Lessons Integrating Information and Communication Technology within a Curriculum Area


Jessica Muise


Novel Study Unit of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Grade Level


Subject Area

English / Language Arts

Overview of unit /lessons/activities (assumptions of prior knowledge/learning)

  • Brainstorming activity involving Gangs and Cliques for introduction
  • Use Inspiration as a graphic organizer
  • Internet for researching facts
  • The text will be read in class aloud together ( generally one Chapter per class )
  • Questions will be assigned at the end of each chapter
  • Terms will be assigned to define for each chapter
  • WebQuest
  • Visual Verbal Essay
  • Character Sketches
  • Interdisciplinary Areas:
    • Creative Arts
    • Music
    • History
    • Drama
  • Video Recording / Editing
  • Online discussion forum

Correlations to ICT and curriculum outcomes


GCO 1: Students will speak and listen to explore, clarify, extend, and reflect on their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences.

1.1: Examine others ideas in discussion to extend their own understanding

1.3: Articulate, advocate, and support points of view, presenting view points in a convincing manner

GCO 2: Students will be able to communicate information and ideas effectively and clearly, and to respond personally and critically.

2.1: Participate constructively in conversation, small-group and whole-group discussion, and debate, using a range of strategies that contribute to effective talk

GCO 3: Students will be able to interact with sensitivity and respect, considering the situation, audience, and purpose.

3.1: Demonstrate active listening and respect for the needs, rights, and feelings of others

3.3: Demonstrate an awareness that spoken language has different conventions in different situations and cultures and use language appropriate to the situation

GCO 4: Students will be expected to select, read, and view with understanding a range of literature, information, media, and visual texts.

4.1: Select texts that address their learning needs and range of special interests

4.3: Demonstrate an understanding that information texts are constructed for particular purposes

4.4: Use cueing systems and a variety of strategies to construct meaning in reading and viewing increasingly complex print and media texts.

4.5: Articulate their own processes and strategies for reading and viewing texts of increasing complexity

GCO 5: Students will be expected to interpret, select, and combine information using a variety of strategies, resources, and technologies.

5.1: Independently access and select specific information to meet personal and learning needs

  • select, from a wide range, sources appropriate to their purposes
  • use the electronic network
  • develop approaches and strategies to conduct their research .
  • move beyond initial understanding to more thoughtful interpretations

GCO 6: Students will be expected to respond personally to a range of texts.

6.1: Respond to some of the material they read or view by questioning, connecting, evaluating, and extending

6.2: express and support points of view about texts and about issues, themes, and situations within texts, citing appropriate evidence

GCO 7: Students will be expected to respond critically to a range of texts, applying their knowledge of language, form, and genre.

7.1: Critically evaluate information presented in print and media texts / assess relevance and reliability of available information to answer their questions

7.2: Demonstrate that print and media texts are constructed for particular purposes and particular audiences

7.3: respond critically to texts of increasing complexity

  • analyze and evaluate a text in terms of its form, structure, and content
  • recognize how their own ideas and perceptions are framed by what they read and view
  • demonstrate an awareness that personal values and points of view influence both the creation of text and the reader’s / viewer’s interpretation and response.
  • Explore and reflect on culture and reality as portrayed in media texts
  • Identify the values inherent in a text

GCO 8: Students will be expected to use writing and other ways of representation to explore, clarify, and reflect on their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and learnings; and to use their imaginations.

8.1: Use a range of strategies in writing and other ways of representing to

extend ideas and experiences

explore and reflect on their feelings, values, and attitudes

consider others’ perspectives

8.2: use note-making to reconstruct knowledge and select effective strategies appropriate to the task

GCO 9: Students will be expected to create texts collaboratively and independently, using a variety of forms for a range of audiences and purposes.

9.3: Analyze and assess responses to their writing and media productions

GCO 10: Students will be expected to use a range of strategies to develop effective writing and media products to enhance their clarity, precision, and effectiveness.

10.2: Consistently use the conventions of written language in final products

10.3: experiment with the use of technology in communicating for a range of purposes with a variety of audiences

10.4: Demonstrate a commitment to crafting pieces of writing and other representations

10.5: Integrate information from several sources to construct and communicate meaning


Social, Ethical, & Human Issues

SEHI 9.6: Follow the Public School Program Network Access and Use Policy


PTS 9.1: Use software to brainstorm, develop a thought web, outline, and map ideas under study with independence

PTS 9.2: Explore curriculum concepts under study using specialized software; measuring, sampling and recording equipment; and computer-based simulations, with teacher assistance

PTS 9.4: Create and manipulate sound, images and video, using digital equipment and computer-based editing, to represent their learning for particular audiences and purposes, independently

PTS 9.5: Develop multimedia presentations, based on sound principles of design, with increasing confidence, efficiency and independence


CT 9.1: Use language, in a range of aural, print, media, and electronic forms to explore and express their perceptions, feelings, ideas and attitudes; refine their thinking; and interact, negotiate, and collaborate with others in order to build their understanding

Research, Problem Solving, & Decision Making

RPSD 9.1: Select appropriate measuring and recording devices and / or software to collect data, discover patterns of change over time, solve problems and make logical decisions based on their investigations; with teacher assistance

RPSD 9.2: Create and use electronic charts, maps, tables, graphs, spreadsheets, and databases to collect, analyze and display data independently.

RPSD 9.3: Write and represent their research using the structures, features, conventions, and techniques of specialized publication and presentation formats with growing fluency

RPSD 9.6: Select and refine a research topic, according to teacher-provided criteria, to fulfill a curriculum requirement, with teacher assistance.

RPSD 9.9: Accurately and independently cite information sources

Projected timeline for preparation and for carrying out activities

Approximately 15 classes ( 50 – 60 minutes each )

Equipment Requirements: (computers, software, etc)

  • Class set of The Outsiders text
  • Computers
  • Word
  • Internet Access
  • Power Point
  • Paint
  • Excel
  • Inspiration
  • Pinnacle

Teaching materials provided (Blacklines, worksheets, templates, teacher materials)

  • Markers
  • Chart Paper
  • Computers
  • Photocopies
  • Rubrics
  • Tests & Quizzes
  • Handouts
  • Bristol Board
  • Scissors
  • Old Magazines / Newspapers
  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Coloured Pencils
  • Digital Camcorders

Resources available for teacher/student use (websites, references, etc)





http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/engramja/outsider.html ( Chapter Questions )

http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/m/l/mlp180/junior/tableofcontents.html ( 1960’s Video )


http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score/out/outtg.html ( Lots of Technology )

http://www.rockhall.com/timeline/ ( History )

http://www.moraga.k12.ca.us/JM/Teacher/Forster/Projects/Outsiders/Phase1.html ( Webquest )

http://www.bravenet.com ( Message Forum Free Host )

Detailed instructions for each activity or lesson (teacher notes, activity information, learning strategies, teacher role, student roles)

Introduction Lesson: Gangs & Cliques

Have the class break off into two groups, one to brainstorm ideas about gangs and the other, cliques. Provide students with markers and chart paper to record their ideas. Allow approximately ten minutes for the students to work on their ideas. Conclude the brainstorming session and allow one or two elected students to present their groups ideas to the class. Compare and contrast the items the students have come up with. Notice some differences but also the overlapping similarities between the two groups. Next, create an electronic graphic organizer using Inspiration to group these ideas together as a class.

Now that they have established what their ideas of gangs and cliques are, allow students, in pairs, to research both gangs and cliques on the computers. If there is a computer lab have students work in pairs, if there is no access to a computer lab but there are some computers in your classroom, set up a time sheet to allow all pairs to have at least fifteen minutes looking up information on these topics.

Reading The Text

Read the text together in class aloud, having each student participate, modifications as necessary.

At the end of each chapter discuss the issues and ideas that were involved.

Provide students with questions to answer involving the issues in that chapter, as well as terms to define.

