Lesson Title: A Tour of Europe - Data Collection
Curriculum Area: English Language Arts
Social Studies
Technology Strand: Telecommunications
Grade Level: 6
 
Essential Question: How do you differentiate between essential and non-essential information when conducting online research?
 
A Activity Summary Drawing upon webpage evaluation skills, students will select an appropriate web resource for conducting online research on a specific topic related to 6th grade social studies.
C Curriculum English Language Arts
2.01 Explore informational materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by restating and summarizing information, and determining the importance of information.

Social Studies
1.02 Generate, interpret, and manipulate information from tools such as maps, globes,charts, graphs, databases, and models to pose and answer questions about space and place, environment and society, and spatial dynamics and connections.
T Technology Telecommunications
3.13 Use evaluation tools to select Internet resources and information for content and usefulness in content area assignments.  
 
Activating Strategies
Many times, students have trouble distinguishing between essential and non-essential information. They also lack the skills to prioritize the mass of data now available online. In this lesson, students will be collecting data using a highly structured format that utilizes Major Categories related to the 6th grade social studies curriculum and subtopics for collecting Essential Facts. In order to model the prioritization process, the following activity can be used:
1. Open the file called fact_pyramid.doc.
2. Decide upon a relevant topic for your Fact Pyramid. If modeling with lower-level students or if at the beginning of a unit, you may want to use a non-curriculum related example such as "Dogs" or "Cats."
3. Using a transparency copy of the Fact Pyramid for display, solicit student responses for each tier. Have students discuss suggestions that are questionable before placing them on a tier.
4. Discuss the connection between modeling the Fact Pyramid and data collection in research. In research, you first want to determine your Major Categories. Next, you collect Essential Facts directly related to the Major Categories. Finally, you collect Non-Essential Facts related to your research topic. Each of these steps represents a tier in your Fact Pyramid. By prioritizing information, students learn how to distinguish between essential and non-essential information while conducting online research.
 
Technology Vocabulary: Telecommunications Vocabulary
Detailed Technology Instructions:
 
Cognitive Teaching Strategies
Using the A Tour of Europe Datasheet (datasheet.doc), students will be collecting Essential Facts related to their topic of research. If using the A Tour of Europe lesson series, the research topic will be a European country.

1. Print out a copy of datasheet.doc for each student.
2. Assign students a country to research. If using this as the second lesson in the A Tour of Europe lesson series, this can be the same country as in Lesson 1.
3. Explain that: General, Geography, Government, Economy, People, and Transportation are the Major Categories, or top tier, for research in this activity. Below each Major Category are the Essential Facts, or second tier, that students will need to collect and record on their datasheet. Students will not be collecting Non-Essential Facts as a part of their research in this activity.
4. Using the same webpages (listed below) as in lesson 1, students will search for the Essential Facts indicated on their datasheet. The datasheet will be used for recording these facts.
5. If time permits or multiple lesson sessions are possible, allow students to collect facts on more than one country.
 
Summary Strategies
To provide a short summary of research activities, have students generate a simple 3-2-1 Summary:

1. Using the 321.doc worksheet, have students summarize their learning.
2. Cue students to respond to the following:
List 3 facts about your country that you found to be the most interesting.
List 2 ways in which your country and North Carolina are similar.
List 1 way in which your country and North Carolina are different.
3. Collect this as an exit slip as students leave class.
 
Resources
Click for directions on how to download files on a Windows computer. 
Web Browser- Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer

Websites
http://www.lonelyplanet.com
http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook
http://www.atlapedia.com
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/bgn

Note:
Students will need the datasheets from this lesson for other lessons in the European Tech Connect series. Students or the teacher will need to keep these papers.

Microsoft Word Files
fact_pyramid.doc
datasheet.doc
321.doc
 
 
Re-teaching and Enrichment Activities
Extend this lesson further by moving on to Lesson 3 in the A Tour of Europe Lesson series: A Tour of Europe - Creating a Database).
This lesson can also be extended by using the data collected in the multimedia lesson: Putting PowerPoint to Work. In "Putting PowerPoint to Work" students use PowerPoint to create a multimedia slideshow about their country.

The concept for this lesson plan was submitted by
Amy  Holcombe
Prescott Technology Center, Data last modified: 8/12/2006