Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Basic Information On Final Project

- Students will be able to create an effective travel brochure based on their own research.
- Students will be able to conduct meaningful, purposeful internet research.
- Students will be able to work collaboratively with their partner or group in order to complete task.

Students: 16 Advanced 5th graders in a pull-out class (from 4 different mainstream classrooms)

Materials: SMART board or LCD projector and laptop, computers (2 students per), printer, paper, pencils, graphic organizers, scissors, glue.


-Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for information and understanding.
-Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for critical analysis and evaluation.
-Students will listen, speak, read, and write in English for classroom and social interaction.
-Students will demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge and understanding.

-Listening and reading to acquire information and understanding involves collecting data, facts, and ideas; discovering relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and using knowledge from oral, written, and electronic sources.
-Speaking and writing to acquire and transmit information requires asking probing and clarifying questions, interpreting information in one’s own words, applying information from one context to another, and presenting the information and interpretation clearly, concisely, and comprehensibly.

-Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
-Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

As an ESL pull-out teacher this past year, I was given no curriculum. I decided to work on what I knew the students needed most, chiefly writing (formal and informal). In the age of e-mail I felt that writing old-fashioned letters to pen pals across the Atlantic would be a fun and interesting experience. This unit is intended for a class of advanced 5th graders who represent almost ten countries. Despite their diversity and worldly experiences, they often had a hard time comprehending life in another country. As I plan on doing this type of project in the future, I have built this part of the unit taking into account their experiences as well as my own from the first time I attempted something like this. This particular part of the larger project is aimed at working on Social Studies research and ELA, writing, and note-taking skills, as well as cultural enrichment. As this is a class of 5th graders, these are all skills they will need to continue to work on throughout Middle School.
I intend to have this particular part of the project take about 2 weeks. Students will have the responsibility of taking notes as well as marking where they stopped so as to begin quickly the following day. The goal was to take the students step-by-step through the process, and to have them make determinations and be given creative control. By working in collaboration with a partner, they will need to negotiate and compromise in order to produce an effective brochure.


Get a Voki now!

Student Post

Dear Class,

Bonjour! As you know, we are getting ready to start writing to our French pen pals. While this will be an opportunity for you to make friends, ask questions, and get to know about a new country and culture, you will need to educate yourself a little about France before we can begin. During the next two weeks, you will be watching a slideshow, doing research, creating your own travel brochure, and being a tour guide. I think this will be an exciting and fun beginning to our year-long 5th grade ESL Rennes, France – Brooklyn, NY exchange.

Ms. S

Before We Get Started...

Assignment #1:

In conversations with many of you, you have asked about what France looks like, what the people are like and if they have any traditional customs. Before we start our research, I would like you to watch the following movie. Now, these are no ordinary pictures taken from the internet, these are from I was living in Rennes and the surrounding area. I would like you to watch this video at least twice. The first time should be for enjoyment; the second time really pay attention to details and try to answer the questions I listed below. We have used a number of graphic organizers for comparing and contrasting, so I would like you to choose the one that works best for you – either a Venn Diagram or a T-Chart. Blank organizers are in the basket.

Also, be sure to put your headphones on because there is some great music!

Questions to think about:

1) What did you notice that is the same as or similar to NY, or where your family is from?
2) What stood out to you as totally different from the pictures of France and your life here?
3) Have you ever seen sights like these before? What do they remind you of?
4) What did you think of the music? Where have you heard music like this before?
5) What are your overall impressions of the video – pictures and music? What kind of conclusions can you make based on what you saw? Do you have any new opinions of France?
6) Do you have any questions about what you saw?

Now that you have completed the above assignments, I am curious about what you think. Last week we reviewed how to write letters; I would like you to write me a letter where you compare and contrast Brooklyn to Rennes, as well as answer the above questions. I am looking for correct letter writing forms and expressions, organization, and detailed answers to the questions. Since you are writing me a letter, please feel free to include any questions you may have. As usual, I will respond to your letters.

Assignment #2 – Travel Brochures!

Day #1
Here is where you will begin your work to create a travel brochure. We have already done a general overview of France together as a class, but now we are going to get more detailed. You and your partner will choose to focus on the entire country of France, one aspect (education, sports, government, history, the capital…), Rennes (the city where our pen pals live), or Brittany (the region/state) where they live. Before you choose what you will make your brochure on you need some more information in order to make your decision.

Step 1: Take a moment and think about what you know about France. Once you have some ideas written on your KWL chart, raise your hand. Together as a class, let’s see what we know.
Step 2: Next, using the KWL chart you have been given, please turn and talk to your partner in order to complete the “W” part of the chart. Our goal at the end of this part is to see what we as a class know about France, and what we want to know.

Now we have a class KWL chart with what we know (K) and what we want to learn (W) filled in. As we proceed, it will be your job to continue asking questions, but also look to answer them as well (L – what we learned).

What Makes A Good Travel Brochure?

Day #2
What makes a good travel brochure? What do you think? I have brought in a number of travel brochures and guides from all over New York City. I would like you and your partner to look through an assortment of them. Please pay attention to the layout, features, illustrations, and style of the text. One person in each group should be the scribe, writing down what you both notice. To help get you started, reflect upon these questions:
• Are there maps? Photos? Diagrams? Other illustrations?
• What kind of language and vocabulary is used?
• How is the brochure presented? Paragraphs? Bulleted lists?
• Are there any specific places highlighted? What? Where?

When you are finished with this, please brainstorm with your partner about what makes a good, effective travel brochure? What must yours have? What would you need to include in order to persuade people to visit France? What makes the ideas you have listed about effective brochures successful? You should be writing this in your ESL notebook.

Once you have completed this, take a look at some of the links below and see what they say about effective, persuasive brochures. Do you agree or disagree? Why?


Be sure you are using your note-taking techniques to take good notes because we will be having a class discussion and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Time For Research

Day #3
We spent yesterday researching and talking about how to make an effective travel brochure. Before you can put that into practice, you need to decide what you are going to research and create your guide about. Remember what I said the other day: you and your partner can choose to focus on an overview of the entire country of France, one aspect (education, sports, government, history, the capital…), Rennes (the city where our pen pals live), or Brittany (the region/state) where they live. Below I have given you a number of links that will be helpful to get you started on your research. You may want to use these sites or branch out on your own – keep in mind how we have done internet research in the past and your note-taking skills. By the end of this session I would like you and your partner to have made a decision as to what you will be researching. Once you have made a selection, be sure to let me know because I will only accept one of a topic. Good luck and enjoy your research!


As you are researching, keep in mind what you read yesterday about what makes a travel brochure effective: