Meet the Teachers
Margaret Holtschlag and Cindy Lafkas have integrated telecommunications into their classrooms for three years. Margaret teaches fourth grade at Murphy Elementary in Haslett, Michigan. She first learned about technology from her husband, who is a United States Geological Survey hydrologist. Her interest in technology stemmed from her desire to explore new and different ways to approach teaching in her classroom. She and her husband got an Excellence in Education grant from the Department of the Interior to do a multi-media project on wetlands. Cindy is teaching fifth grade at Cornell Elementary in Okemos, Michigan. She says she wouldn't have become involved with computers if it hadn't been for word processing since she loves to write. Cindy has been at Cornell for 11 years.
Cindy and Margaret participated in four telecommunications field trips through TCI and Turner
Adventure Learning in the past three years. In past years they went to the Rift Valley in Kenya and the battle
field at Gettysburg. This year, they went to Ellis
Island. (To learn more about Margaret and Cindy and their other
field trips, take a look at their Teacher Case in the Table of Contents on the left.)
In this unit, students will visit Ellis Island sites to learn about the patterns and history of immigration in this country. These explorations will serve as a personal link for students to the historical importance of immigration in United States history.
Students' research will include using Internet resources as well as library resources. Students will visit sites set up by other children that are related to the concepts of immigration.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some
assumptions about the hardware
and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the
LETSNet website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or
activities have a computer
(PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and
monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or
software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but
Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special"
requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above)
and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
We have drawn on the historical thinking standards outlined by the National Center for History
in the Schools as well as evolving standards for K-12 language arts from the
National Council of English Teachers (NCET). We feel that these standards
provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus social sciences work in
One Computer vs. Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following: