Lesson Plan

Views on College Life

Students explore colleges and universities using a variety of media and interactives.
Rachelle W.
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, United States
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

Each year, AVID students in grades 9 and 10 conduct research on colleges and universities.  This research project is designed to help them dig deeper into college life by exploring a variety of media and interactives and choosing a product of their choice to explain why the colleges they researched were a good fit for them and why.  This lesson is delivered in a flipped instruction format.  At the end of this lesson students will be able to: 

  • Conduct a short research project in order to answer the question: Which College is a Good Fit for Me?
  • Write arguments and support them for why the colleges they researched are a good fit
  • Develop and strengthen their writing through peer edits and feedback
  • Use technology to produce/publish the findings from their research
  • Participate in a collaborative Socratic Seminar on Choosing the Right College
English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 At Home Day 1

Assign the articles for students to read for their flipped instructional content.  If you are using a learning management system like Edmodo, Google Classroom, or OneNote Notebook Class Creator you can share the article with your students using that.  Students' after reading assignment is to generate a list of 5-7 questions from the articles that would be great for a Socratic Seminar or Four Corners Debate Activity.  For more information on Socratic Seminar click on this resource from Read Write Think: http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/s...

Four Corners: https://www.facinghistory.org/for-educators/educator-resources/teaching-...

Student Instructions

1.  Read the online articles on "Choosing the Right College For You".  

2.  Create a list of 5-7 questions about the article that would be great for a Socratic Seminar/Four Corners Debate on the content with your peers in class the next day.

2 In Class Day 1

1.Before class, Choose the "University Campuses" collection in Google Views.  Choose a campus you'd like to view so you can demonstrate how to do a virtual tour of a college using Google Views/Maps.

2. As a warm up, ask students to do create a list of 5 college campuses they would like to visit? Why?

3.  Pick one of the colleges or universities from their list.  (Make sure you choose one that is part of the University Campuses collection)  Take students on a virtual field trip to that university.  Allow students to guide you through, what to click on, what they want to see next, etc. Try to demonstrate some of the different navigational features and images, video content.  Demonstrate how to capture a screenshot (students will need to use these in their presentation)

4. Have students arrange the room for the Socratic Seminar/Four Corners Debate activity.  Have students debrief.

5.  Explain the College Research Project students will conduct and the requirements:Choose 2-3 colleges, using Google Views/Maps and the campuses websites to take a virtual college tour of those campuses, Capture images/screenshots of your tour, take notes of your tour experience considering: geography/setting/size/type (things in the articles you read); Then, create a culminating project of their choice


Student Instructions

1. Warm Up: Create a list of 5 college campuses that you would like to visit.  Why are these on your  list?

2.  As you view the virtual college tour, make suggestions for other parts of the university that you would like to explore.

3.  Bring your list of prepared questions to the socratic seminar/four corners debate activity.

4.  Debrief.

5.  Listen to the project requirements.


3 At Home Day 2

Give students the link to Google Views/Maps, and an electronic version of a planning sheet with the questions they need to consider and space for adding screenshots.  Have students remember to record all their websites on that page too so they can go back and refer to them later at the end of their presentation on the "References" slide/page.   Students will submit their planning sheet notes in Edmodo.

Student Instructions

Conduct a virtual tour on the 2-3 college campuses you chose.  You will start with Google Views but then you may want to visit the campus webpage for more information.  Use the planning sheet to guide your research and capture your images.  You will submit your planning sheet notes in Edmodo.

4 In Class Day 2

Activity: Creating

Students will work independently for 15 minutes on drafting the writing part of their product (i.e. comic strip text; text for deck slides or photo essay); students will partner with another student and review their peer’s draft and provide feedback or ask any clarifying questions.

Student Instructions

Work independently to create the text/script for your product on your colleges.  After 15 minutes you will review the work of one of your peers.  Then, you will consider their feedback and make any revisions or edits.

5 At Home Day 3

Free, Paid

Have students finish working on their drafts for the text/scripts to their findings or getting more information with additional research.

Student Instructions

Student will complete final draft of writing part.  (Optional) Students watch YouTube or SchoolTube videos on how to use technology they are using for their product for help/support.

6 In Class Day 3

Give students access to the technology needed or available. (iPads, computer lab) to begin working on their products.  They should use their planning sheets as a guide.

Student Instructions

Use the technology available for the product of your choice, to communicate your response to the question whether the colleges you researched were a good fit for you. 

7 At Home Day 4

Activity: Exploring

Find some videos on delivering great presentations, slide design, or other helpful resources so they see good examples of what their final product should look like.

Student Instructions

Students watch video of how to deliver a great presentation and some short sample presentations.

8 In Class Day 4

Activity: Creating

All the links to resources are provided above. 

Student Instructions

Students will continue to finish working on their products and get peer reviews on their product.

9 At Home Day 5

Activity: Presenting

Give students a day off from instructional content so they can prepare for their presentations the next day.

Student Instructions

Students prepare for presentations.

10 In Class Day 5

Activity: Presenting

It's time for students to share their presentations and final products.  Provide a peer evaluation form or link to an online tool feedback/survey form of your choice for students to provide peer feedback.

Student Instructions

Students will deliver their final project presentations and complete a peer review on a classmate's presentation.