Brainstorming and Creating a Graphic Organizer Using Kidspiration: How Animals Respond To Winter Ecology In Crater Lake

marydixon's picture
Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Oregon Common Core State Standards: 
Lesson Plan Details
45 minutes

Students will learn...

Anticipatory Set: Students have recently returned from a field trip to Crater Lake where they have learned and applied in greater detail the concepts of migration, hibernation and confrontation in relation to winter ecology at Crater Lake.

Objectives: Students will brainstorm ideas to establish the three responses (migration, hibernation, and confrontation) animals have to winter ecology in Crater Lake.  Students will create a graphic organizer using Kidspiration (in groups of two using a shared laptop) to showcase these three choices around a central idea of “Winter at Crater Lake: Choices”.  Students will transfer this information to written script using Kidspiration which will ultimately become a writing piece.


Teacher laptop, laser projector, student laptops (15), Kidspiration program, laser printer, document camera if needed.


The teacher will briefly review the Science oriented field trip to Crater Lake and the topic, discussion, and activities centered on winter ecology shared with the forest ranger.  Using the teacher laptop the teacher will model navigation to the Kidspiration site and to the specific location in Kidspiration to create the “Brainstorm” graphic organizer.  The teacher will also make reference to prior writing activities using this site.



The teacher will facilitate the navigation of students to the Kidspiration site and guide them through the creation of a brainstorming graphic organizer.  The teacher will model this as necessary on her own laptop and project the image on the laser projector for students to view. 

The teacher will use questioning strategies to elicit from students the necessary information to fill the brainstorm graphic organizer.  Based on the topic (winter at Crater Lake, how do different animals respond) of the class discussion, the class will decide what would be the best central idea of the graphic organizer. 

Once the graphic organizer has been established and filled in, (three stems: migration, hibernation, confrontation) students will be instructed to elaborate on each stem of the graphic organizer with definitions, and more details and information.  Students may use their Science texts and the web:, as reference if needed.  Students will print their completed graphic organizers.

As the graphic organizer is filled in, this information will be prepared to be transferred to sentence form through a feature of the Kidspiration program.  In this feature, students will be able to check for appropriate sentence structure, grammar, conventions, and begin the discussion of how to form an organized writing piece from the sentences.

Students will verify that the information from the graphic organizer has been correctly transferred to the sentences.  Students will observe the order in which the sentences have been place and discuss if the order should be altered for a written piece.  Students will discuss the topic sentence/main idea pulled directly from the central idea of the graphic organizer.  Students will print their sentence frames.

Students will save their work to the Kidspiration document folder on their laptops for future use on the writing piece.


The teacher will examine and evaluate each brainstorm graphic organizer and sentence frame print-out to assess that each has the necessary elements.  The brainstorm graphic organizer should have a central idea and three supporting details and the sentence frame a main idea topic sentence and at least three supporting detail sentences

Oregon Educational Technology Standards
Communication and Collaboration: 
2A. Interact and collaborate with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making: 
4B. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
Digital Citizenship: 
5B. Model and practice a positive attitude toward using digital technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
Career Related Learning Standards
Personal Management: 
CR2A. Plan, organize, and complete projects and assigned tasks on time, meeting agreed upon standards of quality.
CR3A. Locate, process, and convey information using traditional and technological tools.
meganoliver's picture

This is a great sounding lesson!  I'm middle school, but I think I could definitely tweak this for older students, thank you!

merrilyellis's picture

Excellent use of technology integrated with field trip experience.

reynitamendez's picture

I really enjoyed reading your lesson and used some of your procedures for a successful lesson in my own room.  Thanks, reynitamendez