Technology Impact in Education Month Lesson Plan for 6-8 Grade Students

Scientific progress doesn't stand still, which is why it is so important to study the latest events that greatly affect our lives, and is always ready to help with information.

Subject: Language Arts/Social Studies/Technology

Suggested Time: Two Class Periods (50 minutes) Objectives:
The students will be able to:

  1. Identify influential modern technological advances.
  2. Compare essential and non-essential modern technological devises.
  3. Describe the impact of modern technological inventions on life in 2005.
  4. Evaluate the current US culture’s dependency on technology.
  5. Explain how technology integration impacts US student preparation for a Global Economy.
  6. Write a formal persuasive business letter emphasizing the need for technology within the school setting.
  7. Understand the difference between Fact and Opinion.
  • Paper, Pens or pencils
  • Access to Computers with Internet Access
  • Index Cards
  • White Board
  • Magazines and Newspaper
  • Television, DVD or VHS player
Teachers may evaluate student participation, writing skills, ability to use content vocabulary, mechanics of letter writing, ability to identify facts versus opinions, ability to complete a persuasive argument.

Content Vocabulary
Broadband, CD burner, chat, computer, distance learning, download, filter, firewall, IM, laptop computer, listserv, Mp3 player, online text books, PDA, scanner, weblog, wireless,VCR, camcorders, digital recorder, video games, DSL, broadband, instant messaging, DVD, cell phone, personal computers, internet, handhelds, laptops, scanners, GPS, e-mail, spell check

Language Arts Vocabulary
persuade, convince, sway, argue, emphasize, encourage, advocate, influence, advertise, influence, opinion, heading, greeting, body, closing, signature, fact, actuality, opinion, judgment, estimation

Classroom Activities
Teachers may choose to complete all or some of these exercises or use these exercises as a starting point for their own creative approach.


  • Divide the class into cooperative groups of 4-5 students. Provide each group with at least one magazine and the local newspaper. Ask the groups to locate at least two advertisements highlighting modern technologies. Each group should then discuss the value of the modern technology and the influence of the technology on daily life. Each group will be invited to share their advertisements with the class and review their reflections regarding the necessity of the modern technology. The teacher will track the discussion via a graphic organizer and display the advertisements.
  • Facilitate a whole group discussion regarding essential modern technologies and how they affect the students’ daily lives.
Possible Discussion Questions:
  1. Which modern technologies are used most often during the school day?
  2. How do you define technology?
  3. Imagine what school or your personal life might be like without modern technologies.
  4. Explain why modern technologies are important to your success in school.
  5. Explain how you will use technology in your future career.
  6. Which modern technologies do you use outside of school?
  7. How would your life change without technology?
  8. How does technology make your life better?
  9. How might school change without modern technologies?
  10. Compare and contrast a school day with technology and without technology.
  11. List facts related to modern technology vs. opinions related to modern technology.

Hints for the Teacher:
The following writing lesson is based on a persuasive letter to your local US Representative or US Senator. Please locate the contact information for your state’s Congressman here.

Following the 5-Step Writing Process of modeling, drafting, revising, editing and publishing the teacher will model and the students will write a letter to their U.S. Representative or US Senator . The letter will detail the importance of technology in the modern day classroom, using vocabulary from the classes brainstorming activity.

**Teachers and students may choose to contact their Representative or Senator via US Postal service, fax or e-mail. Technology Impact in Education Month encourages electronic communication via e-mail, fax or e-fax. 

Writing Prompt: **Teachers are strongly encouraged to create a writing prompt based on your state standards and standardized test format.**

Imagine a day with no access to modern technology, i.e. computer, cell phone, PDA, MP3, Spell Check, Video Games etc. What would your day be like? How might you be inconvenienced? How would this impact your school day and your studies? How would you feel? What would be different?

Now write a letter to your US Representative or US Senator explaining the difficulties you may have without access to modern technology in your school. Be sure to include an example of how various technologies have helped you achieve.

