• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Barbara Forester's Project Plan

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago


My Page

~comments in green ~jk

Project Plan Template

General Information:

  • Teacher(s) name: Barbara Forester


  • Contact info: forester_b@4j.lane.edu


  • Title: People, Regions, and Cultures...Let's Go!

  • Grade Level(s): Third grade


  • Content Area: Social Studies


  • Time line: 6 to 8 weeks



Standards (What do you want students to know and be able to do? What knowledge, skills, strategies do you expect students to gain?):


Overview (a short summary or project sketch including assignment or expected or possible products):


In third grade students study the five themes of geography in social studies; location, distance, direction, scale movement, and region. My idea is to have students use their knowledge of these five themes to generate, analyze, and create a project that explains the physical and human cultural features of their region to "give" to an ePal in another part of the world. Students will start by engaging and activating prior knowledge about their perceptions of another culture, and then connect with a student from another part of the world. They will then exchange emails with ePals and create several small culture/region projects where they will concretely describe details of their lives, and after correspondence with their epals, they will recognize similarities and differences in their day to day lives. In turn, they will be able to describe and give examples of what it means to be from a different culture. In groups they will create a final digital presentation about themselves for their ePal reflecting on the differences and commonalities between their environments, their cultures, and their lives. For example, students could create a region project on a podcast with pictures, music, and narration. We will then reflect and assess. This is very clearly stated. Do you have a preference for a country (latin america, I think you said?). Also, when kids think about their perceptions of another culture it will be helpful to have them express these in as neutral terms as possible, and really reinforce that since they've never been to the country or met people who are living there, their perceptions are just a rough idea, and in some cases, WRONG. Ask them to think what informs their perceptions-- school or book learning (places near the equator are hot), personal experience, parent opinion, popular culture (exposure through movies, etc.)? Remind them that you will learn what people in another culture think of US and that their perceptions are also based on different kinds of understanding, some strong, some specious. I can almost see a metaphor of a bridge here-- kids are building connections, bridging differences by teaching and being open to learning about each other's cultures.


Essential Questions (What essential question or learning are you addressing? What would students care or want to know about the topic? What are some questions or activities you can use to get students thinking about the topic or to generate interest about the topic? What questions can you ask students to help them focus on important aspects of the topic?): 


Essential question:

How does our environment and climate affect who we are?  How do our ideas about other people in the world change and grow?


Supporting questions for getting started:

1. What are some preconceptions that they have about their eplas?  I like that you say preconceptions not misconceptions!

2. What are some preconceptions that are epals have about us?

3. What makes us who we are? This is a good question. I might elevate it to the EQ level.

3. What types of questions might we ask are epals about their environment and culture I'd add: and history?


Important questions for students to focus on:

1. How am I similar and different from my ePal? 

2. How do the physical and climate differences in my region and the region of my ePal affect our lives?

3. What affect does the culture in my ePal's region have on my ePal's life?



Assessment Plan (What will students do or produce to illustrate their learning? What can students do to generate new knowledge? How will you assess how students are progressing (formative assessment)? How will you assess what they produce or do?):




Classroom brainstorm around essential questions

Key Vocabulary


Ongoing Assessment

Monitoring student work

Classroom discussions

Observations of students' new understandings


Daily Assessment

Emails to epals

Blog discussions and reflections around essential questions

Four cultural and regional projects: community walk, google earth, day-to-day timeline, and venn diagram of similarities and differences  Great. Will all kids contribute to all projects?

