Modern Life On The Internet
In this lesson, you will read and explore an allegory of modern life on the Internet. You will have a chance to create your own allegory to develop your thoughts about how constant digital connections have shaped our world.
In this lesson, students will read and explore an allegory of modern life on the Internet. They will have a chance to create their own allegory to develop their thoughts about how constant digital connections have shaped our world.
- Read the lesson and student content.
- Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
- Find the article “Home Sweet Homepage” by Bob Brody on the Smithsonian magazine website. Share it with your students. If you do not have Internet access in the classroom, you can print and distribute the article.
Section 1: Home Sweet Homepage
- Before they begin reading, spend a few minutes making sure students are familiar with the concept of an allegory.
- Give students an example of an allegory to illustrate the definition. (The Wizard of Oz is one well-known allegorical story that students are likely familiar with.)
- Let students work independently with “Home Sweet Homepage.”
- Give the students a chance to share their questions and ideas.
- ELL: Make sure that ELLs understand the allegory. You can do this by checking in with students as they read and annotate, by having them submit their responses to you, or in whatever way works for your students.
- Read and annotate “Home Sweet Homepage” by Bob Brody, which is an allegory , or a story in which the characters, events, and setting represent ideas. Allegories are typically used to make complex ideas easier to imagine and understand.
- Select elements from the allegory, highlight them, and write an annotation explaining what they correspond to in real life.
- Write down any questions you have.
Share your questions and insights with the full class.
Section 2: Allegory Notes and Questions
- This activity can take place as a small group conversation instead of as individual note-taking if you want to give students more opportunities to interact with their museum exhibit teams.
- SWD: Be sure that those students who work at a slower pace or need more “wait” time than other students feel welcome to share their notes and questions. If you consider it necessary, speak to the students about the importance of allowing enough time for everybody to participate.
Once you’ve had your chance to ask and answer questions, use “Home Sweet Homepage” and these questions to add to your notes and to your growing understanding of the effect of digital connectivity on our lives and culture.
- What elements of the allegory correspond to elements of real life?
- Choose one element of the allegory and write a few sentences about how it makes a comment or argument about the way life is changing due to digital connectivity.
- What does Brody’s character perceive as the benefits of “living on the Internet”?
- How has “the real world’ been redefined by technology?
Remember to add any notes that could be helpful for your essay and exhibit into the document you created in Lesson 3.
Section 3: Story or Allegory Writing
- This activity is optional depending on the time available. If you want to devote more time to having students write their Unit Accomplishment essays, this task can be sacrificed.
- It will probably be helpful to remind students of the definition of allegory.
- An allegory is a story in which the characters, events, and setting represent ideas. Allegories are typically used to make complex ideas easier to imagine and understand.
- Let students know how you want them to choose a partner for this activity.
- Decide how students will share their writing.
- ELL: Allow ELLs to work with a student who shares their primary language, if possible. Suggest to them that they think about well-known allegories in other cultures, if they think that doing so could provide a point of departure for them in this activity.
In writing, imitate Brody and make your own fictional story or allegory about the Internet. You can use these questions to help get you going if you need some inspiration.
- If the Internet were a real place, what would it be like?
- What does the Internet smell like, feel like, taste like?
- What are your views about “moving to the Internet” and how can you use an allegory to express them?
- What would you say about the move?
- What feelings or ideas do you want your description to capture?
Share your allegory with a classmate.
Section 4: Partner Reading and Response
- Decide how you will have students share their stories.
- Remind students that their responses should be positive in nature.
- SWD: If you have students who struggle with giving appropriate partner feedback, you can provide them with examples of constructive criticism or work with them yourself to model giving feedback.
- Read a classmate’s story. Write a short response to your classmate about his or her story.
Section 5: Argument Essay Writing
- Remind students that the workshop in the next lesson requires them to have a complete introduction and at least two body paragraphs.
- Continue writing your argument essay. You will need at least an introduction and two body paragraphs for the next lesson.