TPACKing for a Wonderful Educational Trip/Group 6

TPACKing for 3rd Grade Language Arts

Written by Jami Elliott, Joni Walvatne, Lisa Schaa, and Sara Richardson (

We are creating a 1:1 plan for an envisioned elementary school named JaJoSa Elementary. This elementary is one of two within a town of about 8000 people in the middle of Iowa. It serves students in two sections each of grades K-5. As we are implementing technology, we realize the importance of changing the curriculum to be more engaging, collaborative, project-based, and applicable to real world situations. To do this, we have taken some of the Iowa Core Curriculum standards and added TPACK activities. Please follow our process below.

Brief Introduction to Our One-to-One Plan edit

Our Vision (*) JaJoSa CSD is committed to a future that enriches the lives of our students with the values and skills necessary to navigate the changing world of tomorrow. We are therefore entering into a technology initiative that will:

  • Allow for the all-encompassing use of technology by teachers, students, staff, and administration to allow for individualized instruction and self-directed learning;
  • Prepare students with the skill set of the 21st Century Learner and Professional;
  • Prepare students to compete in a global society;
  • Engage students in a medium in which they are familiar;
  • Allow students to create content which will demonstrate a deeper understanding of the curriculum with which they are engaged;
  • Promote student abilities to critically analyze multiple resources on the same topic; drawing a conclusion based upon the various information and defending their position on the topic.

(*) From the Bonner-Prendie 1:1 Initiative Wiki, a private school with a vision statement regarding their 1:1 initiative that we liked. We borrowed some of their statements to go along with a few of our own.

Walden computer

TPACKing at JaJoSa Elementary School edit

Grade Level: 3rd Grade

Subject Area: Reading

Contextual Situation/Demographics:

Each teacher has a Smartboard or data projector in the classroom. The teachers are knowledgeable about technology and enthusiastic about integrating technologies into their lessons. Students each have their own laptop/tablet and are above average in their computing abilities. A time slot of about 45 minutes a day is available/necessary for the lessons we created.

Iowa Core Standards:

With our group consisting of two third grade teachers, a Teacher-Librarian, and an elementary art teacher who incorporates books into lessons, the literacy standards seemed the most relevant. So, we went to the Iowa Core website and looked through the literacy section for 3rd grade. We focused on the ones for English-Language-Arts Reading-Literature and Reading-Informational-Text. In these sections, the standards proved to be ones that needed higher-order thinking from students (not just memorizing).

English Language Arts--Reading--Literature edit


Key Ideas and Details
•RL.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

  • Activity/Technology 1--Read text, then answer questions by highlighting where in the text the answer is located. Read online text, then use Diigo to highlight answers or software such as FlowWorks to annotate on the screen. Could project through a data projector.
  • Activity/Technology 2--Read text, then create questions where the answers can be found directly in the text. Student could use Google Docs, writing in various colors, to pose questions and have others answer. Answers need to be in quotations, representing access directly from the text.
  • Activity/Technology 3--Students create an “interview with the author.” The interviewer creates “in the text” questions, and the interviewee is prepared with specific answers, ready to point to where it is in the text. The interviews are recorded with a WebCam, FlipCam, etc. When all interviews are complete, the class will watch all together. The pausing before the answers are given to see if they can find the answers themselves before the interviewee answers.

•RL.3.2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

  • Activity/Technology 1--Read fables, studying the morals and finding details in the text on how the morals are conveyed. WebQuest to read online fables. TuxPaint to share the moral and details in the text. Add a picture to further convey the meaning.
  • Activity/Technology 2-- Groups retell Cinderella stories from diverse cultures and explain the messages or lessons and how they were conveyed in the stories. Make a Vodcast or Podcast retelling the story using Voki, Blabberize, iMovie, Audacity, Windows MovieMaker, etc.
  • Activity/Technology 3--Read folktales, study central message and text details used to convey the central message. Create a video acting out a folktale, pausing to exaggerate “keys to central message!”, videotape it and upload it to YouTube. See if other students, parents, etc. can figure out the central message through the key details the actors pointed out.
  • Activity/Technology 4--Read stories, study central message and text details used to convey the central message. Use Kidspiration to create graphic organizers to compare and contrast different versions of a fairytale.
  • Activity/Technology 5-- View a Google presentation slide show using images or text from or relating to the specific fairytale. Students will then be able to discuss or comment using details on which fairytale the images or text are from or relate to.

