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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Millennium Superheroes


Project URLhttp://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/ps101/chornik/contents.htm


How it works:
In Millennium Superheroes, students brainstorm and synthesize ideas about what constitutes a real-life superhero. The students create a database with questions that pertain to what they want to find out about a hero of the new millennium and use the Internet to research the information needed to complete their databases. The databases are used to organize the information found during research so that a report can be written. A slide show can also be made from the information found.

Standards addressed:

The students participate in group meetings in which they actively solicit another person's comments or opinion, offer their own opinions forcefully but without dominating, respond appropriately to comments and questions, volunteer contributions and respond when directly solicited by the teacher or discussion leader, and give reasons in support of opinions expressed. 

They demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in written work, with knowledge of grammar, paragraph structure, punctuation, sentence construction, spelling, and usage. Using electronic media, they gather and use information for research purposes, and produce a report that includes appropriate facts and details. They know the common features and uses of databases and use a range of appropriate strategies such as providing facts and details, describing or analyzing a subject, narrating a relevant anecdote, and including relevant information. They create an organizing structure appropriate to a specific purpose, audience, and context, and analyze and subsequently revise work to make it more effective in communicating their intended message or thought

The students also develop an understanding of the qualities that "superheroes," or people who have favorably influenced society, possess.  They recognize the impact of people of diverse cultures on humanity.

Materials used:
Materials used include computers with Internet access, and word-processing and database applications such as Apple Works, Kid Pix, Inspiration or Kidspiration, Internet Coach and  HyperStudio. An  LCD projector is also used.

The students:
This program was developed with fifth and sixth grade students, but it can be adapted for other grades.

Overall value:
This unit enables students to develop research skills by using the Internet. Students learn to organize and synthesize the information gathered by entering it into a database. They also develop the word-processing and writing skills needed to write a report. Creativity and self-confidence are developed in the creation and presentation of a slide show.

Tips for the teacher:
Students can go to www.kathyschrock.com  to learn the necessary skills for finding information on the Internet if an Internet coach is not available. The software program KidPix may be used to create the slide show if HyperStudio is not available.


Carolyn Hornik has been a New York City public school teacher for twenty five years (12 years as a classroom teacher in third, fourth, and fifth grades and 13 years as a technology coordinator.) She teaches in-service courses for the New York City Board of Education After School Professional Development Program and on-line courses for new teachers through Teachers Network.


Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10 or more

Subject: English, Social Studies

Beginning Grade Level: 4

Ending Grade Level: 8



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