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Assignment #2

Tracey Best (18410068)

University of British Columbia

ETEC 530 Section 66B

Diane Janes, Ph.D

August 1, 2008
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Grade 6 Reading Lesson Plan

Novel Study Background Information

This lesson plan is a culminating activity after reading the novel
Number the Stars written by Lois Lowry. The story is set in Denmark
during World War II. The Danish Jews are being arrested and the
Resistance groups are attempting to smuggle the Jewish people into
the safe territory of Sweden. The novel is written from one of the
characters, Annemarie’s point of view. Annemarie is best friends with
Ellen who is Jewish. The story evolves around the events of
Annemarie’s family and their attempts to help their fellow countrymen
and their best friends to find safety. The novel gives a glimpse at
what occurred in the past when the Nazi Armies invaded Denmark and
gives a snapshot of one part of the larger concept of the Holocaust.

• Computers
• LCD projector
• Video Camera
• Digital Camera
• Class set of Number the Stars novels

• To develop oral presentation skills
• To work cooperatively to collaborate on a related projects
• To be able to read between and beyond the lines of text to
interpret multiple perspectives of what is read
• Gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust
• Gain advanced computer skills to produce a multimedia
• Use technology to develop multi-facets of writing and reading

• Students would have completed reading the novel Number the
Stars by Lois Lowry in class – participating in offline and online
• Students would be familiar with basic computer technology tasks
such as the ones being described in this lesson
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Teaching and Learning Activities


Lesson plan for 30 students. The students would be put into small
groups of three for Tasks 1 and 2. The final task will combine two
groups to form groups of six.

The teacher will:

• discuss the student’s groupings for the first two tasks and the
blending of groups for the third task
• discuss the grading criteria and what is expected of each student
and the groups
• discuss objectives and goals of the lesson
• discuss the roles each of the group members need to decide
upon to allow for a positive collaborative experience
• Cooperative Group Roles OR Cooperative Group Learning

To launch the lesson and to engage the students the teacher will use a
computer with an LCD projector to play Character Jeopardy. The
students will be divided into two groups.

The teacher will use the Number the Stars Character Jeopardy
(TeacherVision, 2008) link to show the questions. Each team will
assign a score keeper and a question reader. The teacher will
determine a point value to each question and set the guidelines for the
game. The teacher will monitor the alternating of questions being
read between the two teams.

After the game the teacher will lead a whole group discussion to
collaboratively debate:
• similarities and differences of physical and personality attributes
of people in general and specifically the characters in the story
• what clues are given in a story that tell about the character’s
attributes – how those attributes relate to some of the themes
of the story (i.e. friendship, bravery, citizenship)
• how does an author develop a character – what techniques are
used to create the character

Students’ Task 1

The first task involves each group discussing and brainstorming face to
face the main characters of the novel. The group members are to
agree on one to three characters to analyze and describe the
character’s physical and personality attributes.
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Using the computer the students create a concept map for each of the
characters with the character’s name in the middle and the attributes
in the outer strands of the concept map; creating a descriptive
analysis of the character(s). The students are to reveal important and
different aspects of the character(s) and are to include page citations
that support the attributes being described.

Each trio is responsible for deciding on collaborative roles to design

and complete the concept map(s).

Students can use Microsoft Word or CMap tools

Microsoft Word: Click Insert

Click Diagram
Build concept map; adding character attributes

Students’ Task 2

In this second task the students are to discuss and brainstorm face to
face some big ideas or themes that emerged from the novel. Themes
such as bravery, friendship, citizenship, war, peace, fear or sacrifice
are a few ideas to consider.

Using the computer the members of the group in this task are to agree
on one to three themes that reflect the overall sense of the story.
Each group is to develop one concept map for each theme similar to
the attribute webs – no more than three themes are required – one
theme is acceptable.

The group is to write the theme in the middle of each web and discuss
and add supportive explanations and page numbers from the text that
illustrate and justify the ideas of the theme.

Students can use Microsoft Word or CMap tools

Microsoft Word: Click Insert on tool bar

Click Diagram
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Students’ Task 3

Two groups of three will combine to form groups of six for the final
task. To begin, each of the small groups of three will share their
character and theme concept maps with the other group of three. The
newly formed group of six will choose one character and one theme
from their concept maps to create a multimedia presentation that
describes their understanding of the novel’s character and theme.

