Students will identify key events, ideas, and leaders of the 20 th century (e.g. World War II).
Students will analyze how major world events of the 20 th century affect the world today.
Students will learn about the contributions that children made during WWII to make a difference.
Students will explore current global issues facing the modern world and identify potential solutions.
Students will understand current global issues and their rights and responsibilities in the interconnected world.
Students will use writing to convey their ideas as to how they can make a difference despite the pressing issues in the world today.
In order for the students to most effectively learn about the key events, ideas, and leaders of the World War II era and how those concepts connect to them today I decided to utilize various technological features available to me through the Smart Board in the classroom.
In order to use the Smart Board there must be a projector that is hooked up to the board and turned on, a Smart Board hooked to the wall, and a laptop plugged in to the wires from the Board.
Projector Smart Board Laptop Laptop Plug-Ins
One of the learning tools that I used to teach my desired objectives was a PowerPoint presentation about ordinary children during WWII doing extraordinary things despite the global challenges. I first constructed the PowerPoint on the computer and then I hooked it up to the Smart Board to be projected during my lesson.
Some of the things that a PowerPoint enabled me to do that would have been difficult otherwise were: showing a wide variety of pictures that were large enough for all students to see simultaneously that had to do with the topics of discussion, outlining the learning tasks by posing inquiry questions to prompt students to make and revise hypotheses, and providing a great attention getter to keep the students engaged throughout my whole lesson.
I specifically focused my PowerPoint on the stories of three children in history in order to teach my objectives about past events connecting to the present day. Prior to my lesson I asked a few students to help me present the lesson content by coming up and explaining/reading about the lives of the children depicted up on the Smart Board. The visual really added to the presentations by giving the students a real-life depiction of these children from the WWII era. This helped the students to make the connection that while these kids did amazing things they were in all actuality just like them.
YouTube Video Clip
In order for the students to get a real taste of what the children on the other side of the world were like during WWII I found and showed them a YouTube video clip about Hitler’s youth. I had never before seen them so captivated and interested than I did during this four minute clip that I incorporated into my lesson. I used speakers to project the sound more effectively.
I really set the tone for my lesson by using the CD player in our classroom to play patriotic music from a CD while the students came into the room. We did a choral reading of the Preamble with the music playing and it was a really powerful experience. This got the students ready to learn and prepared for the more serious topics we were addressing throughout my Social Studies lesson.
Through my prepare PowerPoint I used the Smart Board to project and leave up the writing prompt for all of the students to see. Their task was to convey their ideas through writing as to how they can make a difference despite the pressing issues in the world today just like the children of WWII did. By projecting the prompt so it was visible to the whole class it saved the paper I would have had to use to copy the whole prompt for each student. If any students had questions about the prompt I could easily just direct them to the board where all of the instructions were clearly written out.
BONUS Technology Idea
Type up vocabulary sentences prior to class and project them on the Smart Board. Draw sticks to determine which students get to come up to the Smart Board and write the correct vocabulary word in the blank. The kids really got excited and into this each time we did this. They felt like it was such a privilege to use the Smart Board and not always just watch the teacher use it. Anytime I could get the kids up, involved, and using technology, I did.
Overall my lesson went really well. I feel like of all the technology that I applied in the classroom that the students enjoyed the YouTube video and the patriotic music the best. I was surprised at how intrigued they were with learning about Hitler’s youth. I believe this was because they were able to see and experience it in a way instead of just read about it and do a worksheet on it. The hardest part about my lesson was that the school has blocked YouTube so the clip had to be pulled up the night before and just kept on the computer so that it could be shown. Something went wrong the first day of this two day lesson so we had to watch the full clip on the second day that I taught this lesson. What I might do differently in the future is test out the clip at school during lunch or just some time before my lesson so that I don’t find out that it doesn’t play the whole clip in the middle of my lesson.
Principles of Effective Technology Integration
Student Use of Technology: I froze the screen on the Smart Board so the students could only see the PowerPoint slide we were on, but then I had the designated students I had chosen to help me recount the historical stories come up one by one to the computer and they could scroll down while they read from the passage. When they got to the line break a different student would come up and navigate the curser so that they could read aloud the assigned paragraphs. The students were actively engaged and involved in watching the video clip, and they were apart of the atmosphere created by the music and the choral reading. I taught this Social Studies lesson to three different sixth grade classes in the afternoon during rotations. I think I could have effectively gotten the students more involved in the use of technology by having them do some research of their own about Hitler’s Youth or the WWII era (or even gone on my WWII tour I created for this class!) but I was under the impression that the school did not have the resources for me to reserve the portable laptop cart for all three rotations so I did not include this in my lesson plan.
Technology Use is Essential:
Watching the video on YouTube, showing the pictures I wanted to show large enough for everyone in the classroom to simultaneously see, and playing a CD of patriotic music are all examples of content in my lesson where technology was essential.
Focus on the Learning Task:
Basically the learning task was that the children learn more about the WWII era and to make connections with our world today. All of the technology tools that I used in my lessons were simply modes of transportation to get us to our objective more effectively; I did not start with the technology in mind as our final destination and made up objectives. I think that in this lesson where I had to keep to a tight schedule of rotations that it was more beneficial to use the technology tools that I did rather than taking the time that we did not have for teaching the students how to learn to use a new technology tool. Maybe for a lesson just with my class would I opt to teach how to use and introduce more hands-on technology tools.
The added value of using technology in my lesson was that the students got to really take the history in because they saw it, heard it, and felt it as opposed to just reading it in a textbook. When a variety of learning processes are used it meets the learning needs of the diverse learners in the class. The use of technology also made the lesson much more engaging and memorable; one girl the next day was talking about how she had gone home and had a discussion with her mom about what we had learned. I was so glad to see that the students learned so much and enjoyed doing it.
Pictures from the Web in the order they appeared:
Children Salvaging Scraps: Technology Background on title slide: