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Learning Resource Type

Lesson Plan

Elephants, Tigers, and Gamecocks... Oh My! Where Will You Go to College?

Subject Area

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
English Language Arts


9, 10, 11, 12


Students will research various colleges of their choosing in order to best prepare for post-secondary endeavors. The research will be conducted using a handout with specific questions for students to answer about each college. Students will present findings in a brochure or slideshow presentation. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

    Digital Literacy and Computer Science (2018) Grade(s): 09-12


    Locate and curate information from digital sources to answer research questions.

    Unpacked Content



    • curate


    Students know:
    • how to find valid sources to answer a given research topic.
    • how to cite sources.


    Students are able to:
    • locate valid digital resources to answer given research questions.


    Students understand that:
    • a great deal of information is available.
    • it is important to validate information and to cite the source of information.

    Primary Learning Objectives

    Students will be able to:

    -locate pertinent information on post-secondary institutions.

    -compare post-secondary institutions in order to determine which best suits their needs.

    -publish their findings in a Publisher document.



    Before Activity

    1.)  At the beginning of class, the teacher will engage students in discussion asking these questions:

    1.) What is the difference between a university and a community college? 

    2.) What are examples of some in-state colleges and out-of-state colleges? 

    3.) What is the difference between an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree? 

    4.) What are some of the most important details you should consider when choosing the post-secondary institution for you?

    Some of these questions can be answered in class discussion, while others might require students to do a few minutes of research. Teachers might want to allow students to use their electronic devices for several of these questions and return to the whole class discussion to share their findings. 

    During Activity

    After class discussion, students will be given the college research handout. This handout can be provided as a hard copy or students can be given a digital copy. Teachers can decide how the project best suits their students.  Requirements can range from having to research one to five different colleges.  Teachers can decide the timeline for the project depending on the requirements assigned. Some specific requirements that could be assigned are:

    a.) Research must contain at least one university.

    b.) Research must contain at least one community college.

    c.) Research must contain at least one out-of-state college.

    d.) Research must contain at least one in-state college.

    After Activity

    After the students finish the research, they will be required to construct a brochure using word processing software that advertises the college they would like to attend based on their research. Requirements for the brochure should include the name of the school, location, size, website, an organization to which the student would want to belong, what drew the student to that school, out-of-state or in-state, tuition, desired degree, and other information as determined by the teacher. 

    Teacher can decide the preferred method of publishing. Students could turn in the project to the preferred learning management system or could present their brochure to the class in an oral presentation. This will be dependent on the teacher's preference and capabilities. 

    Assessment Strategies

    Teachers should employ formative assessments while students are researching as it will take several class sessions.  These can include exit slips that require students to address interesting details they discovered that day. 

    The teacher should review each student's brochure to ensure the required information was included.


    Students may construct a short slideshow to accompany their brochure to share with the class that illustrates the benefits of the college they have the desire to attend. 


    Students requiring extra assistance, may have the research questions modified.  Also, instead of a brochure students could construct a collage of the college of their choosing. 

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Background and Preparation


    Students need to be familiar with the word processing and/or slideshow software in order to complete the brochure at the end of the project.


    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    writing tools, college research handout for each student in a printed or digital format

    Technology Resources Needed

    computer(s) with Internet access, word processing and slideshow software, digital projector