Grade Level

8th/Reading Language Arts

Current Project

Digital Storytelling/The Cultural Traits of Native American Tribes (WV)

Current Learning Standards/ Objectives Addressed

RLA.S.8.2 Students will apply writing skills and strategies to communicate effectively for different purposes by
  • using the writing process
  • applying grammatical and mechanical properties in writing and selecting and evaluating information for research purposes

21C.O.5-8.1.LS.3 Student presents thoughts, ideas, and conceptual understanding efficiently, accurately and in a compelling manner and enhances the oral or written presentation through the use of technology.

21C.O.5-8.1.TT.4 Student uses audio, video, pictures, clip art, movie maker programs . . . to create and publish electronic products to communicate with various audiences inside and outside the classroom.

Summary of Current Lesson

To address RLA standards, students create a multimedia story about a native American person living in WV prior to European settlement.

Analysis of indicators of Engaged Learning in Current Lesson (strengths and opportunities for improvement).

Indicator Strengths: The current adaptation is clearly focused on achieving required RLA standards. The lesson is challenging in that students have to do research and synthesize their findings. There is some authenticity since the students create an original product. Because of this product, we could also say that students assume the adult/professional roles of writers and historians. Certainly, students could be said to be "producers of knowledge", as well. In implementing this lesson, the teacher surely would have to facilitate the writing process and coach students how to write well. Since students are doing original research, the teacher would also probably be a co-learner. There are rubrics in place to assess the product, so we think it would qualify as a performance-based assessment.
Opportunities for Improvement: Right now the authenticity stands out as the weakest indicator. We aren't sure who will read/use the student products so we don't know how much students will care about their topic. We also don't know how teachers will create a rich, collaborative environment that will stretch students' thinking. We worry that students will now reach the highest levels of critical thinking or experience what it really means to represent history in a new way - to make a new discovery and to share with others. Other indicators that we might want to strengthen were student choice, and seamless/ongoing/generative assessment. As suggested by the authors of the adaptation, adding social studies standards would be very easy. This would make the lesson truly multidisciplinary and maximize our instructional time with students.

Summary of Technology Uses in Current Lesson

The current lesson proposes the use of video editing software to make a movie. To complete the project, the student would probably have to use Word Processors and the Internet for research.

NEW Adaptation Title

Our Native West Virginians: A Virtual History Museum

Learning Standards Added (if any)

The adaptation could be a cross-curricular lesson between RLA and Social Studies.
SS.S.8.5 Students will:
  • examine, analyze and synthesize historical knowledge of major events, individuals, cultures and the humanities in West Virginia.

Summary of Your Adaptation

Students throughout the state will partner with the West Virginia History and Archives Department to create an online exhibit about the Native Americans who lived and still live in the geographical area now known as West Virginia. Students will use the Internet to find information already published about WV's native citizens and to connect to others, especially those of native American descent, who can add to our current historical understanding. To ensure that their products are culturally sensitive, students will have partners from various native American organizations who will preview the materials for inaccuracies and bias. Students will create and publish new historical accounts, summaries of documents/artifacts found, and interviews, for example, in the online museum. Student products will be evaluated by teachers, classmates, and Archive historians. Products will also be open to feedback from those who view them online.

How you strengthened the use of technology and the Indicators of Engaged Learning

We thought improving the authenticity of this lesson seemed to be the single, most effective way to enhance engagement, understanding, transfer, and retention! Now students have an audience that would use and care about the project. Over time, it can grow into an amazing resource that preserves WV history and make it accessible to middle school students. In the revision, students experience what it means to be a historian and a writer in a much deeper way.

The technology in this lesson was already strong, but we enhanced the use of the Internet to collaborate with others and to publish the students' work.
Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Wednesday Table 4 re:authenticity DebWhite2 DebWhite2 0 64 Oct 6, 2010 by DebWhite2 DebWhite2