The Great American
Project URL: http://http://teachnet-lab.org/ps88/ps88/prest/index.htm
How it works:
This project is used to teach
students about immigration as it encourages them to learn about their
family history. Each student will bring in a photo of relatives or people
they know from other countries. These photos will then be scanned into the
computer. A narrative writing component will be added. This will describe
the photo and provide a history of the family's immigration to the United
States. There is an alternative for this project, in the case that a
student has no recent immigrants in their family. Students could write a
creative piece from the perspective of an immigrant. They could imagine
what it would be like to be new to the country. Pictures may be obtained
from books or the Internet. All photos along with the corresponding
narrative account will then be used to create a multimedia presentation,
titled, "The Great American Melting Pot."
This unit involves four main activities.
the students will learn how to:
1. Scan photos into the computer
2. Write a narrative account
3. Use AppleWorks word processor
4. Display work using multimedia
Internet links are provided
throughout the lesson to benefit both teachers and students.
This project requires students to
meet many of the English Language Arts performance standards. This
includes the students producing a narrative account. The students will
also participate in one-to-one conferences with a teacher regarding drafts
of their writing. They will demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules
of the English language. The students will analyze and subsequently revise
work to improve its clarity and effectiveness.
This project also requires students
to meet social studies standards as well. They will learn about the
countries immigrants came from and they will improve geography skills.
or materials used:
The new media being used include: a
scanner, Adobe Photoshop, AppleWorks, a laser printer, the Internet, and
multimedia presentation software.
Students of all cultural backgrounds
and ability levels are suitable for this project. The students do not have
to have any prerequisite skills when it comes to the computer. Any
computer skill that is needed will be taught during the unit.
This program has many features and
innovative aspects that enhance technology skills. Students will become
more familiar with new media and will be better prepared to take advantage
of technological benefits. Students will be more successful in school and
therefore be more marketable in the workforce. This project can be adapted
into any classroom to improve cognitive processes while increasing
self-esteem, as well as improving racial relations and ethnic tolerance.
Tips for the teacher:
You must become familiar with the
software you will be using before showing students. You may choose
to enlist the aid of your school's technology coordinator to demonstrate
various procedures to the students.
If you have a limited number of computers in your classroom, you can
instruct a small group at the computer while the rest of the class is
conferencing with each other, revising, and editing their writing.
Joe Prestianni and Michele
Forschner-Prestianni are both 5th grade teachers in their 3rd year at
P.S. 88. They met on their first day of work and married in August 2000. Michele
received a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education and then an MA in
History. She has a dual certification in Elementary Education and
Secondary Social Studies. Joe received his BA in Business and later
obtained an MA in Elementary Education.
Joe runs the P.S. 88 Techno-Tykes program
which allows kids to get hands-on experience with audio/visual equipment,
digital cameras and computers.
Both hope their dedication will make an
impact on the future generation and inspire their students to reach their
Subject Area: Social