Homework & Participation in Technology Impact in Education Month Activities:

  1. Submit your student results by January 31, 2006 at the following link, A student can choose to answer one or both of the questions - We do ask for their definition of technology and only one submission per person will be counted toward prizes.
    • Student Question I: Describe the technology tools in your school.
    • Student Question II: How does technology impact your education?
      • Send an email or letter to your Congressional leaders and the White House expressing your students' results. (This step is optional in terms of prize eligibility, but it is very important to share your students’ support of enhancing teaching and learning through technology. Please see Send A Message for the easy step-by-step instructions.
      • Encourage your parents to complete the parent’s homework by visiting;

Extension Activities:

  1. Create an Advertising Campaign emphasizing the need for technology in the classroom.
  2. Invite the local PTA, school board president, school superintendent, governor, US Representative or US Senator to visit your classroom/school to see technology in action within the school setting.
  3. Review movie or television clips and track the various uses of modern technology

Research Sources

Invention Time Line 1970-2004

Schools tackle PDA problem - September 21, 2003

Teens Want Cell Phones and Laptops for Back to School - September 3, 2003

'Star Wars Kid' school video raises web privacy issues - September 23, 2003

RIAA settles with 12-year-old girl - September 10, 2003

Literature Resources

Ardley, N and Macaulay, D. New Way Things Work. Walter Lorraine Books, 1998 ISBN: 0395938473 (Young Adult)

Anderson, M. Feed. Candlewick Press, 2003. ISBN: 0763622591 Young Adult

Haddix, M. Among the Hidden. Simon and Schuster Children’s Books, 2000. (7-9th grade) ISBN: 0689824750

Lesinski, Jeanne. Biography of Bill Gates. New York. Lerner Publishing Group, 2000. ISBN 0822549492. (Young Adult)

Lowe, Janet C. Bill Gates Speaks: Wisdom from the World's Greatest Entrepreneur. Portland. Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated, 1998 (Young Adult) ISBN: 0471293539

Porter A. & Davies E. How Things Work Barnes & Noble Books, 2003. ISBN: 0760746427 (Ages 8-12)

Related Language Arts Lesson Plans:

The Art of Persuasion Worksheet

Letter Generator


Persuasive Letter Writing

Persuasive Writing Grade Level(s): 6-8

Social Studies Related Lesson Plans

Balancing Budgets from Reagan to Today (Grade 9-12)

Citizen Advocacy Center
Civic Education & Teacher Resources

Dividing the Federal Pie

The Election Process and the Campaign Trail (Grades 5-8)

Inventive Thinking Lesson Plans (K-12)

LESSON 2: Budget, Budget, Who's Got the Budget?

Making Civics Real Workshop 3
A Citizen’s Guide to the Federal Budget (PDF)

School House Rock A Bill

Related Technology Lesson Plans:

Computer Technology (Grade 8)

Connecting the Dots
Exploring the Differences between Digital and Analog Technologies

CyberSpace (9-12)

From Page to Screen (Grades 6-8, 9-12)
Exploring the Uses of Scanning Technology to Make Materials Available Online

Generation Tech
Capturing Today's Technology in a Virtual Time Capsule

KIDS ON-Line: Sample lesson plans on how to use various technologies

Lost in Time (Grade 6-8)

Putting on a Show
Creating a Class Consumer Electronics Trade Show

War or the Worlds

Won't You Be My (E-)Neighbor? (Grades 6-8, 9-12)
Fostering Communities with Technology

Curriculum Standards

McREL Standards
From Content Knowledge, 3rd Edition, a compilation of content standards for K-12 curriculum, created by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL). Civics – 6-12
Standard 19 - Understands what is meant by "the public agenda," how it is set, and how it is influenced by public opinion and the media.
( Listening and Speaking 4-12
Standard 8: Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes

Media 4-12
Standard 10: Understands the characteristics and components of the media

Writing 4-12
Standard 1: Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process

Technology Impact in EducationLesson Plans Adapted from: Net Day Speak Up Day Lesson Plan for Individual Response Technology in Schools: Students Speak Up © 2003 NetDay


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