The Cool Change – 7680

The Cool Change – 7680


Change is a good; that is true when it opens up new experiences for students and provides a glimpse into an unfamiliar world or culture. That’s exactly what this lesson, The Cool Change, provided for a group of diverse learners. The Cool Change presented students with a central problem: How do world travels help you identify the difference in cultures? The students, all functioning on various levels academically, developmentally, and socially, used a blog as the biggest form of communication, and followed “Miss Katy” as she traveled from Virginia to the West Coast, to Cambodia and beyond. The blogging started with a series of pictures from Miss Katy’s travels. Students posed questions to Miss Katy based on the pictures that caught their interest. This lesson allowed students to generate and respond to questions at an individual pace as they followed Miss Katy on her travels. Additionally, the lesson provided students a view of the world that transcended the classroom walls as they experienced it with a new friend. This vantage point exposed students to many unfamiliar things including cultures and how other people live. Likewise to this lesson being a meaningful, authentic experience for these students, many of the activities incorporated individual IEP goals and ASOL objectives. As an extension to this lesson, students extended their thoughts and questions about one particular picture to create a research project on a topic of their choice.

TIPC Ratings

Research and Information Fluency is not a focus of this lesson.

Students used a blog to facilitate communication with someone not available in real-time. Using the blog as the appropriate digital tool, they communicated with Miss Katy to ask questions and solve the central problem. After the lesson, the reflected on how their roles as communicators.

Miss Katy’s blog provided multiple opportunities for students to think critically and solve a problem. The pictures and comments Miss Katy posted along her trip allowed opportunities for students to look at common themes and trends, pose questions, and justify their thoughts and opinions about her travels. The central problem was an authentic task for students, for it asks the students to complete a challenging assignment based on an unpredictable situation that they wouldn’t encounter in real-life. Analyzing a photo from Miss Katy’s trip was relevant to their life because an actual person they met was on the journey with them. Analyzing a photograph and identifying how it differed from one’s culture was rigorous for the students, and asked them to think deeply about what they were visualizing.

Creativity and Innovation is not a focus of this lesson.

Student Artifact

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  • Lesson Plan
  • Rubric
  • Student Artifacts and Links

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