Computer Skills Curriculum

Title: Heritage: Reaching into the Past

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts: 1.1, 2.1, 2.3; Computer Skills: 2.1; Information Skills 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2; Social Studies (Gr. 5) 12.1

Grade: 5

Competency 2.1: Use a word processing program to copy and move text.

Measure 2.1.2: Given a story using dialog and a list of student names, use the copy or move function to place a name with each quote to personalize the story.

Materials Needed: Reference materials found in the media center; computer with word processing software; chart paper or transparencies and overhead projector; Reaching Into the Past transparency (included).

Time: One, 30-40 minute session in the classroom; one, 30-40 minute session in the media center; one to two, 30-40 minute session(s) in the computer lab.

Terms: word processing, find, copy, print, save, edit, move




    Teacher Preparation:

  • Obtain a sufficient number of diskettes for students to use in the computer lab.
  • Prepare multiple data diskettes for the Reaching Into the Past activity or plan how the file will be loaded during computer time (if you choose to use this activity). You may wish to create a word processing data file related to literature being read in class. Students could substitute their names for the characters in the story.

    With the Media Professional:

  • Review the lesson plan activities.
  • Identify resources and discuss the best way to find the types of information requested.
  • Assist students as necessary with their research.

    With the students:

  1. Have a brainstorming session: Using chart paper (or transparencies and an overhead), have students list names of famous people from the United States, Canada, or Latin America.
  2. Help students to generate a list of questions for the groups to answer.
  3. Divide the students into cooperative groups (4 students per group) and assign one historical person to each group. One student will be the leader, one the researcher, one the recorder, and one the group reporter. The research should be focused on an important event in the historical person's life. (You may wish to add other historical people to the list so that all three countries are represented. You may also wish to give students a choice concerning the person to research.)
  4. Provide students with an opportunity to visit the media center and to use all available resources to answer the research questions.
  5. Provide instruction on the use of copy or move functions of the word processing software your students will use. Provide guided practice by having students match fairy tale characters to quotations using the word processing data file provided or a similar substitute. (You will need to decide whether students should do this activity before the research or before they work on their skits on computer.)


  1. Have the students (in cooperative groups) use the information collected, to create a short play or skit about the event, using dialog between the characters.
  2. Have students to individually change one character's name to their name, using copy or move functions.
  3. Instruct students to work collaboratively (2-3 per group) to do peer editing and make corrections to the paragraphs.
  4. Instruct each student to use word processing software and the computer to enter the group skit or play, then save it on an individual diskette.
  5. Provide independent practice of copy and move functions by having students use the Reaching Into the Past activity (on diskette) in the computer lab.


  • Have students role play their historical event based on the skit/play written.
  • Have students write a story, using dialog, about life during this historical period.


Develop a student data disk or template of famous quotations or events based on the period of history being studied. Students match famous quotations with the person's name or historical events with its description. Students use copy or move functions to complete the matching activities, save, and print their work.


Using a word processing program, have students load their historical stories (or one that you have written). Using the functions of their word processor, direct students to personalize the story by adding dialog and using names of classmates. Monitor student performance as they use copy and move functions to personalize their stories. Reteach "copy" or "move" functions as necessary. Provide additional practice for students experiencing difficulties.