- Grade level: Middle/Upper Elementary, High School
- Subject Area: Social Studies
Students will work in task forces to explore the contributions of community organizations and will develop Web pages for a number of local agencies.
- Learn about the roles different organizations play in their community.
- Explore avenues for participation in activities to help their community.
- Develop the ability to interact with organizations in a professional manner.
- Develop Web authoring skills.
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 dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: Access to a Web server on which to store Web pages students develop.
- Special software requirements: An HTML editor.
- Internet access: Any of the following three speeds will be sufficient for developing and up-loading Web pages: Low-speed (less than 28,000 BPS via modem), Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem), or High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network). It should be noted that medium and high speed connections are preferable for viewing Web pages on the Internet.
Unit Lesson Plans
- Lesson One: Organization Fair. Students begin their investigations of community organizations by creating brief profiles of local agencies.
- Lesson Two: Agency Contacts. Student task forces begin contacting organizations they have chosen to profile.
- Lesson Three: Building Web Pages. Student task forces complete their profiles by creating Web pages about their community agencies. Students' Web pages are compiled in a central site and the projects are announced on various electronic forums.
Relation to Standards
We have drawn on perfomance expectations developed by the National Council for the Social Studies in the areas of Civic Ideals and Participation and Individuals, Groups and Institutions. We feel that these standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus social sciences work in their classrooms.
One Computer versus 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:
- If you have the technology, you may hook-up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students rotate through computer with Internet access in groups.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them to a disk. Then transfer Netscape [http://home.netscape.com] onto your other computers. Now you can transfer the files you down-loaded and saved to a disk to the other non-internet computers to view with Netscape. This will not allow students to explore the pages with hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with Netscape.