ALEX Lesson Plan


A Long Way From Chicago: Web Search

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Brandi Evans
System: Covington County
School: Florala High School
  General Lesson Information  
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.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
9 ) Practice responsible and legal use of technology systems and digital content.

Examples: avoiding plagiarism; complying with acceptable-use policies, copyright laws, and fair use standards; recognizing secure Web sites

•  Identifying examples of computer crime and related penalties
Examples: computer crime—phishing, spoofing, virus and worm dissemination, cyberbullying

-  penalties—fines, incarceration

•  Citing sources of digital content
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
11 ) Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.

Examples: locating—Boolean searches, graphic organizers, spreadsheets, databases

-  collecting—probeware, graphing calculators

-  organizing—graphic organizers, spreadsheets

-  evaluating—reviewing publication dates, determining credibility

-  synthesizing—word processing software, concept-mapping software

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 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]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 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]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 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]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
36 ) Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.7.1]

a. Demonstrate knowledge of subject-verb agreement when interrupted by a prepositional phrase, with inverted word order, with indefinite pronouns as subjects, compound subjects joined by correlative and coordinating conjunctions, and collective nouns when verb form depends on the rest of the sentence. (Alabama)

b. Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences. [L.7.1a]

c. Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas. [L.7.1b]

d. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.* [L.7.1c]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
38 ) Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. [L.7.3]

a. Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.* [L.7.3a]

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.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

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.

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

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.