•RL.3.3. Employs the full range of research-based comprehension strategies, including making connections, determining importance, questioning, visualizing, making inferences, summarizing, and monitoring for comprehension.

  • Activity/Technology 1-- Choose a nonfiction story and use the research-based comprehension strategies. Use Glogster to explain why you liked that story along with connections that were made, the importance of the story and how it was determined, inferences, and a summary. All components in separate areas of the same Glog.
  • Activity/Technology 2-- Choose a story to summarize for comprehension. Use Voki to summarize the story for comprehension and then publish it on the web.
  • Activity/Technology 3--Create a character that can be used to describe the research-based comprehension strategies for a chosen story. Take an image from the story and use Blabberize to make the image talk, ask questions, make inferences, and connections.

Craft and Structure

•RL.3.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

  • Activity/Technology 1--Decide on an image from the story, then use Tagxedo to create the image using important words and/or phrases. Choose your audience and let them know if you are demonstrating literal or nonliteral language.
  • Activity/Technology 2-- Using pertinent words/phrases, create two Wordles to demonstrate the importance of those words. One Wordle will be for literal language, and the other for nonliteral language.
  • Activity/Technology 3--Create a vocabulary map/Mindmap of nonliteral phrases used in the text. For each nonliteral phrase, add points that explain what the nonliteral phrase means.

•RL.3.5. Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

  • ◦Activity/Technology 1--Choose a story and create a Reader’s Theater using a narrator to explain the chapters and how they relate to each other. Use a Google doc to type the Reader’s Theater as a group, each part in a different color. Perform for the second grades, record with a FlipCam, and post on the school website for parents and relatives to see.
  • Activity/Technology 2--Analyze a Reader’s Theater drama, such as The Three Little Pigs, and then briefly explain how each scene builds upon the other. Use a program such as Kidspiration or Mindmeister to “build” the scenes, starting with scene 1 at the bottom. Between each scene, describe how it is important to the next scene.
  • Activity/Technology 3--Read poems, cut stanzas apart, and put them back in order to make sense. Read online poems from an online poetry site for kids, such as Copy and paste each stanza of the poem into a text box in a Word document. Make sure they are not in order. Mix them up. Then, switch with a partner and see if the other person can figure out the correct sequence in which to put the stanzas.
  • Activity/Technology 4--Look at a second or third chapter in a book and ask questions that previous chapters and chapters afterwards might answer. Use Podiobooks to listen to a book, then Creately or Google docs to pose questions.
  • Activity/Technology 5--Watch a play or musical and discuss how the scenes are all needed to connect and make meaning to the whole. Watch an online musical or play, such as the Hansel and Gretel Opera.
  • Activity/Technology 6--Create a story with at least three chapters and explain why each chapter is important to the whole. Use ZooBurst, or another online book creator.

•RL.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

  • Activity/Technology 1-- Create a debate between a character & the reader/Xtranormal
  • Activity/Technology 2-- State the opinion of a character and that of the student. Use two images in Blabberize, one to portray the character from the story and the other to portray the student.
  • Activity/Technology 3-- Determine various points of views. Using Voice Thread, choose a character from the story, state his or her opinion and allow students to compare and contrast their thoughts to the characters.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
•RL.3.7. Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).

  • Activity/Technology 1-- Take 1 piece of art/illustration from the book, and create a Voice Thread and ask class to contribute their opinion of what the mood is
  • Activity/Technology 2-- Insert an illustration from the book into a Blog, and have each student blog or respond to the author’s blog
  • Activity/Technology 3-- Insert all illustrations into a Google Doc, ask all classmates to critique each illustration

•“RL.3.8. (Not applicable to literature)”

•RL.3.9. Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).

