Classroom Web Site

Activity Overview: 

This pre-kindergarten class has a class mascot, Simon the monkey, that travels with them on local field trips. Simon also travels to other communities and countries. Simon takes pictures everywhere he goes. These pictures are posted to the class Web page so that the children can view them and discuss what they learned.

PURPOSE: The object of this Web page is to have young children “visit” other locations without having to leave the classroom.  They will be able to compare other places to their hometown.   

BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The children have a class mascot that travels with them on local field trips.  Simon takes pictures and also has his picture taken.  These pictures are posted to the Web page so that the children can view them and discuss what they learned.  Simon also travels to other communities and countries and has his pictures taken there as well.  These pictures are also posted to the Web page for discussion.  There are activities that are put on the Web page for other students who wish to visit the page.

(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks.  Not all of the following activities / standards will appear in the video clips used.)


Standards http://www.intime


National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Performance Indicators



The students are taken on a tour of the local Chamber of Commerce, Memorial Park, and the town library.

History K-4: Topics 2 and 3 

Social Studies: V, early grades


Pictures will be taken of Simon and the children.


Pre-K-2: 2, 5, 6, 9


After the field trip the children will draw pictures of what they learned on the trip.

English Language Arts: 4, 5, 11, 12


The children will discuss their drawings with one another and the teacher.

English Language Arts: 4, 11, 12


The children will complete a Venn Diagram as part of a group discussion on the town library and the school library.

English:  4, 11, 12


After pictures have been posted to the Web page, the children will discuss the pictures found on the site with one another and the teacher.

English: 4, 7, 8, 11, 12


History K-4:  Topics 1-4

Geography: 4, 9

Social Studies:

III, V, VIII, early grades

Pre-K-2:  3, 5, 6, 7, 10

Grades 3-5:  7

The teacher will guide the discussion to compare this field trip with others that have been taken.

English:  4, 7, 8, 11, 12


History K-4:  Topics 1-3

Geography: 4

Social Studies: III, V, VIII, early grades

Pre-K-2:  3, 5, 6, 7, 10

Grades 3-5:  7


The children will compare their community pictures with the others that have been posted to the site.

English:  4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12


History K-4:  Topics 1-4

Standard 3 A, B

Geography: 4, 6, 9, 10

Social Studies: I, III, V, VIII, early grades

Pre-K-2:  3, 5, 6, 7, 10


Grades 3-5:  7

Classroom computer with Internet capabilities

Digital camera with the capability to take video clips – Sony Digital Mavica. Sony.  Available:

Hewlett Packard digital camera.  Hewlett Packard.  Available:


Microsoft FrontPage Software.  Microsoft.  Available:

Web site:  
Simon Seeks: An engaging school project for young students.  Available:

For Pre-K, assessment is based on the verbal responses that I get from the children as we view the Web page together.  The pictures that the children draw are also a good way to assess what the children have learned. 

Mrs. Kim Bradshaw, Pre-K Teacher, Buckhorn Elementary School, South Hill, Virginia

Mr. Paul Nichols, Instructional Technology Specialist with the Virginia Department of Education

This activity is quite flexible.  I have used the Web page all year, but a teacher may chose to do a Web page for a particular unit of study that he or she may be working on with their students.  The video clips have not been reenacted.

I have not used a Web page with my students in the past.  I am glad that I chose to go this route.   When we get together and view the Web page, I find that the children see things that I didn’t even think that they paid any attention to.  This leads to new topics of study, and a group of youngsters who are excited about learning. 

Technology Resources:  
I chose to use the one computer in the classroom because it was not nearly as intimidating as the computer lab.  Also, by using one computer I am able to hear the children’s reactions as soon as they see the pictures. 

The two cameras I chose to use were ones that the school had already purchased. The Sony Digital Mavica I used for both still pictures and video clips.  I used a Hewlett Packard digital camera for some still pictures that would be published to go in the school’s showcase after each trip.  I found that the resolution was better with this camera for that purpose.  Basically I used what was available to me and I made it work for the project.  

School Background Information:

  • Buckhorn Elementary School is located in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. The Buckhorn Elementary School district is entirely rural and does not contain any towns. South Hill, Virginia, population around 5,000, is the nearest town to the district. South Hill is approximately 8 miles from the school building.

