Active Learning: Entry Level

9-12 Lesson

Biography of an American Author

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Grade Level


Classroom Configuration

  • One to one, in a computer lab setting
  • One to one, with individual student laptops

Common Core State Standards:ELA

  • Text Types and Purposes
    Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas,
    concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective
    selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to
    make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g.,
    headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to
    aiding comprehension.
    b. Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended
    definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples
    appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.
    c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text,
    create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and
    d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the
    complexity of the topic.
    e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to
    the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports
    the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or
    the significance of the topic).
    Production and Distribution of Writing
    Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization,
    and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing,
    rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most
    significant for a specific purpose and audience.
    Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update
    individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's
    capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and
    Research to Build and Present Knowledge
    Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question
    (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden
    the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject,
    demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
    Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital
    sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each
    source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text
    selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a
    standard format for citation.
    Range of Writing
    Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and
    revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of
    tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    Arizona Educational Technology Standards (2009)

    Strand 3: Research and Information Literacy

    1. Concept 2: Processing
      1. PO 1: Locate and synthesize information utilizing advanced search strategies including a variety of search engines, metadata search engines, deep web searches and databases.
      2. PO 5: Apply ethical use of information and media by respecting the principles of copyrights, intellectual freedom and property rights, using information and media technology responsibly, and citing resources appropriately.

    Strand 6: Technology Operations and Concepts

    1. Concept 1: Undestanding
      1. PO 3: Choose technology applications appropriate for the audience and task.
    1. TSW research and select a famous American author.
    2. TSW will organize and summarize the author's biographical information.
    3. TSW will examine the author's influence on society.
    4. TSW plan and write a research paper with proper citations and writing elements.
    1. Using a Search Engine of student choice, students will search for information on an American author of their choice. (*Update Note: Google Squared referred to in video clip, is no longer available from Google.)
    2. Students choose which characteristics to research.
    3. They will compare information gleaned from two or more search engines to determine what is most credible, authoritative and reliable.
    4. As students conduct their research online, they will choose an online tool to take notes and organize their thoughts. Students will include facts, quotes, contributions.
    5. They will answer the questions:
      1. Why is this author important to us today?
      2. What impact did the author have on society?
      3. What were the major influences in this author's life and work?
      4. Provide at least 2 quotations from the author and explain why these quotes exemplify their work.
      5. And add at least two other questions/answers they find pertinent to understanding the author.
    6. Students will provide a digital or paper copy of their pre-writing organizational tool for teacher or peer review.
    7. Students will use a digital citation tool to assist them with citing their sources.
    8. The research paper will be assessed with a focus on the pre-writing graphic organization, organization of the paper, mechanics, amount of relevant information, paragraph construction, and proper citation of sources.
    1. Computers with Internet access
    2. Search Engines, such as Google Advanced Search, Google Scholar, Sweet Search Biographies, Library of Congress.
    3. Essay Map: ReadWriteThink

    1. Notetaker: ReadWriteThink
    Or Google Docs, Primary Pad, or other

    1. Graphic Organizing tool: ReadWriteThink
    or Mindmeister

    1. EasyBib: Free Bibliography Maker or Son of Citation Machine,
    Teachers will assess the students research papers using a research report rubric generated from RubiStar (Research and Writing, Research Report.)

Technology Integration Matrix





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