  • Activity/Technology 1--Use images in Voice Thread that to connect story elements from various texts written by the same author. Students can comment on similar characters, themes, settings, and plots.
  • Activity/Technology 2--Record students, acting as certain characters, as they compare and contrast themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about similar characters. They could use any movie making/editing device such as iMovie.
  • Activity/Technology 3--Use avatars in Xtranormal to compare and contrast themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters.

Range of Reading and Complexity of Text

•RL.3.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

  • Activity/Technology 1-- Create a cartoon retelling a story/Comic Creator or Xtranormal
  • Activity/Technology 2--Choose one story, have each group dramatize it, use MovieMaker, publish movie to the web
  • Activity/Technology 3--Tell about the stories, dramas, and poetry read over the school year/Create a montage with pictures and sound using iMovie or Windows MovieMaker or a web cam.

English Language Arts--Reading--Informational Texts edit

(From PDF at

Key Ideas and Details

• RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

  • Activity/Technology 1--Create a timeline using appropriate sequencing terms/Word, MindMeister, TimeToast
  • Activity/Technology 2--Create an illustrated map showing the progression of historical events/Google Earth, PowerPoint

Craft and Structure

•RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

  • Activity/Technology 1--Display words that are domain specific or general academic/Wordle
  • Activity/Technology 2--Make a word cloud with the phrases and relevant picture/Tagxedo
  • Activity/Technology 3--Create a mind map using domain specific words/Mind Map

•RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

  • Activity/Technology 1--Search having words read aloud to the student. Read/Write/Gold
  • Activity/Technology 2--Given a topic currently being studied, use text and search features to locate relevant information/Sweet Search
  • Activity/Technology 3--Choose a topic and search for information using text and search feature/Yahoo Kids

Our Lesson Plans edit

RL.3.2. Comparing Versions of Cinderella Joni's TPACK Lesson Plan

RL.3.3. Let's Check Out Some Cool Books! Lisa's TPACK Lesson Plan

RL.3.5. May We Have Order In the Text! Sara's TPACK Lesson Plan

RL.3.7. Cartoon Collaboration Jami's TPACK Lesson Plan

Conclusion edit

Description of Process Used to TPaCK

We are planning for 1:1 in an elementary building, and we all also currently work in elementary buildings. Therefore, we decided to TPaCK for a grade in which we could all benefit. We ended up picking 3rd grade to serve this purpose. Since we are developing a 1:1 plan, we considered our context to include students having their own technology device to use, as well as the teachers having equipment such as a Smartboard or a data projector. Both teachers and students are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about technology.

With our group consisting of two third grade teachers, a Teacher-Librarian, and an elementary art teacher who incorporates books into lessons, the literacy standards seemed the most relevant. So, we went to the Iowa Core website and looked through the literacy section for 3rd grade. We focused on the ones for English-Language-Arts Reading-Literature and Reading-Informational-Text. In these sections, the standards proved to be ones that needed higher-order thinking from students (not just memorizing).

So, we had our context and our content. As far as pedagogy, we have learned to expect that lessons should not last much longer than 45 minutes, hand-on experiences are beneficial, and a variety of activities keep student interest. The context, content, and pedagogy ended up begging for engaging technologies.

We then organized the standards on our Google doc and started considering activity options. The Harris/Hoff article inspired many of our ideas, as well as activities we have done in our classrooms. As mentioned before, the technologies we added to the activities seemed to fit naturally. Many of the technologies are ones we have personally tried and know work well with students.

As far as TPaCKing goes, we were surprised at how easy it was to start with the context, content, and pedagogy and then add the technology. We have had other courses where we needed to “tech up” lessons, and think that with practice, it just becomes easier and easier. Someday, we imagine, our brains will automatically TPaCK activities!

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