Today I had an awesome lesson with third graders in the computer lab. The idea came from a pintrest post (see the first picture). I thought that that would make a great integrated tech project in ELA where student's learn about nonfiction text features. I got one of my willing third grade teachers to let me try it with her group during her ELA block.
I created a template (see second picture) made up of text boxes. Initially I had made it like the first picture but found that third graders would take forever typing information in some of the text heavy boxes and so I deleted them.
They came to the computer lab with their science textbooks and I had them find examples of big and little text, highlight text, bullets, etc. I explained how these textbook features make information easy to find. I then had them create a document that had all these features. The idea was that would print it out and and add to their ELA binder (or you could even add it to a science notebook!).
The kids and I had a great time. They learned how to do a lot of things in Word (i.e. highlight, change the color of text, make bullets, etc.) while applying that knowledge to their textbook.
I picked third grade because it is really textbook heavy year for our students and becoming familiar with these features might help them (they are also mature enough to follow directions in the computer lab :)
I am repeating this lesson with three other third grade classes this week and I learned a lot during our lesson today (i.e. get rid of some of the text boxes). I'm hoping those classes go as smoothly as the one today!
In some hindsight I might do this lesson in the first month of school next year when students are becoming familiarized with their textbooks but certainly think it won't hurt them to get it now :)