Millennium Message in a Bottle
published on: 2/28/2003
Contributing Teacher(s): Kathie Muehlheausler
Integrated Curriculum/Environmental Education Grade Range: Lower Elementary (K-3), Upper Elementary (4-5), Middle Grades (6-8), High School (9-12) Materials Needed:
Grade Range: Lower Elementary (K-3), Upper Elementary (4-5), Middle Grades (6-8), High School (9-12)
Objective: See each activity for objectives.
- Goal 1.10 apply acquired information, ideas and skills to different contexts as students, workers, citizen
- Goal 2.7 use technological tools to exchange information and ideas
- Goal 3.7 evaluate the extent to which a strategy addresses the problem
- Communication Arts 7. Identifying and evaluating relationships between language and culture
- Fine Arts 5. Visual and performing arts in historical and cultural contexts
- Science 8. Impact of science, technology and human activity on resources and the environment
Time Allowance: See each activity for time allowance.
Description: An inter-disciplinary activity which can be worked on in whole or part through 2000 by tracking messages already sent down the Mississippi River, or by writing school messages and burying in a time capsule at your school or community - communication
Classroom Component: The Message Objectives: The student will use creative writing skills including revision techniques to create a message of approximately 50 words to the world in the next millennium. Activities:
- Research/read articles about actual messages found in bottles (see attached from Internet re Hurricane Earl)
- Study famous quotes from Bartlett’s Quotations, Internet sites or other sources for richness of language, flexibility and word-count.
- Write a message of approximately 50 words expressing hope and goodwill for the world in the next millennium. Revise, if necessary, checking for correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.
- Participate /enter in your school-wide contest to select the best written and/or most expressive message from your school.
- View selected appropriate excerpts from the recent movie Message in a Bottle
- Brainstorm who might find message, when and where.
- Will they be able to read the message?
- Can the message be illustrated?
- Illustrate the message
Day 1: Present "Millennium in a Bottle" writing task Research/read about past actual retrievals of messages in bottles Day 2: Study/evaluate effective writing from classroom posters, Bartlett’s Quotations, etc. Web possible content of "message in a bottle" themes Write/create initial draft Day 3: Share first drafts Pairing/Sharing Peer or teacher evaluation Revise message as needed
- Writing and grammar texts
- Bartlett''s Quotations or other similar sources
- Article from local paper of World War II Soldier''s message in a bottle retrieved in 1999
- VCR edited tape of Message in a Bottle
- Approximately 50-word message
- Predict/hypothesize where and when the bottle will wash ashore or be picked up using Missouri, United States and world maps.
- Study water, weather and wind patterns or conditions including U.S. and world hurricane seasons, typhoons, etc.
- Create a time-line of a bottle’s movement and identify the exact time and place of retrieval.
- Chart, graph, map or otherwise synthesize the whole class and/or school’s predictions.
Day 1-3: (or more) State a preliminary hypothesis for where and when the bottle will be found Study and analyze water, weather and wind patterns initially for the lower Mississippi water basin; then for the Gulf of Mexico, etc. Day 4: (or more) Re-evaluate preliminary hypothesis Make final prediction/hypothesis Create a time-line of bottle’s movement Day 5: Chart, graph, map or otherwise annotate class predictions Day 6: (or more) Chart, graph, map or otherwise annotate school predictions
- Detailed Missouri Maps
- Maps of states with southern flow of Mississippi River or globe
- World Map or globe
- Water, weather and wind charts
- Time lines
- Monitor the acquisition of researched information
- Logical hypothesis
- Time line
- Question: Should the bottle sink or float?
- Experiment with a variety of glass, plastic, foam bottles or other containers to test buoyancy and/or sinking potential, and to test airtightness and or durability.
- Lab report of results
Day 1-2: Brainstorm appropriate bottles and tests for buoyancy, airtightness, durability Assemble bottles, lids and materials for test(s) including water (initially test in classroom) duplicating bottom of Mississippi Perform test(s) in classroom Day 3: Duplicate test(s) in stream conditions if possible, or test in stream conditions Day 4: Complete lab report
- Miscellaneous bottles with lids or other containers
- Water in deep containers filled with dirt (mud) to duplicate Mississippi River
- Stream (muddy)or artificially produced environment similar to Mississippi
- Net for stream retrieval
- Boots for stream
- Buoyancy/floating characteristics of bottle(s)
- Sinking characteristics of bottle
- Lab Report
- Write a story depicting the finding/ retrieval of the bottle
- Write a newspaper article detailing the finding/retrieval of the bottle
- Illustrate the story or newspaper article
- Compare and contrast the two styles of writing
Day 1: Discuss differences in a short story vs. a newspaper article Use appropriate graphic such as a Venn diagram for illustration Prewriting activities such as web of characters, time, location, etc. Begin first draft Day 2: (or more) Revisions Day 3: (or more) Illustration drawings Day 4: Share writing and illustrations Optional: Publish stories in school or class newspaper Bind writings for future reference and media coverage when/if bottle is found
- Writing and grammar textbooks
- Newspaper articles
For additional information contact :
- Formal story or newspaper article
- Journalist Classroom guest
Bel Ridge Elem.