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Common Core Standards: ELA - Literacy See All Teacher Resources

Grade 9-10

Writing WHST.9-10.6

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Set the Stage

Because of technology, student writing projects are no longer simple essays. Writing skills specific to Web-based content have become just as important as those skills associated with traditional essays. Readers of Web content expect to be able to click through a document to find the specific information we want. We expect to see images, videos, and graphs that support the text, and we expect to be able to click on source information and go right to the original source. We must teach students to meet these expectations as writers, and we must give them a fluency with Web-based writing, content, and design.

How do we accomplish this? Well, first, we need to design assignments that ask students to use Web-based tools. We want students to create projects that include links to websites, works of art, videos, recordings, graphics, and animation. We should also be designing classwork that encourages cooperation and collaborative thinking using online tools. Students should be working together to create these writing projects, and once they are published online, students should be commenting on one another’s work, making comparisons and drawing connections between their ideas and the ideas of their classmates. After all, that’s what the Internet is all about, right?


Dress Rehearsal

In your history class, your teacher has presented you with his usual challenge: Show What You Know! You are to use your creativity and techno savvy to create an overview of the world’s five major religions: Judasim, Hinduisim, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. You’ll use the Internet to gather information, and you’ll also use technology to create a pamphlet that explains these ideas in interest-grabbing ways.

You will include links, photographs, sketches, charts, tables, recordings, music, and videos. What could be more fun? Try not to get too carried away by all the bells and whistles; your purpose is still to inform and you’ll want to choose digital elements that make sense for your purpose, task, and audience. The following points must be included for each of the five religions: two appropriate images (icons, traditions, symbols, etc.); historical facts; lists of basic beliefs, common practices, accepted traditions and rituals; and modern controversies.

With the list of teacher-approved websites in hand, you collect information on the five religions, making a chart or bulleted notes on the required details. You also find photographs of people practicing their religion and a few videos on YouTube that show rituals and celebrations. You search for recordings of different ceremonies and sacred texts.

Here’s what you find, for example, on Buddhism. First, you learn about Siddhartha Gautama, who was responsible for developing the primary beliefs of Buddhism based on enlightenment and the end of suffering. Why did he ever leave the palace? You note the historical facts about how Buddhism began.

You find locations around the world, such as Asia, Russia, and China, in which there are large groups of Buddhists. This cries out for a pie chart! As you gather information, you draft paragraphs that describe the main beliefs, such as rebirth, karma, and Samasara, and typical practices, such as meditation and yoga.

You find pictures of Buddha, the Dali Lama, and the temples in Nepal. One YouTube video documents a lecture on Buddhism, another an interview with a Zen priest, still another on how to practice a breathing meditation. A recording, also found on the Internet, offers an example of Buddhist chanting. This is remarkably sleep-producing.

Using a publishing software program, you design a tri-folded brochure. You type in your information, add pictures, and then embed links to the videos and recordings. You research the other four religions in the same way and similarly incorporate the information into your brochure. You spend some time fine-tuning the layout and document design so the information is presented in a clear, attractive format.

You print out your brochure. Even better, the copy you e-mailed to your teacher is projected onto the Smartboard so that during your presentation, you’ll be able to click on the links and engage your audience.

A+ on this one; must be good karma!

That’s a Wrap

As this standard plays to students’ strengths and interests, they are certain to prove quite masterful in the use of technology for school projects in any content area. In these kinds of assignments, students are creating the type of work that they would like to read, so give them full creative license and you’ll probably learn a thing or two from them this time around.


Fill in the blank with the best word from the given word bank. Words may be used more than once.

Word Bank
graphics technology multi-media captures
understand Internet publish produce

The use of (1)____________________ can greatly enhance your essays. Not only will you use text, you will also be able to include other (2)_____________________ elements, including visuals, audio, and (3) ________________________. The (4)__________________ is just one source of (5) ________________ that enables you to (6) ________________, (7)_________________, and update your projects. Embedding (8)______________ tools into your paper (9)______________ and maintains the interest of your audience. An audience that is interested will better (10)_________________ your message.

1. The correct answer is technology. We’re talking about more than just spell-check here, folks. A truly strategic use of technology includes images, video, audio, etc.

2. The correct answer is multi-media. Multi-media = lots of media or lots of different ways of communicating.

3. The correct answer is graphics. Yep, that’s one form of media for you; ‘cause you know, a picture’s worth a thousand words.

4. The correct answer is Internet. We know you’d like it to be your first, last, and only source of everything, but there are other good things out there, like libraries.

5. The correct answer is technology. There are also some pretty cool word processing and publishing technologies out there that don’t have to use the Internet. Crazy, we know.

6. The correct answer is produce. There are technologies to help you produce or create writing (like Word, Pages, Publisher, etc.).

7. The correct answer is publish. And there are technologies to help you publish your writing for others (ironically not Publisher, but like blogs, wikis, forums, online journals, etc.).

8. The correct answer is multi-media. Links, videos, images...you should have this list memorized by now.

9. The correct answer is captures. All those visual, audio, and interactive tools really do improve reader interest...

10. The correct answer is understand. We don’t know about you, but we tend to pay closer attention and remember more about stuff we’re interested in, as opposed to stuff that bores us.