Heritage Unit Planning Template

Rationale          Real World Connection         Technology         Collaboration         Project Activities         Final Product         Closure


This project is meant to help the students learn organizational and time management skills as they are creating their projects in writing and through the use of multimedia.   

Enduring Understanding 

This project is intended to expose the students to presenting a report with technology.

Major Goal(s) and Associated Standards 

Goals:  To write a paragraph that has a developed topic sentence and supporting facts and details.  Create a Hyperstudio that presents the information orally and visually.         


Writing Strategies
Organization and Focus
1.1    Create a single paragraph:
         a. Develop a topic sentence.
         b. Include simple supporting facts and details.     

Specific Objectives

The students will write paragraphs that focus on a single topic and details that support that topic, as measured by their Hyperstudio final project rubric.  The students will also incorporate photographs and clipart that are relevant to their topic and reinforce what they are writing.   

Assessment Strategies

Assessment will be based upon the Hyperstudio final project rubric.  The students will be scored based upon their content, the relevance of the material, and the structure of their paragraphs.  As the students progress, I will be better able to gauge their abilities.  I may have to slow down or speed up direction depending on the needs of the class.  Informal assessment will be made by checking student progress as they work on their stacks and on the questions that they ask.  If the class is especially proficient, everyone may be able to narrate and animate.  Reflection on what strategies worked or didn’t will also be valuable as I can make modifications when necessary.


What is the Real World Connection?  

The students are researching on their family--specifically interviewing a grandparent, or another elder that they know.  (For those that do not know of anyone that is an elder, they will be able to interview an elder that I know.).  One component of the project requires them to write about a family heirloom, another component requires them to talk about their name, another component requires them to compare themselves to the elder of their choice when that person was eight or nine years old. 


How will technology be integrated into this project?

The students are creating a Hyperstudio to document their writing.  They will use digital cameras, scanners (hopefully since we only have one for the school and I’m not sure if students are allowed to use it), microphones to narrate their stories.  The early finishers will animate their pictures.  I also know of a web site where they can create word searches and crossword puzzles, so early finishers could create a heritage puzzle for the class that incorporates vocabulary.  I’ve also found an Ellis Island web site that offers pictures and video on immigration into the island that I could show the students to introduce the unit.       


How will you create collaborative groups?  

The final product will be an individual timeline, but the students will be allowed to work in small groups of fours to help each other as they navigate through Hyperstudio.  We have parent volunteers that help in the lab, but usually they’re learning the program as well and the computer lab teacher and I can’t always get to everyone immediately, so the collaborative groups can help one another.  (There’s nothing more frustrating than 20 impatient students trying to get my attention!)Another way to use collaborative groups is when we’re working through the prewriting and postwriting process.  The students can get feedback from one another, hear brainstorms on good heirloom items, hear one another’s stories on their grandparents and see how each person in their group is planning on designing their stack. 

--How many students will be in each collaborative group?

The groups will consist of four students per group, with heterogenous computer skills and writing abilities. 

-- How will you determine student rolls for the collaborative project teams?  

During the editing process, the roles are: editor (looking for spelling and grammatical errors), organizer (looking for flow throughout the paragraph), topic seeker (making sure the paragraph has the correct topic sentence and supporting details), and Golden Line monitor (highlights the words/phrases that they like).   Within the computer groups, I’d like to have two people in each group as step monitors (they’re responsible for writing down the steps and helping the people that have forgotten what to do next—or, if I’m super organized, I’ll type the steps out for everyone and the monitors help those that need help).  I’ll need to feel this out because I have a feeling that the students are going to be so new to Hyperstudio that I won’t want to put too much responsibility on them to help others when they may need more support themselves.  If all goes well, I could add more jobs and make this into a more collaborative project.  Ex: Noise Monitor and Colorist (someone to consult if you’re unsure of what color to use—they could also be in charge of helping others learn the steps for how to change the background color, etc. on the cards).--How will students work with their partners or the project team?    Their partner teams are there more for support and suggestions.  The project is more meaningful if they work individually, but the feedback from their peers will be valuable.   


Project's Activities and Timeline

  · How will you assess prior knowledge?                 

Quick poll—“How many people have used Hyperstudio or Power Point?”   “How many people have ever used a digital camera or scanner?”   “How many people have ever recorded their voice into the computer and/or know how?”  “How many of your parents are familiar with the above mentioned programs/technology?”                 

Informal observation by looking over the students’ shoulders will give me a rough idea at their typing speed and comfort level with the mouse.

  · What decisions will you make?                  

 I will decide what aspect of Hyperstudio to teach.  The students will not be learning all of the cool features (not all will animate).  I’ll have an outline of the aspect of Hyperstudio that I want to cover (i.e., cover backgrounds and inserting pictures one day, buttons and links another), but there will be flexibility in the schedule so that if the students are having particular trouble, there will be room to backtrack and slow down if necessary.

  ·  What decisions will your students make?                   

