Tweeting With 4th Graders

Overview: 

Using Twitter was a completely new and foreign experience for me since beginning EDTECH 501.  Initially I was very uncomfortable with Twitter but have slowly begun to embrace it, seeing the positive uses in the classroom.  Not quite sure how exactly to integrate it, I saw my opportunity with the selection of Pope Francis.

Objective: 

The objectives for this artifact are:

  • students will be able to discuss Tweets received.
  • students will be able to describe how Twitter provides the user with short bits of information.

Lesson Plan: 

All Saints Catholic School

Tweeting with 4th Graders

Grade Level

  • 3-6

Subjects

  • Technology
  • English/Language Arts

Time Frame

  • 30 minutes (This lesson plans is suitable for instructing teachers how to integrate Twitter in the classroom also.)

Common Core State Standards

  • W.CCR.2 – Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • W.CCR.4 – Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.CCR.6 – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • R.CCR.7 – Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Brief Description

  •  Using social networking in the classroom is a relatively new concept, especially when integrating in the classroom.  Twitter is defined as micro-blogging.  Tweets, similarly to texting, are limited to 140 characters.  Word choice is extremely important when using Twitter.

Objectives

  • Students will be able to draft two Tweets per week.
  • Students will be able to describe how Twitter provides the user with short bits of information.

Keywords/Vocabulary

  • Twitter
  • Tweet
  • retweet
  • micro-blog
  • hashtag
  • follower
  • avatar

Materials Needed

  • Student access to a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, Google drive
  • Smartboard or type of projection equipment
  • Teacher access to the internet

Lesson Plan

Ask students about what they know about Twitter.  Explain that Twitter is defined as micro-blogging.  Each Tweet is limited to 140 characters, which is similar to texting.  Next, ask the students to compare blogging to micro-blogging.  They will need to make a list of at least three differences between the two types of social media.

Tell the students that the class will be following Pope Francis on Twitter.  Make sure they understand that Tweets received from the pope are public Tweets, not specifically sent to our class.

On the Smartboard, pull up the login page of Twitter.  Walk the students through the login process using the class Twitter account.  Show the students the difference between the home, connect, discover, and me tabs.

As a group, draft a Tweet to be sent to the pope, including the class hashtag. For a continuing project, students will draft a minimum of two Tweets per week in their composition notebook.  Random students will be selected to post their Tweets to the pope.

Assessment

  • Students will be assessed on their ability to
    • draft and post timely Tweets
    • use proper writing conventions using Twitter

Reflection: 

Deciding to use Twitter in the classroom has been a difficult decision for me as I was not sure how to effectively achieve it.  I researched several different approaches but kept coming up with issues as to why it was going to be a challenge.  Initially, I wanted to allow the student’s access to Twitter but quickly found several families were not comfortable with this type of Internet access.  I finally saw a ray of light when Pope Francis was selected.  I decided to create a classroom account and Tweet the pope.

Finding the correct hashtag for the pope had its moments however after filtering through several, that I knew for a fact could not be the pope, I found the right one.  I explained the process to the students, walking them through on the SmartBoard.  The children were surprised at the similarities between Tweeting and texting.  I also had to explain to the students that Pope Francis was not personally Tweeting us, but rather it was a mass Tweet.  The looks on their faces was priceless.  Several children ask me throughout the day, “Did the pope Tweet us?”  I then pull up our account and check with the students watching so they can learn.  Learning is best accomplished by doing but I am not sure our parents are ready for complete access for their children.

References: 

Bisaillon, K. (2013, March 27).  Re:  How social media sharing makes the world a better place [Web log comment] Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/social-media/how-social-media-sharing-makes-the-world-a-better-place/

TechThought Staff.  (2013).  8 simple social media strategies for your classroom.  TeachThought.  Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/8-simple-social-media-strategies-for-your-classroom/

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