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Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/unhs/huck3.htm

Standards Addressed by This Unit:

ELA Standards: Read and comprehend informational materials, including public documents; produce a written report with minimal errors, demonstrating an understanding of the rules of English grammar; analyze and subsequently revise work to clarify it or make it more effective in communicating the intended message or thought.

Software Materials Used:

Internet connection and word processor; photo editor software optional

Students:

This project is designed for high school ESL students with High-Intermediate language skills. It could also be adapted to a bilingual language arts or social studies class, with students of lower language ability researching and writing in their native language. Students who do not have basic Internet navigation or word processing skills will require more instructional time to complete the unit.

Overall:

Technology brings to life the study of other countries and cultures. It also demonstrates how important information literacy is to individuals today. Without leaving their classroom, students are transported to faraway places and are captivated by the images and information they find. This lesson has proven highly successful for all learners because students are interested in travel, they can work at their own pace, and they have the
option of choosing their final mode of presentation. My students were very proud of their projects, and felt a strong sense of accomplishment upon completion of this unit. ESL students, who hail from different countries, often returned to sites used in this project to look up information about their native countries as well. Seeing entire websites dedicated to their countries, and their classmates making presentations on them, fostered their
self-esteem and sense of belonging.

Tips:

Discuss with students the exact steps they will take to complete the project, then let them work independently or in pairs to navigate the Internet and collect information. Set a deadline for handing in the answers to the 10 questions, then another deadline for the writing assignment. If time permits, students may present their work orally to the class.

Carla Huck was the Assistant Principal and Technology Coordinator
of University Neighborhood High School.  Having taught in a wired classroom for three years, she also served as a TeachNet mentor to five teachers in her school. She teaches a graduate course at CCNY to ESL/NLA/Bilingual teachers, on integrating technology into their classrooms.

Carla is the winner of several technology awards, such as the AOL Foundation IEI grant, Pioneering Partners Grant, and NY State Model Teachers Award. She hopes to transfer her personal interest in and enthusiasm for travel and cultural exploration to her students through lessons like this one.

Email: cbhuck@teachersnetwork.org

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 7

Subjects: ESL, Computer Science

Beginning Grade Level: 9

Ending Grade Level: 12

1999

 

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