  • Major areas of parent employment are in manufacturing, corrections facilities and to a declining degree in agriculture.

  • Buckhorn has an enrollment of 235 and the school system has just under 5,000 in K-12. Our school population is 53% White, 44% Black, and 3% Hispanic. Hispanics are provided LEP services.

Teaching Strategy:  
I chose this particular strategy to teach the children about other communities, because I thought that it would be fun.  In order to reach very young audiences, the material must be enjoyable.  I found that the children saw Simon as a student of theirs and would want to teach him everything that they had learned.  By using the Web site, I found that the children were learning more than what may have been presented on the field trip.  This helped me in my instructional planning.  I would find out what the children were interested in, and we would begin to learn more about that particular subject.  

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components Highlighted in This Activity  
(Note: This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks.  Not al of the elements from the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that are described below will appear in the video clips used.) 

Principles of Learning:  
Active Involvement:  
The children are actively involved by participating in the field trips.

Patterns and Connections:  
are made when the children look at the pictures and compare them with where the other children from the Web site are, and what they are doing.

Informal Learning:  
Some of the children are learning merely by the experience of going places, even though they may not be aware that they are in fact learning.

Direct Experience:  
Direct Experience
is evident with the hands-on experiences that the children get on the field trips.

happens as the children go back and view themselves on the Web page.  Reflection also occurs when they draw pictures of what they have learned on the trip.

Frequent Feedback:  
We try to comment on ideas and questions that the children have, when they have them.  We may save some of the questions and topics for a class discussion later.

Enjoyable Setting:  
This project involves field trips and communicating with other children, which the students find very enjoyable.  We view the web page in small groups so that the children have a more positive experience and enjoy it more. 

Information Processing:   

The children show their Appreciation for the project by continuing to want to teach our mascot, Simon, about their community and other communities.

When the children are asking questions on the field trips, they are Searching out the information that is important to them.

The children interpret what they have learned by coming back to the room and drawing what they can remember.  We also use Venn Diagrams.

is evident in the work time conversations that the children have about the trip or a new community that they have learned about.

Content Standards:   
Foreign Language:  

The children are exposed to Foreign Language by learning about other cultures from around the world where Simon has traveled.

Language Arts:  
The use of Language Arts can be seen when the children are exposed to Venn Diagrams.  The children are also introduced to a variety of literature and are constantly building their vocabulary.

We have activities that correlate our Math skills with our trips.

The children were exposed to several Science activities when we visited John H. Kerr Dam.

Social Studies:  
The children are exposed to Social Studies when we compare the different communities that we have visited.

WWW Info Sources:  

We use the Internet for the Web page and we also use search engines to assist with some of the questions that the children may have, especially to find pictures to help explain various concepts.

Audio/Visual Sources:  
We use video clips and still images as our Audio/Visual component.

Internet Communications:
Internet Communication
is evident as we e-mail back and forth to other teachers about Simon’s whereabouts.

WWW Authoring:
WWW Authoring
is evident with the creation of the Web page using Microsoft FrontPage.

Word Processing:
Word Processing
is used to create the activities that are posted to the Web page.

Student Characteristics:  
Because of the way the Pre-K program is set up, my assistant and I spend a great deal of time getting to know each of the children, what they like and dislike.  Each of the children has a unique personality and they are all on different academic and social levels.  This project enabled me to teach various concepts to all of the children.  My students were comfortable with the format, and they were able to grasp the concepts that they needed at that time. 

Evolution of the Activity:  
When this project first started, it was simply to post the children’s pictures to the site and have them reflect on what they had learned about the community.  Simon, the class puppet, traveled to Egypt and we posted these pictures on the site as well.  The children became so fascinated with learning about children from other places that we decided to purchase more Simons and have them travel around the United States and the world.  The project continued to grow by including activities on the site that correlated with the Virginia Standards of Learning.  Some of these activities we completed in class together and some of them were added for older children who may be viewing the site.  My goal is to continue this project each year simply building the data on the site.  The children have had such a good time.  I am confident that they are building strong background knowledge about communities, and that they will be able to expand this knowledge as they grow academically.

  (Learning activity format adapted from National Educational Technology Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology )