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Updated by mw03939 on Jun 05, 2018
Headline for 21st Century Fifth-Grade Learners
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21st Century Fifth-Grade Learners

Please explore this Listly to find lesson plans related to all aspects of 21st century learning. The lessons will help your fifth grade students build skills that will help them reach their full potential as 21st century learners!

Leadership: Who Wants to be President?

Principle #1: Leadership
Who wants to be president?

In this lesson plan, students will first have the opportunity to explore multiple web links that discuss leadership, qualities of a good leader, and presidents/presidential campaigns. Students will have the opportunity to use the principles of leadership to create their own fictional presidential candidate! Students will "campaign" for their candidate within the classroom, drawing on leadership principles. At the conclusion of the project, the class members will cast their votes. This lesson plan provides an excellent opportunity for students to explore qualities that make a 21st century leader.

Principle #1: Leadership

21st Century Leadership requires that students know how to navigate through social situations with others. Leaders, even at the elementary level, are willing to take a stand for those around them who experience social injustice. This lesson plan on cyberbullying provides students with an opportunity to reflect on an issue they may have never seen themselves as a part of. Even if students are not victims of cyberbullying, as 21st century leaders, they have a "duty" to help those who are being bullied online. For this lesson, students will formulate 10 questions related to cyberbullying, survey their classmates, and construct online charts and graphs to present the data.

Digital Literacy: Understanding Online Searches

Principle #2: Digital Literacy
Understanding Online Searches

Digital literacy involves not only knowing how to produce an end-product using digital tools, but also how to conduct the proper searches and find digital information in the first place! In this lesson, students will study how search engines work and how to identify high-quality results from search engines. Students will learn that search engines do not simply exist. Rather, the information is input/uploaded by humans. So, some search engines and databases are more reliable than others. In groups, students will compare results from different search engines and evaluate their quality, culminating in round-table discussion.

Digital Literacy: Make a Kahoot or Quizizz Review Game

Principle #2: Digital Literacy
Make a Kahoot or Quizizz Review Game About Digital Literacy

This lesson is designed as a culminating activity for digital literacy. Once students have discussed and explored aspects of digital literacy, they will have an opportunity to use online tools to create a review/quiz game for peers! Using either the Kahoot or Quizizz platform, students will create 10 questions with 4 multiple choice answers each related to digital literacy. Once complete, students must post their Kahoot or Quizizz link to Google Classrooms for classmates to view.

Communication: Email Etiquette For Kids

Principle #3: Communication
Email Etiquette for Kids

21st century learners must learn how to be both appropriate consumers and producers of digital information. Although elementary students are often familiar with online applications like YouTube or Google searches, many do not know how to construct an appropriate and professional email. In this lesson, students will be given a "do's and don'ts of email etiquette" list. Using this list, the first assignment is to send the teacher an email. Next, students will send an email to an assigned person outside of the classroom, like a principal. The email should serve a particular purpose, not just small talk. The aim is to help students learn professional 21st century communication skills.

Principle #3: Communication
You Want Me to Sell What? The Many Forms of Advertising

In the previous communication lesson plans, students practiced being producers of information. In this lesson plan, students will explore being consumers of online information. As a class, students will discuss the purpose of advertising and the methods companies use to communicate ads to consumers. The class will be split into groups, each of which will explore one of the following media types: newspaper, magazine, radio, television, and Internet. Within groups, students will explore the most common types of ads that appear on their assigned medium. At the conclusion of the project, full-group discussion will center on why particular types of media are used to target particular audiences. The goal is for students to see that, because they are on the Web often, many Web advertisements are targeted toward their age group, and these advertisements do "communicate" information and help consumers form opinions.

Principle #4: Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is even more complicated for 21st century learners, as it involves appropriately handling interpersonal relationships over the web, often in the absence of facial expression and tone of voice. This short lesson helps teach students the concept of netiquette, or online etiquette. Students will play ReQuest with Dana and then answer a series of questions about the game and the netiquette cartoon. During the discussion, students will be encouraged to think of how it would feel to be in the character's shoes, or in other words, how actions can affect others both in person and online. After class discussion, students will individually take an online quiz (Betty's Netiquette Quiz) to showcase what they have learned.

Emotional Intelligence: Conflict Resolution

Principle #4: Emotional Intelligence
Conflict Resolution BrainPop

Conflict resolution is a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence! However, in today's digital world, teens and tweens often leave difference unresolved due to the impersonal nature of digital communication. This fun, interactive BrainPop lesson helps students learn the importance of conflict resolution by first viewing an interactive cartoon with a conflict scenario. Other activities within this module include a quiz, challenge, and activities that can be printed by the teacher.

