Described in this article are two lesson plan ideas created by NT101 Summer Session participants, Ryan Cummings (Jennings, IN) and Rachel Erickson (Aurora, CO). Both educators used resources from netTrekker’s ELL Channel and the literary tales, The Bear Prince and Jack and the Beanstalk to design an interdisciplinary cultural exploration.
These lessons, through the use of resources from the ELL channel take students to China, France, Mexico, Spain and the United States to learn about mathematics, literature, people and the cultural traditions that surround these countries.
Rachel’s lesson is geared toward primary and elementary students. The lesson is centered around the Mexican folktale, The Bear Prince. Students explore the Sierra Madre Occidental region of Mexico through Google Earth and the eyes of Rosa, a Mexican girl who is forced to marry a mysterious bear. Using interactive websites, videos and images from netTrekker’s ELL channel students will sketch cultural items and work with a partner using Microsoft Paint to create a visual representation depicting the cultural items/traits they researched in My Portfolio folders Rachel compiled.
For secondary students, Ryan brings fun, practical application, and thorough understanding to the complex skills of calculating currency exchange and crop yields.
Students in Ryan’s class will research using netTrekker resources to decide what type of currency Jack takes from the giant depending upon a teacher-assigned geographic location of Jack’s origin. Students will research and decide during which season, in different countries Jack could have planted and grown the beans to yield the best monetary crop. Students will work in groups to design a graph of their choice and present a two-minute debate about where Jack should live to be most successful in his business.
Thanks to Ryan and Rachel for sharing these wonderful lesson ideas for all netTrekker learners. Enjoy reading reflections below from these NT101 Alumni and visit the ELL Channel to explore the amazing tools and resources in the ELL Skill Development and Multicultural Pavilion areas.
“I absolutely love using netTrekker. The different uses I can get out of netTrekker for my everyday lessons are remarkable. The ELL Channel is a feature that is going to help me enhance my students’ knowledge of world culture as I am teaching them mathematics. My students will have a more enriched learning environment because of the ELL Channel in netTrekker.
My Jack and the Beanstalk lesson is going to allow me, using features inside of the ELL Channel, to enrich my students’ understanding that the world we are apart of is much bigger than the town we live. It will allow them to research different areas of the world while sitting in their local classroom. They will be able to experience different cultures that they may not normally get to study. The more I can let my students see what similarities and differences there are in different parts of the world, the more I am going be able to prepare them for their future lives.
The ELL feature also allows them to get help with the understanding and meanings of different words and different languages. With the different options they can use in netTrekker, students will be able to learn at their own reading level and move at their own pace. The other thing I like about this feature is the read aloud button. If an article is a little too difficult for a student to read, then they can use this feature to help them get the understanding they need. What a great feature for all of our students. Each student now has the opportunity to push the limits of their own learning.
Net trekker is a tool that I am so glad our school has for me to use and the ELL Channel is just one part of it that will help me to diversify my students’ learning.”
Secondary Teacher and Coach
“The increase in ethnic and language diversity of students in our schools requires educators to teach students to value diversity and understand cultural differences in order to be successful participants in a global society. People don’t often recognize the impact culture has on behavior until they interact with someone whose culture differs from their own. netTrekker’s Multicultural Pavilion within the English Learners’ channel gives both teachers and students a window into various cultures. The resources found provide a means to increase cross-cultural awareness, which will lead to a greater understanding of the world. I am grateful that netTrekker has included the Multicultural Pavilion as part of the English Learners channel so educators and students may benefit from the variety of resources that help us reflect on our own values, beliefs, and perceptions while gaining perspective on cultures that differ from our own.”
Instructional Technology Coach