Character Sketch Activity

Students will be able to provide an outline of each of the main characters by the end of Chapter Two. Begin by creating a spread sheet using Excel to keep your information easily organized. Create categories such as Hair color, Eye color, Height, and so on. Students should add the appropriate information as they come across it in their reading. Once all attributes have been gathered, use the information from this chart to write three developed paragraphs to describe each character.

Character Continuation Activity

After the students have outlined each character, have the students assemble in small groups ( 3-4 students). Assign each group a character and have them create a poster representing that character, keeping in mind their physical attributes discovered from the initial activity. Provide each group of students with a piece of large chart paper or Bristol board, some drawing materials as well as some old magazines or newspapers. Students could also use an electronic drawing program such as Paint to create parts of t heir poster.


Have the students follow the webquest on social groups and stereotyping where they will be faced with the overriding question, “What does the history and research in social groups, stratification, and stereotyping say to young adults in today's society?” It also works towards helping students understand social group dynamics. It also is a great exercise in teamwork.


Music / History Activity

There is reference to music and musicians of the time in the story ( 1960’s ). Such artists as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Hank William, Bob Dylan and The Who are all mentioned. Have students research some information about the 60’s with a focus on one of the above famous musicians. Students will create a five slide power point which will assist in their explanation of their artist. Students will be asked to provide a short ( 3- 5 minute ) verbal explanation regarding what they discovered about their artist and are encouraged not to use their power point demonstration to enhance their discussion, not to provide a word for word copy of what they are reading.

Visual Verbal Essay

Have the students create a visual verbal essay. The assignment should be done on a half sheet of Bristol board. The Bristol board should be then divided into two parts. One side will contain the Verbal part which includes the title of the novel and the name of the author, a summary of the novel including main characters, as well as personal reflections about the novel. The other side, the Visual part, should include five significant quotes from the novel as well as images or symbol representations significant to these quotes from the text. These may be drawn, cut out of magazines or downloaded and printed as images from the internet. The project should be pleasing to the eye and free of spelling and grammatical errors ( if appropriate ).

New Scene Writing, Acting & Recording

Have the students create a new scene from the novel. Students may have their choice of where they would like to “take hold” of the novel and put a new spin on it.

Working in small groups, students must select a specific place in the novel to begin their writing; this can be a new ending, or a place somewhere in the middle where they want to change the story completely. They will write a short script (1,000 words maximum) to bring a new light to the classic tale.

Once the students have their script written, students will be delegated to assume specific character roles. After some preparation time, students will be given digital camcorders and will record their mini-production and edit their footage using Pinnacle movie editing.

Student products expected

  • Gangs / Cliques Information
  • Chapter Responses
  • Vocabulary Definitions
  • Character Sketches
  • Character Poster
  • Power Point Presentation
  • Visual Verbal Essay

Samples (include teacher notes, assessment information, student work if available)

Character Sketch Visual Representation







Accurately applies the details from the story to the visual representation of the character.

Somewhat accurately applies the details from the story to the visual representation of the character.

Visually represents the character from the story.

Has trouble creating a representation of the character.

Reading the Text






Identifies important information

Student lists all the main points of the article without having the article in front of him/her.

The student lists all the main points, but uses the article for reference.

The student lists all but one of the main points, using the article for reference. S/he does not highlight any unimportant points.

The student cannot important information with accuracy.

Identifies details

Student recalls several details for each main point without referring to the article.

Student recalls several details for each main point, but needs to refer to the article, occasionally.

Student is able to locate most of the details when looking at the article.

Student cannot locate details with accuracy.

Identifies facts

Student accurately locates at least 5 facts in the article and gives a clear explanation of why these are facts, rather than opinions.

Student accurately locates 4 facts in the article and gives a reasonable explanation of why they are facts, rather than opinions.

Student accurately locates 4 facts in the article. Explanation is weak.

Student has difficulty locating facts in an article.

Identifies opinions

Student accurately locates at least 5 opinions in the article and gives a clear explanation of why these are opinions, rather than facts.

Student accurately locates at least 4 opinions in the article and gives a reasonable explanation of why these are opinions, rather than facts.

Student accurately locates at least 4 opinions in the article. Explanation is weak.

Student has difficulty locating opinions in an article.


