Word Processing Learning Activities Contributors: EDUC 4823 Students, Fall Semester 1999 Elementary Student Activities (pre-kindergarten through fifth grade) Write and Draw The grade level this activity is best for is first grade. Since first graders only know how to spell a few words and really aren't making many sentences, it would be hard for this age group to use the word processor for typing letters or documents. There is a word processing application called KidPix that allows a student to write or draw almost anything. A good learning activity for this age level would be to use this program to write a few words, or if possible a sentence. Then, the student should draw a picture relating to the key words or meaning of the sentence he or she chose. Forkids The example that I gave in class was number munches. This helps kids learn their math multiples while using the mouse or keyboard. Another form of this game is word munches. This helps kids learn words that rhyme while also using the mouse or keyboard. I remember doing these when I was in elementary school. There was also a site on the Internet called the magic school bus. It had games dealing with sound, art, hygiene, and books. To find it, you go to scholastic.com. I thought that might be a helpful one for the whole classroom. Tracing Hands Students hold their hand to the computer screen and using the pencil tool of the drawing/paint application, trace their hand. Using the text tool, students number their drawn hand. Fairy Tale Writing Grade 3- 5 In this word processing activity, the students will use the word processor to create their own fairy tales. They will edit their work at least three times using the spellcheck feature and experiment with changing font size, color and style. Keeping a Journal on Word As a teacher you can ask your students to keep a daily journal for a semester. After you pick up the journals, you can pick them up and keep them in a time capsule. Upon the graduation of that class, you as the teacher can hand them out at graduation. The students can then see what they wrote in your class. President Word Search Presidents from Washington to Lincoln Words to search for: Washington Adams Jefferson Madison Monroe Adams Jackson Buren Harrison Tyler Polk Taylor Fillmore Pierce Buchanan Lincoln My Name Is This is an activity that can be used in word with pre K, or Kindergarten age children. The children are able to use word to type their name, and phone number. This may seem very simple, but I would not have thought of it. Fun with Fonts Enlist an aid or parent volunteer to direct the children to format so that they can choose colors, font size, font styles, and how to use the backspace to erase mistakes. Then the children can type their name and number as many times as they want. I think that this is a basic introduction to the use of word processing, but will help young children to be introduced to this software. The children can change the font color, size, and style as they see fit. Other aspects that children will learn are space bar, key arrangement, and capitalizing using the shift key, as well as print. Word Processor Activity Following directions-Give the child a set of directions to follow on the computer. These tasks can be literal or fictional. A twist ending, wherein the final direction is to only complete the final task might be a challenge for more advanced children. Safety Tips My favorite word activity would be having each child type in a safety tip. (example: Don't talk to strangers.) Then send the final, laminated, edited version home with each child attached to refrigerator magnets. Open House Invitations The best word process learning activity that I discovered is providing the student the opportunity to invite parents to Open House by writing a letter (invitation). This same activity could be used for any activities during the school year when the parents or maybe even Grandparents are invited for lunch, musical programs or end of the year award assembly. This would incorporate word processing and language arts by using the correct form to write a letter. Students in pre k to learn how to write their phone number and name could use the word processor. You can use the paintbrush, make shapes, colors and use the processor for matching games. Third grade for example, can use it to write spelling words. It can also be used for open house. Now and Then What to do: 1. Open a new word processing document. 2. Write a friendly letter to a pen pal living in a past century. 3. In the letter, describe two or three inventions or activities your pen pal would not know about 4. Edit your letter carefully. 5. Print your letter Answer Search Applicable to any level of math My favorite way to use a word processor as a learning tool is the word search. I will be teaching math so I would change it to a math problem search. I would have the students make up their own search using problems applicable to what we had been working on in class. They would have to come up with or use homework problems, solve them, fill in the numbers on the grid, and make an answer key. Then I would collect the games and give each student one to work. This way they have fun and practice the exercises twice. Letter Writing To become more proficient in letter writing skills, and to ignite a high interest in letter writing, allow students to write a letter to their favorite book character. They may form groups for brainstorming ideas, and for editing. Their final copy can be printed as a word processing activity on the computer. They may select from a variety of templates or format their own letters. This activity would be appropriate for 3rd grade and up. Word Find My favorite word processing activity is for students to create a word find with their spelling words. I would divide them into groups and have each group make a word find, then they would exchange word finds. I wouldn't introduce this until third grade. ABC's and 123's My field service instructor is a first grade teacher. I have suggested she let the students type their ABC's and numbers 1-10 using Microsoft Word. She then can show them how to change the font size and style to get a different look Social Studies Direction Skills (Originally from the Inner City Technology Goals Document - June 1997) Submitted by: Glenn Doncaster 4th and 5th grade Technology Skills: Paintbrush tools, multi-tasking, opening files, printing