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Web 2.

0 Cross-curriculum Lesson Development


By
Michael D. King

Most school curriculum models use a traditional format for learning in which individual subject
matter is taught in isolation. Integrating the content creates a curriculum that is both
challenging and meaningful to students. The process of developing cross curriculum
interdisciplinary lessons using a Blog or Wiki as a learning resource medium has several stages,
including identifying the learner outcomes, selecting a theme, developing a curriculum web,
establishing multimedia resources, creating activities, and designing assessment. This process
for developing cross-curriculum lessons for Web 2.0 collaborative network promotes effective
teaching practices by bringing together elements of curriculum resources that interact with one
another into a coherent, workable framework. The model below will be used as a guide in for
developing and integrating multiple resources into a collaborative Web 2.0 cross-curriculum
lesson.

The Web 2.0 Cross-curriculum Lesson

Step One Step Two Step Three Step Four Step Five
Identifying Outcomes Establish A Theme Aligning Outcomes Establish Resources Lesson Design

Use State and Selecting a Use a Curriculum Use Search Develop a Lesson
National Universal Theme Web to Features and Plan & Create a
Standards to for the Cross- Organize Create Media Cross-curriculum
Identify Curriculum Web Content and Resources Web 2.0 Lesson
Outcomes and 2.0 Lesson Align Skills
Select a Theme

Step One: Identifying Outcomes


In this process, the teacher selects the outcomes that should be taught in each content area.
Outcomes should be selected based on the prescriptive needs of the learner and the desired
outcomes of the district. By focusing instruction on essential learning outcomes and skills,
alignment activities can play an important role in improving student achievement. The selection
of outcomes is based on the principle that teachers should facilitate what they expect students
to learn. This process require teachers to define clearly the learning outcomes that students are
expected to master during the facilitation of the lesson. For example, a fifth grade teacher
reviews his or her list of expected learner outcomes and finds that students will be assessed at
the end of the school year in the following geography areas, language arts, math, and history.

HISTORY: The student will:


 Examine the reasons for the problems faced in and the results of key expeditions of Portugal, Spain,
France, the Netherlands, and England (e.g., Columbus, Ponce de León, Magellan, Coronado, Cortés,
Hudson, Raleigh, and La Salle) and the competition for control of North America.

GEOGRAPHY: The student will:


 Identify graphs, charts, diagrams, and other sources and representations, such as aerial and shuttle
photographs, satellite-produced images, the geographic information system (GIS), encyclopedias,
almanacs, dictionaries, atlases, and computer-based technologies and construct and use maps of
locales, regions, continents, and the world that demonstrate an understanding of mental mapping.

LANGUAGE ARTS: The student will:


 Communicate through a variety of written forms and for a variety of writing for a specific audience
or person.
 Demonstrate appropriate practices in writing by applying standard English conventions to the
revising and editing stages of writing.
 Write research reports about important ideas, issues, or events that:
a. frame questions about an idea or issue to direct the investigation.
b. establish a main idea or topic.
c. develop the topic with simple facts, details, examples, and explanations to support the
main idea.
d. use a variety of information sources, including speakers, firsthand interviews, reference
materials, and online information.

MATH: The student will:


Apply geometric properties and relationships and use measurements within the metric and
customary systems to solve problems in a variety of contexts.
1. identify and describe the basic properties of figures (e.g., two or three-dimensionality,
symmetry, number of faces, types of angles).
2. find the perimeter of simple polygons and area of a rectangle (e.g., use 1-inch tiles to build
rectangles of different perimeters and areas).
3. use the appropriate units and tools to estimate and measure temperature, distance, length,
weight, and angles.
4. convert basic measurements of volume, weight and distance within the same system for metric
and customary units (e.g., inches to feet, hours to minutes, centimeters to meters).

The skills listed above would then become the priority in designing the cross-curriculum Web
2.0 collaborative lesson. These selected outcomes will become a part of the curriculum web in
Step Three after a theme for the lesson has been selected. The outcomes selected will also be a
reference guide when using search features. Identifying outcomes helps in the overall design of
the cross-curriculum lesson and will support the identification of content for the facilitation of
the lesson.

Step Two: Selecting and Developing a Theme


The next step in developing a cross-curriculum Web 2.0 collaborative lesson is to review the
outcomes matrices and to select a theme for lesson development. For an interdisciplinary
lesson to be successful, the theme must allow for many different areas of exploration and
should relate to some facet of the students’ lives so that it will capture their interest and give
the collaborative lesson a real-life application. When the curriculum connects with the
students’ lives and experiences, they are more likely to internalize what they learn.

The following criteria are helpful when selecting a theme:


 The theme should have high student interest.
 The theme should connect students’ lives to the world outside the classroom.
 The theme should connect naturally with many subject areas.
 The theme should have high teacher interest.

