5th-6th Grade Civil Rights Project: Technology-Based Activating Event
The learning expedition for the 5th and 6th grade this year is civil rights. The teachers in the three classes started this expedition by having the students study literature and view media (Little Rock Nine) related to civil rights. During these initial activating events, students identified vocabulary related to civil rights. The teachers requested that their students create covers for their binders during their technology class. They asked for Word Clouds of their vocabulary words and a related quote to be included within this cover.
Content Standards Addressed (Idaho)
- Demonstrate increasingly sophisticated operation of technology components.
- Locate information from electronic resources.
- Use formatting capabilities of technology for communicating and illustrating.
- Publish and present information using technology tools.
- Use words and concepts necessary for comprehending math, science, social studies, literature and other Grade 6 content area text.
- Read grade-level-appropriate text.
- Apply context to identify the meaning of unfamiliar words and identify the intended meaning of words with multiple meanings.
A Google Presentation was set up with sharing permission set for anyone to edit (plans to change to view only once their pages are complete). This permitted all the students in the class to work within the document without the need of an email to log in. This would not only result in student binder covers, but also in an embeddable presentation of all student work for that class. A template was developed that included a block for the Word Cloud image and text box for the quote. The individual student names were included on the slides so the student could find and work on his or her individual slide.
Students came to their technology class with lists of their civil rights words. Two types of Word Clouds were introduced to the students: ABCya Word Cloud and Tagxedo. I introduced Tagxedo during the first group but didn’t realize that Tagxedo needed Microsoft Silverlight to operate. Due to the block on the system, any additional software needs to be downloaded by the network administrator. ABCya Word Cloud became the back up tool. But the third group (another day), got the opportunity to test out Tagxedo. The students loved producing the word cloud into a shape of their choice.
To find a relevant quote, the students were directed to go to Thinkexist: more than 300,000 quotations by over 20,000 Authors. When students located their quotes, these were copy and pasted into their slide.
So with this few hour exercise, the students learned how to
- engage in language arts content standards through a technology interface
- convey their vocabulary words in a visual format
- creatively play with words
- download an image
- insert an image
- search for and locate a relevant quote
- copy and paste the quote from a website into a Google doc
- work collaboratively on an online document