Computer Skills Curriculum
Telecomputing Lesson Plan
Title: Global Environment Project
Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan English
Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Social Studies: (Gr. 6) 5.1, 5.2, 5.3; Information Skills
Science: (Gr. 6) 4.1, 4.2; Computer Skills: (Gr. 6) 3.4
Competency 3.4: Use telecomputing hardware and software to communicate with a
distant computer or an online service.
Measure 3.4.1: Post a message on an electronic bulletin board requesting
environmental information from other sites. Compare this information with research
findings on environmental problems in Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Materials Needed: An account on a telecomputing service that provides e-mail
access to other teachers in the United States; a computer with modem and phone line; LCD
Panel (Optional); word processing and telecomputing software; materials for drawing graphs
or graphing software.
Time: Seven class sessions.
Terms: Telecomputing, Modem, Upload, Download, Bulletin Board Service, E-mail,
Log on, Log off, Internet, Information Highway
Glossary of Telecomputing Terms
Grade 6 Glossary
- 1. Compose an e-mail message asking for classes around the United States to send short
essays on issues of pollution in their specific areas. Explain that the essays should
describe the pollution, its source, and the effects. Include a due date (give them at
least six weeks) and promise to distribute all received essays and the final product of
the activity to all contributing classes. Also ask teachers who plan to contribute to send
a short message identifying their intent in the next week or so. This will give you an
idea of how much participation to expect.
- 2. Schedule two class periods to work in the school media center.
- 1. Explain to the class that they are going to work on a project that compares
environmental issues in the United States to issues in Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Tell them that they will be conducting research in the media center and then telecomputing
to gather information in the United States.
- 2. Distribute a copy of the e-mail message that you have already composed. Tell the
class that this e-mail message is going to be sent to teachers across the United States.
Ask the class to read the message and to make any suggestions to improve the message.
- 3. Take the class to the classroom or school telecomputing center. If available, use an
LCD Panel so that the entire class can view the online session. Login to the online
service describing the operation as it progresses. Ask students questions about what you
are doing, requiring them to use the proper terminology.
Day 2 and 3
- 1. Explain to the class that they are going to the media center to research
environmental issues in Europe and the former Soviet Union.
- 2. Divide the class into groups of four. Assign each group a category of media to
concentrate on in their investigation (reference books, periodicals, other books,
electronic media (CD-ROM), etc.).
- 3. Take the class to the media center for two days to conduct their research. The days
do not have to be consecutive.
- 1. Have students word process their notes, editing them for clarity, and print them.
Their names should be on their notes so that credit can be given in the final product.
- 2. Give each class member a copy of all the printed notes that were collected in the
media center. Ask the class to read their notes and to become familiar with the
information contained in them.
- 1. Over the month since posting the call for contributions, monitor your e-mail so that
you will be aware of responses received.
- 2. On or after the due date (when you have a number of messages from other classes
across the United States) take the class back to the classroom or school telecomputing
center. Use an LCD Panel so that the entire class can view the online session, if one is
available. Login to the online service describing the operation as it progresses. Ask
students questions about what you are doing requiring them to use the proper terminology.
- 3. Retrieve the essays from other classes and print them.
- 4. Make five copies of each essay and organize them so that students can share them.
- 5. Assign the class over the next week to use the notes collected from the media center
and the essays from other classes to write their own essay comparing environmental issues
in the United States to those in Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Day 6 and 7
- 1. Collect and evaluate each essay. Have the writers of the two or three best essays,
word process them. You might have the students with the best essays read them in class.
You might also send the best one to the local newspaper with a description of the project.
- 2. Combine the essays received from other classrooms, and the two or three best essays
written by your class into a single e-mail message. Take the class back to the classroom
or school telecomputing center and post that e-mail message to all of the classes who
contributed to the project. Also, send a second message thanking them for the
contributions. Again, ask students questions about what you are doing, requiring them to
use the proper terminology.
Have students write a report describing the advantages of information on climate that
is retrieved from an online service to related information from a print source, such as a
newspaper, encyclopedia, textbook, etc.