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Imagine Life Without the Internet

Students will conduct research to learn about the history of the Internet and items or activities that they use the Internet to accomplish each day. They will create a timeline showing what they learned. Then they will write a story imagining what life would be like if the Internet never existed.

PROCESS:

  1. Instruct students to brainstorm a list of specific things they use the Internet to do each day. Encourage them to select items from that list that they are most dependent on the Internet to accomplish.
  2. Next, have students conduct research on the history of the Internet. In addition to major Internet milestones, encourage students to gather details about their own significant Internet-dependent activities.
  3. Challenge students to compile facts and photos to show what they learned. Have students use those materials to create a timeline of Internet history.
  4. After their timelines are complete, encourage students to think about all of the different ways the Internet impacts their lives. Then give students time to write a story imagining what life would be like if the Internet never existed.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to share their timelines and stories with the class. After everyone has shared, have the class identify ways the Internet has shaped the world as we know it.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Brainstorm a list of things students use the Internet to accomplish as a class. Then have students complete the project in small groups. Encourage groups to include at least three Internet-related items or activities in their timelines. Have group members work together to write a story.
Grades 5-6:
Brainstorm a list of things students use the Internet to accomplish as a class. Then have students complete the project with a partner. Encourage pairs to include at least five Internet-related items or activities in their timelines. Have partners work together to write a story.
Grades 7-8:
Assign each student a partner. Instruct pairs to brainstorm a list of things they use the Internet to accomplish. Then have them conduct research on the history of the Internet and the five Internet-related items or activities that are most important to them. Have partners complete the timeline together, but have each student write his or her own story imagining what life would be like if the Internet never existed.
Grades 9-10:
Assign each student a partner. Instruct pairs to brainstorm a list of things they rely on the Internet to accomplish. Tell them to each select the five activities they most rely on the Internet to do. Then have partners conduct research to learn about the history of the Internet and each item they chose. Instruct students to use the facts and photos they collect to create an accurate, detailed timeline of Internet history. Then have partners write their own stories. Challenge them to incorporate details about how they would accomplish each of the five Internet-dependent activities they identified if the Internet didn't exist.