Best Practices of Technology Integration
Title: Virtual Museum
Subject Areas: Social Studies and English
Intended Grade Level(s): 9th grade
Each of our 56 students will be involved in a group of 7 that will design a portion of a Virtual Museum
for a time-period in American History. This Virtual Museum will include oral, visual, and written
information relative to each particular historical era. The information presented will serve as an
anticipatory set for the entire class prior to studying that unit. Students will present using PowerPoint®
which will include the use of Scanners, Digital Cameras, Digitized Video, web site links, Elmo Brand
Presenter Pad, music, and other visual and audio elements. Students will then reflect at the end of the
unit to determine whether or not additional information should be added to the museum.
The project joins 9th grade American History and 9th grade English/Language Arts as students
collaborate in teams to research and learn about a chosen time period in history. Teams specialize in
one time period between the Civil War and The Great Depression. Teammates choose important
events, people, places, and artifacts to explore, research, and present to the class in written, oral, and
visual form through the use of PowerPoint®.
This project/lesson is very effective and meaningful to students as they become the “experts” for the
class. They research the time period, and they determine what events, people, places, and artifacts are
the most important and the most representative of the time period. Instead of the teachers “telling” the
class information about the time period, students are able to explore on their own, and they are able to
use higher level thinking in order to make decisions and put together exhibits that are representative of
one part of a “museum.” They are then able to introduce the time period to the rest of the class to get
students thinking about the time period that will be studied. Also meaningful is the follow up activity
which again forces students, this time all students in the class, to use higher level thinking in order to
determine which exhibits should be added and which, if any, should be deleted.
Technology enhances the learning for all students because it provides accurate and detailed information
about the time period and exhibits presented. It gives information in a more interesting way than by
simply reading it out of a textbook. Technology makes the learning more hands-on for the group
researching and presenting it, and it also makes the information interesting for the rest of the class by
providing graphics, photos, sound, music, and something visual to look at to go along with written and
oral presenting. With visual, oral, and written information, all students are reached in their particular
learning mode. Curriculum goals certainly are met as standards are covered and evaluated through the
use of technology. The project also encourages teaching and learning standards because the students
themselves become the “teachers,” the “experts” of their particular time period, and as we all know, by
teaching something ourselves, we learn it and know it much more thoroughly.
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All Benchmarks relate to Kent County Core Curriculum standards, which align to the Michigan
Curriculum Framework Benchmarks.
Plan and deliver a 3-5 minute informative speech including a visual aid.
Evaluate western expansion in the United States from the perspective of Native Americans, immigrants
and Industrialized America.
Use primary and secondary resources of the Reconstruction Era to analyze economic, social, political
and geographic events, issues from the perspective of individuals and groups in the United States.
Analyze the historical and current immigration policies of the Unites States to recommend a future
Locate empires of selected nations and analyze how imperialist practices reflected economic, political,
social, and military motives.
Analyze the economic, social political impact of the rapid industrialization and urbanization on the United
States prior to World War I.
Distinguish between monetary and fiscal policy and explain how each might be applied to problems such
as unemployment and inflation.
Analyze events, issues, which caused World War I, evaluate opposing points of view of United States
involvement in the war and predict the effectiveness of the Treaty of Versailles.
Analyze outcomes of World War I leading to global economic depression resulting in a political crisis
culminating in World War II.
2, 110 minute class periods are needed for instruction regarding PowerPoint®, digital cameras,
scanners, etc. and for information gathering and research relative to a time period in American History.
One partial class period at the beginning of each unit is also needed throughout the entire school year for
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Existing curriculum materials, computers (including Computer Lab with Internet Access), scanners,
digital cameras, monitors, color printers, software related to creating presentations and specific to areas
of study, resource books such as The Green Book, Social Studies Timetables, Video Hound, and
supplies and materials to support the creation of museums and theme parks.
Create a handout explaining the project and its requirements and go over it with students.
Create rubrics to use for evaluating the presentations and the content of the PowerPoint® document.
Bookmark at least one web site for each time period that students can use.
Reserve the computer lab for research and PowerPoint® development.
Prerequisite Student Skills:
Students must know how to use a web browser, a word processor, and they must know how to
research and gather information. Lessons will be given on the use of PowerPoint® and technical
equipment such as digital cameras and scanners.
Step 1: Form teams of 7; agree on which time period to research and what responsibilities each
student in the group will have. Time periods cover the Civil War through The Great Depression.
Responsibilities include the following:
Each group will create at least 5 exhibits for their museum that they believe best represents the time
period they are researching and presenting. These can be events, artifacts, people, places, etc. Each
exhibit includes an oral, written, and visual component. Students decide, in their groups, who will create
and present each component. Typing and organizing the PowerPoint® document also need to be
assigned and completed. Students document which tasks each is responsible for and turns this in to the
Step 2: Students will be in serviced on the use of PowerPoint®, scanners, digital cameras, etc.
Step 3: Students will be given time in class to conduct research and gather information and graphics for
their PowerPoint® presentations.
Step 4: Each group will be given additional class time prior to their presentation in order to collaborate
with each other and put together finishing touches.
Step 5: Each group will present their PowerPoint® project to class prior to the study of their time
period/unit. The presentation will serve as an anticipatory set for each upcoming unit of study.
Step 6: The class, as a whole, will reevaluate each PowerPoint® presentation at the end of each unit of
study to determine if there are other exhibits that could be included or if there are some that could be
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Each group will be assessed based on a rubric that evaluates each exhibit in terms of the written, oral,
and visual presentations given. An average score will then be determined, and each group member’s
final grade will be based upon an individual score of 2/3 and a group score of 1/3. Each group will also
be given a score based upon the presentation aspect of their PowerPoint® presentation in order to
cover the Language Arts standard. This will be separate from the grade given relative to the historical
content of the presentation.
Again, after studying each unit, the class as a whole will reevaluate the PowerPoint® presentation to
determine the significance of each exhibit included and to decide whether some exhibits should be
deleted or added to make the presentation more representative of the time period.
Names: Cheri Meyer, Vicki Harris, Russ Hoorn II, Gary Rider, Greg Vaughn
School: Kenowa Hills High School
School District: Kenowa Hills
Address: 3825 Hendershot NW / Grand Rapids, MI 49544
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