Project 1: Literacy Throughout The Year

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Stella McCarthy
(smmccart@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Danette Dawson
(djdawson@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Gerard P. Butt
(gpbutt@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

School: St. Columba Elementary
P.O. Box 179
Harbour Grace, NF
A0A 2M0
Tel: (709) 596-2333
Number of Students: 30 students
Grade Level: K - 7
Project Start and Finish Dates: January - April, 1997

  Project Overview

This project will provide primary students at St. Columbia with their first exposure to Internet technology. The resources of the Internet will help foster an interest in reading, and help students develop basic literacy skills by active participation in the reading and writing process.

Students will compose and send e-mail to determine what primary students across Canada enjoy doing at different times of the year, such as sports, hobbies, special celebrations, holidays, etc. Students will receive and respond to e-mail from other classes.

Using a search engine, such as Yahooligans, students will find topics, and sites on the World Wide Web that are associated with the seasons and different months. Students will bookmark the web sites that they feel would be interesting to other students from kindergarten to grade three.

With the help of some older students, possibly grade 6 or 7, the primary students at St. Columba will publish a homepage on the World Wide Web, highlighting the different activities associated with the months of the year. Students will also write short paragraphs explaining why they think these sites are interesting, and/or tell about activities they like to do during that time of year.

Other primary classes worldwide are invited to suggest their favorite sites depicting certain celebrations or activities, explaining why they think other children would enjoy visiting these sites. Likewise, the primary classes at St. Columba will be able to share their reasons for choosing their sites. The final published World Wide Web page will be a collaborative effort with the other primary classes who share an interest in this type of research.

  Curriculum Connections

This project relates mainly to the Reading/Writing/Viewing components of the Language Arts program and to the Curriculum Framework for Technology Education in the primary grades.

Language is the major medium through which children learn. At the primary level, students begin to acquire the reading and writing skills that are essential for future academic success. Many strategies and resources have been utilized to help students learn fundamental literacy skills. This project will provide many opportunities for thinking, observing, listening, investigating, inquiring, talking and, of course, reading and writing.

LANGUAGE ARTS:

  • To help students acquire the language skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing and viewing.
  • To help students compose appropriate e-mail messages.
  • To help students realize that language, especially reading and writing, is a tool of learning, as well as a medium of communication.

TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION:

  • To help students learn the basics of communication - principles of encoding/decoding, transmitting/receiving, and the role that technology plays.
  • To help students develop a vocabulary of the terminology and language used in the communication technology associated with e-mailing and using the Internet.
  • To help students send and receive e-mail messages.
  • To help students develop an appreciation of the value of the World Wide Web as a source of information, and use a browser to explore and utilize this resource.
  • To help students use an appropriate search engine for this project.
  • To help the older (grade 6/7) students use an HTML editor to create an "Literacy Throughout the Year" home page on the World Wide Web.

  Resource Connections

Students will be actively involved in this project thanks to the Internet access provided by the STELLAR Schools program. They will use the resources of the World Wide Web and electronic mail to conduct their research. Each student will be encouraged to contribute to the project. Students will be expected to justify the choices that they make, and they will share these ideas with other schools. Finally, the students will design their own "Literacy Throughout the Year" web page.

This project would require the collaborative effort of other classes, and indeed other schools to work through the project. Students and other schools that are already used to using the required learning resources for this project would be able to help other classes and schools that may be just starting. As students from different schools share ideas about their favorite activities and sites, they will also be exchanging information about themselves, their community, and country. The information that the students at St. Columba gather will greatly expand their knowledge and broaden their horizons. The finished product (the "Literary" homepage) will then be available for any schools that would like to use this additional learning resource. Over time this resource could be revised and updated, thus providing relevant information to anyone learning the seasons or months of the year.

Students participating in this project will use PC applications and accessories that are necessary for the creation of a Home Page for this project, and the Internet - specifically electronic mail and the World Wide Web for research and communicating. As well, a flatbed scanner and a digital camera will be required to complete this project.

  Evaluation

Students will:

  • demonstrate a knowledge of using a World Wide Web browser, such as Netscape, to explore the Internet.
  • demonstrate a knowledge of sending and receiving e-mail using appropriate software such as Eudora.
  • demonstrate a knowledge of various search engines, such as Yahooligans, to locate appropriate sites.
  • demonstrates a knowledge of how the resources of the Internet are related to the "real" world.

Older students will:

  • demonstrate a knowledge of using a HTML editor to create a Home Page for the project.

Feedback from students, as well as parents, teachers, etc. will help determine how the students' current knowledge has been enriched in this particular project. The creation of this web site resource by the grade six and seven students will help students achieve the objectives of the curriculum and highlight the importance of the Internet as a learning resource.

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