Beacon Lesson Plan Library

In the Blink of An Eye

Christy Clanton
Bay District Schools


Students record data, both in written form and digitized form, on a field trip to Marianna Caverns that is then compiled into an A-to-Z Environmental Book.


The student prepares for writing by recording thoughts, focusing on a central idea, grouping related ideas, and identifying the purpose for writing.

The student drafts and revises writing in cursive that-focuses on the topic;-has a logical organizational pattern, including a beginning, middle, conclusion, and transitional devices;-has ample development of supporting ideas;-demonstrates a command of language including precision in word choice;-generally has correct subject/verb agreement;-generally has correct verb and noun forms;-with few exceptions, has sentences that are complete, except when fragments are usedpurposefully;-uses a variety of sentence structures; and-generally follows the conventions of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling-correct use of punctuation, including commas in series, dates, and addresses, and beginning and ending quotation marks-correct paragraph indentation -correct usage of subject/verb agreement, verb and noun forms, and sentence structure and -correct formatting according to instruction.

The student writes notes, comments, and observations that reflect comprehension of content and experiences from a variety of media.

The student organizes information using alphabetical and numerical systems.

The student uses electronic technology, including word-processing software and electronic encyclopedias, to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information.

The student creates expository responses in which ideas and details follow an organizational pattern and are relevant to the purpose.

The student understands how human activity affects the physical environment.


-Student field trip journals (See attached file)
-Digital camera
-Teacher workstation with publishing software such as Microsoft Publisher and word processing software such as Microsoft Word (complete with scanner and printer)
-Printing ink
-Student computer stations with Microsoft Word software pre-loaded


Pre-arrange field trip
Copy field trip journals for each student


1. Arrange a field trip to Marianna Caverns.

2. On the field trip, students utilize the field trip journals to record data on their day trip to Marianna Caverns.

3. Teams take turns, with adult chaperone and teacher assistance, to use the digital camera to photograph those alphabetical findings of interest as mentioned on the A-to-Z alphabetical search. (See attached file.)

4. Save student journals and utilize in the classroom during future writer's workshop meetings to write a class-made alphabet book. The book captures the environmental or historical value of the field trip site that could be "lost in the blink of an eye."

5. Students utilize all writing process steps to create their alphabetical writings and Microsoft Word to publish their final writing. Additionally, students can use the grammar check and spell check features to proofread their work.

6. Final writings are then taken to the teacher workstation where they are imported into Microsoft Publisher along with the scanned digital photos.

7. Copies of the final documents are organized alphabetically and bound.

8. Copies are added to classroom libraries, the school library, and field trip site libraries.


Assess Field Trip Experience Journal and student writing samples using Florida Writes scoring rubric.

Note: Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


In the Blink Of An Eye is a fourth grade environmental writing project at Callaway Elementary School, enhancing the school improvement writing goal. Students record in individual naturalist's journals while on their field trips to visit Florida locations of historical and environmental interest. The journal entries include an alphabetical listing of fragile environmental/historical findings that are easily photographed via a digital camera. The digital camera is crucial in capturing the field trip moment that could be -lost in the blink of an eye.- Upon returning to school, photographs are shared with each fourth grade class as illustrations for class-made alphabet books. The alphabet books are copied for class libraries, the school library, and te field trip host site libraries.

Attached Files

Field Trip Experience Journal     File Extension: pdf

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