Entrepreneurship: Ethical Entrepreneurs

Principle #5: Entrepreneurship
Ethical Entrepreneurs

The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and in years to come, the number of entrepreneurs is expected to grow. This lesson helps students not only learn about the tenets of entrepreneurship but also how to be an ethical entrepreneur, which ties into most other 21st century skills. This is a long-term lesson, which spans over 1-2 weeks. Students will first propose an item they would like to sell, and then students will vote on the best idea, which encourages a democracy. Formal letters will be sent home to parents asking for donations of this item. During the business-building process, students will design advertising, take out "bank loans" from the teacher, record time-sheets for hours worked, and create a display for final sale. At the conclusion of the project, parents will come in to buy the products. This large-scale project is still at a level that is appropriate for fifth-grade students but provides an opportunity for project-based learning. This way, students can get a real idea of what being an entrepreneur entails.

Principle #5: Entrepreneurship
Introducing Entrepreneurs

This generation of 21st century leaders holds more entrepreneurs than ever before. It is important that, at a young age, students are exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship and explore characteristics of an ethical entrepreneur. This lesson allows students to engage with videos, games, and a blog on This site provides examples of "kid entrepreneurs," showing students that this dream is not out of reach, even in elementary school! As a family connection, at the conclusion of the lesson, students will complete a briefing to share information they have learned with their families.

Global Citizenship: Super Digital Citizen

Principle #6: Global Citizenship
Super Digital Citizen

By teaching students to be "global citizens," we are preparing them to realize that rights and responsibilities come along with being a digital consumer (and producer). As a global citizen, we should choose to use these rights and responsibilities in a positive way. This lesson plan comes from The Teaching Channel and begins with a 7 minute informational video. This video is aimed toward teachers to reiterate ideas that teachers should pass along to students. The main idea of discussion is that the Internet gives us power. In this lesson, students will discuss what types of power the Internet gives us and give specific examples of responsibility and irresponsibility online. The project allows students to build their own "Superhero" character online and use that character to communicate ideas of digital citizenship.

Principle #6: Global Citizenship
Cybersecurity Lab

As global citizens, even elementary students should be aware that using the Internet comes with rights and responsibilities that can either be used for good or for evil. In this lesson, students will learn one method in which the Web can be used for inappropriate purposes: hacking. Students will learn basic vocabulary and terminology related to hacking and cybersecurity and will learn how encryption works. Students will view four short multimedia resources that expand on the topics. After a full-group discussion of ideas, students will individually play Cybersecurity 101 and submit the online quiz.

Problem-Solving: Graphing Data from the Real World

Principle #7: Problem-Solving
Graphing Data from the Real World

21st century learners should recognize that problem-solving techniques are evolving and becoming more innovative and technologically-driven. Students will create their own survey questions related to a real company (real-world connections are another aspect of 21st century learning). Then, students will be challenged to create a more innovative way to collect survey data, aside from the traditional pencil-and-paper method. After using problem solving to determine a survey method and collect data, students will present the data, again, in a modern and technologically-driven format. Presentations may include bar graphs created in Google sheets and a Prezi to present written conclusions.

Problem Solving: Animated Video Presentation

Principle #7: Problem Solving
Animated Video Presentation

Today's problem solvers, even at the elementary level, use technology to "think outside the box." This lesson requires students to choose one topic (either a math or science topic provided) and create a PowToon to present information to viewers. As a scaffold, web links are provided with PowToon tutorials for every step. A list sets forth specific elements that the PowToon should include, such as 3 different fonts or 3 different slide transitions. The lesson spans several days and provides students with opportunities for peer review and revision before final presentations. The main aim of the project is to become more familiar with Web 2.0 tools and use them in the problem-solving process by presenting information in innovative ways.

Teamwork: Participating in Digital Communities

Principle #8: Teamwork
Participating in Digital Communities

For 21st century learners, teamwork expands far beyond face-to-face interactions. Today, students must know how to navigate digital tools for their own personal benefit while still maintaining respectful communication and collaboration with others. The goal of this lesson plan is to help students learn to participate in different types of digital communities. Students will receive web links to interactive files that discuss how to be a friend online and how to show empathy. Students will complete individual practice as well as small-group discussion after completing the interactive resources.

Teamwork: Using Google Slides for Collaboration

Principle #8: Teamwork
Using Google Slides for Collaboration

Today's digitally interconnected world requires students to be familiar with nontraditional forms of collaboration. In other words, group projects more often than not take place online rather than face-to-face. During this lesson, students will be introduced to the concept of Google Slides. The goal of this lesson is not to make a complete presentation, but rather to explore the capabilities of Google Slides. Students will be instructed to explore slides, text, word art, images, and other aesthetic features. Most importantly, though, students will work with the "Comments" application within Google Slides to learn how to communicate with group members via the web.