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Searching for Cultural Roots
Josephine Zarro
Language Arts

Unit created on 8/16/1999 EST.
Last modified 8/3/2000 12:37:19 AM EST.

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Fundamental Understandings (help)

The main purpose of this project is self-discovery. After the research, students will have a better understanding of who they are and where they came from. The skills students will acquire, learn, and/or enhance are interviewing, writing, word-processing, creating a multimedia presentation, taking digital pictures, importing text, graphics and sound files, using search engines on the Internet, oral presentation, and learning to work in a collaborative setting. This lesson is appropriate for students in grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Technology ISTE Standards (info) 

Information Literacy Standards (info) 

Standard 1: The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively. Standard 2: The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently. Standard 3: The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively. Independent Learning Standard 4: The student who is an independent learner is information literate and pursues information related to personal interests. Standard 5: The student who is an independent learner is information literate and appreciates literature and other creative expressions of information. Standard 6: The student who is an independent learner is information literate and strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation. Social Responsibility Standard 7: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society. Standard 8: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology. Standard 9: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.

Relevance (help)

Assessment (help)

Each component of this unit has lesson specific asssessments. Lesson 1 of 4: 1. Drafting a Chart criteria : all columns completed with at least five entries for each section. Most of the following areas are addressed: music, people, places, art, poetry stories, historical facts. 2. Writing a rough draft essay criteria : Word processed. Sentences are complete. Essay is at least two paragraphs. Each paragraph contains content that has been extracted from the chart. More information may be included in the essay. 3. Writing a final essay criteria: Word processed, free of spelling and grammar errors, at least two paragraphs, content includes information about a specific culture’s music, art, poetry, stories or legends, famous people, historical facts. 4. Oral and Written Interview: Notes or audio tape of interview; word processed essay. Lesson 2 of 4: 1. Creating an Annotated List of Web Sites: In pairs, students create an annotated list of web sites they hav visited and turn it in for credit. Criteria: the list contains at least three sites with accompanying comments about the content of each site. 2. Observing student work: Teacher observes students, class participation, and collaborative group discussion. Criteria: Students are in attendance and on task at all times; students work productively together. Lesson 3 of 4: 1. Writing a Short Essay of Discovery: Teams compare and contrast their charts and the research they have gathered and write a short report of comparison and contrast, explaining the information they found while searching for items listed in the "Student Guide A." This report is word processed and saved to their files for inclusion in the final presentation stack. 2. Writing a Short Essay of Reflection: Teams write an essay of reflection, making personal commentary about the value of their discoveries and drawing a conclusion about their experiences during the project. Criteria: The report and essay must be word processed. The report contains specific details comparing what they knew about their culture and what they discovered. Their findings may confirm or augment their prior knowledge. The essay contains thoughtful conclusions about the value of their research, and the importance of their heritage. Lesson 4 of 4: 1. One ongoing progress check of stack. 2. Completed stack criteria: The stack is complete, neat, and contains all the requirements listed in the Student Guide. 3. Presentation criteria: Presentation is rehearsed and not thrown together; there is evidence of organization. Clip art, sounds, and how pictures and sound are related to the project is explained. Presentation is taken seriously, is entertaining and to the point; is not drawn out or boring. Presenters speak clearly and can be heard, presenters make eye contact with audience, are polite to the audience.

Components (help)

Lesson 1: There are seven sequential activities which students complete in pairs dealing with brainstorming, charting, first draft writing, peer review, revising, interviewing a family member about their cultural roots, and transcribing or writing a few paragraphs from their notes. Lesson 2: There are three activities accompanied by a student guide. Demonstrations on using web browsers and searching and gathering materials through their searches are accomplished with the help of a student guide. Students also create an annotated list of web sites from their searches. Lesson 3: There are two activities in this lesson which involve comparing and contrasting information and reflection. Lesson 4: The three activities in this final lesson involve creating and presenting multimedia stacks using HyperStudio. Students use a paper student guide as well as a "how-to" HyperStudio stack to complete and present their projects.

URLs (help)


Workforce Competencies (info) (help)

Effective Communicator Students communicate in English and other languages using information, concepts, prose, symbols, reports, audio and video recordings, speeches, graphic displays and computer-based programs. Cooperative Workers Students work cooperatively to successfully complete a project or activity Culturally Sensitive Leader Students appreciate their own culture and the cultures of others, understand the concerns and perspectives of members of other ethnic and gender groups reject the stereotype of themselves and others and seek out and utilize the views of persons from diverse ethnic, social, and educational backgrounds.

SfCR4 - Creating and Presenting the Multimedia Stack
SfCR1 - What I Know, Assume, or Imagine
SfCR2 - Searching for Information
SfCR3 - What I Discovered and Learned

Copyright © 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.

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