A Walk Through History CD-ROM

Activity Overview: 

Students construct a CD-ROM by working in various groups and completing a particular task that is essential to the project. These groups include cover design, HyperStudio card storyboard, Internet research, typing text, scanning graphics, and the actual "burning" of the CD.

Using previously completed reports about famous people in history (i.e. Jackie Robinson, Cleopatra, Confucius, etc.), 5thgraders will construct a multi-media CD-ROM using cross-platform Hyper Studio software.

Students will construct a CD-ROM by splitting off into various groups and completing a particular task that is essential to the project. These groups will include: cover design, Hyper Studio card storyboard, Internet research, typing text, scanning graphics, and the actual "burning" of the CD.


(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.)


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

Each student needed to identify a person in history to research for their report. In order to broaden their horizons, students were encouraged to investigate non-living, non-Americans.

Social Studies: II Early Grades c, d, e, f





Students needed to complete a written report that included an illustration of their person and a list of references.

English Language Arts: 3-8, 12

Grades 3-5: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10

Students took their information and then prepared an oral presentation that was done in our cafeteria for invited students, parents and staff members. All of the students "became" their chosen person by dressing up like them, making displays, etc.

English Language Arts: 3-8, 12

Grades 3-5: 1,4,5,7,8,9,10


As a class, we will review and critique the "Smile Across Iowa" CD that we have already made. We will discuss how we can improve the next one we make.

English Language Arts: 8,12

Technology: 3-6


 Grades 3-5: 8, 10

Grades 6-8: 3, 7, 8



Students will discuss the various groups that need to be formed in order to make our new CD. What skills will be needed in each of the groups?

Who will be the leaders? What are their responsibilities?

English Language Arts: 4, 7

Technology: 5, 6

Grades 3-5: 4, 9

Grades 6-8: 6, 8

Take students' already completed reports and type them into Hyper Studio or a word processing program. Reports may need to be edited.

English Language Arts: 6

Technology: 3, 4

Grades 3-5: 1, 3

Grades 6-8: 6

Students will scan various maps, photos, drawings and other materials that are relevant to the projects. Students will observe all copyright laws.

Social Studies: II Early Grades d, III Early Grades c, IX Early Grades a.

Technology: 3-5

Grades 3-5: 4, 5, 9

Grades 6-8: 3, 4

One group of students will design a storyboard of the layout for the presentation. They will then coordinate with the students designing the cover and those making the actual "cards" that are linked together for the CD.

English Language Arts: 4-7

Technology: 4-6

Grades 3-5: 5, 9

Grades 6-8: 4, 6, 7

A group of students will use PowerPoint to design an effective cover for the CD-ROM. They will use a variety of editing tools, clip art, etc. This file will be saved as a .jpg file so it can be manipulated and also imported into Hyper Studio.

Technology: 3, 6

Grades 3-5: 1, 4, 5, 9

Students have used the Internet to search for relevant web sites. A group of students will verify that the addresses recorded are correct and that the sites are still available. They will use Netscape for this.

Technology: 5, 6

Grades 3-5: 7, 10

One group will be responsible for actually making cards for each report and then linking them together. They will work with the other groups to work on continuity, quality, etc.

Technology: 3-6

Grades 3-5: 4, 8

After all of the groups have agreed that the project is complete, another group of students will "burn" or make the actual CD-ROM disks. They will copy the Hyper Studio file to a blank CD-ROM disk. All of the groups will view the final product to verify that the work was carried out.

English Language Arts: 8, 12

Technology: 3

Grades 3-5: 5, 9

Grades 6-8: 6, 7, 10



The assessment will be done by viewing the completed CD and verifying that the report material was inserted in the proper place and order, to see if the CD actually works on both PC and Mac platforms and to assess the teamwork throughout the process.

Mr. Kim Reed, Elementary teacher, Madison Elementary 
Mr. Steve Reynolds, Media Specialist, Madison Elementary

I "looped" with this class from Fourth Grade to Fifth Grade this year, and during that time we have been involved with a wide range of technology. This includes: videoconferences, regular e-mail work, extensive Internet research and use, presentations (PowerPoint and Hyper Studio), scanning documents and using a broad range of software.

Since this class has already made a similar CD-ROM entitled " Smile Through Iowa", it was envisioned that this project would be similar to the last one. The difference will be that students have a clearer picture of where they are going, and a greater level of expertise.

Our "Smile Through Iowa" CD-ROM took a total of two months to create, mainly because we were doing this with another class and I was training another teacher as well as 50 students. We also used the help of a parent volunteer to coordinate some aspects of the project.

Since that time we have done much more work with HyperStudio, scanned photos, used MS Office, and burned CDs. We also constructed various aspects of the project in a piecemeal fashion in order to teach the students effectively. I feel confident that if we were to make a concerted effort to complete this CD with my class now, we could get it finished in two weeks. My students are more mature and have more technical savvy at this time. They know where they are going and work cooperatively to reach their goals.

