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Integrating the Internet Just Got Easier!

Among the many resources provided by Teacher Created Materials is a new series of activity books that busy teachers can use to integrate technology into their curriculum. Activity books are available for primary, intermediate, and "challenging" (middle school) levels. Check out some of the latest resources from TCM and order your free catalog today!


The folks at Teacher Created Materials have something for everyone! Among their latest releases are a series of "techKNOWLEDGEy" Internet activity books for use across the grades in social studies, math, science, and language arts. These new books provide a wide variety of activities covering an even wider range of topics. Teachers can use the lessons "as is" or adapt them to meet their specific needs.

The real beauty of these Internet activity books is that they provide for teachers a model for creating their own Internet-based activities. Use a bunch of the "techKNOWLEDGEy" activities, see how they work, and then try your hand at creating your own!

INTERNET ACTIVITIES FOR SOCIAL STUDIES

The "Internet Activities for Social Studies" series comes in three editions -- one edition for primary grade teachers, one for intermediate grade teachers, and a "challenging" edition for use in middle schools.

PRIMARY ACTIVITIES

Primary Book Cover The "primary" edition of Internet Activities for Social Studies opens with a kite-themed lesson that can be used to introduce the use of a simple search engine. (In this case, the search engine is Yahooligans -- a nice, safe search engine for young surfers.) From there, teaching units are introduced on themes such as Famous People, In the U.S.A., My World, and Holidays. Each lesson in the units provides a list of related Web sites and plenty of activities to introduce the lesson, to use the Internet to teach the topic, and to follow-up and reinforce learning.

Additional lessons are included for other hot primary-grade topics, including apples, fire safety, and popcorn.

To give you an idea of the kinds of activities you'll find, let's take a look at a timely topic -- the St. Patrick's Day lessons that are part of the Holidays unit. (Note this is just a sampling of activities from the St. Patrick's Day lesson. The actual lesson includes much more!)

Internet Resources: The lesson offers a handful of sites that students can use to learn basic information about St. Patrick's Day. Among those sites are:

Pre-Internet Activity: Divide the class into groups of three or four students. Give each group a sheet of green paper and have the groups work together to make a list of "green" objects. Have the groups share their lists with the class. Then ask the students to think about why the color green might be representative of St. Patrick's Day. Accept all reasonable responses. (The real reason will become clear as the activity progresses.)

Internet Lesson: Teachers reproduce a worksheet for students to use as they surf the "A Wee Bit o' Fun" Web site. Students use the information found on the site to draw a line from six questions to their correct answers. Then they read the text in four shamrocks at the bottom of the page; they color the three shamrocks that tell ways (learned on "A Wee Bit o' Fun") to bring good luck on St. Patrick's Day.

Extended Activities: Each student is given three green shamrocks. The students write true or false statements about St. Patrick's Day on each shamrock. As each true statement is read aloud, students stand up and hop like a leprechaun. As each false statement is read, they remain seated and call out "Blarney!" Finally, attach gold-wrapped Hershey's Kisses to a group of the shamrocks and hide them around the room. Give each team about two minutes to find a "pot of gold."

INTERMEDIATE ACTIVITIES

Intermediate Book Cover The "intermediate" edition of Internet Activities for Social Studies opens with a pirate activity that introduces the use of a search engine. Then teaching units are provided on themes such as Inventors, People in U.S. History, My World (Multicultural Studies), and In the U.S.A. Each themed unit includes a handful of different lessons. For example, the In the U.S.A. unit has lessons on immigration, U.S. geography, U.S. landmarks, westward expansion, and Washington, D.C.

To give you an idea of the sorts of activities you'll find Since this month is Women's History Month, let's take a look at the Susan B. Anthony lesson from the People in U.S. History unit. (Note this is just a sampling of the lesson's parts. The actual lesson includes much more!)

Internet Resources: The unit includes a handful of sites that provide basic information about Susan B. Anthony:

Pre-Internet Activity: Ask the students what they think might happen to them if they were to try to vote in the next election. Take a poll to see how many students would be interested in voting if they had the opportunity. Why can't they vote? Do they think the legal voting age of 18 is fair? Why do they think 18 was the age lawmakers chose? Review the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The 14th outlawed slavery. The 15th ensured that all men could vote regardless of race, color, or previous servitude. Those two amendments prompted Susan B. Anthony to take action to obtain legal voting rights for women.

Internet Lesson: Students use the "Susan B. Anthony House Museum and National Landmark" Web site to complete this reproducible activity. The activity sheet has the outline of a house on it, with seven rooms shown. Students read seven sentences and draw a line from each sentence to the room in the Susan B. Anthony house that the sentence refers to. (Students find this information on the Web site.) For example, students will draw a line from the front parlor to the statement that reads, "This is the room where Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting in the 1872 election."

Extended Activities: Student teams can discuss one of the two questions that follow:

  • The 19th amendment to the Constitution is sometimes referred to as the "Susan B. Anthony Amendment." Have students consider why her name should be associated with this amendment when it passed in 1920, fourteen years after her death? Why do they think this amendment took so long to pass?

  • Susan B. Anthony is often quoted as saying, "Failure is impossible." Discuss the philosophy behind this quote. Was Ms. Anthony a failure because she didn't achieve her goal during her lifetime? Have students tell about a time when they believed failure was impossible.

CHALLENGING ACTIVITIES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS

Challenge Book Cover In the "challenging" edition Internet Activities for Social Studies, lessons open up many more possibilities for using the Internet. Using email, advanced searching techniques, project-based learning, and critical evaluation of Web sites are among the topics addressed through activities. Among the units provided are Maps and Map-Making, The Ancient World, Medieval Times, The World of the Vikings, and Mesoamerica. A sampling of three activities found in the volume provides a glimpse of the dozens of activities that make this a valuable classroom resource:

  • Students will use information from the The Seven Wonders List Web site to explain why each of the Seven Wonders of the World is "wonderful." Then, to extend the activity, students are asked to nominate three modern-day achievements that might qualify as "wonders" of the modern world.

  • Students are challenged to search a handful of Web sites (provided) to complete a graphic organizer (worksheet provided) that displays information about Daily Work, Shelter, Clothing, Transportation, and Amusements for three classes of people -- poor farmers, city dwellers, and the wealthy class -- in ancient Rome.

  • Students use a chart and Web resources to write their names using the runes (letters) of the Vikings.

A NOTE ABOUT "DEAD" LINKS

Anyone who uses the Internet with frequency is aware how quickly URLs (Web site addresses) can change. A link that was working yesterday might not be active today. Not a problem! The people at Teacher Created Materials are well aware of the dead link problem, so they've created a special Updated Links page on their Web site. Go to the page and click on the title of the TCM activity book you're using. You'll find, listed by page number, replacement URLs for any dead links. A very nice feature -- one that will extend indefinitely the life of these excellent activity books!

In addition to the three levels of Internet Activities for Social Studies reviewed above, Teacher Created Materials' TechKNOWLEDGEy series offers Internet Activities for Math (primary, intermediate, and challenging levels), Internet Activities for Language Arts (intermediate level), and Internet Activities for Science (challenging level). More to come!

The TechKNOWLEDGEy/Internet Activities books are one of many offerings from Teacher Created Materials. Catalogs full of resources for busy classroom teachers are available by calling (800) 662-4321. TCM's general catalog for PreK - grade 8 teachers offers reproducibles, bulletin board displays, incentive charts, student award certificates, game and activity books, and much, much more. You can also ask for TCM's special catalog devoted to technology resources.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 1999 Education World

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03/01/1999

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