FOR TEACHERS:

Desert Related Lessons
 
Internet/Microsoft Excel
3rd Grade
Science/Deserts
2 weeks

NETS Standards: 1,2,3, and 4

NETS Performance Indicators:
- TSW use input devices
- TSW use a variety of media and technology
- TSW communicate about technology
- TSW work cooperatively when using technology
- TSW create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers and student partners
- TSW use technology resources for problem solving, communication, and illustration

Lesson Goal:  TSW be able to relate to desert climates.

Lesson Objective:  TSW compare/contrast daily desert temperatures to those of  Louisiana.

Assessment:
o Teacher Observation
o Daily entries on spreadsheet
o Completed initial research forms
o Cooperative work habits
o Higher level questioning

Technology Connection:
 Ratio- 2 students to a computer in the computer lab for assignment 1
            2 students to one computer each day for two weeks in the classroom
 Software type:  Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet) and Internet

Prior Knowledge:
o Knowledge of keyboard
o Use of internet to go to designated sites
o Use of spreadsheet
o Some knowledge of the desert habitat

Procedure:
Assignment 1- Day 1
1.  TSW go to the site www.desertusa.com.
2.  TSW follow the directions on the cover sheet of the packet. (see packet)
3.  TSW complete the packet by clicking on the appropriate links and answering the  questions in the packet in order to gain background knowledge on the four  locations.
Assignment 2-2 weeks
4.  TSW track the temperature in Abita Springs, Louisiana and in the four desert locations  daily.
5.  The teacher will teach two students the morning procedure for gathering data (see  direction sheet for Daily Climate Comparison).
6.  Each morning the two students from the previous morning will teach the next two   students for the day how to gather the data and record it in the spreadsheet. 
7.  Using the AverKey the teacher will show the class the data collected every few days  and use it to question the students.
8.  At the end of the two weeks the class will vote and decide on a graph to print out  using Excel.
9.  Each group will get a copy of the spreadsheet and graph and will be asked to draw  conclusions based on the data.  Some basic graph questions will also be asked to  incorporate math.
10. The class’ data, graph, conclusions, and research will be displayed on the hall bulletin  board for others to read.

Management Skills:
o High/low ability grouping
o TTW review computer lab rules.
o TTW review cooperative learning rules prior to lesson.
o A plastic fire truck will be available for display in the computer lab if help is needed.
o Peer teaching/learning

Materials:
o Disks
o Handouts :  Directions for Activity 1 (research guide), Directions for Morning Procedure
o Paper 
o Pencils
o Computer

Extensions:
o Daily journal entries
o Create a desert garden 
o Create a Power Point presentation using research collected
o Students write their own questions in groups based on the data

Higher Order Thinking Skills:
o TSW distinguish between information
o TSW compare/contrast.
o TSW use data to answer questions.
o TSW draw conclusions.
 

Names __________________________________
 

Go to www.desertusa.com

Scroll to the bottom of the page.

You will see the temperatures flashing for different desert locations.

You will need to double click on the following locations in order to answer the questions :
 

Phoenix, AZ
Joshua Tree, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Zion Nation Park, UT
 

Fill out the following questions pertaining to each location.  Please write in complete sentences.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Names_________________________________

Desert Location : Phoenix, Arizona

Where is Phoenix located?  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe the climate in Phoenix.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe something interesting that occurred in Phoenix’s history.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is the population in Phoenix?
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tell me an interesting fact about Phoenix.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Names_________________________________

Desert Location : Joshua Tree, California

Where is located?  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe the climate in Joshua Tree.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe something interesting that occurred in Joshua Tree’s history.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tell me an interesting fact about Joshua Tree.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tell me about an animal that would live here. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Names_________________________________

Desert Location : Las Vegas, Nevada

Where is Las Vegas located?  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe the climate in Las Vegas.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe something interesting that occurred in Las Vegas’s history.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What is the population in Las Vegas?
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tell me an interesting fact about Las Vegas.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Names_________________________________

Desert Location : Zion National Park, Utah

Where is Zion National Park located?  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Describe the climate in Zion National Park.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tell me an interesting fact about Zion National Park.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are some activities you would like to do if you were able to visit Zion National Park? (Describe at least 2.)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

Directions for Daily Climate Comparison 

1. Work with the pair from the previous day.  They will help to  guide you  through the activity.

2.  Click on the Internet Explorer icon.

3.  When the internet is connected and the welcome screen comes up look in  the upper right hand corner for “Today’s Weather”. 

