A robust understanding of the applications within Google Workspace (formerly known as Google G Suite) will benefit every student. From those interested in pursuing higher education to those seeking Career and Technical Education (CTE), an understanding of technology is essential in our world. In Theme Parks, middle school students use Google Workspace tools to gain expertise in developing artifacts, practicing technical writing skills, understanding and using data, and creating graphic design components as they create their own Theme Park.
Theme Park would make an excellent elective or CTE course, as students work independently and collaboratively to manage time, complete comprehensive projects, sharpen communication skills, produce and publish work, and make decisions. Students practice comprehension of complex informational texts and instructions, they produce writing that is straightforward and precise, they conduct research, and assess the credibility and accuracy of sources while maintaining an awareness of plagiarism. Students have ample opportunities for both individual and collaborative presentations using digital media where they express their creativity, ideas, and findings.
Students gain experience and buy-in with real-world topics and writing in areas like generating files, integrating documents, preparing business letters, understanding charts and graphs, gaining insight about hospitality and customer service, developing awareness of business promotion, and more. Theme Park also boasts an intentional inclusion of digital citizenship topics that follow and note the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards.
Although the benefits of the Theme Park module are considerable for students, the teacher component of Yeti Academy courses is exceptional! Lesson plans show ISTE standards and Common Core standards in areas like: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. The compatibility with Google Classroom makes the remote learning component easy. The module can easily be adjusted for in-classroom, remote, or hybrid learning. Teachers also benefit from extensive teacher resources that are easily accessible. Resources include formative and summative assessments, scoring checklists, lesson plans, teacher notes, slide presentations, closing ideas, and more.
Each lesson includes the following student modalities:
ENGAGE: These include a variety of warm-up type assignments; some are completed as individuals, in groups, or as a class. ENGAGE is designed to cultivate interest, introduce new ideas, or solidify understanding of previous concepts.
EXPLAIN: A portion of text that correlates to the lesson. The text is succinct and to the point, and is perfect for students to get the facts. Each EXPLAIN reading includes vibrant pictures, a summary, and a vocabulary glossary. The “Another Look” questions at the end of the reading may be assigned to students, used as class discussion prompts, or as a formative assessment to check for student understanding of the lesson.
ELABORATE: The technology-based ELABORATE lessons bring a practical approach to understanding the concepts and ideas within the lesson. Through the ELABORATE activities, students use G Suite tools to create original artifacts related to their Theme Park.
ENRICH: The project-based and hands-on approach of the ENRICH lessons give students additional content with greater opportunities for creativity. ENRICH learning experiences allow students to dig deeper into content. These activities are perfect for enrichment, and are not required for all students. You may choose not to assign this modality to those students needing extra practice and review time.
EMPOWER: A game-centered approach to learning. EMPOWER stresses summary ideas and vocabulary through a competitive, timed quiz game format. Digital flashcards give students the chance to practice before diving into the quiz, or at any time throughout the lesson. EMPOWER makes studying fun!
EVALUATE: Students can visit EVALUATE to take a formative self-assessment. Through this graded assessment, students receive immediate feedback to gauge their level of understanding of the current lesson. Students showing mastery can move on to other activities, struggling students can spend more time on review.
EXPLORE: Perfect for early-finishers, EXPLORE allows students to probe deeper into topics surrounding the lesson. Articles, videos, and career connections help foster deeper connections and real-world applications to facets encompassing the topic.
How To Enable Theme Park For A Student or Group of Students
First, go to your Classes tab on the left-hand side of your Dashboard.
Then, select the classroom you'd like to adjust the settings for.
Then, you'll want to go to your Students tab.
From your student roster, you can assign Theme Park to individual or multiple students. To do this, select the checkboxes next to the name or names of your students you'd like to have a certain curriculum. Then, select Assign Curriculum.
When you do so, search for the curriculum you'd like, in this case, Theme Park. Then, hit Assign.
Now, you'll see the selected students have the Theme Park curriculum assigned to them!
How to Grade Theme Park Assignments
You can grade the online assignments that your students turn in by clicking on the "Graded and Ungraded" notification that will appear right on your dashboard, which will take you to your Gradebook.
From your Gradebook, select the Digital Literacy tab, then choose Theme Park from the drop-down menu.
Based on the type of assessment you are grading, make sure you check the tab for the lesson type you are looking for: Graded Assessment, Quiz Game, or Comment. You can also select Mark As Done to view all pending submissions.
You can hit the View button to view the students' submission, and then select the yellow check mark to mark it as complete.