Software Used: Paintbrush, word processor Description: Students manipulate their way through a teacher created map shared off the server. They record their steps in a word processor. Preparation: Create the map file using Paintbrush as shown below. It is easiest to start with an empty grid and then use the flood fill or "paint roller" tool to fill in the appropriate squares. Store the file on a drive accessible to all students ( To Student drive on the Server). The children should have already been exposed to the concepts of North, East, South, West. Activity: The students will open the program Paintbrush. Next the students will open the map file. Using the paintbrush tool the students need to map (draw a line) their way through the obstacles. The students will also open a word processor. Using the alt-tab function the students can then move back and forth between paintbrush and the word processor to write down the directions for getting through the map in words. Many different map files can be made to challenge the students. Each map you make can be of a different difficulty level, in this way all students can be challenged. Grade 2-3 I think young children can learn to use the keyboard and mouse actively with a word processor program. The instructor could allow the children to experiment by typing words on the screen and changing the color, size, style, and other formatting skills. The students can practice click and drag with the mouse. This skill is important to use the computer. Allow the children to learn by "doing." Through this practice the students will become familiarized with the computer and a word processor. Useful Rhyming Techniques I think that using words that rhyme repeatedly, will increase the chance that a child will become familiar with the word and words that are similar. Using exercises such as Rhyming Buddy or It's Rhyme Time will familiarize children with this concept of spelling. Example: Jack and Jill went up the _____ to fetch a pail of ______ Jack fell down and broke his _______ and _______ came tumbling after. Journal articles Activity for the 4th grade A word processor is a computer application that allows text to be entered and stored in a computer file. This text can be changed and formatted in a variety of ways. It would, therefore, appear to be ideal for use in the writing process where children have the opportunity to do all their writing at the computer. In this way, the first draft could be produced, reviewed, and the necessary changes made on the computer doing away with the need to completely re-write it. Once completed, the text could be printed out to produce a very professional product that does not bear any traces of correction. I would introduce word processing to the 4th grade level because I feel this would be a good age group to start there learning process. I would teach them how to type a paper, make corrections, and how to save their work.
Word Processing Learning Activities Contributors: EDUC 4823 Students, Fall Semester 1999 Middle School Student Activities (sixth grade through ninth grade) Better Words Most word processing includes a thesaurus. It's a list of synonyms - words that have similar meanings. The thesaurus comes in handy when you want to improve a paper by finding words that are clearer or more interesting. Before: The motorcycle was big and made a loud sound. After: The motorcycle was immense and made a thunderous sound. What to Do: 1. Open a word processing document. Type a short paragraph describing a person, place, thing or activity. Or use a paragraph from one of your earlier projects. 2. Print the document. 3. Select a word that you think could be replaced by a better word. 4. Go to the thesaurus. In many programs, it's found in the Tools menu of the Edit menu. 5. Read the synonyms. If you find one that you like, click on it. Then click on Replace or Change. (If your thesaurus doesn't work this way, follow the on-screen directions or ask someone to help you.) 6. Continue this way through your entire document. 7. Print the new version of the paragraph. 8. Compare the two versions. Which has the better wording? 5th and above-basic ability Letter to a company using the word letter set-up. The students will write a letter to either a company that they would like some information from or a company that they feel has done something wrong and actually send the letter and the class will review the responses. All About Me My favorite word processing activity is for the students to type out their name, and three qualities about themselves. They then will underline the quality that they are most proud of. They should also pick a font that they like, also a graphic that they like should be on the page. The students will then print this out and post around the room. Word Processor as a Publishing Tool I think that the best word processing activity for students is using the word processor as a publishing tool for creative writing. Students can write, illustrate, and publish their own works using the word processor. Just about any age of student can do this type of activity, although younger children will need assistance from the teacher. A sample of a creative writing activity can be found on the next page. Letter to the editor Have students write a letter to an editor of a newspaper telling them why a famous historical American is important. Use contemporary letterhead. Have the students type a paper listing the words that they have trouble spelling on a word processor. Then spell check the document. The students would then print out the sheet of the words they commonly misspell with the correct spelling. When writing papers they could use the paper to refer back to which will improve their spelling and help them memorize the correct spelling a the words on the sheet. Computer Basics/Science Research Report Using "The Ultimate Writing and Creativity Center" CD-ROM by The Learning Company, the students can interactively search for topics related to subject matter being discussed in Science to create a research report. Reference materials could include anything from electronic reference resources within the CD-ROM to the regular encyclopedias found in the library. Students will review the writing process and have an introduction to the word processor before starting the report. After basic mastery of the word processor, students can begin to research topics (solar system, nature, geological topics, etc.…). The students can be evaluated by taking short, low-point quizzes over basic computer knowledge and over the writing process. The rough draft can be evaluated for final draft preparation but not graded. A suggestion for the rough draft might be for student peers to evaluate it as well. An oral presentation by the students and a final draft evaluation is another suggestion and a final draft graded by the teacher. How About Your Oklahoma Geography? Use a word processor to fill the Blanks with Oklahoma Counties! 1. In feudal times a man was part of the King's Court because he was a _______. 2. The old cowboy told the pot of beans to "_______". 3. The two little babes were lost in the ________. 4. The young boy could not let_________ by his friend go unchallenged. 5. We ordered a ton of _________ for winter fuel. Answers 1. Noble 2. Cimarron 3. Woods 4. Adair 5. Coal
Word Processing Learning Activities Contributors: EDUC 4823 Students, Fall Semester 1999 High School Student Activities (tenth grade through twelfth grade) Short Story In a word processor, you could have your students write a short story about a character in a play or a novel that they had read in class previously. This could be a way for the student to show their creativity in that they could write about any character in anyway they chose. It could be that they just keep the story going, or they could start to break away from the story line and come up with another story from their own experiences. Then they could get into groups or get in front of the class and tell their story to see if each other or the rest of the class could figure out whom the short story was about, given that they knew in general where the stories came from. If anyone could guess whom your story was about they would be the next one to go, but if not, you got to pick whomever you wanted. Changing the look of text One simple way to get students acquainted with a word processor is to give them a handout with instructions to follow. Here are a few examples: Type the following: "A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage." -George Lieberman 1. Change the font size to 24 2. Change the font style of the word "talent" to ANDY. 3. Italicize the word "world." 4. Type the word "courage" in BOLD. 5. Underline "little." 6. Center the entire quote. 7. Change the font color of "George" to red. Print your assignment! Newspaper The teacher that I am with for this semester teaches high school newspaper. She has her students type their news stories on a word processor. This is easier for editing purposes and they can easily cut and paste the newspaper together without having to retype the whole thing. Student Diary Students need to have an understanding of the basic functions of word processing and some knowledge of how to type. Grade level could include 5-12. Description Student Diary is as the name suggests specifically designed to meet the needs of students, especially those using a notebook computer. It includes categories such as, and Reminders. It's built to be a more powerful organizer than a standard calendar: homework is clearly identifiable, and its status is marked; timetables are easy to enter and modify; and the program can be integrated with Microsoft Word. This release adds several new improvements and enhancements. This program may be tried free for 60 days. The retail price is $30. The Best Word Processing Learning Activity From all of the many word processing learning activities talked about in class, my personal favorite is the idea of typing out vocabulary words onto a word processing page. Then rearrange them in alphabetical order using the cut and paste tools. Other things can be done from there, such as making crossword puzzles and fill-in-the-blank sentences using the vocabulary of the week. This activity could be used in English or Reading class, but also any class that has a list of names, places, dates, or words to learn. In History, learning to spell the names of people, places, and events is important, and can be reinforced using this "fun" word processing activity. In Math classes, names of shapes, theorems, and key terms can be used. The possibilities are endless. Every subject can use this activity to learn words and spelling. Editing Papers I think that some useful tools from the word processor for English students and teachers are the thesaurus, spell check and grammar check. Especially during the research and writing portions of the school year, these tools will help students to perfect their writing, encouraging more revision and helping them to learn how to improve their writing through the use of the word processor. Access to these tools also helps the teacher perfect his/her work that will be presented to the students. Activity: Students will edit a research paper. Step 1: Students will print unedited copy of paper for comparison to edited versions Step 2: Students will run spell check on paper and print a copy of their paper so far. Step 3: Students will use the thesaurus to limit redundancy and print a copy. Step 4: Students will use grammar check to correct grammatical mistakes/print Home Design Have your student's use MS Word drawing toolbar to create their "dream home." They can create for example, a front view, back view, and layout of each floor. It is helpful to use AutoShapes to speed the project up. They need to show their measurements and label their rooms. Show them some examples of homes. Making A Calendar Making a calendar with your students is a good thing to do. This will show them how to Do it on the computer but the best way is so that they have a copy of it and will be able to write down assignments, when they are do, what they consist of, and for what class. It is always good to teach your students to use a computer because it helps them to be organized. The first thing that you do is to click the start button on your computer. Next go to programs and click, then go to calendar and click. Next click on run task wizard. The task wizard basically tells you everything to do. Click on cell b2 to change the month and year. You will want to click on the month and year that you put in and click the bold button and change the font to around 36. This will make your month appear big and dark where you can see it good. Next have the students print it. Have your students to make one of these for every month. This is a good organization tool.