Course(s)/Subject(s): English; cross-curricular with Science

Grade Level(s): 8

Key Words: English, Technology, Dust Bowl, Climate, Land Management, New Deal

Developer(s) Name: Lynda A. Forsythe

School: Kilmer Middle School

Approximate Time Frame: 4 weeks

Materials/Equipment Needed: OUT OF THE DUST novel, computer/2 students, floppy disc/2 students, Internet access T.V. and monitor for the final presentations

Description of Lesson (includes context):
Students will read the novel OUT OF THE DUST in English classes. They will select a topic pertaining to the Dust Bowl with a partner; research the topic on the Internet and save to a disc; prepare a slide show using ClarisWorks Draw; and present their slide show with narrative to a selected audience.


  1. What is the objective of this lesson?

FCPS POS Standards: English 1 & 2

FCPS PPOS Benchmarks: English 8.1-1 & 8.2-1

FCPS PPOS Indicators:8.1-3, 8.1, 8.2-1, 8.2-2, 8.2-48.3, 8.4,

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VASOL(s) (including Computer/Technology):C/T 8.1, C/T 8.2



  1. What will we examine as evidence of students' knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): Slide show presentation with oral narrative

Performance(s): Students will demonstrate the ability to research the Dust Bowl by using the Internet; save their material to floppy disks; convert their research topics into slide shows using ClarisWorks Draw; and work collaboratively to present their subjects to a selected audience.


  1. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. Read and discuss the novel OUT OF THE DUST by Karen Hesse in English classes.
  2. Discuss environmental issues that were presented in the novel and select a topic to
    research with a partner.
  3. Research their topics using the Internet in the computer lab.
  4. Produce their slide shows using ClarisWorks Draw.
  5. Presentations of the slide shows with oral narratives will be completed in the classroom
    using a monitor and central computer.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson?

  1. Purchase sufficient copies of the novel, OUT OF THE DUST
  2. Purchase sufficient floppy discs using 1/every 2 students
  3. Reserve the computer lab for a week to complete research and slide shows.
  4. Plan sufficient class time for presentations.

instructor assign the partners, taking care to 'buddy' those students who might require
extra help with the Internet or developing a slide show with someone with experience in
both. The presentation should be divided with one student presenting the slides while the
other student controlling the slide timing.

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