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Digitally Concerned Citizens

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Keywords: green screen technology, iPads, geography, budgeting, habitats, ecosystems, digital citizens, e-books, Skype
Subject(s): Reading, History, Drama, Writing, Life Science, Science, Grammar, Geography, Technology, Spelling, Video, Social Studies, Art, Math, English/Language Arts
Grade 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: McNeill Elementary School, Richmond, TX
Planned By: Daryle Esswein
Original Author: Daryle Esswein, Richmond
Week 1 Day 1: Students will first be engaged by a quick video of citizens in Mexico being encouraged by a local environmental group to not clear their land, in an effort to protect the habitats of the Monarch butterflies. Students will record their responses in their journals and discuss new learning with partners. Also, students create a list of new questions that they might have in journals.

Day 2 and ongoing: Partners will explore a digital presentation with teacher approved internet site visuals and links about the perils that various ecosystems face throughout our planet. Using iPads and computers, students will pick any location on our planet that they find interesting and read further.

As students complete their inquiry, partners will record new information that they have learned about their researched location. Each student will create a digital slide with sketches and new information learned. Students will share their slides with the class using a teacher provided platform.

Ongoing through week: After viewing shared research, students may either continue their research, switch to collaborate with another partner group, or pick a new place to research. Students will be expected to narrow down their research to a specific problem in one area.

Week 2: Students create a final sketch about their area of concern with a slide using the Skitch application on their iPads, and annotate any further questions directly on their pictures. Students will load their slides onto their Kidblog site and fellow classroom students and the teacher will make comments on their research to continue the conversation. At this time, students will be expected to follow digital citizen guidelines including following the rules of previously taught internet safety, and collaboration expectations on advancing research discussion with positive feedback.

Week 3 and on-going: Teacher will give feedback on all work correcting misconceptions and encouraging deeper understanding by asking guiding questions. Students will elaborate on our lesson this week by inquiring about issues closer to our homes. Students will view and explore books, clips and sites about the ocean habitat bordering our state. A short clip will be provided about the job of a marine biologist. Students will be provided with the video clip and will capture selected screens that interest them on their laptops and iPads. Students will then annotate notes on the screens recording examples of new learning and record any further questions they might have on the topic.

Week 4: Digital resources are provided for students on bottlenose dolphins. Students will research dolphins and record new learning and new questions on digital screens. Students will take this time to make a case for or against the need for further research and protection for the bottlenose dolphins. Students are next encouraged to make a case for more protection needed for their previously researched topic (Weeks 1 and 2) and persuade researches which ecosystem needs more protection. Using Edmodo, a social networking site for education, students view provided websites and discuss how governments have limited funds and resources. The teacher will provide many examples of info-graphics for students so they know how to interpret information. Further discussions will include the difficultly of delegating money to all problems faced by society. Students will write a persuasive speech on why their environmental issue has more importance. Student pairs make their speeches in front of green screens (DoInk iPad app) using their iPads to create movies. Each green screen will be replaced with a background of their endangered ecosystem to create a dramatic, realistic presentation.

Week 5: Students create questions for bottlenose dolphin expert. Expert is interviewed on Skype by students.

Week 6 and ongoing to the end of the year: Students publish book (annual project) to share with future classrooms. The book is published professionally in a print format (Student Treasures) and as an electronic e-book placed on iPads for future classes.

In this lesson, students will master skills used in our current workforce. Students learn how to talk clearly in front of a video camera. Students learn the skill of listening and the way to learn deeper by asking follow-up questions. Student master the ability to determine the importance of information in digitally provided sites on the internet. They acquire the skills to manipulate the information in written, pictorial, and video formats. Using their video and audio created information, students present their information to an audience requiring further feedback. Students will be evaluated with a teacher created rubric. Students will be expected to obtain 80% mastery. Teacher will provide further opportunities for students to master the material with further inquire investigations.
I have moved to a new school and had to leave 15 iPads with built-in cameras behind at my last school. In my new classroom, I have created a work flow to allow students the same opportunities as my last classroom, but I need at least 2 iPads to accomplish this goal.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
There are no limits to this unit. Math skills are needed to understand the info-graphics about government budgets. Understanding the history in each country researched, and the need to keep people employed and fed, is crucial. Science is connected for students to master the understanding of animal habitats.
Further follow-up activities will involve more inquiry based research. Students will use the iPads to research STEM project on designing bridges. After their bridges are designed, students will create a bridge using the Mindcraft program, and build bridges to test the strength of their structures.
Links: Link to Field Trip Earth
Materials: Books, ESL, Social Studies, Elementary, Science, Math, Writing, Literacy, Reading, English/Language Arts, Video Tools, Short Throw Projectors, Wildlife, Games, Authoring and Publishing, Web Page, Integrating Technology, Cause and Effect
Other Items: 2 iPad mini 2, $299.99 each, total of $599.98