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Here’s a lesson on writing an autobiography that involves using digital cameras


Computers & Internet, Language Arts  


2, 3, 4  

Title – Autobiography
By – Linda Holbrook
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Computers & Internet
Grade Level – 2-4
Students are working in a computer lab for this lesson.

Students are expected to know basic computer functions.

Lesson Objective: Students learn to take digital pictures, download into a document and then scan a baby picture into a document and then write a story about themselves using the pictures as their guide.

Equipment: Word software, 2 digital (I used a SONY Mavika) cameras (depending on class size), scanner, floppy disks, and color printer (preferred)

Students open a new Word document. Type their name and class code at the top of the paper. Press enter twice and type the word: Autobiography.

Then have students gather around in a shoulder to shoulder circle and ask if anyone has operated a digital camera before. If you have a student familiar or just comfortable with the camera hand the second camera to him/her and ask them to demonstrate with you, to the other half of the circle of students.

Demonstrate the basic functions: Insert disk, on/off, viewer screen, zoom, picture taking button, play, and camera function button (to check picture taken). Have 2 students demonstrate to class how easy this process is. Ask students to remember their picture number as they are taken. Show them on the camera screen where the number show up. Have student position himself or herself for a picture with another classmate as picture taker and then they trade places. This continues until all students’ pictures have been taken.

When all pictures are taken choose a couple of students to demonstrate how to download the pictures at their own computer station while students watch. Their documents are already up so students just insert the disk into the disk drive then have students click on INSERT, PICTURE, FROM FILE, go to the floppy drive and click on the student’s picture number and click on INSERT. The picture downloads onto their document. This will take a full class period easily, (depending on class size). Have students save their files.

Class day 2: Students may start their biographies by explaining about themselves – age, grade, friends, hobbies, etc. After they have typed a few sentences instruct the students on how to use “Text Wrapping”.
Have students click on their digital pictures in their documents so that boxes appear around the edge of the picture. Then go to VIEW, TOOLBARS, and PICTURE. This will place the toolbar for TEXT WRAPPING at the bottom of the screen. Then click the text-wrapping icon (it looks like a dog on a paper). A menu will appear with the type of wrapping you would like (I use TIGHT). This will allow students to click on the picture (in the middle of the picture) and drag the picture anywhere in the text. This will also use up a class time. Tell students to bring a baby picture to next class.

Class day 3: have students start working on their written part of their Biographies. Pick about 4-6 students to gather around the scanner and teach them to scan using their baby pictures. Use another disk to save the images to just like saving a file to the floppy disk but have the student type their name in for the file name. Once these students have scanned their pictures have them go back to their computers and INSERT their baby picture from the disk. When done they can continue with their stories. Then do another group of students until they all have both pictures in their documents.

Class day 4: Have students finish by editing their stories; checking spelling, sentence structure, grammar, capitalization and story flow. When they think they are finished and edited, send the documents to the printer.

This was a fun project and the students and classroom teachers loved it! This is a great group project for more advanced computer students and new beginner computer users.

E-Mail Linda Holbrook !

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