Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Email Buddies

Carol Rine
Bay District Schools

Description

Teachers set up an e-mail system whereby students in different classes or schools can communicate research-based questions and answers on a given topic.

Objectives

The student uses a variety of reference materials, including indexes, magazines, newspapers, and journals, and tools, including card catalogs and computer catalogs, to gather information for research topics.

The student organizes information before writing according to the type and purpose of writing.

Materials

-Computer with printer
-Internet access
-Separate e-mail address for students where their messages can accumulate

Preparations

1. Establish an e-mail address students may use.
2. Work collaboratively with another teacher to link students.
3. Allow time for research.
4. Go over rules of etiquette for using the e-mail system.

Procedures

1. Two teachers use their class lists to assign each student an email buddy.

2. Webmaster or teacher sets up an email account for students.

3. Students research their topics--such as Florida History from 1900 until present--to obtain questions. Students document where they found their information, such as in an atlas, Internet address, etc. Encourage them to include the page number or print a copy of the Web page.

4. Students write to their email buddies and include the question and where the information may be found.

5. Students print a copy of their email to turn in to the teacher for documentation and assessment.

Assessments

Students' emails are printed and submitted to the teacher.
Students are assessed according to the following criteria:

Students should have the following:

1. A researched question based on the topic written in a complete sentence
Acceptable: for simple questions requiring a one sentence answer
Great: for average questions requiring two-three sentence answers
Outstanding: for difficult questions requiring paragraph-sized answers
2. The answer to the question written in a complete sentence
Acceptable: for simple questions requiring a one sentence answer
Great: for average questions requiring two-three sentence answers
Outstanding: for difficult questions requiring paragraph-sized answers
3. The source the student used
4. A printed copy of the sent email
(Assessment should not depend on receiving a reply.)

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

Extensions

This lesson can be adapted to any unit by changing the topic for research. For instance, a unit on the American Revolution can include questions about famous individuals who were involved in the War.
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