Session 1

Session 1: Common Core Lesson

Essential Question: 

Why are sea otters endangered, and what can we do to help protect them?


We’ll start in a shared text document where participants will learn about powerful sharing features, the chat window, the research tool, collaborative editing, revision history, commenting, and automatic saving. Participants will research answers to the essential question and share what they find in the document. ELA teachers will definitely want to use research skills to discover into what environmental dangers pose a threat to the otter population. Math teachers will find population data of otters over time while social studies teachers will look into the history of the relationship between humans and sea otters. Research reveals that one simple thing many people could do to help the population is to convince people to throw kitty litter in the trash rather than flushing it down the toilet!

Looking at a video, students will grasp another medium and compare and contrast the Science Magazine article and the KQED video. 


Next, we’ll move on to Spreadsheets where we can plot population data and much more into a sheet. For example, we can compare the otter’s hair density to the hair density on the human head. We’ll also chart other fascinating facts about otters, including their enormous caloric intake to maintain their extraordinary metabolism. 


After grasping Spreadsheets, we’ll move to Forms, which allow users to create powerful web forms and surveys to easily collect respondent information. We’ll create a simple awareness survey that could be distributed locally or globally to get an understanding of what people already know about otter conservation and how a school project could target areas needed for awareness. Perhaps we’ll discover that many people in fact do flush kitty litter down the toilet. Further research reveals that scientists are conflicted over whether it’s flushed kitty litter or simply runoff from cats using the outdoors as their giant litter box. 


From there, we’ll move into Google Presentations to demonstrate how we could build slides for compelling TED-style talks. In the shared slides, participants can add their own findings. The science teachers can reveal how oil spills pose the greatest danger to otters, while the math teacher can post a charts from the data analysis. Social studies teachers will expose the history of the near-extinction of the species due to hunting in the 19th century. English teachers can post the alliterative slide with appropriate images: “Don’t let Kitty Kill Otters.”
Common Core Standards


Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).


Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.


Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.


Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.


Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)