Imagination Express: Rain Forest

05/04/2000
Activity Overview: 

After students read Mary Pope Osborne' s Afternoon in the Amazon, they work together to brainstorm facts about the rain forest. Students translate their information into a living book format using Edmark's Imagination Express. Once finished, students present their living book to an appropriate audience.

PURPOSE: 
The student will use spoken, written, and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences. He will also demonstrate a knowledge of the rainforest.

DESCRIPTION:

  • Student will read Pope's Afternoon on the Amazon

  • Student will brainstorm information about the rainforest

  • Student will translate their information about the rainforest into living book format using Edmark's Imagination Express

  • Student will e-mail a question about the literature to the author Mary Pope Osborne

  • Students will present their living book to an appropriate audience

ACTIVITIES: 

(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.)

 

Procedures:

Curriculum Standards from http://www.intime.uni.edu/model/cont.html

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Performance Indicators from http://cnets.iste.org/profiles.htm

Student will read Pope's Afternoon on the Amazon

English Language Arts: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 12

 

Student will brainstorm information about the rainforest.

English Language Arts:  3, 7 

Science: C3, A1, F4   

Social Studies:  IIIf, IIIh, VIIIb, Xj

 

Student will translate their information about the rainforest into living book format using Edmark's Imagination Express.

English Language Arts: 3, 4, 5, 6, 12  

Science:  C3, A1, F4   

Social Studies:  IIIf, IIIh, VIIIb, Xj 

Grades 3-5:  1, 4, 5, 6

Student will e-mail a question about the literature to the author Mary Pope Osborne.

English Language Arts: 3, 4, 5, 7, 12

Grades 3-5: 1, 6, 7

Student will present their living book to an appropriate audience.

English Language Arts: 4, 6, 12

Grades 3-5: 6

TOOLS & RESOURCES:
Web sites:

Author site:  
Available: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/magictreehouse
Edmark: Imagination Express  Destination: Rain Forest. 
Available: http://www.edmark.com
Mary Pope Osborne's Afternoon on the Amazon.  
Available: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/magictreehouse/
Brainstorming using Word. 
Available: http://www.microsoft.com

ASSESSMENT:
This student learning activity ties into my student's IEP. His IEP is to improve his reading level, comprehension and fluency. All of these activities tie into that annual goal.
I use frequent feedback with all of my students in a small group situation. Examples in the taping were when my student had trouble with spelling, punctuation and capitalization.

CREDITS:
Melody Raub, New London Community Schools, New London, Iowa
meraub@new-london.k12.ia.us

TIMELINE & COURSE OUTLINE:
We reenacted parts of this activity due to the time involved. The living book itself takes us about 30 minutes per page to produce by the time we get the typing done. The Magic Tree House book was read over the course of several days. The email the author is a short one-time project. This whole activity lasted about 3 weeks in a resource room where we only worked on it during the time that the student was with me.

COMMENTS:
I used this same software with a middle school student who had a more severe reading and writing problem. He used it to complete a report for the regular classroom. The regular classroom teacher was very pleased with the project. This student was able to successfully complete the regular assignment and have a finished product he could show off for everyone.

Technology Resources:
I like this particular program for my students because of the motivational format that it is in. I just happened upon the program but like it because it does allow my students the experience to do something different than what our regular classroom students do. When we allowed other students to view the book they were greatly impressed and envious. This program is not expensive.

School Background Information:
The population of New London, Iowa is 1200 people. The parents of the students work in Business and Industry. We are basically a bedroom community with the parents working in either Mt. Pleasant or Burlington. Our enrollment is building K-5. All of our students are fluent in English. We are basically a white community.

Teaching Strategy:
My students, like all students, need to be highly motivated and challenged. This strategy does both. The computer software I chose allows me to go as difficult or easy as I need to depending on the student I am working with. Working in a small group situation presents a different set of challenges than a large class setting and this approach seems to be effective for me. The Magic Tree House books have ignited a spark within a reluctant reader that I want to use for as long as possible.

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components Highlighted in This Activity http://www.intime.uni.edu/modelimage.html

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

I feel my video especially shows the Principles of Learning.

  • My student connected information from reading, science class, science shows on TV, and social studies class.

  • The nature of my job is to provide Frequent Feedback in an Enjoyable Setting. My student hates to leave after our time together. Over 20+ years of teaching I have found that an Enjoyable Setting with a caring teacher reaps me the highest rewards.

  • The book design allows for use of Direct Experiences and a Compelling Situation.

  • Informal Learning is especially important for special needs students.

  • It allows students to interpret information from a variety of sources.

  • This living book format definitely allows for Active Involvement.

Student Characteristics:
Student characteristics affect every activity that I, as a special education teacher, use. This particular student is very bright and creative with a learning disability in reading. He has really latched onto the Magic Tree House series and has read all 14 that I have in my classroom. It has been a great way to improve his reading level and with the computer's assistance also work on creative writing. He is reading at home, in the regular classroom, and in my classroom. His reading has improved by 10 levels according to the DRA and his comprehension is fabulous. He remembers facts from the books he read at the beginning of the school year. I have always operated in a learner-centered environment.

How the Activity Has Evolved Over Time:
As my student's abilities develop, especially in the areas of reading and writing I am able to add to this activity.

(Learning activity format adapted from National Educational Technology Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology http://cnets.iste.org/students)