For example the group of six could decide on depicting a scene from
the story and represent that scene from their chosen character’s
perspective based on the ideas from the concept maps. Since the
book is originally written from the main character, Annemarie’s
viewpoint, students are to predict and illustrate another character’s
perspective. Some examples of other character perspectives and
scenes are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Character Scene/Theme
Ellen’s point of view Arrival of German soldiers in
Johansen’s apartment when she
was pretending to be Annemarie’s
Peter’s point of view Arrival of soldiers at Auntie Berte’s
funeral when the coffin was
stuffed with blankets, food and
clothing to smuggle the Jewish
Uncle Henrik’s point of view When the soldiers and their dogs
are searching the boats that have
Jewish people in the secret
compartment in Henrik’s fishing
(Cornish, 2002)
This final task is to be represented in a multimedia format - depicting a
character’s perspective of the story and to also reflect a main theme
that emerged. The final project is not restricted to a scene simulation.

Other ideas:
• news coverage that depicts the headlines and articles set in the
World War II era based on the story and other researched facts
• journalist interview of a character’s perspective of the Nazi
invasion events
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• research presentation of what the group wanted to learn more

about (i.e. Aldolf Hitler, concentration camps, other countries
invaded etc.)

Multimedia Examples:
• Slideshow
• PowerPoint
• Short movie using Windows Movie Maker, Canadian Content -
Freeware Downloads OR SnapFiles
• Create a group Blog with Blogspot
• Create a group Wiki with Free Wiki by Wet Paint

Figure 2 represents some age appropriate Internet links for the

students to gain knowledge and background information on the
Holocaust for their multimedia presentation.

Figure 2

The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students

Learning About The Holocaust

Jewish Holocaust


Each group of six will present their multimedia presentation to the

whole class. Each group is expected to orally introduce and briefly
discuss the character and theme of the story. In addition, the
presentation needs to include a discussion about the scene, situation
or event that is being portrayed in the presentation.

The presentation is to connect each task according the group’s

knowledge and interpretation of the story to create and offer their own
inferences of the story.

Assessment and Evaluation

The teacher uses the checklist rubric to evaluate each group’s
presentation. The students use the self-evaluation rubric for individual
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4–A 3–B 2.5 – C+ 2–C 1 – C-

Exceeding Grade Fully Meeting Meeting Grade Minimally Not Yet Meeting
Level Grade Level Level Meeting Grade Grade Level
Expectations Expectations Expectations Level Expectations
Group Presentation Evaluation
4 3 2.5 2 1
Criteria Excellent Very Good Good Average Poor
clear evidence
of story
visuals that add
to the
of the
clear concise
details of
characters and
concept and
theme are clear
in multi-media
clear, concise
and well
gained full
attention of the
knowledge of
the project
choice of
ability to
learning and
effective use of
technology to
capture the
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Group Work Skills
Name: _______________________
Date: ________________________

Criteria 4 3 2.5 2 1
Excellent Very Good Good Average Poor
I worked toward
the achievement
of the group’s
I contributed to
the group’s
I self-assessed
and monitored
my own behavior
to stay on task.
I communicated
well with group
I listened to
other’s ideas.
I participated in
adding ideas with
a positive
I consistently
reviewed the
criteria of the
final project to
assist the group.
I participated in
helping to
manage group
work time
I knew how to
disagree with
ideas, not people.
I contributed
well to the
concept maps.
I contributed
technology skills
for the
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Personal Reflections Introduction

