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Lesson Plan for Implementing

NETSSTemplate I
(More Directed Learning Activities)
Template with guiding questions
Teacher(s)
Name Margo Tripsa

Position 4th grade teacher

School/District Vision International School, Qatar

E-mail margatripsa@gmail.com

Phone +974 6692 8681

Grade Level(s) 4th grade

Content Area Science (Lesson Plan presentation https://goo.gl/w9HsGR)

Time line 8 lessons over the course of 1 month

Standards (What do you want students to know and be able to do? What knowledge, skills, and strategies do you expect
students to gain? Are there connections to other curriculum areas and subject area benchmarks? ) Please put a summary of the
standards you will be addressing rather than abbreviations and numbers that indicate which standards were addressed.

Content Standards:
This instructional scenario addressed two subject area standards: science and English Language
Arts. The lesson plan was built around the Living Systems cross-curricular unit. The students
studied endangered animals, had to research a critically endangered animal species, come up with
solution and present their research in a podcast. The science standard was combined with
informational text reading standards and writing standards.
SCIENCE:
NGSS 3-LS4-2 Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among
individuals of the same species might provide advantages in surviving, finding mats, and reproducing.
ELA:
RI.4.3. Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what
happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams,
time lines, animations, or interactive elements on WEB pages) and explain how the information contributes to
an understanding of the text in which it appears.
SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats,
including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
SL.4.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using
appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an
understandable pace.
SL.4.5. Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the
development of main ideas or themes.
W.4.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a
topic.
W.4.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and
publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of
keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.

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ISTE Standards for
Students:

2. Communication and collaboration: Students use digital media and


environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to
support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a
variety of digital environments and media
b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a
variety of media and formats
3. Research and information fluency: Students apply digital tools to gather,
evaluate, and use information.
a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry
b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information
from a variety of sources and media
4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making: Students use critical
thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and
make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
5. Digital Citizenship: Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues
related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior
b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration,
learning, and productivity
6. Technology operations and concepts: Students demonstrate a sound
understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
a. Understand and use technology systems
b. Select and use applications effectively and productively
c. Troubleshoot systems and applications

Overview (a short summary of the lesson or unit including assignment or expected or possible products)

This project was built around the Living Systems cross-curricular unit. The students studied endangered
animals, had to research a critically endangered animal species, come up with solutions to save the
species they researched, and had to present their research in a podcast. The science standard was
combined with informational text reading standards and writing standards.
The final product was an episode on the class Podcasting channel (Podomatic).
Steps:
-Introduce podcasts and review several science podcasts
-Kahoot quiz (assessing prior knowledge)
-BrainPOPJr video and quiz to build prior knowledge and stir students interest
-Kahoot quiz (to engage students and give them ideas regarding what animals they want to research)
-proceed with the research (library books, eBooks on RAZ kids, online resources). Parts of the research: describe
the animal, habitat, how people can help)
-Collect the facts in Google Docs, edit and revise (independently)
-create the individual podcast
-summarize your research in one paragraph to be shared through the Class Podcast (all students contributing)
-Create the Class podcast
-Kahoot quiz to assess learning

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Essential Questions (What essential question or learning are you addressing? What would students care or want to know
about the topic? What are some questions to get students thinking about the topic or generate interest about the topic?
Additionally, what questions can you ask students to help them focus on important aspects of the topic? (Guiding questions)
What background or prior knowledge will you expect students to bring to this topic and build on?) Remember, essential
questions are meant to guide the lesson by provoking inquiry. They should not be answered with a simple yes or no and
should have many acceptable answers.

How do animal selection, adaptation, and camouflaging determine whether the number of individuals in
a population would increase or decrease?
How do human interventions impact animals ecosystems and what effect can these interventions have
on endangered species?
What would be some possible solutions to help endangered animals?
Why would it be important to make sure species dont go extinct? How could the extinction of various
species impact life on Earth?

Assessment (What will students do or produce to illustrate their learning? What can students do to generate new knowledge?
How will you assess how students are progressing (formative assessment)? How will you assess what they produce or do?
How will you differentiate products?) You must attach copies of your assessment and/or rubrics. Include these in your
presentation as well.

To illustrate their learning, the students created podcasts. Each student produced a 1-2 minute episode
on a critically endangered animal species of their choice.

