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Lesson Plan

Dynamic Duo Text Talks: Examining the Content of Internet Sites

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 40-minute class sessions
Lesson Author

Valorie A. Stokes

St. Joseph, Missouri


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Instruction and Activities


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Work cooperatively in pairs

  • Access and view specific sites on the Internet related to the topic they are studying

  • Make observations that reflect thoughtful examination of each site's features and content

  • Hold a "silent conversation," that is, an exchange of comments and ideas written on paper

  • Share their questions and thoughts about the sites together as a class

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Instruction and Activities

Session 1

Before students begin the exploration activities, post the banner paper with the headings "World War II," the "Holocaust," and "Anne Frank." Encourage students to share what, if anything, they already know about the three topics and note their thoughts on the chart. Explain how students will use the Observation and Inquiry Sheet and the Silent Conversation Sheet during the lesson.

Gather students in pairs. All pairs should open the article about Anne Frank on the Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, and the class should go through the article together. Make sure that students click on the hypertext links to "World War II" and the "Holocaust," and then read the first paragraph or two from each of those entries. Ask students what they want to add to the chart from the information they have read in the article and from the hypertext links. Add this new information to the chart.

Give each pair a copy of the Observation and Inquiry sheet with one of the web addresses highlighted in yellow. Although students will briefly visit each of the sites in the order listed, they will then go back to their designated site for a close viewing. Students should take turns writing their responses on the Observation and Inquiry sheet.

Session 2

During the second session, gather students in pairs and give them the Silent Conversation sheet. They should open one of the websites that they did not do the observation and inquiry work on and ask them to complete a "silent conversation" about it. This conversation should include at least four comments or questions written by each partner.

When all pairs have completed their "silent conversation," the class will go through the websites in numerical order first sharing their observations about the sites and then asking their questions about them by referring to their Observation and Inquiry sheets. Observations or questions that directly relate to the original three topics on the chart should be added under the comments from Session 1. Post the completed Silent Conversation sheets up on chart or banner paper screens so that classmates can read one another's discussions, and compare others pairs' thoughts to their own.

Use the chart with the three categories to lead the class into a study of the "human face" of World War II and the Holocaust via excerpts from Anne Frank's diary.

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  • Students write their own diary entries about a significant event or period in their own lives modeling it after Anne's style.

  • Students write a diary entry from the point of view of an adolescent living in Europe during World War II and incorporate information that they learned throughout the unit.

  • Students research a specific aspect of the Holocaust, by framing a question about it to guide their research. For example, students might ask:

    -Where are the memorials to Holocaust victims located in the United States?
    -What has become of the original concentration camps?
    -What worldwide groups or organizations have been established to help Holocaust survivors or their surviving relatives?

  • Students visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website, take an online tour, and write a follow-up reflection of their experience.

  • Students read another work of historical fiction that pertains to this period, then write a follow-up reflection on how that reading contributed to their knowledge of the Holocaust. Suggestions for such readings include: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen.

  • The lesson Anne Frank: One of Hundreds of Thousands can be used as an extension to this lesson because it invites students to connect Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl to the historical events of World War II.

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  • Successful navigation to and through the various sites

  • Completed Observation and Inquiry sheet for assigned site that includes specific references to details and elements on the site that support students' observations and opinions

  • Completed Silent Conversation sheet that includes specific references to details and elements on the site that support students' observations and opinions; also check for correct coding of comments to see if students understand what kind of thinking they are doing

  • Teacher observation and anecdotal notes on class discussions


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