Plains Puts Digital Spin on Language Arts Unit

Plains Puts Digital Spin on Traditional Language Arts Unit
Posted on 02/15/2019
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Photo of student learning about the Holocaust using technologyA digital spin on a traditional language arts unit got Plains Junior School students outside of the four walls of their classroom in more ways than one.

As a way to give their eighth-graders an historical framework for the upcoming study of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” language arts teachers Lisa Silverglade and Becky Falato wanted to arm their students with factual information about the Holocaust. “They don’t study World War II until freshman year, so it was important to us that they had some context before we jumped into this unit,” Silverglade said.

The teachers looked no further than the Chromebooks that every student received as part of the 1-to-1 rollout in Lakota’s junior schools last fall. Students were challenged to a scavenger hunt throughout the school that not only got them out of their classroom, but also threw them back in time almost 75 years.

Using their Chromebooks to scan the QR codes displayed throughout the building, students took a virtual tour of the Holocaust Museum, digitally exploring such topics as Adolf Hitler, euthanasia and children of the Holocaust.

“Being outside of the classroom is really cool. It’s just different,” said Plains eighth-grader Winnie Lin.

According to Falato, the digital component of the project was nothing more than a gateway for more engaged learning. “They’re talking and moving around and learning together,” Falato said. “That’s the key to it all.”