Formative assessment strategies: think-pair-share, observation, questioning, exit and entry tickets, peer
and self-assessment, student checklist, Todays Meet.
The main tool to assess student product was the rubric I created using Theme Spark. Because my school
is using standards based-grading, the students received separate grades (a grade for science, a grade for
writing, a grade for informational reading, and grade for speaking and listening). The teacher rubric was
converted to a student-friendly checklist with students help. The students used this checklist to guide
their project.
To create the episodes for the podcast all students had to create an audio recording. This also helped
students show their mastery of the 4th grade speaking standards and provided a great artifact in this
regards. For these reasons, even though there was not much room for differentiating product in this
project, there were several elements that help meet this criteria, as well. All the participating students
created audio recordings to share their learning, but they had a choice in the audio creation process.
They were free to choose any technology for creating their audio recording and were free to produce
their audios the way they liked. The length of the project depended on student readiness (between 1 and
2 minutes). The degree of difficulty of the resources provided to the students also matched student
readiness.

Assessment Rubric (https://goo.gl/cxGRsP)


Endangered Animals Pre-Assessment https://goo.gl/XZHQQ2
Endangered Animals- Kahoot public quiz https://goo.gl/8YLGkO
Identify the animal (Kahoot): https://goo.gl/w6RGsZ
Post quiz- How endangered & Animal groups names https://goo.gl/kAxGl0

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Resources (How does technology support student learning? What digital tools, and resourcesonline student tools, research
sites, student handouts, tools, tutorials, templates, assessment rubrics, etchelp elucidate or explain the content or allow
students to interact with the content? What previous technology skills should students have to complete this project?)

For this project the teacher and the students used various technology tools and resources.

Exploring podcasts:
Science Podcast for Kids: http://www.sciencepodcastforkids.com/
Brains On: http://www.brainson.org/

Endangered Animals research sites:


Sheppard Software: https://goo.gl/E0FxDn
Word Wild Life: http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory?direction=desc&sort=extinction_status
Konica Minolta: http://www.konicaminolta.com/kids/endangered_animals/
Ducksters: http://www.ducksters.com/animals/endangered_animals.php
A-Z Animals http://a-z-animals.com/animals/endangered/
Sheppards Software- Endangered animals game https://goo.gl/LcPoc
Science Daily- Endangered Animals News https://goo.gl/xNUqBQ
Animal Planet- https://goo.gl/Je6GG8
Bagheera- https://goo.gl/7VOg1H
Arkive (how can you help) https://goo.gl/qas5Pa
BrainPOP- Endangered Animals- BrainPOP
Endangered TV- http://www.endangeredtv.com/

Assessment Rubric (https://goo.gl/cxGRsP)

Other technology tools and resources used during the lesson: iPads (one-on-one), Google Classroom
(hosted all links and project directions), MP3 recorder for the iPads, Podomatic, Google Drive, Padlet,
Todays Meet, Kahoot, and Google Translate.

Students need to have knowledge in regards to internet safety and have some online research skills.

The technology-based tools used provided a rich context for students understanding. The technology
tools utilized helped students both consume and produce content. Technology was integrated routinely
for reinforcing higher cognitive skill development, complex thinking, and scientific inquiry. It also
helped the students share their learning with authentic audiences through the published podcasts. The
fact that the students researched solutions to save endangered animals and the fact that they ended their
podcasts with a plea for action, added an extra level of rigor and authenticity to their work.

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Instructional Plan
Preparation (What student needs, interests, and prior learning provide a foundation for this lesson? How can you find out
if students have this foundation? What difficulties might students have?)

To assess students prior knowledge on endangered animals I played three Kahoot quizzes:
Endangered Animals Pre-Assessment https://goo.gl/XZHQQ2
Endangered Animals- Kahoot public quiz https://goo.gl/8YLGkO
Identify the animal: https://goo.gl/w6RGsZ

To assist students in building a strong foundation before proceeding with the research, I used the
BrainPOP Jr video on Endangered and Extinct Animals. To check their understanding of the video, I
used the Hard Quiz that came with the video. Because most of my students are second language
learners, I made sure they have dictionaries available. I also posted around the room QR codes that took
them straight to McMillan dictionary, which helped them pronounce unknown words and understand
their meaning. The students were free to choose the animal species they were interested in learning ore
about.

Kahoot was also used to assess the students knowledge and mastery of the content at the end of the
project.
Post quiz- How endangered & Animal groups names https://goo.gl/kAxGl0

Management Describe the classroom management strategies will you use to manage your students and the use of digital
tools and resources. How and where will your students work? (Small groups, whole group, individuals, classroom, lab, etc.)
What strategies will you use to achieve equitable access to the Internet while completing this lesson? Describe what technical
issues might arise during the Internet lesson and explain how you will resolve or trouble-shoot them? Please note: Trouble-
shooting should occur prior to implementing the lesson as well as throughout the process. Be sure to indicate how you
prepared for problems and work through the issues that occurred as you implemented and even after the lesson was
completed.

