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									                               Best Practices of Technology Integration

Title: Postcards from Noah’s Ark

Subject: Science

Intended Grade Level(s): 3-5th grade

This lesson plan demonstrates how to use technology to enhance the culminating activity of a unit on the study
of animals. The purpose of this activity is to give the students an opportunity to research an animal in depth and
integrate that knowledge as they write about it. Students will be writing descriptive postcards that might have
been sent by the animal as a passenger on Noah’s Ark. The students will use the knowledge gained in the
preceding Science unit as well as the additional research in this lesson. The students’ prior knowledge about a
particular animal increases their understanding of the trials and tribulations that the animal might have faced on
this long journey.

Working in pairs, students will plan, research, and create a multimedia presentation. Students will gain research
skills utilizing the Internet, word processor, selected software, and other resources as needed to complete their
project. Students will develop communication and interpersonal skills as they work collaboratively to produce
their presentation. Using a PowerPoint storyboard generated by the teacher, the students will produce a slide
presentation as part of an oral presentation to their classmates and parents.

As students study animals in this project, they will work together to identify and make observations about
various animals tha t live around the world. Their goal is to make a multimedia presentation that can be used by
their teacher to evaluate their learning of this unit. Both parents and visitors to the school will view this

This activity is a good motivator as it combines what the students have learned with a multimedia presentation.
It involves extensive knowledge, substantial conversation, and many prospects for connections beyond the
class. The children will develop communication and inter-personal skills. This activity provides an exciting
opportunity that will allow students to enhance their creative talents and use their imagination as they describe
what might have happened on this Noah’s Ark.

Students will have the opportunity to design and present an oral report supported by technology. Involving
them in designing the presentation enhances the students’ creativity, imagination, and problem solving as

With this activity, the students will have developed an awareness of the various problems their animal could
have faced on this journey. They will look for information regarding who or what might have contributed to
these problems. The student may then be able to suggest solutions that could alleviate these problems.

The student will have collected information/facts found in books and on the Internet. They will analyze this
information so that they can describe what impact this journey could have on their particular animal. Critical

Postcards from Noah’s Ark                                                                                           1
thinking and problem solving abilities among the students will be promoted as they work to generate responses
to the facts gathered. These responses could have dramatic impact on the lives of these animals.

The students will strengthen their writing skills through this activity. They will be provided with opportunities
to practice searching skills on the Internet. Students will have used various search engines on the web to locate
information. They will have copied and pasted information into a word processing document and had many
chances to improve their general typing and word processing skills.

Lastly, students will be given the chance to learn about empathy and compassion as they will identify and
express various emotions of the animals. The students will develop a sense of unity and understanding
regarding the value of all of earth’s animals, including man.
Key discussion questions:

1.    What is the voyage like?
2.    How is your animal handling the change in his environment?
3.    What possible problems (sickness, breakdown of the ship, weather conditions, reaction to other strange
      animals, etc.) is the animal encountering as he makes this voyage?
4.    What concerns is the animal facing as the voyage continues?
5.    What situations might be different than what the animal is accustom to?
6.    What new danger does the animal face?
7.    What new experience is the animal forced to handle?
8.    How would this voyage change the animal’s life?
9.    What should the animal tell his family about his voyage as the voyage continues?
10.   How did the animal manage to survive the hardships of the voyage?
11.   How would you have felt if you had been on the ship?
12.   How did the animals keep busy?
13.   How were the animal’s survival needs of food, water, and shelter met while on the Ark?
14.   What will the animal need to do in order to adapt so that the group can survive?
15.   What foods will your animal eat?
16.   How will it protect itself?
17.   Where will it live?

Curriculum benchmarks:
Compare and contrast food, energy, and environmental needs of selected organisms.

Explain how physical and/or behavioral characteristics of organisms help them to survive in their environments.

Explain common patterns of interdependence and interrelationships of living things.

Describe the basic requirements for all living things to maintain their existence.

Postcards from Noah’s Ark                                                                                           2
Detailed Timeline: approximately 2 weeks
Day 1 – Students will visit the library to obtain books and magazines on their animal and explore the computer
Encyclopedia and Wild Animal CD.
Day 2-3 – Students will search the Internet for websites to obtain information, pictures, and sounds related to
their animal.
Day 4-9 – Students will plan, write and peer edit their PowerPoint® presentation. Students will also use this
time to plan a unique way to present the PowerPoint® as part of their presentation.
Day 10 – Presentation of projects.

