HOW IT WORKS
Timelines and Extinct Animals effectively integrates technology into many curriculum areas. It was initially created to fit P.S. 224’s Queens school-wide theme: “Timelines and Events of the Millennium.” Using extinct animals to demonstrate the concept of a timeline is ideal because the topic of animals is naturally motivating. Through the use of a teacher-made template created with the Kid Pix Studio Deluxe program, students design their own timelines as they learn about each animal in detail through teacher-made informational charts. The students then use Kid Pix to create original artwork of each animal, along with an animal fact sheet. When the timeline, picture, and fact sheet are completed, each student creates his/her own multimedia slide show using the same program. The cooperation and assistance of paraprofessionals is crucial for a successful experience with this project and all projects in the lab setting.
The students that participated in this program were 30 Specialized Instructional Environment (SIE VIIB) students from three different classes. Each class met in the lab twice a week. All work was completed in the lab. Almost all of the students had prior experience with the tools and mechanics of Kid Pix. This program was used with both students functioning on grade level and non-readers. Non-readers received one-to-one assistance from teachers, were encouraged to dictate their facts to the teachers, and were able to record their responses using a microphone. Other possible adaptations of this program include use with larger or smaller groups, and younger or older students. For students with higher levels of technological skills, the teacher can use different programs such as Hyperstudio to create the artwork and interactive multimedia presentations.
Lori Hassin has been teaching in the New York City Board of Education in District 75 for almost twenty years, and has been the computer lab teacher at P.S. 224 for the past ten years. She has devoted all of her efforts in the lab towards the integration of technology into all curriculum areas and the adaptation of the curriculum for her students. Her students’ work was recently displayed at the 1999 District 75 Technology Solutions Fair.
WHAT YOU NEED
Timelines and Extinct Animals can be used in a computer lab or a one-computer classroom. This project was conducted in a computer lab containing 12 Macintosh computers with the Kid Pix Studio Deluxe program. All machines are networked to two color printers. Teachers need to have the resources available to them to gather information and to produce the informational charts. Internet access, reference books and CDs, and library books are needed. A scanner, Adobe PhotoShop, ClarisWorks, a color printer, ink cartridges, and posterboard are all suggested items to present attractive informational charts.
When technology is the tool used to achieve a goal or objective, the results are remarkable. The use of the computer ensures success, creates enthusiasm, and improves self-esteem for all students. The subject matter of Timelines and Extinct Animals is naturally motivating, standards are addressed, and technology is integrated into the curriculum. The easy adaptability of this program appeals to all. Children learn the valuable lesson of animal conservation and express their ideas using the computer. When students see their work displayed in their multimedia slide shows, they can only feel proud of their accomplishments.