4. Write down Abita Springs temperature for today. 

5.  Go to Favorites.

6.  Click on Desert USA.  This will bring up the Desert USA website.

7.  Scroll to the bottom of the screen and you will see some flashing boxes.

8. Write down the temperatures in Fahrenheit for the four locations we are  tracking:
  Phoenix, AZ                   Las Vegas, NV
  Joshua Tree, CA            Zion National Park (NP), UT

9.  Close window and internet.

10. Click on the Temperature Tracking icon.

11.  You are now in the spreadsheet.  Type in today’s date under yesterday’s  date in the first column.

12.  Enter Abita’s temperature and the temperature for the other four locations.

13.  Click on the picture of the disk on the top toolbar to save your work.   This is a very important step!

14.  Close the window.

15.  Return to your seats knowing you did a job well done!
 

Multicultural Activity – Making a Storyteller Doll
 

Goal:  TLW have an insight into Pueblo culture.

Objective:  TLW apply knowledge of Pueblo culture as evidenced by the creation of a piece of pottery.

Procedure: 
1.   TTW read the book, The Pueblos; Southwestern Potters.
2.   After reading the book, TTW lead the class in a discussion about how stories and 
 legends help young members of the tribe learn Pueblo cultures. 
3.   TTW give background on the “Storyteller Doll”.
4.   The students will knead a piece of clay to soften it.
5.   With a rolling pin, students will roll the clay out until it is flat like a pie crust.
6.   TSW drape the clay over a form (made by the teacher      ) to entirely cover it.
7.   TSW add features to the form such as eyes, a nose, and ears.
8.   TSW use a drinking straw to cut a hole for the mouth.
9.   TSW roll two clay ropes for the arms.  The ropes will be wet and put into place.
10. TSW be given another piece of clay to knead and roll out flat.
11. TSW use boy and girl cookie cutters to cut several figures from the clay.
12. TSW wet the back of the clay figures and press them into place on the large figure.
13. The figure will be left to dry 
14. Students will write about their experience in their daily journal.

Extension:
1.  TSW interview a family member in order to learn a family story.  TSW share their
 family story with the class. 

Materials:
Several parent volunteers
Waxed paper to cover desks
Styrofoam egg
Styrofoam ball
Glue
Several rolling pins
Air-dry clay
Water
Cups
Toothpicks
Drinking straws
Cookie cutters
Cardboard squares 

Assessment- 
 Teacher observation
 Finished product
 

Desert Culinary Event
Focus: 
The Pueblo Indians of the Southwest

Background:

 The Pueblo people represent a specific unusual adaptation of Mexican economies to the mesa and canyon lands of northern New Mexico and Arizona.  Like their ancestors, the Anasazi, the Pueblos pursued an economy  of agriculture.  Indian Corn, or maize, was a multi-varied collection of hybrid species derived from a grass in Central America.  The maize was a dry species and the kernels were very hard.  The primary use of corn was as a ground meal which would then be cooked or baked into various kinds of soups and breads.
 Dependence on agriculture required the people to live in one place.  These people had a sophisticated understanding of astronomy and weather.  Since the Southwestern patterns of weather brought only small amounts of rain, they had to maximize the water to the fullest potential.  Some groups developed irrigation systems.  They dug ditches that carried river water and rainwater to their fields.  Other desert farmers developed methods of using underground water.  
 A tremendous amount of Pueblo spiritual and ritual culture is based on preserving the natural balance and bringing rain when it is needed.  Corn is strongly represented in their creation stories and in their art.

Materials:
 
For Display:
 
 
 Cactus in a jar
 Related literature                            Blue corn products    
Food to be served:  
 

Blue Corn Nachos:
 Blue corn chips                           
          Cheese
 
 Cacti                                                       Salsa
          Tablecloth                                                  Sour cream
          Pottery              Pueblo Shredded Chicken 

This activity would be used as a language experience activity in which the students would use their senses to write.  
 

Additional Thematic Activities:

Desert Guidebooks/Animal Research

Desert Poetry

Internet Research

Desert Similes

Desert Creepy Crawlies

Geography- Create maps

Desert Dioramas

Cactus Shaped Book- Desert Adventure Story

Chart and compare desert temperature daily

Make pinch pots

Make Kachina dolls

Create a Pueblo village to include buildings, plants, animals, and landforms

Create a desert garden

Desert Mural

Virtual Tours