Here is the link to the Google Document of my unit plan on severe weather in Massachusetts / New England. The goal of developing this unit plan is to use technology to allow students to create, collaborate, and ultimately take responsibility for their learning (w/ teacher guidance!).
In this lesson, students use the internet to learn about severe weather in Massachusetts/New England including: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Nor’Easters, & Blizzards. Students will research each type of weather phenomenon, learn about historical events that have affected our area, understand how to remain safe during severe weather events.
First, students explore Thunderstorms, create a recipe card for a thunderstorm, and upload to a “to be determined page” (most likely Wikispaces or Haiku). The reason this has not been finalized, the current grading/class communication system that I use does not allow students to see each other’s posted work, and reviewing & commenting on classmate’s work is a key component to this unit. Students will then “review each other’s recipes” & make constructive comments.
Next, students research the other types of severe weather, and create a “traditional poster” on one type of storm. We will do a “museum walk” in class, and write reviews of the show. The individual posters will be photographed, uploaded to the page, and reviews will be written on line. This will blend traditional classroom assignments with technology.
Lastly, students in small groups will create a documentary on one type of storm, and one historical storm event. The format of the video is up to the student, it can be a video, a narrated power point, or some other electronic medium. Again, students will upload the documentary to our class page for review by classmates.
This is the final unit in the class, and hopefully students will use skills developed throughout the course to create these final projects.
As I explore, new and better ways to connect with my students, I anticipate this lesson will evolve, this is just the beginning. I hope to add more video links, as well as examples of work.
picture courtesy of: www.ngdc.noaa.gov
Here is the Google Doc
I chose the following AECT standards:
1.1 Instructional Systems Design (ISD) because it required designing a unit plan for a variety of learners
“Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction”(Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31). Within the application of this definition, ‘design’ is interpreted at both a macro- and micro-level in that it describes the systems approach and is a step within the systems approach. The importance of process, as opposed to product, is emphasized in ISD.
1.1.1 Analyzing: process of defining what is to be learned and the context in
which it is to be learned.
1.1.2 Designing: process of specifying how it is to be learned.
1.1.3 Developing: process of authoring and producing the instructional
1.1.4 Implementing: actually using the materials and strategies in context.
1.1.5 Evaluating: process of determining the adequacy of the instruction.
1.3 Instructional Strategies because, this lesson has a clear sequence for acquiring knowledge
“Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 31). In practice, instructional strategies interact with learning situations. The results of these interactions are often described by instructional models. The appropriate selection of instructional strategies and instructional models depends upon the learning situation (including learner characteristics), the nature of the content, and the type of learner objective.
2.4 Integrated Technologies because in this unit plan, students will use a variety of medium to learn & create.
“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer” (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 40). Integrated technologies are typically hypermedia environments which allow for: (a) various levels of learner control, (b) high levels of interactivity, and (c) the creation of integrated audio, video, and graphic environments. Examples include hypermedia authoring and telecommunications tools such as electronic mail and the World Wide