I used Class Dojo for behavior management and also for positive reinforcement of good work habits.
The students worked independently to create their podcasting episode. They peer edited their script and
after they finished producing their own episodes, they worked collaboratively in order to produce a class
episode on all the endangered animal species they researched.

We are a BYOD school and all students have iPads. The students had created audio recordings
previously so they know how to troubleshot the apps they used. Also, one of the classroom jobs was the
IT specialist. That student assisted other students when needed. To ensure equitable access to
technology, the students who did not bring their own iPads were provided a school iPad. To ensure that
we had reliable internet connection, I also checked out a Mifi prior to the lesson. The teacher phone
could have also been used as a hotspot.

Instructional Strategies and Learning Activities Describe the research-based instructional strategies you will use with
this lesson. How will your learning environment support these activities? What is your role? What are the students' roles in
the lesson? How can you ensure higher order thinking at the analysis, evaluation, or creativity levels of Blooms
Taxonomy? How can the technology support your teaching? What authentic, relevant, and meaningful learning activities

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and tasks will your students complete? How will they build knowledge and skills? How will students use digital tools and
resources to communicate and collaborate with each other and others? How will you facilitate the collaboration?

My role in this project was that of a facilitator. I engaged in negotiation, stimulated conversations, and
monitored the process of learning. I helped students construct their own learning by modeling,
mediating, redirecting focus and providing options. I facilitated collaborative social interactions in the
classroom. I established a context where students co-constructed knowledge.
The students roles where of explorers, teachers, and producers. They conducted research on endangered
animals, and produced podcasts in order to teach the world about the importance of taking care of
endangered species and in order to raise awareness about this issue.
To ensure higher level thinking I framed 4 inquiry questions that guided their research:
1. How do animal selection, adaptation, and camouflaging determine whether the number of individuals in a population
would increase or decrease?
2. How do human interventions impact animals ecosystems and what effect can these interventions have on endangered
species?
3. What would be some possible solutions to help endangered animals?
4. Why would it be important to make sure species dont go extinct? How could the extinction of various species impact life
on Earth?
Through this project the students engaged in authentic, relevant, and meaningful learning experiences.
They produced products for authentic audiences. Their work could produce a positive effect and could
generate change.
The students used technology to collaborate with one another and to share their ideas with the world
through podcasting. Technology was used as media for constructing and communicating ideas. The
learning environment was very technology rich and devices were available to the students as needed to
produce original work.

Differentiation

I differentiated the content and the process.

To differentiate the content, I adapted the levels of depth, complexity, and readability of the materials. I
shared different resources with different groups of students. I provided my students with various
informational text types: brochures, newspapers for kids, articles, videos, magazines, etc. I also encouraged
thinking at different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.

I differentiated process through scaffolding. I used different graphic organizers, I provide supplementary
materials, and I broke assignments into small, more manageable parts to help my slow learners focus on
one task at a time. I used different questioning techniques and ongoing informal and formal formative
strategies (thumbs up, thumbs down, student response systems, etc.). To differentiate process I provided
scaffolded assistance (scripts, graphic organizers, checklists, peer support, teacher support). Finally, when
working collaboratively, the jobs were strategically assigned according to students' abilities, their choice,
or student academic needs. The students were encouraged to share their thinking and make their voice
heard in regards to the development of the project.

The students with limited English proficiency were provided sentence starters and question prompts to help
with their research. The ELL teacher assisted these students throughout the project.

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Reflection

Throughout the project the students reflected on their progress and adjusted their learning according to
peer and teacher feedback.
The project was a success and the students took their learning to the next level because of the
excitement that came not with just conducting the research but also with creating episodes for their
podcast. The students loved both the content and the process. The help of the ELL teacher who provided
assistance to the students with limited English proficiency was very valuable.
One aspect I would work more on next time would be to ensure better acoustics and also teach the
students how to make sure their voices are clear and audible. Even though the students had created
MP3s before, some were quite shy. Teachers who want to use podcasting need to acknowledge the
challenges that come with having the students record their voices and encourage the students to practice
(maybe by having them create a series of podcasts on familiar topics). An advice I would give to the
teachers who would be interested in implementing it, would be to allow plenty of time for the
implementation of the project (about 10 hours) to give the students the opportunity to do a thorough
research.
It would also be good if students studied persuasive writing before. They would have been better
equipped to write the plea for action at the conclusion of their podcast.

Closure: Anything else you would like to reflect upon regarding lessons learned and/or your experience with implementing
this lesson. What advice would you give others if they were to implement the lesson? Please provide a quality reflection on
your experience with this lesson and its implementation.
Covered in the previous section.

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