The students decide on the information that they want to incorporate.  The Hyperstudio design is also theirs (how they want to transition the slide, what buttons to pick, clipart placement, background color, etc.).  They will also guide in the speed with which I teach (see above), though there is a limit (I won’t spend three days just talking about background color.  That shows they aren’t listening, are too selective, or not referring enough to the navigation guide that I’ll provide with the steps to changing background color. ).

  · First milestone or short-term goal?                          

Writing:  Write a letter to their grandparent or an elder explaining the project.  Send the letter after they’ve proof read it themselves in class.  (I have the stamped and addressed envelopes ready to go and I drop it off at the post office.)

  · Tasks to accomplish this milestone                 

This is an in-class assignment that we do whole class—it gives me a chance to talk about proper letter format.  The first paragraph is to introduce themselves, so we brainstorm what we could say (talk about hobbies, our favorite things, siblings, etc).  The second paragraph is more scripted.  I model how to ask for help in a polite way and the students copy.  I mail the letters that evening, and hopefully they get a reply by the six week deadline.

  · Second milestone or short term goal                             

Writing:  While we’re waiting for the letters, the students are assigned to research a family heirloom for homework (bring in the heirloom, write a paragraph on its importance).  (Due in one week)                          

Computer Lab:  Intro to Hyperstudio--background, text color, scanning, typing.

  · Tasks to accomplish this milestone         

On the due date, the students will orally share their items to the class.  Then, in their small groups, they will edit one another’s papers, looking specifically for the elements that their role requires.                             

Computer Lab:  Students will spend two lab sessions to create Hyperstudio cards.  (1)  Decide on background color, start typing paragraphs, scanning photos or their sketches, or taking photos via a digital camera—teacher will upload into their file).                              

Four or five students at a time begin to record their narrations with lab volunteer supervision in case they run into trouble.

· Third Milestone or short term goal                       

Writing:  Students are assigned as homework to research how they got their names (interview parents).  Write out as a paragraph.  (Due in one week)                     

 Computer Lab:  Continue with Hyperstudio

  · Tasks to accomplish this milestone

Writing:  In groups, edit each other’s papers.                     

Computer Lab:  Students will spend two lab sessions to create Hyperstudio cards.  Finish the heirloom if they haven’t.  Teacher will provide links for students to find clipart that relates to their name.  Type their name paragraphs and find clipart for their name.                      

Four or five students at a time record their narrations with lab volunteer supervision in case they run into trouble.

  · Fourth Milestone or short term goal                      

Writing Day 1: Students create venn diagram                     

Writing Day 2:  Students write paragraphs to compare and contrast themselves with their grandparent.                       

 Computer Lab:  Continue with Hyperstudio project.  (two more days to work on projects in lab.)                        

  · Tasks to accomplish this milestone

Writing:  Day 1:   After receiving the grandparent letters, the students read about what their grandparent’s lives were like at age eight or nine.  In class, they will create a venn diagram to compare and contrast their lives with their grandparent’s.  (If we had Inspiration/Kidspiration and enough time, I’d be nice for them to create a chart using Inspiration/Kidspiration.)                     

Writing:  Day 2:  Using the venn diagrams, write a paragraph that compares and contrasts the student’s lives with that of their grandparents.  We will not edit this in groups, but teacher will read for grammatical and spelling errors.                    

Computer Lab:  Spend the next two sessions finishing typing all three sections of their Hyperstudio project.                      

Four or five students at a time record their narrations with lab volunteer supervision.

Click for milestones cluster in Inspiration.  Click for milestones cluster in Microsoft Word.

Final product

  · What will it be?

Final product with be a Hyperstudio project, complete with narrations.  The students will walk away with a CD Rom of their project.

  · When will it be due?

Six or seven computer lab sessions.

  · How will you 'publish' student work?                      

CD Rom of project

· How will students share what they did with others?                      

Hyperstudio exhibition where parents and our principal will be invited to computer lab to browse the projects.   A compliments sheet will be placed next to every computer in order for the parents and students to write personal responses to the student whose project they are viewing



What are the main innovative features of your project?                              


Target Population and Number of Participants                                 

Students (20) and parents to show what schools and students can do with technology 

Concerns you have about this project 

What to do with the slower typers.  There are going to be some students that are not going to finish no matter how much time they’re given.  By the time we start this project, the students would have been in school for about four months, so they’ll be more familiar with the computer, but there are still going to be the ones that won’t finish.  Perhaps I’ll have to be stricter about sending the students to computer lab during lunch.The struggling readers.  This project requires the students to do a lot of narrations and I wonder about fluency.  A possible solution may be to have a parent whisper the sentences to these students one at a time. 

What kind of ongoing support do you envision needing to be successful?  

The parents that volunteer for these computer lab sessions will need to have a brief overview before they begin to help the students.  I’d probably ask if they can come in for 20 minutes after school before our first day with the project so that I can prepare them and show them how to read the step by step instructions sheet for Hyperstudio that I’ll create for the students. 

Biographical information

This assignment is designed to show my third grade students at Almond Elementary School another way to present their information orally and visually.  

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Written by Samantha Thai