The theme selected for creating this cross-curriculum Web 2.0 based lesson that will be used as
an example will be entitled “The World of Christopher Columbus.” The reason for selecting this
theme is that it will provide content for the majority of the objectives identified when aligning
standards to state assessments.

Step Three: Developing a Curriculum Web


After selecting a theme, the teacher can develop a thematic diagram or web, which is an
excellent way to organize an interdisciplinary unit. At the center of the web is the central
theme. Spanning outward from it are the supporting themes, which are related to a different
content area, such as social studies, language arts, and history. (See figure below) Since the
teacher has already identified the important learning outcomes, those outcomes are added to
the appropriate supporting theme on the web. Additional content areas could be added such as
math and science. Once identified the content areas and assigned objectives will support
unitedstreaming searches for lesson plan development.

CURRICULUM WEB

Examine the reasons for, the problems faced


Relative location, direction, latitude, longitude, key, in, and the results of the Columbus
legend, map symbols, scale, size, shape, and landforms. expeditions

HISTORY
SOCIAL
STUDIES

THE WORLD
Evaluate and draw conclusions from OF Writing Process
different kinds of maps. CHRISTOPHER
COLUMBUS

Problem Solving LANGUAGE


ARTS
MATH

Writing a Research Paper Mechanics, Usage


Measurement

Step Four: Establishing Multimedia Resources


The next step is for the teacher to identify the skills, activities, and experiences he or she will
use in the instruction of the learning outcomes and to design appropriate assessment strategies
for evaluating them. This can be accomplished through Google creative common searches for
multimedia content using video, pictures, slide shares and text documents as resources.

This process first requires the creation of folders for downloadable resources. These folders
would include a single folder named for each resource. For example, the teacher would create
one folder for videos, and additional folders for images, text resource files and clip art. The end
result of creating folders and downloading resources will prepare the teacher for the next step
in interdisciplinary lesson design.
STEP FIVE: DESIGNING AN CROSS-CURRICULUM WEB 2.0 LESSON
The next step in the process of developing an interdisciplinary lesson is to use the curriculum
web, to design a Web 2.0 collaborative lesson that correlates all the specific learning outcomes.

The first course of action is to write a master lesson plan. The master lesson plan should include
all of the following elements: the presentation of the necessary background materials, a list of
the skills necessary for the successful completion of the lesson, the project or activities, a
review or reteaching, a conclusion that ties every lesson within the cross-curriculum lesson
together, and a final assessment. After the master lesson plan is developed, the individual
content can be embedded into the design of the Web 2.0 lesson. The Web 2.0 cross-curriculum
lesson plans should include the lesson’s title or type, the learning outcomes or objectives, the
steps necessary for executing the lesson, the length of time in days needed to complete the
lesson, and a list of the necessary resources. After the teacher has developed his o her Web 2.0
cross-curriculum lesson plan, a procedure for placing content onto the Wiki or Blog Website
should start with the introduction of content and how this content will interrelate with the
theme of the lesson.

Designing Activities
Another area for which teachers are responsible in the planning process is designing activities
that support the desired learning outcome of the lesson. Activity structures are the backbone of
all lessons and determine, along with delivery statistics, the amount of learning that will occur.
How the activity is structured determines both teacher and student behaviors during the
lesson. Whenever teachers make decisions concerning activity structures, the following three
points must be determined: (1) how long the activity will take, (2) how the activity fits within
the context of the lesson, and (3) which element of the lesson as a whole will follow the activity
in order to support new learning. Additional variables to be considered by the teacher in the
design of activity structures include: methods for how the knowledge will be reinforced,
determination of how the skills will be attained, and instruction on how to design future
activities that support a continuous flow in the learning process.
Designing Methods of Assessment
A performance assessment can evaluate students who are demonstrating their skills by
performing certain tasks, or it can evaluate products that students have produced to
demonstrate their knowledge. Performance assessments can be activities such as science
experiments and lab procedures, essays, speeches, computer programming, and so forth.
Constructing performance assessment rubrics and applying these assessment strategies to the
interdisciplinary whiteboard lesson will enable students to demonstrate their basic skills
through a real-world application.

Before constructing a performance assessment, the designer must decide on the time length
for the assignment, which could range from one class period to a week, or even a month for
assessments that require extensive research. Next, the designer must select the performance
modes which the task will require such as speaking, writing, problem solving, and so forth. The
designer must also decide how the students will participate in performing the task, for example,
individually, in pairs, or in small groups.

The actual process of designing performance assessments varies depending on the complexity
of the task and the availability of time. The performance assessment template outlines the
steps necessary for designing performance assessments. The performance assessment
template, along with the performance assessment worksheet, will help assessment designers to
create their own specific assessments for whiteboard lessons. It should be noted that
assessment techniques can be designed by using either traditional or alternative methods of
assessment. Alternative assessment refers to new assessment techniques that require students
to construct a response to an open-ended problem or task. In the case of both traditional and
alternative assessment, the task and the assessment should be closely aligned to the learning
outcomes.

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