Multimedia software Microsoft™ PowerPoint®
Word Processing software Microsoft™ Word®
Projection system
Drawing program Paint
Internet connection
World Book Encyclopedia CD
Wide World of Animals CD
Storyboard copies of the PowerPoint templates
Digital camera
Encyclopedia, non- fiction books or magazines on animals

Teacher Preparation:
1.  The teacher will review the requirements of the animal science unit.
2.  The teacher will plan and develop the storyboards for PowerPoint® that the students will use in their
3.  The teacher will guide the students in the use of PowerPoint® and give any other assistance needed.

Prerequisite Student Skills
1. Students will have completed the reading and experiments that go with their general science animal unit.
2. Students will have a working knowledge of word processing, Internet searching, multimedia software,
    digital camera, scanner, and downloading and saving images or sounds.

ü Upon completion of the science animal unit’s required lessons and investigations, the teacher will show a
   PowerPoint® slide show in order to model the expectations for the project.
ü Children should brainstorm on the meaning of voyages and have a discussion concerning some of the key
ü Pairs start working on their presentation after distributing storyboards for their planning and pre-writing.
ü Pairs should select an animal for this lesson before visiting the media center then they should look for
   resources such as books and magazines and begin their Internet search on their animal.

Postcards from Noah’s Ark                                                                                         3
ü Students will be required to use at least one of the following methods to keep any important information
  they locate for future references.
    •       Make a bookmark of the Web page using the Web browser.
    •        Print the page that presents the most important information that they need.
    •       Take notes from the screen of the page.
    •       Copy the information from the page into a word processing program.
    •       Save a file of the page using the web browser.
ü A dialogue among students about the serious problems the animals might face, based on the information
  gathered, should take place before final draft is begun so that information and ideas can be shared. Possible
  solutions to problems may be discussed as well.
ü In pairs, students write five postcards detailing their animal’s trip on Noah’s Ark. Postcards should include
  sights the animal might see, sounds, smells, problems it might encounter such as sickness, mechanical
  problems with the ship, weather conditions, encounters with strange animals, etc.

    Remember: Students are writing these postcards as the animal they have chosen. For example, a whale
would not be afraid of the water so the post card would not mention the possibility of drowning.

Slide requirements will include the following elements:
    • Slide 1
This slide includes a catchy title for the show, partner’s names, and a picture of the animal.
    • Slide 2
This slide (postcard #1) should be a general “Wish you were here!” introduction. A picture of the animal is
included on this slide. Be sure to include as many concerns and feelings from the animal as they are about to
embark on this dangerous journey.
    • Slide 3
This slide (postcard #2) should discuss how the animal on the Ark might have felt about the experience after
about the first week of the trip. Example: Crocodiles would miss basking on a muddy shore, giraffes would
resent hitting their heads on the rafters, and kangaroos would have to be rescued when they jumped a bit too far
over the edge of the Ark. A picture is optional.
    • Slide 4
This slide (postcard #3) would describe how the journey is progressing after two months. What problems has
the animal encountered as he continues on this voyage? A picture is optional.

   • Slides 5-6
These slides (postcards #4 and #5) are up to each pair of students, but the entries should be creative and
descriptive. They could be describing the end of the voyage and possibility reaching the final destination and
what concerns they have about their new habitat.

Each postcard should be creative and descriptive. Include the date on each one as well.

Postcards from Noah’s Ark                                                                                        4
Students will be graded based on the following:
   • Used all of the available resources for research.
   • Postcards were creative and descriptive.
   • Demonstrated understanding of PowerPoint.
   • Used related graphics and backgrounds.
   • Used correct spelling and grammar.
   • Utilized proper presentation skills.
   • Demonstrated knowledge of the chosen animal.

Follow-up Activities:
   • Make a poster classifying the animal and its relatives.
   • Make a poster of a food web showing the animal in its position in the web.
   • Make an illustration showing the animal in its natural habitat.
   • Build a diorama or other 3-D display of one of your postcards.
   • Write a paper comparing and contrasting the experiences of two entirely different animals on this same

Submitted By:
      Name: Nancy McKenzie
      School District: Paw Paw Public Schools
      School: Cedar Street Later Elementary
      Address: 555 Cedar St., Paw Paw, MI 49079

Postcards from Noah’s Ark                                                                                     5

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