The TeachNet Project sponsored with major funding by the AT&T Learning Network,
seeks to improve student achievement by providing training, grants, networking and resource sharing to teachers at four of the Teachers Network affiliates nationwide.
This project integrates science, gardening, technology, art, design, and language arts. Students learn to use the digital camera for the collection of visual data. The student collected data is used throughout the unit. Students are responsible for labeling, cataloguing and archiving their own data using file management techniques. Cataloguing or indexing this data helps the students organize their material/information for project use. Projects such as designing a plant trading card, and/or designing a seed packet using student created computer graphics hold student interest with little teacher direction. Researching skills are developed in the lesson on plant identification. Students need to research not only in books, and with realia, such as commercial seed packets, but also on the Internet. The Internet can easily be used for accessing plant databases and encyclopedias.
Most lessons in this unit are assessed using the following rubric:
Language Arts Standards:
Understand the structure,
organization, and use of various resources such
Write with a purpose.
Adaptations in Physical
structure or behavior may improve an organism's chance for survival:
a: Students know plants and animals have structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction.
Students know examples of diverse life forms in different
as oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
Estimated number of class periods: Ten
Software or materials used: The technology use for this project includes a digital camera, an Internet connection, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Photo Editor, Broderbund Print Shop Ensemble III, Kid Pix, and Paint.
Gardening, gardening with kids, seed packets, plants, plant trading cards, science, gardening and technology, photography, photo index, cataloguing photos, plant identification, plant research, research
To be able to handle
the work involved in these lessons it is helpful for the
students to be somewhat familiar with keyboarding skills and the
use of the computer. Since searching the Internet is a part of
this project it will go more smoothly if this in not the first
time the students use the Internet. Familiarity with following
(or comparable) programs is helpful as well: Microsoft word,
Microsoft Paint, Microsoft Photo Editor and Print Shop Ensemble
Through the powerful
integration of multiple curricular areas this unit helps
students become more independent and responsible for their work
first occurs when they become responsible for the use and care
of the technology in their hands. They are held accountable for
the care and proper use of technology tools they all feel
privileged to use.
The sense of independence
and responsibility urges their learning of new technology while
expressing their ideas in curricular areas. The overall effect
is empowerment with deep satisfaction and pride.
Ending Grade Level: 8
(http://...) of project or unit: if this project is on the web
put the address here.
Tips for the Teacher:
This project works best by teaching a small group of students to be experts. The experts can then take on the responsibility of teaching/helping their peers. A short overview with the entire class helps with the management issue. It will definitely go smoother if the students are familiar with computers, their use, function and related vocabulary.
Jessica Rivera has been a
teacher in The Santa Maria-Bonita School District for thirteen
years. Her experience includes teaching kindergarten through
third grade. She recently completed her master's degree in
Educational technology at Pepperdine University.