Ideas, pictures, and gadgets posted on the wiki


Final Assessment

Rubric assessment of final project

Rubric assessment of students' email exchanges

Complete "L" on KWL chart  GOOD for YOU! Think about the 'what's next' addition to KWL, too-- Knowing what I know now, what ELSE do I want to learn? What might I pay attention to in the future? (shows learning is a never-ending spiral)


Resources (What do you need in order to carry out this project? Think: Human resources, material resources, technologiesHow does technology support students learning? What technology tools and resources—online student tools, research sites, student handouts, tools, tutorials, templates, assessment rubrics, etc—help elucidate or explain the content or allow students to interact with the content?):


Human Resources

Classroom from another school

Technology specialist

Geography/cultural specialist --think about the UO geography dept-- very strong. Also, for local culture and history, think about the Lane Cty Historical Society and UO Natural History Museum historians. (UO has cool stuff on Oregon's earliest peoples-- including the world's oldest shoes)


Material Resources

Student Questionnaires

Students Handouts

Reflection logs

Books around pen pals

Maps of our region and our epals region/country

Real life artifacts of both regions

Resource center for students to learn more about day-to-day life of epals

Materials for "Swap a Day" (food, music, books, folktales)

Assessment Rubric for final project

Assessment Rubric for email exchanges



Technology Resources

Bubbl.us for brainstorming

C.O.W. for emails and projects

Delicious for useful websites

Community Walk

Google Earth

Epals website

Class wiki space for both classrooms to use and collaborate

Class blog to share ideas, discussions, and questions

Final Project: Digital Cameras, itunes, podcast software

Instructional Plan

  • Preparation (What student needs, interests, and prior learning are a foundation for this lesson? How can you find out if students have this foundation? What difficulties might students have?)


    Students' needs: knowledge of their region and geography, key vocabulary of geography, awareness of culture and experiences, computer skills, interpersonal skills

    Students' interests: geography, cultures, technology, social aspects

    Prior learning: Basic understanding of geography and different cultures


    I will use the KWL chart and brainstorming methods to assess prior knowledge and misconceptions.

    Students may have difficulties recognizing stereotypes that they may have.


  • Management (How and where will your students work? Classroom, lab, groups, etc?):

    Location: Classroom and lab


    Grouping: Students will work individually, in pairs, and in teams of three and four with group evaluations


    Students will see rubric assessment prior to doing work and expectations will be clearly set. great



  • Instruction and Activities (What instructional practices will you use with this lesson? How will your learning environment support these activities? What is your role? What are the students' roles in the lesson? How can the technology support your teaching? What engaged and worthwhile learning activities and tasks will your students complete? How will they build knowledge and skills?):


    Instructional practices: Whole class, collaborative group work, pairs, as well as individual work. I will also use conferencing and small groups for differentiation.

    Learning Environment: peer assistance, community circles for safe discussions as needed

    My Role: Instructor for modeling assignments, facilitator during peer and group work, discussion leader, available for help and questions

    Students' Role: learner, give peer assistance, complete assignments and reflections

    Technology Support: used for completing projects, communicating and learning, a place to share ideas to others outside of the classroom, collaboration

    Learning Activities: small projects, group projects, emails to ePals

    Building knowledge and Skills: geography, cultural understanding, technology, networking


  • Differentiation (How will you differentiate content and process to accommodate various learning styles and abilities? How will you help students learn independently and with others? How will you provide extensions and opportunities for enrichmentWhat assistive technologies will you need to provide?):

    Differentiate content and process: instruct in various learning styles, reteach in small group as needed, extensions, SIOP methods for ELL students

    Learning independently: reflections, time management, timelines

    Learning with others: rubric, group assessments

    Enrichment: extensions of project- complete another epal project with the same epal or find another classroom

    Assistive Technologies: New technology, new research


Closure and Reflection: (What lessons did you learn? What can you do better next time?  What went well and why?  What did not go well and why? How would you approach this project differently?  Ideas from the NCRTEC lesson plan:

  • In what ways was this project effective?

  • What evidence do you have for your conclusion?

  • How would you change this project for teaching it again?

  • What did you observe your students doing and learning?

  • Did your students find the project meaningful and worth completing?


    Your project plan is clear and executable. I hope you share it with grade level colleagues and your principal. I look forward to hearing how it goes!

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.