Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Colleges and Universities - Florida
The focus of this lesson is to practice researching a project and write a formal letter. Students research using computers to gather information on wildlife management and use the information to write a letter to an agency.
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 selects and uses appropriate formats for writing, including narrative, persuasive, and expository formats, according to the intended audience, purpose, and occasion.
-Computers with Internet access
-Examples of a formal letter (to be used as an overhead transparency or duplicated for students)
-Example of a correctly addressed envelope
1. Make arrangements to visit and have support from computer a computer lab ( if not in classroom).
2. Ask students to bring a stamp to school to mail letter.
3. Locate other ask.coms websites
4. (Optional) Invite resource person for Game and Fish Commission or State Parks to speak to class.
1. Provide a set focus for students; garner definitions of what wildlife managment means and write phrases of responses on board. Using parts of student definitions, create a class definition. Have students write on a piece of paper the sentence: Wildlife means _____. Make sure all students expound on the class definition and add details and ideas.
2. Explain to students that organizations exist to protect wildlife. Explore reasons why wildlife need management or assistance. Have students choose the two most important reasons discussed and add them to the wildlife definition. (Students will choose different reasons.)
3. Take students to the computers. Provide students with a computer index (e.g., Ask Jeeves) for searching wildlife management. You will need to walk through how to find this with students or if time is short, bookmark the index for them.
4. Instruct each student to type in a question of what he/she would like to learn about wildlife management while using the terms 'wildlife management' within the question. Model this for students. It might be necessary to put the term on the board to make sure that students spell it correctly.
5. Model how to choose a site to look at from the index and then how to return to the index. After viewing possible sites students choose three sites. Write the following tasks on the board and instruct students to gather notes of each agency's purpose, specific focus of agency, and how to contact the agency in order to receive free materials. Remind them they must have this information about 3 different agencies.
6. Gain students' attention by telling them they are going to write a formal letter to one of the agencies identified to request information.
7. Place a transparency with all the parts of a formal letter on the overhead and review with students. Explain to students they are writing for a purpose: a) to obtain more information and thus their letter must request what infomation the student is seeking, or
b) to voice a complaint a student's observation of wildlife.
The latter letter must include a request of how the student can assist with the concern. You might want to 'screen' the complaints so that students understand the idea of 'global concern' for wildlife, rather than just trivial items. Help those who choose to voice a complaint to see that 'there was a dead squirrel in my yard last week' might not be appropriate. A better concern would be 'what can I do to promote better conditions for small wildlife animals like squirrels.'
8. Have students write a draft of the letter. Students may begin with a graphic organizer. The letter should include concerns, question, or ideas they have learned about wildlife management as well as a request for free materials and/or a reply.
9. Couple students to serve as editors for proofreading letters of another group. Model how to check for correct format, spelling errors, and punctuation errors. While students remain in pair groups, return letters to discuss the corrections. Remind students to include all parts of a formal letter and be sure the the final draft is neat and edited for mistakes.
10. Students write the final copies of their letters and send them to an agency of their choice. (You will need to check for errors before the letters are mailed.)
11. Place a transparency with all the parts of a correctly addressed envelope on the overhead and review with students. Explain to students the parts of the envelope. Allow students to address their envelopes, and after checking to make sure they are correct, seal and mail the letters.
Formatively assess students on the following:
1.) Locate three Website references from the index and take notes on the criteria listed in the procedures.
2.) Define wildlife management and include details with ideas of the two most important reasons for management of wildlife.
3.) List information regarding ideas, concerns, or questions about wildlife management to be used in composing the letter.
4.) Compose a draft letter to a local agency with information that has been gathered.
5.) Peer edit a letter belonging to someone else.
6.) Type or write final draft letter.
7.)Correctly address an envelope with a return address.
Provide students with formative feedback throughout the project and allow corrections and adjustments to be made.
Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.
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