Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Link With TV and Vegetables

Wilma Horton
Miami-Dade County Schools


Through a research journey students will appreciate the fact that Philo Farnsworth, a fourteen year old farm boy in 1921, thought up the idea of television and by the time he was in a high school physics class he drew his concept.


The student applies a variety of response strategies, including rereading, note taking, summarizing, outlining, writing a formal report, and relating what is read to his or her own experiences and feelings.


-Paper, pencil, or pen
-Computer with Internet access
-Optional-- teacher may copy to CD the website and would need blank CDs and RW computer capabilities
-Learning log composition notebook or folder to write in the last ten minutes of each class
-Optional drawing paper, crayon, coloring pencils for students to draw on cover page of their written report


1. Buy vegetables.
2. Draft rubric for computer behavior, cooperative learning, essay final report and or oral presentation. Determine writing prompt for essay.
3. Photocopy rubric for each student.
4. Prepare each computer for Internet.
5. Optional if using CDs copy two websites to CD
6. View and read websites prior to teaching
7. Determine depth of research required by students.
8. Draft several general questions for the student to locate the answers on the assigned websites.
9. Draft list of paired students. Pair less capable with capable if possible.More success by all students.
10.Teach KWL graphic organizer. Encourage students to write final report from this organizer.
11.Encourage students to write feelings and facts in their learning logs at the end of class each day.
12. Encourage students to write in learning logs the answer to--What would your life be like if there was no television?
13. Select several students to share their writings for the whole class. Or, mini groups may be formed to share among themselves.


1. Pass out raw beets and several varieties of potatoes in class.

2. Ask students to identify the vegetables that are being passed around. If they do not know, ask them to guess. Many students will not have ever seen a raw beet. Some will never have tasted them. (good teaching moment to give a home learning assignment to buy a can of beets and taste them).

3. Write on board or overhead or title to PowerPoint presentation this lesson's title--Everytime You Look at Television Thank the Beet and Potato. Inform them that this is a history lesson of the television.

4. Draw and review KWL graphic organizer. See Website on Beacon below to access info on KWL.

5. Pair students to fill out -K- and -W- part of the KWL at computers.

6. Have students to pick another partner and share their info. ESOL (students learning English) or ESE (learning disabled) students may need to be paired again in addition to the -regular- students to get more practice with taking notes and getting the main ideas from Internet research.

7.Whole class will have a mini discussion (5-10 minutes) on the information gained from their research--a summary using their KWL graphic organizers.

8. Review previously drafted computer behavior rules.

9. Have one student demonstrate them for reinforcement.

10. Assign students to their respective computers with partners.

11. Circulate among students and smile and encourage them to stay on task and discuss with partner info learned and to fill in graphic organizer.

10.Assign students to write an essay rough draft individually. You will have to determine the prompt based on the information you see on your students' KWL charts. You will also need to establish the criteria (perhaps in a checklist format) of what you will be using to assess the essays. See the standards for some ideas.

11. Students exchange rough drafts and use teacher drafted rubric to proofread each other's work.

12. Students will rewrite rough drafts for final written draft to be submitted to teacher for grade.


As a summative assessment instrument, the -L- part of the KWL graphic organizer will be evaluated on historical accuracy. The final written report will be an assessment with evaluation criteria previously determined by teacher and students will have notes, etc. As a formative assessment instrument, the -K- and -W- part of the KWL graphic organizer will be evaluated very subjectively. If they wrote several questions in the -W- section--success! If they wrote one statement in the -K---success! Many of our students come to school with few prior learning experiences. They must not be penalized--just encouraged to be more inquisitive about learning.


For gifted students the biography listed on the website might be worth investigating.
Essay--What Would My Life Be Like Without Television?
Home learning assignment--do without television for one or two days.(This might encourage reading).

Web Links

Film clips, essays, easy to navigate excellent resource Archive Gallery
The Farnovision

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