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Designing Web-Based Artifacts

A curricular unit designed by Dennis Nelson

Grade level: 5th grade

Content area: Communication arts, technology

Content Standards
Overarching standard: Demonstrate the ability to use technology for research, critical thinking, decision
making, communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation.
Research Skills Communication/Collaboration Skills
Use age appropriate technologies to locate, collect, Use a variety of ageappropriate technologies (e.g.
organize content from media collection for specific drawing program, presentation software) to
purposes, citing sources communicate and exchange ideas
Use Web 2.0 tools (e.g. online discussions, blogs and Create projects that use text and various forms of
wikis) to gather and share information graphics, audio, and video, (with proper citations) to
communicate ideas.
Use teacher developed guidelines to evaluate
multimedia presentations for organization, content,
design, presentation and appropriateness of citations.
Use district approved Web 2.0 tools for
communication and collaboration
Retrieved from: Common Core State Standards K-12 Technology Skills

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

Access prior Explore Google Workshop model Workshop model of Workshop model of
knowledge Sites digital tools. of digital writing digital writing and digital writing and
- Technology and organizing pt. organizing pt. 2 organizing pt. 3
interest and Evaluate digital 1
experience resources pt. 2 Collaborative group Collaborative group
inventory Collaborative meetings meetings
Observe and group meetings
critique online
templates pt. 1
Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
Workshop model Digital artifact Workshop model Workshop model of Collaboration and
of digital writing conferences. of digital writing digital writing and celebration of digital
and organizing pt. and organizing pt. organizing pt. 6 artifacts.
4 Partner goal 5
setting meetings Collaborative group
Collaborative Collaborative meetings
group meetings group meetings
Partner goal setting

End assessment: The student is able to prepare a digital artifact which demonstrates communication
research of research and presents information in an aesthetically please, functional, and appropriate way.
Student samples: Animal experimentation Cyberbullying
Grade level: 5th grade
Content area: Communication arts, technology

Day 1 Access prior knowledge / Observe and critique online website templates
- Technology interest and experience inventory
- 1:1 device (Chromebook or laptop/desktop)
- Dry erase boards/markers
Necessary vocabulary: Website, template, link/hyperlink

Intended target: I can observe websites to identify two elements of digital nonfiction text that I LIKE and two
elements of digital nonfiction text that I DISLIKE verbally and in writing.

Teachers note: The goal of todays class is to access prior knowledge and provide exposure to positive
examples of webpages and websites which demonstrate nonfiction text written in accessible and aesthetically
pleasing way. Students may find themselves distracted by the games, articles, and images, and the teacher
should use this as a teachable moment to access the Why? of their enjoyment (suggested redirection
prompts: What about this game keeps bringing you back? Why do you think the author put the page together
like that? What elements of this website can we used when we design our own website?)

Instructional process

Access prior knowledge: Technology interest and experience inventory (10 minutes)
1. In small groups, have students discuss their knowledge of and experience online, including, but not
limited to: websites, video games, social media, music, movies/TV shows, reading, apps
2. Hand out Technology interest and experience inventory the goal of this inventory is to access
background experiences with technology usage and identify learners with prior experience
troubleshooting technology issues.
3. Allow 7-9 minutes for completion, supporting students independent thinking and providing sentence
stems and redirection throughout
(Very rough copy example)
Name: _____________________
Technology interest and experience inventory

About how much time do you spend online a day?

0 hours less than an hour 1 2 hours 2 3 hours > 3 hours

When you go online, what are your favorite websites to visit? (possible: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram)

What are your favorite parts of these sites? (possible: watching video game videos on YouTube)

How experienced do you feel helping someone with computer troubles?

Not comfortable at all A little bit Somewhat experienced, but not a ton Very experienced!
4. Movement break: Invite students, carrying their inventories, to share two of their favorite websites
with two people around the room. Transition back to seat after sharing with two and placing inventory
in collection bin.

Website critique and observation (25 minutes) The instructional purpose of this activity is to investigate
various age-appropriate (or slightly younger) websites to identify common language, buttons, text, images,
templates, and structures which lead toward an ease of digital text consumption.
5. In partners (or small groups of 3), students share a device (laptop, Chromebook) and a dry-erase board
and marker. (materials should be passed out by student ambassadors, allow time for transition ~ 30
6. Invite students to investigate website structure and function for seven minutes at a time, starting at
website 1 (Nat Geo) then moving to Website 2 (Brainpop) and finally Website 3 (PBS Kids).
Nat Geo for Kids Brainpop PBS Kids
Website 1 Website 2 Website 3

