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6-8 | Social Studies | Digital Storytelling
Station WHYY in Pennsylvania
My Classroom Innovation
In this 6th Grade Lesson on Ancient Egypt the goal was to truly bring the Egyptian experience to students while allowing them to explore and research in an exciting and engaging way. The lesson integrated iPads, our Floor Projector Screen, Promethean Board, ActivTable, and netbooks in order to enrich the content and information being studied and to create an all-encompassing approach to Ancient Egypt. This lesson is innovative because students experience the information through digital media and interactive resources as opposed to just simply reading and regurgitating facts. Each center utilized a different technology and focused on a specific topic relating to Ancient Egypt. The iPads allowed students to see a 3D model of a tomb in Egypt, something they would never truly comprehend if it were a flat 2D image. On the Floor Projector the Media Specialist was able to show different places in Egypt via Google Earth so that students could feel as if they were on a real field trip. In the listening center students listened to a prerecorded multimedia lesson, which included text, images, and a hand, written translation of the word from English to Egyptian. The students even got to hear how the word was spoken in Egyptian. The netbooks provided students with vital information about dates and events through a PBS/NOVA interactive site. On the Promethean board students practiced writing their vocabulary words in hieroglyphics and learned about hieroglyphics through the PBS Golden Empire site. Our Promethean ActivTable provided a chance for students to explore landmarks on their own and take notes on a touch screen surface. Lastly, the students collaborated in their groups to create digital scrapbook pages on each topic. Some of their pages included information on important vocabulary, key places and landmarks, tombs and pyramids, hieroglyphics, mummification, and important people.
How Students were Engaged
As a result of using different technologies, the students were excited to be in control of their learning and to be the ones driving the instruction. The students also had a tangible use for the information they were looking for because they knew they would be creating a digital page with their information. This motivated the students to find all of the facts and images needed to create a page that would be displayed in front of their whole class on the Floor Projector. Students were able to share their knowledge and apply it in a presentation setting. The students seemed engaged and interested in each center they worked in and felt ownership of their work once it was complete.
PBS Program/Content Used
PBS Golden Empire Site, NOVA's Exploring Ancient Egypt