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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Out of This World

HOW IT WORKS
Out of This World is an interactive program that involves science, language arts, and technology. It enables students to explore the solar system from their classroom, using both the Internet and books for research purposes. The students design and create a journey into outer space, whereby they visit the nine planets and the sun using the software of HyperStudio. The solar system is an exciting, highly motivating subject for the students and is part of the curriculum. All of these factors combined make a truly exhilarating experience. 

The students discuss the nine planets and their relationship to the sun. They identify pertinent information needed regarding each planet. A worksheet with relevant questions is devised based on their discussions. Students are cooperatively grouped, and each group is assigned a planet. Each child has a specific responsibility to fulfill for his or her group. They research their planet using the Internet and books, and organize and paraphrase information for their written report. Each group puts together an oral presentation on their planet. The written information is entered in ClarisWorks. Pictures of the planets are created in Kid Pix Studios, and are then scanned in. Slide shows are created illustrating such events as a solar eclipse, a planet’s rotation, moons orbiting their planet, etc. A Hyperstudio program is developed using buttons and hypertext links. 

There are several techniques in which class time is divided to implement this program. Whole class lessons serve as an introduction, along with a good deal of cooperative group  work. Some research is performed individually; each student has a certain responsibility that needs to be accomplished. The class has a computer schedule that they adhere to. A daily schedule allows each child to receive approximately a half-hour per day of computer time.

THE STUDENTS
There are 30 fifth graders in the classroom. This program is appropriate for all types of learners, especially with the use of the multimedia program HyperStudio. 

THE STAFF 
Catherine Donaruma-Canzoneri has been teaching for nine years. She is presently a staff developer in PS 90Q participating in CSD 27’s Professional Development Academy. She is the District 27 computer contest winner for 1997 and 1998. Jennifer Saksa also assisted on the project. 

WHAT YOU NEED
Materials include Internet access and computer programs such as ClarisWorks, Kid Pix Studios, HyperStudio, and Grolier’s Encyclopedia. Four computers and a scanner are connected to a color printer in the classroom. Research materials are located in the school library and the neighborhood branch of the New York City Public Library. 

OVERALL VALUE
In Out Of This World, students gain the necessary tools to research topics, write reports, and create exciting, informative presentations. They journey not only to outer space, but also towards the road of higher thinking skills with the use of these vital elements that technology supplies. Creating a program in HyperStudio opens new doors for students to experiment and deepen their understanding. Working in cooperative groups has many benefits, such as team building skills, using individual talents for the success of the group, etc. This program appeals to all types of learners. Out Of This World sets the students up for success, reinforcing their self-esteem. 

CURRICULUM AREAS
Technology
Language Arts
Science


GRADES
4 - 6

MORE INFORMATION
Catherine Donaruma-Canzoneri
P.S. 90 Q Horace Mann School
CSD 27
86-50 109th Street
Richmond Hill, NY 11418
cjcanzo@aol.com
Principal
Barbara A. Embriano

IMPACT II Catalog 2000-2001
(pdf file: requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

 

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