Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist says, “We need to focus on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.” This statement is especially true with how much our students use technology. So, as technology changes and improves so shall our teaching and learning. Hence the reason for creating a 21st century learners lesson.
The lesson I planned for my techie first graders incorporates both writing and science which will be completed over 8 days. We just began new units on non-fiction writing and how plants/animals survive so I thought that incorporating the units together would be both meaningful and beneficial to my students. Students will be typing a non-fiction book about a animal/plant that they research. This is a very independent assignment that allows students to explore and create. The technology used in this lesson are iPads (QR reader) and computers (Microsoft Word/Page Flip-Flap). For my students, these skills were previously taught earlier in the school year, so if your students haven’t used a QR reader or Microsoft Word you will need to add a day or more to the plan in order to teach these skills.
In the lesson plan I wrote the content for each subject separately because I will teach the subjects separately. The subjects do not have to be combined but there may be times where there is an overlap.
Science: The first lesson starts in a whole group where a non-fiction book is read. To access students’ prior knowledge of non-fiction we will discuss how and where an author would get their information. Students are then asked to use iPads to scan QR codes and research their own information about their favorite animal or plant. I found several sites that are beneficial for my students and made my own QR codes. Students will use a graphic organizer for each topic (habitat, young, needs and protection) and write down important facts in bullet point form (another skill that was taught previously). Students will continue this process until they are finished researching.
Writing: The writing lessons will begin by accessing their prior knowledge of non-fiction text features. As they research they will type their information as a book in Microsoft Word adding in several non-fiction text features and pictures from Google. Once the book is complete students will upload it to Page Flip-Flap which creates a digital flip book that they can share with their parents/peers.
As a wrap up students will reflect by completing the project rubric and writing what they did well and what could be improved on their own.
I like to keep my lessons simple and straight to the point. If you want any of the materials that I created or have a question, feel free to leave a comment here or on Twitter @ginganerd58. You can find the formal lesson plan here.
Happy tech-ing…I mean teaching! 🙂