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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans


Project URLhttp://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/africa/index.htm

How it works:
This project enables students to conduct Internet research on African culture by reading about and selecting a piece of art they find intriguing. They examine features and collect facts in order to create a PowerPoint presentation. The students bookmark appropriate websites so they can describe the piece they have chosen (its materials and features) as well as talk about its function, and then explain why they have chosen it. Students also learn how to cite a bibliography entry for electronic information, as they combine technology, social studies, language arts, and visual arts to create their project.

Standards addressed:
Students use the skills and strategies of the writing process and evaluate their own and others’ writing; use self-assessment to set and achieve goals; participate in peer response groups; use reading skills to understand, interpret, summarize, and paraphrase information, draw conclusions and make inferences; use a variety of resource materials; and organize information and ideas in systematic ways. They use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information, to process data and report results, and to enhance learning, productivity, and creativity; use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works; use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with others; employ a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively; and evaluate and select resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.

Materials used:
Required materials include computers with Internet connection, a scanner, a word processing program, and a slide presentation program.

The students:
The participants are middle school students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. This project can be used in language arts, social studies, and any other curriculum area in conjunction with technology. It can be adapted for elementary and high school.

Overall value:
Most of the students have not previously combined so many elements or parts into one presentation. This gives them the opportunity to work constructively and see how a project can be broken down into smaller pieces and combined to create a final presentation. Once they complete this hands-on, long-term project they can creatively plan other projects expanding on the use of technology. For example, the next project may include video in the slide presentation. A Journey To Africa: Art And Artifacts can be used for a variety of learning abilities in the classroom. Additional assignments may be added onto the existing lessons in order to engage those who complete the tasks before other students.

If you can model this project to several students before the entire class commences the unit, those students can act as teacher's assistants in the computer lab.


About the teacher:
Robin Donovan is in her fourth year of teaching at P.S. 50 in Jamaica, New York. Prior to entering the teaching profession, Robin worked in advertising. She has a B.A. in Fine Art from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, a B.F.A. in Advertising Design from the Art Center College of Design, and she completed her Masters in Elementary Education at Queens College, CUNY in 2004. In 2005 she became certified to teach Visual Arts, K-12.


Subject Areas:                           
Social Studies


Grade Levels: 




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