This lesson would itself actually consist of several smaller lessons in order to incorporate all tasks and provide proper room for learning and absorption. This extended time period will also assist learners in making greater strides with the multimedia technology they have available, which as a dynamic setting and experiential means of expression and communication requires time to allow for repositioning and reanalysis (Gonzalez et al., 2000). By progressing in segments, leaners will come full circle form an examination of how alien history can be to how similar the technologies of the period in question are to certain technologies of today, despite the substantial and unquestionable differences. Lesson objectives include an improved understanding of communication technology and its importance in all times, societies, and civilizations; an ability to make connections between historic technologies and capabilities and those that exist today, the ability to work effectively in groups, the ability to work effectively with software, and aesthetic skills in the design and construction of the multimedia project.
Lesson 3: Telling Stories
Towards the end of the unit, as the novel is nearly being completed in class and individual assigned readings, learners will be asked to write out in paragraph form the narrative of the central character in Freedom Stone. Each learner will then be asked to write out a similar narrative of their own life, finding similarities in their own growth and progress despite the clear differences that will exist in their life experiences compared to those of the protagonist in Freedom Stone. Learners will be encouraged to share their own narratives in a class-wide discussion, after which they will divided into pairs for the primary task of the lesson, that of creating an audio/visual version of their narrative. Ideas for "sets," costumes, and props that can be used to illustrate various aspects of their own narratives or contexts will be given to the class by the instructor, with actual production of the media limited to the classroom environment. Equipment availability will prove a major time constraint for the project, but concurrent tasks and activities will also be available as limited recording equipment is shared by the learning pairs. Once learners have obtained some video and audio footage illustrating a narrative with at least three plot points, leaners will practice editing their footage using iMovie or other similarly simple available software.
Interpersonal interactions in both the narrative creation and in the substance and content of the narratives themselves -- that is, placing the narratives in an explicit special and cultural context -- will both be used in this lesson as a means of improving the quality of classroom interactions and of creating greater social awareness generally (Curby et al., 2011). The ability to share stories and the connections that story and narrative construction and sharing builds will be discussed in the context of Freedom Stone and the narratives created by the learners, with similarities, differences, and points of connection between various narratives discussed in the class following presentations of the created audio visual narratives. This lesson, like the second lesson described here, will need to be completed in a multi-part fashion in order to be effective and to retain interest and maximizing learning and absorption. Primary lesson objectives for this lesson include practice with critical reading skills, practice writing, technological advancement with audio visual equipment, experience with audio visual editing software, practice in interpreting and developing narratives, and the development of an appreciation for different modes of storytelling and expressing experiences.
This unit has far-reaching goals and a complex, multi-faceted approach meant to provide immersive learning in multiple areas. Though it is ambitious in its scope, it is built on strong foundations of educational theory and practice, and should prove effective in transmitting social, historical, and literary knowledge while also exposing learners to technologies that are already ubiquitous to much of day-to-day life and that will only be of greater importance as these learners grow older. The emphasis on guided but ultimately independent and self-directed learning is also an essential aspect of the unit plan, allowing learners to "reveal themselves" and learn about how they learn, providing a foundation for ongoing education and the development of stronger critical thinking skills.
Brophy, J., & VanSledright, B. (1997). Teaching and learning history in elementary schools. New York: Teacher's College Press.
Castek, J.M. (2008). How do 4th and 5th grade students acquire the new literacies of online reading comprehension? Exploring the contexts that facilitate learning. ProQuest.
Curby, T.W., Stuhlman, M., Grimm, K., Mashburn, A., Chomat-Mooney, L., Downer, J., ... & Pianta, R.C. (2011). Within-day variability in the quality of classroom interactions during third and fifth grade. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 16-37.
Gonzalez, R., Cranitch, G., & Jo, J. (2000). Academic directions of multimedia education. Communications of the ACM, 43(1), 89-95.
Hextall, I., & Mahony, P. (2013). Reconstructing Teaching: Standards, Performance and Accountability. New York: Routledge.
Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B. &…