Stocking up for the Next Millennium
Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
-- Preparing for the Lesson.
-- Conducting the Lesson.
-- Additional Activities.
-- Managing Resources and Student Activities.
You will need to use a computer lab with Internet access so that a whole class can be working at the same time. If there aren't enough computers, students can work in pairs.
While many configurations will work, we recommend:
-- Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
-- Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or
-- Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM.
-- IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB
of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of
RAM, running Windows 95.
For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected
in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.
The following sites should be bookmarked. Note: All links are valid as of December 7, 1999. These links are to be used as a starting point for student research.
Technology Chronology (The Era of Fossil Fuel Energy Sources)
American History Timeline
A Chronological History of the U.S.
A Brief Timeline of American Literature and Events
Black History Timeline
The American Experience Technology Timeline
One week for research and one week for writing and presentation.
Introduce the question of how things manage to survive through the years. Why do some things manage to stay with society for so many years and why do some just fall out of circulation?
- For example, how does a book like THE LITTLE PRINCE manage to engage generations of readers while another book does not do well in stores and is eventually forgotten? Along the same lines, will something as popular as the HARRY POTTER phenomenon stay with us for the next hundred years? Similar questions can be asked of movies, literature, art, music, and theater.
- What about the idea of a democracy as a concept rather than a product? How do political principles survive the test of time?
During this step, teachers should review the rules of appropriate use of the Internet. There are many sites out there that are not fit for children to view. Some schools may have Internet Use Policies, or Acceptable User Policies for their students.
The second step is for students to look at the resources listing the inventions, ideas, cultural pieces, icons, and contributions that were made from 1900 to 1999. They can do this by going to the bookmarked Web sites and searching for things that they feel have been important to society in the 20th century. At this point, students should choose an item to research. Students must log references on the Web Site Sheet located in .
Review different examples of search engines and techniques. Surfing the Internet for sources may not always be an easy thing to do and can be quite frustrating. If you work with a Technology department, or Technology staff, ask for guidance.
After a student has gathered enough information, it is time to write a persuasive essay. In the essay,the following questions should be addressed:
This information can be presented in many different ways. All of their presenations must include bibliographic information. Students should use the Bibliography Sheet located in . Here are some suggestions of different ways a student can present his/her argument:
- What is the item in question?
- When was it discovered and by whom?
- What was the original purpose of it and how has it changed over the years?
- Why do you want to keep it?
- What purpose will it serve in the future?
- How will it advance society?
- traditional essay form
- advertisement that incorporates design and layout
- Power Point presentation with graphics and photos
- a short video or infomercial
After all the projects are done, other classes in the school should be invited to read their essays and participate in a polling type of situation.
- Do you agree with the author? If not, would you be willing to give a counter-argument?
1. Include family members and friends in the discussion as well. Parents could be invited to a similar presentation so that they can vote on the students' work and make their own suggestions.
2. Organize a debate between students about the items they have chosen to keep in the 21st century.
3. The focus of this assignment was a look at American History. However, it can be translated to other countries and time periods.
One Computer in the Classroom
If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, etc., from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (Always have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer in order to show them examples of what to look for.) When the groups have finished working, have them switch places.
If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.
Several Computers in the Classroom
Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked sites.
You can also set the class up so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.
Using a Computer Lab
A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.
Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.