An Internet Buddy Activity
Technology - Internet
Older students teach younger students about surfing the Net and Abe Lincoln.
learn about the life of Abraham Lincoln.
work with an Internet Reading Buddy (reader paired with non-reader).
explore Lincoln-related Web sites.
review pictures of Lincolns home and life.
practice using links to search for information.
choose an extension activity that interests them.
Abe Lincoln, president, peer, mentor, Internet, primary, tutor, cross-grade, buddy
This activity is intended to be Internet based; however, if your school does not have a computer lab, you could adapt the lesson to make use of library materials.
This lesson is an Internet buddy lesson. It pairs each older student (grades 4 and up) with a younger buddy. Internet buddy lessons benefit both learners. Older students get a boost of self-esteem as they teach. They read information -- in this case, information about Abraham Lincoln from some teacher-selected Web sites -- and mentor the younger students in how to use the Internet and computers. The younger children learn about a topic of high interest as they listen, watch, ask questions, and discuss with their buddies the information provided on the Web resources.
It is important for students to become self-directed learners -- to be given the opportunity to explore and use the Internet as a tool for instruction. The process of learning by doing is well established as a very viable way to learn. Working with an Internet buddy is a constructive way for younger and older students to learn to work cooperatively and to follow directions to reach common understanding. Older students can model for their young buddies how they can become self-directed learners.
The teachers role in this lesson is as facilitator. This lesson/strategy recognizes that teacher talk is not always necessary for constructive learning to take place. It emphasizes student-led exploration of selected Web sites over teacher talk.
Activities and Procedures
The computer lab is the ideal setting for this lesson. Students enter the lab and sit on the floor as the teacher helps them recall prior knowledge about Abraham Lincoln. Write student responses on a chart. Then introduce the days activity:
Today you have the opportunity to work with your Internet buddy as the two of your view Web sites that have information about Abraham Lincolns life. Your buddy will help you by reading captions, talking about the pictures, and sharing some facts presented on those pages. Discussion between you and your buddy about what you are reading is important, but please whisper because we have many people in the lab.
The teacher might provide a written or typed hotlist of previewed Web sites/URLs for students to use in the lesson. [See some suggested Web sites in the Internet Resources section below.] Even better would be to post those Web links on a Web page or provide a document in which the links appear so students could click on them or cut and paste them into the browser window on their computers.
You might need to take a minute or two to review how to click back and forth from the Internet to a document.
Since this Internet buddy lesson is mostly self-directed by the student, the major role of the teacher is to monitor student activity. You will have previewed all the Web sites so that at a glance you will be able to verify that all students are focused and on task.
As students surf the Internet sites provided, they can print important information about Abraham Lincoln, so when the students leave the lab they have adequate information to complete one of the following activities.
Provide students with a variety of activities from which to choose; the activities will emphasize different intelligences/skills.
Give an oral report about your favorite Lincoln Web site. (If you have a computer hooked up to a projector, students might use the Web site as part of their report.)
Produce a paper/report using information they gathered from the Web sites. (Older students only)
Draw a picture of an important event in Lincolns life. Write a paragraph to explain why this event was so important.
Create a timeline of events in Abraham Lincolns life using information gathered from the Web.
Present an original activity to the class.
Create a family tree to show Lincolns immediate family and ancestors. (Older students only)
These are some of the resources the Internet buddies might explore. Since the Web is constantly changing, you might find some additional valuable sites for young students by doing a Web search of your own.
The Life of Abraham Lincoln
This Abraham Lincoln timeline and gallery were created by first graders.
Another site with material created by students, plus links to other sites about Abe Lincoln.
An Overview of Abraham Lincolns Life
A biography with many links to photos of Lincoln and his family and to additional resources about his life, family, and presidency.
Lincoln Home Photo Tour
A picture gallery is included on this site.
The Presidents of the United States
The official White House biography of Abraham Lincoln.
Presidents of the United States: Abraham Lincoln
The Internet Public Library offers this site with facts and figures related to Lincoln.
The History Place Presents Abraham Lincoln
This timeline includes some clickable photo images.
You might create a simple rubric for grading the Internet buddies effort. Did they work together well? Did the older students act with maturity, take responsibility for teaching the younger student about Lincoln and how to surf the Web responsibility? Was the younger student a good student? Did he or she act responsibly and ask good questions?
Assessment of the project the students selected will vary depending on the project.
Peggy Chauncey Cramer, Hamilton Elementary School in Kentwood, Michigan
Last updated 2/12/2012
To help us keep our Lesson Plan Database as current as possible, please e-mail us to report any links that are not working.