Sunday, May 24, 2015

Millennium Message in a Bottle

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Kathie Muehlheausler

Subject Area: Integrated Curriculum/Environmental Education

Grade Range: Lower Elementary (K-3), Upper Elementary (4-5), Middle Grades (6-8), High School (9-12)

Materials Needed:

  • Paper
  • pencil
  • pen
  • computer (or typewriter)
  • Optional for additional research: Reader''s Guide to Periodical
  • Literature and Internet Access
  • See each activity for additional materials needed

Objective: See each activity for objectives.

Process Standards:

  • 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

Content Standards:

  • 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:

    • Pretest
    • 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.
    Alternate/optional activities:
    • 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
    Suggested Calendar for Class Sessions:
    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
    • Internet
    • VCR edited tape of Message in a Bottle
    • Approximately 50-word message
    • Rubric(s)
    Bottle Retrieval Prediction Objectives:  The student will predict/hypothesize where and when the messages in a bottle will be found. Activities:
    • 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.
    Suggested Calendar for Class Sessions:
    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
    • Rubric
    Bottle Buoyancy/Sinking Characteristics Experiment Objectives:  Student will decide on appropriate bottle for message including material and size. Activities:
    • 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
    Suggested Calendar for Class Sessions: 4
    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
    • Rubric
    • Lab Report
    Bottle Retrieval Short Story or Newspaper Article Objectives:  Student will create a story or newspaper article about the finding of the bottle which should include graphics or illustrations. Activities:
    • 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
    Suggested Calendar for Class Sessions:
    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
    • Formal story or newspaper article
    • Journalist Classroom guest
    • Rubric
    Real-Life School Experiences Object

    For additional information contact :
    Kathie Muehlheausler
    Bel Ridge Elem.
    (314) 493-0850

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