computers and other technology equipment used by students? 

The computers are located in my classroom in the back of the room.

           

How would you suggest beginning teachers obtain computer resources for their students? (Knowing some of your strategies would be valuable for our pre-service teachers.)

Sign up to be a part of the school district’s technology committee.  They usually decide where the technology goes and who is going to get it.  Writing grants is also helpful, that is how I was able to get 5 new computers, a Smartboard, and a projector.  Normally there is someone in your school district who is an expert at writing grants and they can help edit your grant proposal.  When you are assigned your teaching position, talk to your mentor and ask them about the technology available for the school and how teachers can go about requesting technology for their classroom.    

 

Rate the level of access for students to use computers/other technologies as they needed  --high, medium, low

Most of the time it is high, however, we found out a few years ago while doing a school-wide thematic unit (Walk Across the Century) that it is difficult to obtain technology when 500+ students are working on a project at the same time.

           

Rate the level of supervision required for students during the project, specifically for computer and other technology use –high, medium, low

Medium, the students had never used that type of software and most students do not like to read the screen to figure out how to complete their tasks.

 

Materials

What hardware was required for your project?

·         Internet access (modem, etc.)

·         I would recommend a minimum of 2 computers; however, if you don’t have the resources or the students were in groups of 3 a computer would be sufficient. 

           

What software was required for your project?

·         Download QuickTime software (free on the internet)

·         Internet Software (explorer, etc.)

·         A Nova website:  http://www.pbs./wbgn/nova/pyramid/explore/

 

Anything else?

·         Materials purchased through Team 7 school supply money and my own finances.  (Books, encyclopedias, Rosetta Stone replica, etc.)

 

Assessment

What kind of assessment did you use for this project? (Include a copy if you can.)

I used the scavenger hunt worksheet with questions.        

 

What categories did you assess? (I.e.:  content, screen design, depth/breadth, etc.)

I used the content and quality of answers on their worksheets.

 

Other

How does the product that you submitted compare with other students’ products for this same project?

I have nothing to compare it to because this was the first time I had taught this particular lesson plan.  However, this group is more challenging because they do not (as a whole) like to try things on their own.  I know that last year’s group would have loved this activity.  I wish I would have had it to make a comparison.  I included copies of a high level students, an average students, and  lower-level students.

 

            What did you like best about this project?

The students had to use research skills and communicate with their group members to complete the tasks.

 

            What did the students like best about this project?

When I asked the students to evaluate the project, they really liked the activity, liked learning about ancient Egypt and liked working in groups.  The students thought I should do this activity again next year.  Some wrote that a few of the rotations had too many questions to answer in the time allowed.  Many wrote that the computer activity where they got to go inside the Great Pyramid and view the Sphinx was their favorite part.

 

Rank the level of student involvement in this project –high, medium, low  High student involvement

           

            Rank the level of student interest in this project –high, medium, low

            High student interest

 

            Would you teach this lesson again?

Yes I would teach this lesson again, in fact, my colleague is using this lesson in her classroom.  I might shorten a couple of the sections including the computer section and/or instead do the questions as a whole class and project it on the Smartboard for the Sphinx section to demonstrate how to manipulate the program.  However, I do think it is better for the students to have too much to do rather than not enough.  They tend to pull other groups off-task if they get done early.  I might assign group roles (a team leader, etc.) next year.