Student uses only 1-3 sentences to describe clearly what the article is about.

Student uses several sentences to accurately describe what the article is about.

Student summarizes most of the article accurately, but has some slight misunderstanding.

Student has great difficulty summarizing the article








Script is complete and it is clear what each actor will say and do. Entries and exits are scripted as are important movements. Script is quite professional.

Script is mostly complete. It is clear what each actor will say and do. Script is shows planning.

Script has a few major flaws. It is not always clear what the actors are to say and do. Script shows an attempt at planning, but seems incomplete.

There is no script. Actors are expected to invent what they say and do as they go along.


Team has a clear picture of what they are trying to achieve. Each member can describe what they are trying to do and generally how his/her work will contribute to the final product.

Team has a fairly clear picture of what they are trying to achieve. Each member can describe what they are trying to do overall but has trouble describing how his/her work will contribute to the final product.

Team has brainstormed their concept, but no clear focus has emerged for the team. Team members may describe the goals/final product differently.

Team has spent little effort on brainstorming and refining a concept. Team members are unclear on the goals and how their contributions will help them reach the goal.


Students meet and discuss regularly. All students contribute to the discussion and all are listened to respectfully. All team members contribute a fair share of the work.

Students meet and discuss regularly. Most students contribute to the discussion and are listened to respectfully. All team members contribute a fair share of the work.

A couple of team meetings are held. Most students contribute to the discussion and are listened to respectfully. All team members contribute a fair share of the work.

Meetings are not held AND/OR some team members do not contribute a fair share of the work.

Logistics (organization, grouping, management issues, access to technology)

Message Forum

Set up an online message forum with student permission to access the site. Promote online discussions around the text by adding probing questions every few days for the students to consider and discuss. Encourage students to leave any questions they may have regarding the text, homework or other assignments here. Encourage students to visit the site regularly and ensure that appropriate messages only are maintained in the forum. www.bravenet.com This is a free host to obtain message forums (and many other features) where you can design the look, feel and content of the site. You have the option to password protect the site as well which is a nice feature. You as the site manager also have the ability to block or remove inappropriate posts.

Assessment information (e.g., rubrics for products and/or process)

Gangs & Cliques

  • Assessment will be based on participation in this activity, brainstorming ideas, discussing with the group and class

Reading The Text

  • Students will be asked to read aloud in class, modifications for those who need them
  • Chapter terminology will be assigned and marked according to having homework and / or class work completed or attempted
  • Chapter questions will be assigned and marked according to having homework and / or class work completed or attempted
  • Comprehension quizzes will be given
  • Participation in classroom discussions based around the text, maintaining that students are keeping up to date in their reading

Character Sketch Activity

  • Students will be given an outline as to what characteristics they should find regarding each character
  • Marks will be assigned for each characteristic item found
  • Writing assignment will be marked on spelling, if appropriate, length as specified, also for using well formed, coherent sentences and paragraphs

Character Continuation Activity

  • Students are working in small groups for this presentation and will mark their group based on cooperation, in put, as well as group participation.
  • Final project will be marked based on applying information taken from the text into a visual representation of the character assigned.

Music / History Activity

This activity will be marked based on:

  • Following directions
  • Using a well developed Power including five slides
  • Using their power point to accent their discussion, not regurgitate it
  • Speaking clearly and concisely
  • Having knowledge of the history of their artist
  • Citing where their information came from

Visual Verbal Essay

Projects will be marked based on:

  • Following directions
  • Including all parts that were requested
  • Time and effort will be taken into consideration not just the look of the final project.
  • Completion on time
  • Selecting meaningful quotes
  • Picking appropriate symbolic representations

New Scene

Written script will be marked on:

  • Following Directions
  • Spelling and Grammar
  • Creativity
  • Appropriateness of text
  • Clarity and Coherence

Video will be marked on:

    • Following Directions
    • Appropriate length
    • Appropriate text
    • Editing workmanship and Flow

Acting will be marked on:

  • Knowing the script
  • Speaking clearly
  • Playing the Role of the character
  • Taking it seriously

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