1. Topic-
The "Nifty Fifty States" US Geography, Demography, and History
 
2. Content-
Basic information about the fifty states and their capitals, population information, geography, cultural/historical facts. This content will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive Social Studies project and presentation the students will complete at the end of this unit.
 
3. Goals: Aims/Outcomes-
Students will be able to use Google SMS as a tool to answer a series of provided questions about their chosen state's geographic, demographic, and historical information.
 
4. Objectives-
At the end of this lesson, students will understand the appropriate application of Google SMS for a basic research project and will demonstrate this knowledge later in the unit through a research project and oral presentation.
 
5. Materials and Aids-
Personal cellphones, notebooks, projector/smartboard, computer (for the instructor demonstration).
 
6. Procedures/Methods-

A. Introduction-

1.Brief lecture/guided discussion introducing the Fifty States unit and Google SMS as a information obtaining tool.
2. Focusing event: collaborative group work. Students will be split into pairs and will research two different states of their choice to complete the provided handout.
 

B. Development-

Lesson will begin with an instructor-guided explanation of Google SMS using the Google SMS Simulator. The instructor will practice asking and answering questions via Google SMS, displaying the necessary steps and results on a projector/smartboard.
 

C. Practice-

1. Before being split into groups, students will first as a class answer two instructor generated questions about the geography and population of New York State.This will address any last minute questions/troubles with the tool.
2.Students will write their top three choices for a state to research, instructor will collect these choices to assign states later.
3.Students will continue to obtain information about New York state in assigned pairs.
 

D. Independent Practice-

1.The instructor will go through the student's state choices and assign individual states for the comprehensive research project.
2.Students will be expected to bring in information daily about their specific states. This information must be obtained using only SMS.
 

E. Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction)-

1.Instructor will touch base during each lesson to make sure there is minimal confusion and schedule weekly chats with individuals to monitor progress.
2. Group work rather than a lecture based or even a guided discussion type of lesson may work better with this age group given the attention limits. They have something to do, information to report, and a chance to collaborate with one another while they do it.
3. The instructor will need to monitor the pace of this lesson to guarantee that it is not too slow for particularly bright students and should modify the depth of the questions accordingly if that is the case.
 

F. Checking for understanding-

1.Quick feedback will be requested at the end of each lesson to touch base with the students.(Informal "assessment" but really more of a step to check in and see how research is going)
2. Their information and answers to provided questions about their state (in addition to any other pertinent information) will be reviewed during each class period by the instructor, and ultimately, will be uploaded to a blackboard discussion board so that they can look at one another's progress.
3. The formal assessment will occur at the end of this unit, when student's will give an oral presentation to the class as a famous/celebrated individual from their state and will include all information collected by their cell phones.
 

G. Closure-

This initial lesson plan should address a 45 minute time slot. Factoring in time for questions and group work, the lesson will end with a quick review of the Google SMS tool and a quick discussion of what this information is to be used for.

 
7. Evaluation-
I am hoping that kids will be fairly comfortable texting to obtain information and will not use SMS for social purposes during the lesson. I think the novelty of sending a text may inspire interest with this age group, many of whom may be just getting phones for the first time. Additionally, the promise of a final "Fifty State Feast" complete with presentations should motivate the kids to really get engaged.
 

This Lesson Plan is available at (www.teacherjet.com)