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Ready-Set-Tech: China Travel Brochures
China Travel Brochures

In this unit, students will learn to use the Internet to conduct focused research on modern day China. The research will culminate in small groups publishing a two page “travel brochure” on the computer, which will advertise for people to come to China. After being introduced to a number of Web sites that provide information about China, students will learn effective skimming and note-taking strategies that can be used to gather information. Students will then learn how to cut and paste paragraphs and capture photos directly from the Internet. The class will also be shown several Web pages that aim to attract visitors to China, helping them understand the persuasive voice that should be used by the author of a brochure.

The assumption is that students going into this lesson have already been taught some basic Internet navigation skills. It is also helpful if the students have had some prior experience when it comes to note- taking and distinguishing important information.


Russell Schneider

Russell Schneider taught sixth grade for several years on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  He currently teaches at P.S. 158 on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where he works to integrate technology with the K-8 classroom curriculum.

RussNY@aol.com


Subject:

Social Studies, Technology

Grade Level: 3-5

Time: 6 - 8 class periods, depending on student:computer ratio.

Materials: Computers with Internet access, word processing software, printer, chart paper.


Objectives:

 

 

 


Students will:

  1. Learn about the climate, language, food, geography, and culture of modern day China.
  2. Understand the function of a travel brochure.
  3. Write in the style and “voice” of a travel brochure.
  4. Sharpen skimming and note-taking skills when using the Internet to conduct research.


Web sites:

Information on China:

www.askasia.org

www.chinatoday.com

http://enchantedlearning.com/asia/china/

http://tfk.factmonster.com/search.php3?query=china

Travel Web Sites:

http://islandsource.com/

http://packages.orbitz.com/

http://caribbeantravelmag.com/ebrochures.jsp

http://all-holiday-brochures.com/?ref=7757



Day One:

Aim: To determine which types of information about China would be useful to a tourist.

Materials : Computers with Internet access and chart paper.

Procedure : Students will be told that they are going to pretend that they are taking a trip to China. The instructor asks the students what they already know about China, and what types of things they think it will be necessary for them to find out before embarking upon the trip. The instructor constructs a KWL chart using chart paper. All of the questions that the students voice about their hypothetical trip are placed under the “what do we want to learn?” column. Emphasis is placed on the importance of knowing things such as the: climate, language, currency, food, and geography prior to visiting a foreign country.

After the KWL chart is constructed, students will be introduced to the following web sites on China:

http://askasia.org

http://chinatoday.com

http://enchantedlearning.com/asia/china/

http://tfk.factmonster.com/search.php3?query=china

The instructor will briefly read from the factmonster.com almanac page about China (http://tfk.factmonster.com/ipka/A0107411.html ) and give students a brief overview about the country. Emphasis will be placed on giving general information such as facts about population and government. The instructor will purposely not address the cultural questions that will be answered by the students in the next day's lesson.

At the end of the lesson, the class will fill in some facts they have learned on the “KWL” chart.

Evaluation: Evaluation on day one is informal. The instructor bases evaluations upon class participation. Students are each expected to contribute to at least one of the three columns of the class “KWL” chart.

 

 


Day Two:

Aim:

•  To learn how to skim web sites to find information quickly.

•  To learn how to use “headings” as a tool for effective skimming.

Materials : Computers with Internet access, scavenger hunt work sheets (prepared by teacher based on student contributions to the previous day's KWL chart)

Procedure : Students are once again shown the following web sites:

http://askasia.org

http://chinatoday.com

http://enchantedlearning.com/asia/china/

http://tfk.factmonster.com/search.php3?query=china

Students are told how web sites are often filled with many pages of information, and it is often necessary to know how to skim for specific facts that will suit ones purposes. The instructor scrolls through a web site, pointing out headings and topic sentences and how they can be used as indicators when searching for answers to specific questions. The class discusses how “headings” and topic sentences can be effective tools in skimming web sites.

Students are then divided into small groups of three. Each group is given a scavenger hunt worksheet that has been made by the instructor. The questions on the sheet consist of the questions that the students contributed to the KWL chart from the previous lesson. Students are told that they are to complete the questions on the worksheet using the web sites they've been shown. They are reminded to use their “skimming” skills, and to look for clues to answers in headings. For each question, students are asked to not only answer the question, but to also provide the web site where they found their information.

Evaluation : The instructor will check to see if the scavenger hunt sheets have been properly completed.


Day Three:

Aim::

•  To learn how to recognize important information when doing research, and distinguish it from unimportant information

•  To learn how to take notes using Internet resources

•  To learn how to cut and paste information from the Internet into a word document

•  To learn how to capture pictures off of the Internet

Materials : Computer with Internet access and a word processor such as "Microsoft Word"; the “KWL” chart from Day One.

Procedure : Students are reminded that their goal is to eventually create a travel brochure for people to travel to China. Students are reminded that not all information will be appropriate to put into the brochure. The “KWL” chart from Day One is used as a reference point in determining what is “important” versus what is “unimportant”. “Important” information for the brochure is defined as any information that answers the questions that the class came up with on the first day. The class is reminded of the importance of putting information into the brochures that will help someone who is planning on making a visit to China.

Using www.chinatoday.com as an example, students are shown how to cut and paste “important” information for the brochure into Microsoft Word. Students are also shown how they can capture photos off the Internet for their brochures. Again, examples that can be used include: maps, flags, and general photos that can all be found on all the web sites introduced on the first day.

Students are given the rest of the period to do note-taking in their small groups. They are told that their goal is to gather enough text information and pictures into a Microsoft Word page, that they will be able to put together a travel brochure.

Evaluation : Students will have their “notes” assessed by their instructor to see if they have selected appropriate information for a brochure.



Day Four:

Aim:

To learn how to identify the “voice” of a travel brochure.

To begin to write in the “voice” of a travel brochure.

To learn how to paraphrase notes into ones own words.

Materials : Computers with Internet access and Microsoft Word.

Procedure : Students are instructed to explore the following web sites in small groups of three:

http://islandsource.com/

http://packages.orbitz.com/

http://caribbeantravelmag.com/ebrochures.jsp

http://all-holiday-brochures.com/?ref=7757

All of the above web sites will provide the students with examples of travel web sites that can be viewed online.

After twenty minutes of exploration time, the instructor leads a discussion where the students are asked what they noticed about the travel brochure web sites. Focus is placed upon what the purpose of the writing appears to be, as well as the strategies that are used to make the country sound exciting and appealing. Students will be asked to identify in the discussion any persuasive strategies they noticed that the writers used. All student observations are charted on chart paper. This includes any specific words or phrases that continually pop up in the brochures.

For the remainder of the lesson, students are asked to refer to the notes they copied and saved in Microsoft Word in the previous lesson. Each small group will be responsible for taking one small section of notes they copied (e.g. climate, food, geographical landmarks), and translating it into the voice of a travel brochure. Groups are encouraged to use the travel brochure web sites as reference points.

Students are also asked to start thinking about which pictures that they've captured might be most appropriate for a brochure.

Evaluation : Each group is responsible for a single dense paragraph that will be suitable for their eventual finished product. The paragraph should read like it is from a travel brochure.

Follow-Up : After completing the four part unit, students should have enough information to create a China travel brochure. Groups will continue to use their notes and photos in Microsoft Word to construct a two page brochure where each page has two columns. When the brochures are finished, they will be printed off of the computers, and students will have the opportunity to share their finished projects with one another.



Standards:

 

  • Write and format information using the standard conventions of the English language for a short publication.
  • Use information technology to assist in gathering, organizing, and presenting information.
  • Work with others to complete a task.


 
   

 

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