Maggie's Adventures Grades 6-8
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
- Use Web technology to practice math, science, Spanish, and grammar skills
- Build on math skills to higher levels
- Improve on grammar skills within different skill sets
- Use technology tools to make connections between English and Spanish grammar and vocabulary
- Track progress on different skill sets
- Identify scientific structures
Set Up and Prepare
It is always a good idea to download any interactive material before you bring a class of children into a computer lab. Depending on your connection speed, many downloads can be lengthy because of appealing graphics. Depending on the grade level and maturity level of each class, activities can be facilitated as independent work, collaborative group work, or whole class instruction.
Edit Dan's Copy
Goals: Level One of this game gives your students practice in finding and fixing errors in capitalization and final punctuation. More advanced learners can practice correcting run-on sentences, quotation marks, and apostrophes. This game also provides excellent keyboarding practice.
Classroom Use: Assign students individually or in pairs to retype these incorrect sentences. Then have them write their own copy of a news story. They could even write one based on one of the themes in the Maggie cartoons: over-fishing and coral reef problems, "A Great Catch;" air pollution, "You Must Be Choking;" endangered animals, poaching in Africa, "Herd of Elephants? Parts 1 and 2;" and invasive species, "Rushin' River."
Goals: Help your students to learn more about prefixes and suffixes and their meanings. If your state's standardized tests include vocabulary, then your students will benefit from the 4 levels in this game. When a word like transpacific appears, your students will have the knowledge to define it!
Classroom Use: After playing the game several times, ask children to start a log of prefixes and suffixes with their meanings. When the logs have several entries, pair students to quiz each other. To appeal to the many Multiple Intelligences you find in your classroom, have children choose a prefix or suffix and create a poster illustrating its meaning.
Goals: This game gives your students practice in the four calculation areas, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, along with mixed practice. They will love rescuing Maggie's dog, Dude, from a rooftop. Even older children love to watch the helicopter come closer and closer to Dude as they correctly answer the math problems. Within each area of play there are 3 levels: Easier, Harder, and Extreme.
Classroom Use: As with many of Maggie's games, the several levels offered allow you to differentiate for instruction. Students needing review can be assigned to practice at one level, while those needing a challenge can be assigned a higher level. Hand students the Progress Chart (PDF) to track their progress. Because all students are playing the same game, they can still share the experience of rescuing Dude!
Around the World in 80 Seconds
Goals: This game allows for practice in the four calculation areas, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, along with mixed practice. Within each area of play there are 2 levels: Easier and Harder. In this game, speed is emphasized. Your children will get essential calculation practice while building speed. The bonus is that children also develop a greater understanding of geography!
Classroom Use: A good way to use this game is to have children keep a Progress Chart (PDF) of each game's time. This way, children are working toward their personal best. They have a visual record of progress which is motivating. You also have a chart to share with parents detailing a child's abilities.
Goals: Does your science curriculum include one of these topics: layers of the Earth, structure of a flower, anatomy of a fish, respiratory system, or layers of the atmosphere? If so, you'll want your class to play this game that helps them learn the specific labeling of these diagrams. Even if you are not currently studying one of these areas, this game will help your students to improve their memories. The game shows players the diagram and gives them a time limit in which to memorize the correct labeling. The student must then use their knowledge to play the game. It's a great way to encourage efficient study skills.
Classroom Use: Hand students the Progress Chart (PDF) to track their progress. After playing this game, ask students to write their own quiz about one of the structures. You can even assign your students to make their own diagrams of a topic of interest. Perhaps they want to show the parts of a car, a sewing machine, or even a room in their home.
Spanish English Cycle Race
Goals: Your budding Spanish speakers will have a chance to practice new vocabulary on 2 levels. The Easy Level features many color and number words, the Advanced Level reinforces other vocabulary needed by the beginning Spanish speaker.
Classroom Use: This game is helpful in foreign language classrooms to help children practice basic Spanish vocabulary. It is also helpful for ESL students as they can practice English vocabulary. Hand students the Progress Chart (PDF) to track their progress. Follow up by giving your students a long piece of bulletin board paper. Have them create their own bike race by writing Spanish (or English) words on a bike path. Draw a bike with a basket and duplicate. Children can cut these out and write the meanings of the words in the bike basket. Glue them next to the correct word on the bike path. Hang in a long hallway!
Supporting All Learners
Maggie's Earth Adventures helps students meet the following standards:
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS):
- Unifying concepts and processes in Science: Systems, order, and organization. Understands basic features of the Earth (1). Knows the general structure and functions of cells in organisms (6)
National Math Education Standards:
- Uses a variety of strategies in the problem-solving process (1) Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of numbers (2) Uses basic and advanced procedures while performing the process of computation (3)
International Reading Association (IRA) & National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standards:
- Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
National Standards for Foreign Language Education:
Communicate in Languages Other Than English
Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics
Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information
Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language
Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture
Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own
Technology Foundation Standards for Students:
- Use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
For Edit Dan's Copy:
For more writing practice, Maggie's Postcard section is the perfect place to visit. There you will find pictures of African art, African wildlife, Ireland and much more. Students can "snap" their own photograph using several pictures we provide. They can use this photo as a postcard and write different nonfiction paragraphs about it using the graphic organizers that are provided. Post them on a bulletin board. You may even want to tack up a large map and arrange the postcards on the correct spots.
For Short Circuit:
Interested in helping your students recognize and understand prefixes and suffixes in context? You can download and print several nonfiction articles found in The Teachers' Lounge at http://www.missmaggie.org/. Just find the unit to accompany "You Must Be Choking." Scroll down to the booklet, A Breath of Fresh Air. There are many word lists and lessons on the prefixes and suffixes contained in these articles. Not only will your students gain valuable practice with understanding these words in context, but they will learn about the many things people and companies are doing to prevent air pollution.
For Dude's Dilemma:
In The Teachers' Lounge section under the unit, "Herd of Elephants, Part 2" you will find some of the many math activities we have available for classroom use. Your pre-multiplication students will benefit from completing the activities found here. Several problem solving "stories" lay the foundation for higher level math skills while engaging them with an African theme. Amaze your higher level students with the many properties of Fibonacci numbers. These activities can be downloaded, printed, and duplicated. Perhaps you will want to use activities such as these for extension assignments or center work.
For Around the World in 80 Seconds:
There are many more interactive math games found embedded in the cartoon section at http://www.missmaggie.org/. Your primary children may enjoy counting fish and then stating the third of the total number of fish. This interactive activity can be found in the cartoon, "A Great Catch." Intermediate students will love helping the monkey jump from rock to rock in the cartoon, "Herd of Elephants? Part I".
For Science Labeling:
Maggie's Earth Adventures offers many interactive science activities. When you click on Cartoons, choose a unit pack, and you will see several choices. In "Herd of Elephants," one of these interactive devices is a microscope. Your students use a dichotomous key to identify tree leaves or insects/spiders. In "You Must Be Choking," students can view the carbon cycle or play a game involving layers of the atmosphere.
For Spanish-English Cycle Race:
Most of Maggie's Earth Adventures is available in both English and Spanish. Spanish and ESL teachers can have children change the language toggler to Spanish. Maggie and her friends will speak in Spanish in the cartoons, activities will appear in Spanish, and you can even receive our Weekly Activity Packets in Spanish. Be sure to check out this exciting feature!
Using the Progress Chart (PDF), evaluate student improvement on the given skill set. Encourage students to fill out the third question on the Progress Chart: What kind of problem was the hardest for you? Lead the student's self-assessment to a motivator in further practice either in class or at home.