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overview prep for teachers steps: class one class two extensions

Preparation for Teachers

Prior to teaching this lesson, preview the Web sites so you are familiar with their content. Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom or lab. Load the Shockwave plug-in (available free at onto each computer as well.

Copy the Become a Billionaire Information Sheet for each student, or email it as an attachment to each student in your class.

When using media, provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after viewing of Web sites or other multimedia elements.

Introductory Activity

Step 1. Distribute or email the attached document, "Become a Billionaire," to your students. Ask your students to read over the information in the document and make a tentative decision regarding whether or not they would accept the offer it makes.

Step 2. After your students have completed reading the document, ask your students for a show of hands regarding who would be willing to go to XR-38. Ask those who are willing to go why they would be interested in such a dangerous prospect. Ask those who are reluctant to go why they are hesitating. What would be appealing about being one of the first settlers on XR-38? What would be the drawbacks? Is there anything suspicious about the offer?

(Guide students to realize that, on the positive side, going to XR-38 would be an incredible adventure, they would be making history, that the potential for economic gain could be great, and that the risks appear to be minimal. On the negative side, they would be extremely far from civilization, they could fall prey to aliens, they would lack resources, and there would be a great risk involved in travel.)

Step 3. Ask your students if they think the United States government would ever give away land and opportunity for "next to nothing." (Student responses will vary.)

Step 4. Ask your students what they think of when they hear the word "frontier." Would XR-38 qualify as a frontier? Why? (Student responses will vary.)

Step 5. Tell your students to log on to the FRONTIER HOUSE essay "Uncle Sam is Rich Enough to Give Us All A Farm" at Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to read the third paragraph (and only the third paragraph) of the essay (it begins with the words "In reality, the frontier existed...") to see where and when the American frontier existed.

Step 6. Check for student comprehension. (In the paragraph, the frontier is described as having existed at a variety of times for a variety of people. The Pilgrims, Daniel Boone, and Laura Ingalls Wilder are mentioned.)

Step 7. Ask your students why they think the frontier existed in many times and many places. (Student responses will vary.)

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