21st Century Learning Skills Teacher Resources
Find 21st Century Learning Skills educational ideas and activities
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Young scholars discover their family history. In this genealogy lesson, students participate in a discussion about family history and why it is important. Young scholars create a family tree and present the family tree to the class. Students write a reflection about what they learned from this activity.
Students consider how their math, science, and technology education is preparing them for future success and discuss their opinions and findings with peers. They suggest ways that technology and Internet use can be improved in their school and engage in civic responsibility by participating in school site decision-making.
Help young researchers find credible sources online. Modeling with a Google search for information about Shakespeare’s Macbeth, use a computer projector or Smart Board to show class members how weak the top three search results are. Direct instruction then covers better resources that can be used to begin a research paper. Very technology-driven, the lesson plan requires computers for every student, as well as subscription databases most likely found in a library.
Trace Columbus' voyages by locating them on 21st Century maps. Using a navigators lesson, 4th graders will examine the Age of Exploration and trace Columbus's routes accurately on laminated world maps using different maps. Note: You will need to provide a map for this activity.
A natural disaster could strike at any time: do your learners know the school and community emergency plans? Start the school year by honing research and speaking skills in a practical way with this preparedness lesson. Youngsters examine possible natural disasters for their area (could incorporate science) and investigate plans in the event of one happening. They create a news broadcast, which can be aired during morning announcements to inform the school of ways they can be prepared.
Learners fight off germs. In this technology skills instructional activity, students create claymation videos with accompanying podcasts that educate others about the H1N1 virus and methods to fight germs.
Note taking is an invaluable skill and requires practice. This lesson incorporates the Cornell Notes format, however the plan itself could be implemented to teach any style. The basic idea here is to use university lectures on podcasts to practice note taking during a lecture. They suggest the Justice Series from Harvard, however there are many you can find online. Learners first watch you model this as they listen to a lecture. Then, they get to choose a (free) lecture using iTunes U and take notes on it themselves.
Learners examine the current conditions in North Korea. They view and analyze a CNN documentary, research a dissident, answer and discuss questions about the documentary on conditions in North Korea, and identify the technology used by dissidents.
Introduce your class to William Shakespeare and his tragedy of Othello. While this lesson plan does not provide details, it does give you an outline of how to introduce Shakespeare and one of his well-known plays. Topics to discuss include the Moors in Europe, Spanish history, and Othello and Shakespeare. Two links direct you to a project online but none of the materials mentioned (questions, historical information, movie clips) are included.
Seventh graders study the Three Gorges Dam, which is the largest dam built in the world. They examine how the dam impacts China as it prepares for the 21st century.
Students study engineering design and technology. In this inventive lesson students work in teams and learn to problem solve and create a new design for a cane.
Before you begin this lesson, note that it revolves around learners reading and finishing personal novels. If that's what your class is preparing to do, this is a great way to get creative and technological with literature analysis. Readers learn about theme and mood concepts in novels, and then choose a novel to read. Then, they create book trailers using the online program Animoto (linked), convincing classmates to read the novel. Use this as an opportunity to review copyright policies as students include visuals and sound in their trailers. There are no worksheets, so you may want to create a guideline. Also, it would make a good independent reading response project to present to the class.
Students investigate the protein cytochrome c in an attempt to use its genetic chemistry to study possible evolutionary relationships between organisms. The lesson integrates technology with the use computers to perform DNA analysis.
A great idea for showing language arts pupils the universality of themes, even in the real world! Have class members choose an idea-noun (peace, justice, war, love, etc.) at the beginning of the year or semester. They complete weekly reflections on a current event article dealing with that idea-noun and attempting to answer the essential question: How does this source change/support/influence your definition of your chosen noun? Remember to cover good research practices first.
As part of a unit devoted to the study of autobiographies, this one-day library session focuses on developing research skills. Class members locate and properly cite a sketch of a Creative Commons image, as well as record the call numbers for two credible and related print resources found in the library. Although the entire unit plan is not included, the unit overview, resources, and links mentioned are of value.
Youngsters get a taste for research as they explore animal characteristics. Following a class study on animals, scholars choose one they would like to know more about. Use your school's library program to help introduce students to the research process and sources of information. This lesson suggests a kid-friendly online database such as World Book Kids. They create and present a poster with both text and pictures. This may require adjusting depending on reading skills.
Creative projects and collaborative learning are hallmarks of 21st Century learning skills. Using an iphone, 6th graders create an iMovie which shows a student composed riddle. The riddle needs to be about one of the landforms they have recently learned about. This is a cool idea even without the technological component.
Progress your learners' comprehension of universal human rights by exploring the violation of human trafficking through the experiences of Juliana Dogbadzi. This activity analyzes and discusses very sensistive and graphic issues but is nonetheless enlightening in its knowledge. It includes essential skills, vocabulary, and materials needed, and encourages young people to take a stand and defend the human rights of everyone.
Eighth graders examine the role West Virginia played during the Civil War. In this research lesson, 8th graders construct and pose original questions to spark a student driven inquiry. Students will form small groups and use historical artifacts to assist them in forming research questions. This lesson incorporates a museum visit as well as the Project-Based Learning Process.
Students define new words such as computer, internet and technology to begin the lesson. In groups, they discuss the definitions with the class and take a survey on the same topics. They discuss the ways technology and the internet can be improved in their school as well.