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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

Travels With ...

This project allows the students to design a book cover illustrating their hometown or native country. This lesson is part of the Project Arts program and involves team teaching with an art teacher.  Because many of these students don’t have clear memories of their native lands, the Internet was used to find photos that provide a visual frame of reference for their original homes. The book is titled Travels with (students name) to (student's hometown or country. The students use a word processor to design the title of their book. The title of the book is also written in English and their native language. The students reinforce their English language skills through a writing exercise that goes along with the book cover.

Teacher Steps To Prepare

The teacher needs to introduce several new vocabulary words:

·        thumbnail print

·        describe

·        preliminary

·        border

·        sketch

·        base colors

Also introducing basic art concepts is a good idea.

Then the students think about their hometown, what makes it special and come up with preliminary sketches of it. Develop questions and activities that will help guide the students in writing about and describing their hometown.  One exercise is to have the students describe to the teacher with as much detail as possible.  This will help them breakdown the subject to visual aspects.

Student Activities – led by the art teacher and facilitated by the ESL teacher.

1)     Brainstorm about their hometown and the special places they remember as a child.  What makes your hometown special/different? How would you describe your hometown?

2)     Use an Internet search engine (www.Altavista.com or www.Yahoo.com)  to find photos of hometown/city or country.

3)     Draw two preliminary sketches.

4)     Final sketch transferred to large paper done in pencil only.

5)     Students begin to color with base colors, fill in the large areas. Use markers and pencils for coloring.

6)     Students move to details of picture.

7)     Students create the title for the book using Microsoft Word.

8)     Students put the picture and title together.

9)     Students add finishing touches.

10) Students present book covers to classmates with a summary of their special place.

Assessment Methods

The completed book cover, the shading, coloring, design of cover and how truly does the cover reflect their hometown/city or country.

Standards Addressed by This Unit

The student produces a reflective essay.

The students participate in group meetings.

Students participate in one-on-one conferences with teacher.

The students prepares and delivers an individual presentation.

The student independently and habitually demonstrates an understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work.

The student analyzes and subsequently revises work to clarify or to make it more effective in communicating the intended message or thought.

The student produces a functional document.

Teacher Technology Skills Required

Basic desktop publishing skills with a word processor.

Use of the Internet with the kids to find the photos to aid in design of the book covers.

Student Technology Skills Required

Word processing skills

Internet search skills

Software Materials Used

Microsoft Word to design title for book cover

Related Links

http://photostogo.com (to find photos)



As a culminating activity you can have the students scan their covers and imbed in a web page of their narrative.  You can then post the student work on the Internet for the benefit of others.


Susan Morey is a TeachNet Mentor at Murry Bergtraum High School.  She teaches ESL.  In addition Susan has taught English in Japan for 3 years.

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 8
Subject: ESL
Subject 2: Arts
Beginning Grade Level: 9
Ending Grade Level: 12
Title: Travels With …

e-mail: mikensue@sprintmail.com



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