The main reason for having students create a multimedia Scrapbook is to engage students in a topic from your curriculum while giving them a chance to discover their own interests and information. This should be used as an introductory or enrichment activity, not the heart of your "Westward Expansion" unit. Also notice that it's a good chance to integrate use of the Internet and the World Wide Web into your classroom activities. When you use the HyperStudio stacks or really leverage the essential questions in the conclusion, Donner online becomes a WebQuest. Choose the activity that suits your learners, curriculum and timeframe.
How can you use Donner Online to support your curriculum? The most obvious links are to a study of Westward expansion, the Oregon Trail, or California history. These topics appear in the California Social Science Framework as:
- Grade Four - California: A Changing State
- Grade Eight - United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict
- Grade Eleven - United States History and Geography: Continuity and Change in the Twentieth Century (this could be a link to the past comparing the stuggles of current emigrants to the U.S. today).
Other possible uses are for Donner Online could surface to support the Language Arts Framework:
- core text, grades 3-6: Laura I. Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods
- extended reading, grades 4-8: Honore Morrow's On to Oregon
- core text, grades 7-8: Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
- core text, grade 11: Willa Cather's My Antonia
- extended reading, grade 11: James Fenimore Cooper's The Leatherstocking Series
Please use this activity as a springboard. You know your students, your curriculum and your facilities, so see how Donner Online can work for you.
Here are some suggestions and tips that might be useful:
- Be creative with your level of computer access. Many of the pages can be printed out and read off-line. Maybe have team members rotate through an Internet station where they choose an article to print out and analyze at their seats.
- Use library resources that could be scanned or drawn through a computer paint program.
- Temporarily download Donner Online using an application like WebWhacker or WebBuddy. This way students can access the links from a hard drive or intranet. All you need is a Web Browser like Netscape's Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Donner Online has been designed to support as many users as possible. If you don't use Macintoshes & HyperStudio, you can still use the HTML Template to create your mutlimedia Scrapbooks. Even if you do have Macs, you might want to create your Scrapbooks in HTML so you can post them to the world! If you are somewhat new to HTML, look at the Template through a word processor and you'll see there are suggestions and how-to's built into the Template. This way beginners can get an introduction to creating Web pages in a supported environment.