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Lesson Plan #:AELP-WLG001
Submitted by: Jeanette M. Goetz
Email: jmgst86@pop.pitt.edu
School/University/Affiliation: The University of Pittsburgh @ Johnstown
Date: January 28, 2000

Grade Level(s): 5, 6, 7, 8


  • Language Arts/Whole Language
  • Social Studies

Description: This lesson develops students research and organizational skills, as well as their computer skills. Goals: Students will engage in information research about a US state.

Objective(s): Students will:
1. demonstrate their ability in using the computer, including the Internet and Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.
2. use reference material.
3. organize data about PA in a reasonable format (a brochure).


  • Magazines
  • Brochures
  • Markers/crayon
  • White construction paper
  • Glue
  • Reference Materials

Procedure: Anticipatory Set:

Remind the students that they have been studying Pennsylvania. Ask the students to tell you some of the things that they have learned/ know about Pennsylvania. (Write this information on the chalkboard.) Inform the class that this lesson is going to complete the unit on Pennsylvania. Inform the class that they will also be completing the unit with an activity later in the class period.

Continuation of the Lesson:

Have the class organize the information on the chalkboard into categories (ie. cities, historical places, geographical places, entertainment, etc.). [This information is stored on a disk and updated each year after this assignment.]

After the information is organized, ask the class to try to add to the lists and add new categories. Explain to the class that they are going to make a brochure of Pennsylvania. Define/explain what a brochure is. Show the class examples of brochures. (Present the brochure that you have already completed on the computer.) Give the directions for the activity and hand out the rubric. (Explain each of the requirement, what resources they can use, and when it is due.) Have the class summarize the directions.


As a closing activity for the lesson and the unit, the children will make a travel brochure for Pennsylvania. The students will be given approximately 20 minutes to work on the brochure. They will also be allowed to work on it during any free time that they have. It will be due in one week. They will be given a rubric to help guide them and be turned in along with their brochures. The students will be given a piece of paper to use. They may use any of the reference materials available in the classroom (atlases, encyclopedias, the computer, the Internet, their text books, the brochures, the list on the chalkboard, and other material from the library or home). Give the students Pennsylvania’s web site and show the students how to use Encarta.

1. Participation in listing what they have learned about Pennsylvania.
2. Completion of the brochure.
3. Observing the children to see if they use the reference material.

Useful Internet Resource: