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A Sample Integrated Social Studies Lesson on World Wide Web Via America On-Line Traveling Around New York State

created by:
Sarah Nixon-Ponder & Tim Ponder
Ohio Literacy Resource Center, Kent State University

The following lesson could be used in a variety of ways: 1) with a class of students who have Internet connections in a lab setting; 2) if only one or two Internet connections are available, the instructor could pair together students to work together in teams to complete the lesson; 3) in a one-on-one situation with tutor and student, exploring, reading, journaling, and learning together as you progress through the lesson; 4) as a lesson for a student who wishes to work independently and has Internet connections; or 5) as a resource for instructors or tutors who are planning a lesson or unit on the state of New York and will not be using the Internet with students.

Whichever format is suitable for you and your situation, keep in mind that the Internet is a tool for learning and should not entirely replace the instructor. Adult learners will need guidance and support as they cruise the Internet locating information for the following assignment. Discussions--whether they be one-on-one, small groups, or whole class--are vital to the learning process and can easily become a part of any lesson using the Internet. Bringing in supplemental resources to enhance the lesson (or unit) is essential as well. Trade books, magazines, and newspapers are available in all libraries and can offer additional information that can make any lesson important, relevant, and unforgettable to adult learners--especially lessons on the Internet because information from the library can help "bring home" the ideas and topics covered. Tying writing assignments in with Internet lessons is as easy as it is important. Instructors or tutors can have students keep travel logs or start dialog journals with you or other learners in which they write (in conversation form) about their experiences and feelings regarding the lesson on the Internet. (These journals become dialogs when they exchange hands and the conversation is carried on with another person.)

Lessons on the Internet, such as the following one, can be structured to be open-ended and learner-centered, unlike lessons found in workbooks. They are great ways for students to explore their personal areas of interest, as well as being an excellent motivational tool.

I. Students will begin this search with blank maps of New York state. Each student will try to locate as much information as possible about the state, filling in what they can on their maps by following the routes into the different sites listed at the bottom of this section. Topography, which includes rivers, streams, lakes, mountain ranges, roads, cities, and towns, will be entered on their maps.

II. In addition, students will keep a "travel log" as they go, noting anything of interest to them regarding the different locations. This can be anything from sporting events, art museums and art shows, historical locations (i.e., battle sites), historical buildings, weather information, universities, etc.

III. At the end of the lesson (or unit), students will share their maps and travel logs with each other. Instructors/tutors should bringing in maps of New York state as well as maps of different cities or regions of the state. (AAA is a good source.) This will give the students an idea of how good their geography skills are and give them the opportunity to compare their maps to real maps, helping them also to fill in the blank areas with information they were not able to locate.

Expanding on this Lesson

Teachers/tutors can expand on this lesson in many ways. For example, with the rich history of New York state it would be easy to pull together history lessons from different sites. This could be expanded further by bringing into class fiction and non-fiction books that deal with different periods of New York and United States history. There is a wealth of trade books and authentic literature available in all public libraries that could easily supplement or enhance any lesson that has been pulled from the Internet.

GETTING STARTED

Go to GORP - New York Resource Listings to get started:

GORP New York Resource Listings will appear

Scroll down to browse the sites; click on words that appear in a different color to locate more information on a topic. The following is an outline instructors &/or students can use to help guide them through the above lesson. To leave a site and return to the previous screen, click on BACK. The following words in bold and italics will appear in a different color on your screen; click on them for additional information (shown below in the outline).
I. New York Attractions

  • A. New York National Forests II. Other Internet Resources
  • A. Mt. Marcy
  • B. Central Park
  • C. There are many other sites to visit around NY that are listed here, for example Adirondack information, Appalachian Trail information, etc. III. CityNet for New York State
  • A. Cities
  • B. Counties
  • C. Regions





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