8. Students investigate colors, buttons, text, images and identify eye-catching and interesting structural
tools, collecting their thoughts on the dry-erase board.
9. Movement break Students move as a partnership and meet with a set of 2 to discuss eye-catching
and interesting elements from website work time.
10. Transition back to seat, erase board, prepare for Website 2
11. Repeat directions 6-10 with Website 2 (Brainpop) ~ 8 minutes
12. Repeat directions 6-10 with website3 (PBS Kids) ~ 8 minutes

Formative assessment (5 minutes) In order to demonstrate an understanding of the lesson, students

identify two elements of age-appropriate nonfiction websites that they liked, two elements of age-
appropriate nonfiction websites that they disliked, and one new question they now have about designing
websites or webpages.
(Very rough copy example)
Two things I LIKED about todays Two things I DISLIKED about One new question I have about
websites todays website websites or webpages

1. 1. -

2. 2.

Extension opportunity: Students are invited to apply a critical eye to their website investigation this
evening when communicating, reading, or spending time in a digital space.
Invite students to continue to apply todays actions to their individual leisure time to drive in real-world
thinking skills and applications.
Grade level: 5th grade
Content area: Communication arts, technology

Day 3 - Workshop model of digital writing and organizing pt. 1 / Collaborative group meetings
- 1:1 device (Chromebook or laptop/desktop)
- Teacher device and projection tool
- Writers workshop journal
- Dry erase boards/markers
Necessary vocabulary: Website, template, link/hyperlink

Intended target: I can apply two digital structure tools to include digital text (writing) and digital media
(images and videos) in my website.
I can collaboratively set a timely, manageable goal in writing and verbally

Teachers note: The goal of todays lesson is to apply a writers workshop style of direct instruction, guided
practice, independent practice and conferring skills to develop the gradual release model of independent
work. Students will be taking notes in writing (or word processing to differentiate) during the direction
instruction, then move to their individual devices to practice collaboratively, and finally finish with
independent practice.
Students will be using their previously written (hand-written or word processed) research as digital text to
include in the first stages of their websites, as well as image search resources (AP images, Google Image
Search (with restrictions)) to add content.

Instructional process

Workshop Model
Direct Instruction Adding text to a Google Site (~ 8 minutes)
1. Invite students to open their writers workshop notebook to the next page and title Website
2. Project Google Sites blank, untitled site, open word processing tool containing teacher curated
research and writing (previously written in workshop model during the research writing phase).
3. Communicate need to apply text to the blank webpage template (Students, today I want to add text
to my website.)
4. Demonstrate text addition tool of drag and drop
5. Modify text color, size, font, and placement while discussing while communicating purpose and
process (I think this will look better here than here or I wonder how my reader will react to this
color based on the content)
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for digital images, videos found during the research process.
Guided practice Students apply the above structures with large group guidance (~ 8 minutes)
7. Invite students to take out their device (Chromebook or laptop) and head to a new Google Site as well
as any research and writing created during the research portion prior to this lesson.
8. Students repeat actions of teacher of adding a text element, copy/pasting text, and modifying text
structure and aesthetic.
9. Students repeat actions of teacher of adding a multimedia element (image, video).
10. Movement break Students in circle seat remain while shoulder partner (in square seat) move to a
new partnership to verbally discuss one individuals usage of text or multimedia tools.
a. Repeat movement break by having students in square seat remain while circle seat students
find a new partner and verbalize their work and craft
b. Teacher listens for common positives, negatives, misconceptions, confusions
Independent practice Students work on their own to import and modify text and media while teacher
confers with individual writers, setting goals and clarifying any areas of difficulty (~ 20 min.)
11. Allow time for individual practice
12. Teacher circulates the room with writers workshop clipboard (see sample structure below)

(Very rough copy example)

Strengths Areas of growth Goal and timeframe

Student _____________

Student _____________

13. Provide encouragement, redirection, review, and extension as needed based on goals of individual

Collaborative group meetings Students meet in groups of 4 to discuss strengths and struggles as well as
identify one attainable goal for homework and next days workshop time. (~8 min.)
14. Students move to meet with heterogeneous groupings (1 developing, 2 reaching/proficient, 1
a. Student ambassadors hand out dry erase markers and board
15. Using collaborative talk protocol, each student spends 60 seconds talking about their work, struggles,
prideful moments, and confusion/questions. The other 3 students listen patiently, then make 1
sentence at the end using sentence stem I heard you say or Something I noticed was
16. Repeat step 15 for 3 other students in small group
17. Beginning with student 1, each writer identifies one goal that is attainable, measurable, and
appropriate for their homework and next days workshop website development.

Exit ticket This formative assessment tool will provide the teacher with insight into the students current
feelings and projected performance. This should be used to identify immediate conferences the next day or
during supervised study/FLEX time.
(Very rough copy example)
Today, I felt great about Today, I was really frustrated by

My goal for tomorrows class is to ____________________________________________________________