In the past I have used the novel Number the Stars by Lois
Lowry in a face to face reading classroom. The tasks of past lesson
plans have been taught in a more traditional model with whole class
discussions, group brainstorming and individual writing response
This lesson plan could become the outline for a variety of Web
based structures to deliver the content besides the traditional face to
face format. By designing this outline into a Webquest or a Web
project the World Wide Web becomes the management system not the
This lesson plan takes on a new form of teaching skills in an
elementary reading classroom. In this lesson the students are
learning a multitude of skills such as (a) navigating the Internet (b)
designing concept maps, (c) collaborating in groups and, (d) blending
face to face interaction with technological creations.
As the students work through the assigned tasks they are
learning to organize and communicate their thinking while being
immersed into a variety of technological environments. “The Internet,
by its very nature can offset the more static nature of covering content
from the textbook” (El-Hindi, 1999, p. 3).
Constructivist Instructional Model (CIM)
This lesson scaffolds from task to task, adding new dimensions
to a traditional format of teaching. For example, the role of the
students transforms from the teacher being the leader to the students
giving direction to their learning, organizing information and discussing
within their groups. The final multimedia presentation requires each
member of the group to merge their thinking with the other members
of the group to produce a unified project. The variety offered in the
final task develops the students’ abilities to read, research and present
their understanding of a story through a medium that suits their needs
and interests.
The above lesson plan incorporates constructivism; following
the steps outlined by the model developed by Driver and Oldham cited
in an article written by Michael Matthews. The jeopardy game engages
the students; the final presentation follows the restructuring phase of
constructivism with the students having to make inferences about the
characters and themes in the story. “Students . . . can see that there
are a variety of ways of [interpreting] phenomena or evidence”
(Matthews, 1994, p. 143). The self-assessment rubric allows the
students to reflect on their learning.
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Conceptual Change Model (CCM)

The lesson plan provides opportunity for the students to develop
a community of learning together in their groups; actively accessing
what they know and applying that knowledge to create something new
as in the multimedia presentation.
Posner, Strike, Hewson and Gertzog describe this process as a
Conceptual Change Model. They write, “ . . . inquiry and learning
occur against the background of the learner’s current concepts [to] . .
. rely on [their] current concepts to organize [their] investigation”
(1982, ¶ 9).
The students connect their ideas to form a bigger picture or an
altered version of what lies between and beyond the lines of the text.
Cey writes, “ . . . educators should design their instructional methods
in ways that allow for multiple perspectives of targeted concepts to
occur” (2001, p. 15).
Prediction – Observation – Explanation (POE)
The concept maps help the students organize what they have
learned about certain characters and themes of the story and apply
that knowledge to the multimedia presentation. The students make
predictions from the story, observe those predictions through the
design of their concept maps and explain their thinking in the final task
of designing a multimedia presentation.
White and Gunstone describe the POE model, “ . . . [learners]
must predict the outcome of some event, and must justify their
prediction; then they describe what they see happen; and finally they
must reconcile any conflict between prediction and observation” (1992,
p. 44).
Technology and Constructivism
Technology affords the ability for the students to guide their
learning, review the criteria and to use the Internet in a meaningful
way. Geraldine Lafoe concurs, “ . . . a shift in approaches to pedagogy
is required by teachers as well as a way of supporting alternate
frameworks for instruction within a web-based environment” (1998, p.
Final Thoughts
This reading lesson differs greatly from my past teachings of this
same topic. Having the lesson outline developed as a Web based
structure permits a teacher to work more closely with the students in
smaller groups. The Internet becomes the central wealth of
information allowing the teacher to take a step back and watch the
interaction and learning that occurs because the students manage
their learning, not the teacher. This lesson includes many aspects of a
constructivist and balanced literacy program; reading, writing,
interacting and orally presenting knowledge both online and offline.
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Reference List

Cey, T. (2001). Moving Towards constructivist classrooms. Retrieved

June 17, 2008, from



Cornish, J. (2002). The history behind the story in “Number the Stars”.

Retrieved July 7, 2008, from


El-Hindi, E.A. (1999). Beyond classroom boundaries: Constructivist

teaching with the internet. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from


Lafoe, G. (1998). Creating constructivist learning environments on the

web: The challenge in higher education. Retrieved July 28, 2008,




Matthews, M.R. (1994). Science teaching. The role of history and

philosophy of science New York: Routledge, Chapter 7

Pearson Education. (2008). TeacherVision. Retrieved July 14, 2008,


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Posner, G.J. Strike, K.A. Hewson, P.W. & Gertzog, W.A. (1982).

Accomodation of a scientific conception: Toward a theory of

conceptual change. Science Education. 66(2), 211-227.

White, R. & Gunstone, R.F. (1992). Probing understanding. London:

The Falmer Press, chapter 2 & 3.