Fourth grade teachers, Mrs. Depoyster & Mr. Zook, and the teacher-librarian collaborated on an Ancient African Kingdoms unit of study. Students gained background knowledge in the classroom and then selected a topic they wanted to explore in more detail, e.g, cities, trade, haj, Mecca, rulers, trade routes, etc. Using the both traditional and electronic sources (Ancient Africa Pathfinder), students developed questions about their selected topic and recorded their findings in a graphic organizer and cited their sources. They took their findings and wrote an explanatory paragraph summarizing their research. The summary was migrated into an epostcard that includes a Creative Commons image and a friendly, informative "back in time" letter explaining what students discovered on their travels through Ancient Africa.

Below are the students' Ancient Africa ePostcards (created using Google Presentation) and corresponding Standards that were met via this project.

| Depoyster | | | | 2012 | | | Standards






Research Standards:

1. Create questions for investigations, assigned topic or personal area of interest.

2. Utilize appropriate searching techniques (e.g., keyword searching) to gather information from a variety of sources.

3. Acquire information, with teacher assistance, from multiple sources including books, ebooks, Safe Searching Resources, and Internet-based resources), and collect data about the topic.

4. Identify important information and write brief notes about the information.

5. Source all information correctly (MLA 7).

6. Sort relevant information about the topic into categories with teacher assistance.

7. Report important findings to others.

AASL 21st Learner Skills:

1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.


1. Creativity and Innovation.

2. Communication and Collaboration.

3. Research and Information Fluency.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making.

5. Digital Citizenship.

6. Technology Operations and Concepts.

Google Applications for Education 4th Grade Level Skills:

1) Login into student acct (using Chrome)

2) Locate Document/Drive List View

3) Create “From Template”...using student domain template gallery

4) Locate ePostcard template

5) “Use this Template” and rename it so teacher can identify each student's work (first initial, last name_Topic ePostcard)

6) Share presentation with teacher (via Share)

7) Access Drive and locate Shared with Me -->African Kingdom Images folder

8) Change slide background by uploading image(s) from Drive-->Shared with Me-->African Kingdom Images

9) Manipulate Google Presentation slide: add headline to image, add text, and adjust text boxes

10) Change ePostcard to Public (anyone can view) and copy link (ctrl C)

11) Compose a Gmail message to parents inviting them to view their student's ePostcard and in the body of the message paste link to ePostcard URL (ctrl V) and then hot link the URL by highlight it and then clicking on the Gmail link button, and click Send.