This is about the 5th CD-ROM that I have made with upper elementary classrooms in the past 3 years. They include projects on Career Day, a project on Iowa’s Sesquicentennial, and a project entitled "Understanding Homelessness." The latter CD won us a lot of local, state, and national recognition, and was given to various agencies (Cedar Rapids Library, Police, Red Cross, etc.) to use as a resource. Various schools and agencies across the country have contacted us to obtain copies.

Technology Resources:
I wanted to make our "Walk Through History" project as meaningful as possible. After they completed their written report, students portrayed their people one afternoon for students, parents and staff members. This really helped students identify with their character and instilled more "ownership" in the project. I felt that putting the information onto a CD would help solidify the project, as well as bring it to a unique closure. It also will serve as a good record of their project, and helps them to practice applying technology effectively.

School Background Information:
Madison Elementary is one of twenty-two elementary buildings in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. Our K-12 building includes eleven regular education and 4 special education classrooms. We have a current enrollment of approximately 270 students. Less than one percent of our students have limited English fluency and  11.4% of our population are minority students. Our parents are lower-middle class, with jobs in a variety of fields in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding areas. The Cedar Rapids population is approximately 110,000 people. Major employers in the city include Rockwell Collins, Quaker Oats, General Mills, AEGON USA , and the Cedar Rapids Community Schools District.

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.)

Principles of Learning: 
Active Involvement 
Students were actively involved in the whole lesson as a result of careful planning and knowledge about my students’ capabilities. Examples of these times were in large and small group discussions, planning, data inputting, designing, burning the CD and critiquing.

Direct Experience 
Examples of Direct Experience is where we looked at the CD we made the previous year and discussed changes/improvements that could be made. Small group decision-making regarding what role they would have in making the new CD is another example.

 on the previous CD is an example that comes to mind, as well as reporting on what their group was planning on doing for the new CD.

Enjoyable Setting 
My class was arranged mainly in groups of four for ease of discussion and working. They were comfortable either with the technology they would be using or working in teams and learning from the leaders I appointed. My students worked very well in teams throughout the year.

Frequent Feedback 
I am careful to give the students feedback on the process as we go along, as well as trying to give individual feedback on ideas, performance, etc.

Patterns and Connections 
Patterns and Connections
 were evident when they were working on designing various aspects of the CD and could use skills that they had previously learned. They used ideas or ways of doing things from previous projects and utilized or refined them.

Information Processing: 
My students demonstrated an Appreciation for the work we were doing as we examined the previous CD, when they signed up to work in various groups, and when they were working in various groups.

My students demonstrated Communication skills when they discussed their ideas in large and small group settings, and when they were involved in their own piece of the project.

of the previous CD was the first thing we did as a group. This task was essential in improving the new CD and was crucial in generating enthusiasm for the project.Evaluation was also done in small group situations as they discussed how and what should happen as they went along.

I would hope that my students demonstrated Tolerance throughout the entire video. Regard for the worth of their peers is something that I try to instill in all of the students and I believe that it was demonstrated throughout each step of the process.

Critical Thinking and Decision Making 
Although some students were more vocal about it than others, those students who volunteered opinions about the project, their role or the direction of the project all demonstrated Critical Thinking and Decision Making skills.

Thinking Together & Power Sharing 
As was stated a number of times previously, this was demonstrated throughout the video in the lessons that were taped. This kind of project involving my entire Fifth Grade class (as opposed to just a few students) could not have taken place without Thinking Together or Power Sharing.

Individual Responsibility 
Students demonstrated Individual Responsibility when volunteering for various groups/jobs, when helping others, when working on their own and adhering to the rules that were set down before and during the lessons.

Civil Involvement with Others 
As stated previously, I believe that my students demonstrated positive and sincere behaviors throughout the video. They worked well as a large team and in small groups on this project and that is one reason why I volunteered to be involved in the INTIME project.

I looped with these students from 4th 5-th grade and we knew each other very well. There was a high degree of respect and trust that was built up over the years.

Student Characteristics:
Since I have been with the same students for two years, we have been able to use and experience a wide variety of technology tools. It is nice to be able to utilize many of these tools and strategies when working on a CD-ROM project such as this one. I also know how well my students can work cooperatively and have no qualms about having them organize various groups to work in. My 5th graders are sensible, hard-working students.

How the Activity Has Evolved Over Time:
It was certainly a learning experience for all when I first began making CD-ROMS with my students. Besides learning new hardware, we were learning to use Hyper Studio and a wide variety of editing software. We also utilized parent helpers to supervise the inputting of text and the construction of links throughout the project. My students this year have enough knowledge to be able to make correct and efficient choices. Many have them have the expertise to do this on their own.

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