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Digitally Telling the Story of Greek Figures
|Grades||5 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Nine 50-minute sessions|
- collect and analyze information relevant to their research of a Greek god, hero, or creature.
- demonstrate comprehension of what they have learned by writing a script.
- organize, summarize, and synthesize what they have learned through the production of a digital story.
- cite their sources in the form of a bibliography.
- Ask students to name Greek gods, heroes, and creatures. Write student responses on the board or project to the whiteboard.
- Next ask students to brainstorm why people still know these names today. Have them create a list of where they have seen some names of these gods, heroes, and creatures in present day. Discuss what this tells about the importance of these figures.
- Pass out the Greek Figures printout or project the list on the whiteboard. Put the students in pairs to brainstorm what type of information would be important to know about characters of Greek mythology and how this information could be categorized.
- Have students share their responses and project them to the white board. Also, ask students to write this list. Save this list to the computer in case students lose their individual lists. Be sure these topics are mentioned:
- Meaning of name
- Family members and their descriptions
- Modern references in television, language, art, cartoons, movies, song lyrics, and so forth
- Famous myths
- Friends and descriptions
- Enemies with descriptions
- Divide the class into partners to choose which characters Greek mythology they will research, and have the partners decide how they will split the categories of information for each to find. Tell the class that each partner will research famous myths of their character and well as at least three other topics. Have each student write down the categories and Greek character he/she is responsible for on an index card. Collect the index cards.
- Tell students that in the next session they will begin their research.
- Before beginning research, have a short discussion about how to conduct research by covering the following topics:
- Ask students why it is important to take notes when doing research.
- Remember what you have read for use later.
- Why we write in short phrases.
- Ask students to define plagiarism and explain why it is wrong. An excellent discussion of plagiarism is available online in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. Ask them if they are plagiarizing if they
- copy and paste a chart online to use in their assignments.
- use a quotation without saying who said it.
- rewrite a passage from their social studies book
- Ask students why it is important to take notes when doing research.
- If students have not done much research prior to this lesson, hand out the print out Taking Notes for Research and read through it together. Remind students they need to cite their sources as well.
- Hand out the index cards collected in the last session that lists what each student will research. Also, give students additional index cards to take their notes. Invite students to use the research websites as well as print materials that the school librarian has provided.
- As students research, circulate throughout the classroom helping students to cite their sources and find information. Check that students are using short phrases rather than copying entire passages on their index cards. Check that their source cards are correctly completed. Also, since both students are to research famous myths, remind students to check with their partners that they are both not researching the same myth.
- At the end of the Session Two, hand out plastic baggies for students to keep their cards organized.
- At the end of the Session Three, inform students that in the next session they will be writing their script for their digital story. Therefore, their research must be complete before Session Four. Assign them to complete their research before the next session.
- First check that all students have completed researching their three topics and famous myths. Allow additional time for those who still need to complete this task.
- Discuss again with students why resources must be cited as a reminder of Session Two.
- Model for students how to create a citation from the information on their cards. Show the students how to create a citation for a book and for a website. Move this information on to a bibliography.
- Have students take their source cards out from their baggies. Allow students time to create their own citations and bibliographies.
- To help students learning how to cite information for the first time, you might want to have the students use the one of the two bibliography generating websites, EasyBib or BibMe.
- Hand out the Digital Story Rubric with the students and discuss so they will know what is expected in their final product.
- Ask the students to discuss how authors make the beginnings of books interesting and to discuss why it is important for an author to have a great beginning to a book. Relate this to their introduction for their digital story.
- Ask the students to discuss what makes a good ending to a story. Relate this to their conclusion for their digital story.
- Have the students meet in partners to decide who will write the introduction for their story and who will write the conclusion. Explain that the introduction and conclusion will be two slides of their digital story.
- Hand out to each pair of ten storyboards, one for each slide. Instruct students to write their scripts on these storyboards which they will read and record. Tell the students the eight categories they have researched now become the remaining eight slides and to now write the short phrases on their note cards into complete sentences.
- Select a short picture book to read to the students. Choose one that has colorful pictures that go well with the text, such as Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas. Read several pages but do not finish the book. Have students discuss how the pictures support the story and add to the story. Read more of the story without showing the students the illustrations. Have the students suggest what pictures they would use to complement the story.
- Explain to the students that their scripts and pictures will need the same partnership as a book and its illustrations. Have students review their scripts and list possible pictures they could search for online that will complement their script.
- Assign each pair of students to one computer that has Internet capabilities.
- Instruct the students on how to save ten photos from the Internet to their computers.
- Check that each pair has successfully found and saved ten images to their computers. Allow additional time if some need to still finish this task.
- Model the steps of creating a digital story using Brainshark or Microsoft Photo Story. Give the students the printout My Brainshark Recording or Photo Story Instructions and follow these instructions to model how to make the digital story.
- Allow time for students to work on creating their digital stories. Circulate around the classroom, helping students who are having difficulties. Remind students to choose appropriate background music and to be sure that their voices are heard over the background music.
- At the end of each session, remind students that if Brainshark is their selected tool, they can work on this project from any Internet-connected computer. Tell students that their digital stories will be shared in Session Nine, so they need to be complete before that session.
- Play each pair’s digital story. After each story, ask students to share something they learned from the presentation and to ask additional questions
- When all digital stories have been shown, ask students to use the T-Chart Printout to explain what they liked and disliked about this project. Have the students list the topics as “Like” and “Dislike.”
- Co-teach this lesson between social studies and language arts classes. Have the students learn the research techniques and complete the note cards in the language arts class. Then have them produce the digital story in the social studies class or with the help of a library media specialist.
- Have students share their digital stories with a younger class at school.
- Post the stories on a class wiki or website so that families can watch the digital stories at home.
- Once students have presented their stories to the class, have students play Mythology Hangman to see what they learned from each other’s presentations.
- After students have shared their digital stories, they have great background knowledge for reading The Lighting Thief or The Lost Hero, both by Rick Riordan.
Possible student assessment include
- Evaluate the students’ final projects with the Digital Storytelling Rubric.
- Observe and evaluate the students’ time on task during all sessions.
- Evaluate the students’ note cards, source cards, and works cited page.
- Examine the T-Chart Printout to see how the students reacted to this project.