Goal Directed Learning: Adaptation Level

9-12 Lesson

"Journey to America"

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Grade Level


Classroom Configuration

  • Whole group and one to one, in a computer lab or mobile lab setting, using mobile handheld devices for gathering data.

Arizona State Content Standards

  • ELL V: Oral Expression: The student will express orally his or her own thinking and ideas.
    • Concept 6. Interview another student or adult about his or her experiences, interests, preferences, and opinions, and evaluate the responses both as interviewer and
    • interviewee. (ss) (LS-P4)
  • ELL V: Comprehension of Oral Communications: The student will listen actively to the ideas of others in order to acquire new knowledge.
    • 1. Evaluate the logic in a range of extended general interest conversations and academic presentations on familiar and unfamiliar topics, in a broad variety of contexts, live or recorded, delivered at a normal or fast rate of speech. (s) (ss) (LS-P5)
    • 2. Interpret the situation, relationship, attitudes, and mood of participants in oral discourse or an interview; take appropriate notes; and summarize the information learned. (s) (ss) (LS-P4)
    • 3. Evaluate the overall effectiveness of informal and formal presentations that use illustrations, statistics, comparisons, and analogies. (s) (ss) (LS-P5)
    • 4. Comprehend content area words, including grade-level math, science, and social studies vocabulary. (s) (m) (ss)
  • ELL V Writing Standard: The student will express his or her thinking and ideas in a variety of writing genres.
    • Expository
    • 2. Write a multi-paragraph essay that establishes a thesis, includes supportive evidence, communicates information and ideas from primary and/or secondary sources, and includes an effective conclusion. (11W 3-2: PO1)
  • ELL V Writing Standard: The student will identify and apply conventions of standard English in his or her communications.
    • 1. Identify and use correct capitalization. (12W 2-6: PO1)
    • 2. Identify and use, with few to no errors, punctuation, including commas, quotation marks, colons (time, business letters, sentences introducing lists), semi-colons, apostrophes, hyphens, dashes, parentheses, ellipses, and brackets. (12W 2-6: PO2-PO8)
  • ELL V Reading Standard: The student will analyze text for expression, enjoyment, information, and understanding.
    • 7. Consistently apply knowledge of the following organizational structures of expository text to aid comprehension: cause/ effect, chronological order, comparison/ contrast; logical order, description, problem/solution, classification schemes, proposition and support, analogy, definition, and narratives. (s) (m) (ss) (10R 3-1: PO6)

Arizona Common Core Standards ELA
Comprehension and Collaboration
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups and teacher lead) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. 
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
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, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a purpose and audience.

Arizona Educational Technology Standards (2009)

  • Strand 1: Creativity and Innovation
    • Concept 2: Models and Simulations. Use digital models and simulations to examine real-world connections, explore complex systems and issues, and enhance understanding.
      • PO 2. Explore and experiment with system variables using models or simulations.
  • Strand 4: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making
    • Concept 1: Investigation: Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigations.
      • PO 1. Write essential questions to investigate a complex (multi-step) issue using digital tools and resources.
    • Concept 2: Exploring Solutions: Plan and manage activities to develop solutions to answer a question or complete a project.
      • PO 1. Plan and manage an individual learning project that collects multiple data sets from diverse sources, creating planning adjustments and course corrections from the knowledge gained.
  • Strand 5: Digital Citizenship
    • Concept 1: Safety and Ethics: Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
      • PO 3. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of digital tools as defined by school board policy and procedures.
  • Strand 6: Technology Operations and Concepts
    • Concept 1: Understanding: Recognize, define and use technology processes, systems, and applications.
      • PO 4. Recognize and demonstrate ergonomically safe and sound use of equipment.


  • Students will know new vocabulary associated with goal setting and making journeys
  • Students will be able to use technology tools to research an American immigrant story from a staff member on campus or a family member.
  • Students will be able to use handheld devices to plan and execute the following: write questions, record oral data, and play it back for listening comprehension. 
  • Students will be able to extract data from a voice recording
  • Students will plan, and write a cohesive three paragraph explanatory essay (biography about the immigrant’s journey) with proper English grammar.
  • Students will be able to understand and narrate in the past tense in 3rd person point of view.
  • Students will be able to receive and give other students written feedback in an online environment.


  • Begin by introducing goal setting vocabulary with mind-mapping or drawing software such as Inspiration/Webspiration, or Interactive White Board drawings. Have students draw the words in a divided circle map in which they identify synonyms, antonyms, sentences, and pictures for each vocabulary word presented. Examples: Goal, Mission, Journey, Incentive, Achieve, Lifestyle
  • Present an example of a short biography (preferably as a shared document, such as Google Docs, so students can refer to it throughout the lesson) for students about an immigrant who came to America and accomplished his/her goals. Example: Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jose Hernandez.
  • View video segments on the topic of American Immigrants, like Making a New Life: Immigrants in New York, or The Statue of Liberty; A Symbol of Friendship and Freedom (*Optional-Download movies and sync to handheld devices for playback by students).
  • Have students write the reasons that they (or their parents) made the journey to America using mind-mapping software or Interactive White Board drawings.
  • With teacher direction, have students come up with at least five questions for a teacher, staff member, or family member (if you will allow handheld devices to travel home) about their “journey” or their “family’s journey” to America.
  • They should write these questions either in the “Notes” program on the handheld devices (such as iPad or iPod Touches) or in Google Docs, if an Internet connection is available on the device.
  • Students record the speaker’s responses using the “voice memos application” and microphone on the handheld device. (Headsets with mics can be used if there is no built-in microphone).
  • Students return with the data and play it back for listening comprehension.
  • Students record data in writing using Google Docs. Answers to the questions should be written in statement form and should be the basis of the biography.
  • Students write three paragraphs using the teacher’s example as a guide. The essay should include an introduction, a body (data), and a conclusion.
  • Students share this document with the teacher and one other student for editing purposes
  • When the editing is complete, the students record (narrate) the story into their handheld devices using the voice memo application.
  • Students exchange devices to listen to each others’ recording.
  • Students write three pieces of information identified from another student’s oral recording and/or written biography into the shared document, for assessment purposes.
  • When completed with lesson, have students try to articulate their “goals” after their “journey” to this country. Have students write at least one goal down and a time in which they would like to accomplish that goal. Have the student create a personal Google Calendar and share it with the teacher, so along with the student, progress can be checked.

*Optional Extension: The voice recordings can be recorded using podcasting software for playback and upload to student or teacher website. This can be the beginning of the student’s digital portfolio.


  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Google Applications (or other open source word processing and collaboration application) accounts set up for teacher and students (Google Docs, Google Calendars)
  • Projector
  • Interactive whiteboard, optional
  • Student computers with Internet connection
  • Handheld devices with “Voice Memos” application and a built-in microphone or headsets with microphones
  • Mindmapping software: Inspiration inspiration.com/
  • Response devices optional


Ongoing assessment takes place as the student is able to see the teacher’s corrections and the peer editing from the student. The final assessment is the final draft of the writing piece which includes comprehension questions from the oral recording of a fellow student.  In addition, the teacher could include a brief quiz on the pertinent vocabulary and/or reading assignments. This quiz can be disseminated digitally by using Google Forms, downloading a quiz application for the handheld devices and syncing quiz, or other student response system modality such as E-Clickers.

Technology Integration Matrix





Goal Directed