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This lesson provided by:
Author:Brandi Evans
System: Covington County
School: Florala High School
Lesson Plan ID: 16710

A Long Way From Chicago: Web Search


Used as an introduction to the reading of Richard Peck's book, A Long Way From Chicago, this lesson is designed to familiarize students with topics that help them to better understand the setting of the novel. Students search the Internet for information and present their findings to the class in an oral presentation.

Content Standard(s):
TC2(6-8) 9. Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
TC2(6-8) 11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
ELA2015(7) 26. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation. [W.7.7]
ELA2015(7) 27. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. [W.7.8]
ELA2015(7) 33. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. [SL.7.4]
ELA2015(7) 36. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.7.1]
ELA2015(7) 38. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. [L.7.3]
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will effectively use the Internet to search, evaluate, and summarize information. Students will present his/her findings to the class.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will work cooperatively in a group.

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 91 to 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Copies of the group guidelines, copies of the rubric which evaluates presentation of information and group participation

Technology Resources Needed:

Computers with Internet access for 6 groups, disks with saved students' web search guide (see attached) to facilitate search and eliminate the typing of URLs


The teacher may need to review the history of the Great Depression and be ready to help students research their topics using the Internet. The teacher should preview websites on the attached guide.

1.)Announce to the class that they will be assigned a book to read by Richard Peck entitled A Long Way From Chicago, but before they begin reading the book, they will need to understand the setting. Remind students that setting is more than place; it is also time. Announce that working in groups, they will research and read about the Great Depression.
(Literature learning ladders)
The site features Peck and his book A Long Way From Chicago .

2.)Divide the class into six groups, one to cover each of the topics on the web search guide (see attached). Hand out to each group a copy of the group guidelines and a copy of the rubric for the presentation.
(Literature Learning Ladders)
Lesson plan links, webquest links, Great Depression links

3.)Allow class time for students to work in their groups conducting research. Although at least one site has been suggested for student use, encourage students to search for at least one other site. A brief introduction to Boolean searching is suggested. Remind students to cite the sources of their information. (Since this is an oral report, the presenter should site the source by giving the website's name. For example, "This information came from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty and the page is called Starduster." The reporter should write down the full name and address of sites not on the web search guide.)
A tutorial for using Boolean searching on the Internet.

4.)Suggest students organize their reports by following the five Ws of reporting: Who, What, When, Where, Why. All members of the group should approve of the report before presentation. If a group would like to present images (such as that of a biplane), guide them as they save the image to a disk. These images can then be shown to the class via digital projector.

5.)Schedule class time for presentations and discussion of the reports. At the close of the presentations and peer evaluations, assign Peck's novel.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. web search rubric.doc
group guidelines.doc
web search guide.doc
Assessment Strategies:

The attached rubric will be used for assessment.


Students could write three friendly letters from the viewpoint of one of the main characters writing to parents to tell about their adventures during their stay with their grandmother.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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