Verbal Skills Lesson Plan
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Verbal Skills



Lesson Abstract

Students choose an Interactivate activity and learn how to use this activity and the mathematics that it covers. Students examine the activity and related resources, reading through the supporting materials including "Learner", "Help," and associated Discussions linked to from the "Learner" tab. Each activity has a set of Exploration Questions, which they complete and submit for assessment. A rubric is included for evaluation of the Exploration Questions. This lesson should take one hour and a half class period with students finishing the assignment as homework. The out of class work should take one to two hours to complete.

Standards Addressed



  • Independently explore a mathematical idea through the use of an interactive resource.
  • Write about the mathematics they explore.
  • Self-access their own writing.

Key Terms


Prerequisite Knowledge

  • Students should know how to open a browser and navigate to a website.
  • Student should know how to download and save a file in a specified location.

Teacher Preparation

  • Teachers should review the activities and their associated Exploration Questions they would like their students to review.
  • Teachers may want to assign specific activities to specific students or allow students to choose from a group of activities.
  • Teachers may also design their own set of Exploration Questions to go with the activities.
  • Review the rubric and sample responses.


Required MaterialsMediaEquipment

  • Blank copies of rubric, 1 per student.
  • Copies of sample exploration question responses, 1 per student.
  • Copies of recommended activities, 1 per student.

  • Java capable browser

  • Computer with Internet access, 1 or 2 students per machine
  • Computer and Data projector



Presentation Outline



  • Using a data projector and a computer, demonstrate the Interactivate website, particularly the activities, to the students.
  • Show how each activity has a "learner" and "help" tab with each activity. Show that there are discussions linked from the learner tab of each activity. Students should read through these to understand the mathematics of the activity.
  • Show students where the exploration questions are linked (the learner tab) from each activity.
  • Show students the discussions associated with each activity.
  • Explain the assignment.
    • Students will be choosing an activity to work with and exploring the mathematics of that activity.



  • Pass out a list of recommended activities.
  • Ask them to visit at least 4 different activities.
  • Let students explore the activities on their own computers

Guided Practice


  • Ask students to turn off their monitors.
  • Pass out the rubric and sample responses.
  • Demonstrate the activity.
  • Review the sample responses to the exploration questions.
  • Review the rubric explaining the scores in each category for the sample responses.
    • Point out what makes the first response of high quality and how this corresponds to the rubric.
    • Point out what makes the second response of poor quality and how this corresponds to the rubric.
  • Explain the assignment. Students will be writing responses to the exploration questions. Additionally they will be assessing their own work using the rubric.

Independent Practice


  • Students should choose which activity they will work with and report back to the instructor. Record which students choose which activity, be sure students read through the exploration questions before deciding on a particular activity.
  • Students should begin exploring their chosen activity, reading through the help tab, learner tab, and associated discussions (linked from the learner tab).
  • If time permits students should begin answering the exploration questions.



  • Ask students to save their work somewhere they can access it again (flash drive, common drive, email, etc.) or print if necessary.
  • Ask students to turn off their computers (or log out).
  • Review the assignment requirements and due date.
    • It may be good to allow students several days to complete the assignment so they have time to find a computer if necessary. If students do not have access you may also wish to bring them back to the lab for another day of class.
    • Make sure they know the URL and name of the activity they have chosen to work with so they can re-access it later.
    • Students should grade their own work with the rubric and turn that in as well as their responses to the exploration questions.

Follow Up


Allow students to resubmit the exploration questions up to two more times if their first submission was complete but did not make an 80% or above. Re-grade the re-submissions replacing the old grade with the new. Require students to turn in all previous work and previous rubrics in order to be re-scored.

Alternate Outline


  • You may choose to have all students work with only one activity.
  • You may also want to develop your own set of exploration questions for specific activities.
  • You may also choose to work with an English teacher on this assignment as a technical writing assignment for an English grade.