Fourth Grade Unit Plan

Albert Turner Elementary School

The photo below depicts the majority of my fourth grade students each holding books in honor of Dr. Seuss Day. We celebrated his birth by reading Dr. Seuss books aloud to each other.

The ABC's of Inventions

The unit plan, itself, was composed of an extensive research plan finalized on a Glogster poster and presented orally to classmates and instructors. The finalized products were printed and compiled into a book for sharing in the classroom. On the backside of each poster, classmates’ comments, which were recorded during each oral presentation via “Guided Listening Blocks," were included. The goal of the plan was to broaden student knowledge of researching, using a variety of sources, and using technology to enhance the presentation of your research.

Day 1 - Choosing Topics

Students were allowed to choose any topic they were interested in researching. They were given a wealth of resources to investigate topics for research. The only "catch" was that no student could use the same letters twice to successfully create our ABC book. Below, I've included a photo of student index cards used to record topics. Student log-in information and resources for "How to Create a Glog" were attached to each card after topics were chosen. These can be seen attached to the back of a few of the more "used" cards.

Day 2 - What Is Researching All About?

On the second day, students were put in charge of figuring out what, exactly, we would include in a research project. After asking students a number of leading questions and instructing them to complete a quickwrite, they came up with and shared an entire list via KWL chart. These items were conveniently listed on a rubric made prior to discussion which was passed out and discussed. Often, researching can be intimidating and stressful, but I wanted my students to leave this project loving to learn about their topics and others' topics as well rather than finally "getting rid of the project." I, consequently, had my students share their "biggest fears" and "least worrisome" qualities with me on the back of our rubric. This way, I could dispell and illegitimate fears, and I could work with my students closely on the parts they felt they would least like. I also asked students to write a "least worrisome" quality. This would give students a part to look forward to when researching.

Day 3-6 - Researching

For the next several days, students researched using books and online sources. Using a recording worksheet, students recorded data from online sources and then rewrote paragraphs to avoid "plagiarism" which was discussed in our opening days. Students then recorded these paragraphs to their Glogster poster. Glog were also personalized in these days of research and writing.

Day 7-10 - Being a Good Presenter & Being a Good Audience

After researching, students were instructed that they would each present their Glogs to their classmates and instructors. Every single student was delighted with the opportunity to share his or her hard work. Before they could present, however, students were told that they must learn "How To" be a good presenter and listener. Students worked hard to decide the rules for listening and presenting, and each student performed beautifully when his/her time came to share. Students were also given an opportunity to ask "serious questions" that had not been previously answered by the presenter. These were the highlight of the presentation nearly every time. Students also recorded their thoughts and what they learned on listening blocks shown below. Students were then presented with the final copy of the book. The book was eventually shown to the Board of Education. The board was very proud of the each student's hard work. It was a very rewarding experience for every person who participated.

Celebrating the Unit

In addition to our final ABC Book of Inventions, students and faculty of Judson's Education Dept. participated in a writing project to celebrate the close of our unit. My students were initially very discouraged about their lack of "know how" regarding both internet skills and glogging skills. The projects were all spectacular accomplishments for each student, and to encourage them to be exceptionally proud of their work, Education students and professors wrote letters to students about their Glogs. Letters included encouragements and commendations on the great work of these fourth grade students. The fourth graders were ecstatic to receive letters on 'actual Judson letterhead' from students and teachers. Teachers and students are pictured below writing letters to fourth graders. My students made me read each and every letter! I know that the project made an everlasting and sweet impression in their minds.