Computer Skills Curriculum
Word Processing Lesson Plan
Title: Whale of a Tale
Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts: 1.3, 2.1, 3.1; Computer Skills: (Gr. 5) 3.1; Information Skills 1.1, 1.2,
2.2; Science Skills: (Gr. 5) 2.4, 2.9
Competency 3.1: Use a word processing program to publish a report that contains
centering, tabs, and more than one paragraph.
Measure 3.1.1: Use a word processing program to type, edit, and publish a report
on mammals. Center the title of the report.
Materials Needed: Print and video resources about whales; electronic
encyclopedia (optional; computer with word processing software and printer; chart paper,
blackboard, overhead and transparencies or computer with LCD palette and overhead; Whales Research Guide worksheet (included); Voyage of the Mimi
Time: One to three, 45 minute sessions in media center; two to three, 30 minute
sessions in computer lab; one to three, 30 minute classroom sessions.
- Assign students a whale or let them choose one, based on resources available.
- Provide a format for students to use for notetaking. (See attached sample.)
- Provide time for at least two activities/follow-up activities that require report
writings so that one may be used for the measure. As an alternative, have students save a
draft of the whale report. Use one copy for guided practice in editing, use of tabs, and
centering. Use the other copy for independent practice and final publishing.
- Tell students that they will be researching whales.
- Introduce the research guide on whales sheet to the students, using a computer and LCD
palette or transparencies. Discuss the kinds of information they should collect.
- Pass out the research guide on whales and explain that the guide will be used for taking
notes. Students should write the name of their assigned whale on the research guide. (You
may wish to distribute this sheet in the classroom and provide extra time for students to
- Help students use accessing skills to gather their information, with the media
professional and teacher working cooperatively to assist students.
- Compose a computer draft of the report containing more than one paragraph on the
computer, using tabs and centering.
- Provide opportunities for peer and teacher editing of the draft.
- Provide opportunities for final publishing and sharing of reports in class.
- View selected segments of Voyage of the Mimi to learn more about whales. Write a brief
summary using the computer. Include a summary which should be centered and use tabs to
indent the paragraphs.
- Develop a report on migration patterns of whales, using a computer. Use tabs to indent
paragraphs and center the title.
- Chart migration patterns of different kinds of whales. Use computer software to create
part or all of the chart.
- Develop a chart on uses of whale by-products.
- Examine the environmental impact of whaling.
- Create video-taped public service messages for the protection of whales and other
- Collect information about other endangered species using telecommunications and on-line
bulletin boards. Use a word processing program and a computer to publish a flyer,
summarizing findings on other endangered species. Use centering and tabs when necessary.
- Compare whales to dolphins and porpoises and use the computer to write and publish a
brief report. Center the title and use tabs to indent the paragraphs.
Provide students with time to key in their reports using a word processing program.
Require students to center the title of their reports and to indent paragraphs using tabs.
Provide opportunities for peer and teacher editing. Have students print a final copy of
their reports for display.