Lesson: Country Travelogue
Author: Marc Sheehan
Sources of Ideas: Mary Ruth and Katy Korzeniecki, St. Philomena Catholic School (Des Moines, Washington)
Subjects: Social Studies, Writing, Research Skills, Technology Skills
Instructional Level: Sixth Grade
Skills: Utilizing techology to complete a project, Writing, Research
Time: Three to Four Weeks: four weekly in-class sessions for research and putting the project together, another two consecutive days for sharing final products
Materials/Necessary Tools: Computers, internet access, digital projector, electronic slideshow program (I used Google Slides, but PowerPoint would work), journals for note-taking, writing utensils
The student will utilize technology to conduct research on a given topic.
The student will use technology to create and present an electronic slideshow at a level appropriate to his/her grade level.
The student will be able to synthesize research to create a project using grade-level written work.
Introduction: I worked on this project with the Sixth Grade class at St. Philomena Catholic School in Des Moines, Washington, during a long-term assignment in 2016. To introduce the project,
I asked the students to pick a country or two they would like to visit. They wrote about their selections in their English journals and had the opportunity to share their candidate nations, with a
view toward this upcoming assignment. A few days later, I shared the requirements for the project: the students would choose a country to research and create an electronic travelogue
highlighting tourist attractions or sites of interest in that nation. I created an example using Google Slides about the United States and showed that to my class to give them an idea of what they
were to do for the project.
Procedure: I gave the students the following instructions in written form:
Your task: Create a travelogue using Google Slides about a country or territory outside the United States. You will have at least 9 slides:
1 introductory slide: give your name, your country, and an image of the country
7 slides about sites or points of interest in the country you select
1 bibliography slide showing the resources you used to complete this project with at least 2 research sources using EasyBib.
Your 7 main slides about your country will focus on places or events people would like to visit in your country. These can feature:
cultural events and festivals
Students were given the suggestion to look up national tourist bureaus to help focus their research.
Use one feature per slide.
Each of the 7 main slides will include:
An image of the site
A description of the site in 3-4 sentences: what is it, where is it, why people should visit
The students were given a timeline of when the slides were due: the first three in nine days, the next three a week later, and the final three the following week. Each set of slides were to be
submitted to me so I could check on their progress. Our school librarian graciously gave over four separate Computer Lab days for our project and offered much assistance to the students as
they worked. Students were also urged to work on the project outside of class so they could get everything done well and on time. The students were also instructed to cite at least two
of the research sources they used by utilizing EasyBib
Closure/Modifications: The students shared their slideshows to their classmates over two class sessions. The slideshows were submitted to me electronically so that I could offer
corrections and suggestions. The project could be modified in terms of length, either number of slides and/or number or sentences per slide. The project was done in stages, but the time
requirements could be altered (submit two every five days, for example). Students could have their work scribed for them if necessary. Students could focus on getting their ideas written down, while
the teacher or someone provides assistance with editing those ideas. The students could also be given ideas to use (e.g. for Ireland -- include Dublin) to better focus their
Assessment: The slideshows were graded on completeness (all 9 slides done); on the use of grade-level writing skills in spelling, grammar, and composition; on the required use of the
research citations; and quality of the project -- was it informative? Was it interesting? Was it legible (could read the typed information on the slides)? Was it done with appropriate writing
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