Using Technology for Design and Evaluation

By Miranda Thompson, October 17, 2006

Grade Level

  • High School


  • City of Neighborhoods

Subject Area

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Technology

Lesson Time

Three fifty-minute class periods (2 in computer lab, 1 on walking tour)


As an introduction to our year-long service learning project, all 9th graders will evaluate the design overhaul of Franklin Square. Franklin Square is one of the five original parks planned out in Philadelphia by William Penn, and until this year was dangerous and in disrepair. Students will research its history and evaluate the causes and solutions to its problems. They will use Google Earth to measure its size, distance from our school and the other squares, and to see satellite imagery of its pre-renovation design. Finally, students will evaluate changes to the site through a walking tour of Franklin Square. They will use digital cameras, tracing paper, and satellite maps to mark change and location. The goal is for the students to use technology and learn to evaluate how the design process effects change over time.
*NOTE: This lesson plan can be changed to research and investigate any park or community area. Franklin Square park is just an example. Adapt the lesson plan to any area in your school's neighborhood that would work.

National Standards

Standard 2. Level IV. Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs
2. Knows how to import, export, and merge data stored in different formats (e.g., text, graphics) 3. Knows how to import and export text, data, and graphics between software programs
Language Arts
Writing Standard 1. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
Writing Standard 4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes.
Standard 4. Understand and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement

Common Core Standards

Anchors for Reading:

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Anchor Standards for Writing: 

Text Types and Purposes:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge:


Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Range of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Anchor standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


Students will:
  • appropriately use the Internet to research the history, problems, and design solutions in Franklin Square
  • learn to use Google Earth to measure and evaluate satellite imagery
  • utilize satellite imagery, digital cameras, and the physical space of Franklin Square to evaluate design and change
  • utilize Microsoft Word to reflect on learning


  • computer lab with internet connections
  • Google Earth (download:
  • a computer projector to model search and Google Earth techniques
  • digital cameras (one for every 4-6 students)
  • research sites:


  • teacher created directions for using Google Earth
  • copy of Franklin Square satellite images
  • tracing paper
  • pencils
  • school-wide journal


restore, revitalize, dimensions, upload, download, install, triangulate


Prior Knowledge: Students have already taken a walking tour of Washington Square, another nearby park from the same era. They have learned about Penn's original layout of Philadelphia's "green spaces" and researched their own neighborhood and local recreation facilities.
Class One (Research)
1. Open Safari Web Browser and Microsoft Word.
2. Save Word doc as your name, your section, FranklinSQ. Continue to save as you make changes to your work.
3. Using, search for Franklin Square, Philadelphia. You may also reference the list of appropriate sites on your table's handouts (this is the teacher made handout referenced under materials) and type in the website address.
4. Scan the websites for information on the history of and renovations at Franklin Square. Answer the questions on your group's handout. (See attachment)
5. Save your work. When questions are complete, open Google Earth.
6. In Google Earth, type the address or cross streets you found for Franklin Square.
7. Use tools to zoom in on the Square, making the cross streets visible. You may have to turn on Roads under Layers.
8. Take a screen shot of the park (Shift, Apple, 4). Copy the screenshot into your research document.
9. Use the Measure Tool to map: a. the distance from our school to the square
 b. the distance around the square
 c. the distance from Franklin Square to the other 4 parks in Center City (City Hall, Washington, Rittenhouse, Logan)
10. Write all of the measurements into your research document.
Bonus: Take screenshots of your measurements and add them to your document. SAVE ALL WORK!
Class 2 (Walking Tour)
Divide the students into groups of 4 to 6. Give each group a digital camera and instructions. Each student should have a pencil, a printout of their Google Earth Satellite image, and tracing paper on a clipboard. As a class, walk to Franklin Square (0.3 mi from the school). Start at the center fountain, and proceed to the memorials, carousel, picnic area, and mini golf. Students will approximate the path and mark changes they notice on the tracing paper over the satellite map. Students will sketch and take digital photos to further document changes to the area, areas that are still under construction, and areas that still need to be changed.
Class 3 (Reflect/Evaluate)
Students work in groups to evaluate their notes, sketches, tracings, and uploaded digital photographs. Have students write a reflection piece about the positives and negatives they saw at the park. They will then create a PowerPoint presentation about the history and changes they observed utilizing their research, photographs, sketches, and satellite images.


Assessment (3 parts)
Class One (Research) Students have effectively researched and written about the history of Franklin Square and its current revitalization efforts. Students have correctly mapped, measured, and printed satellite image of the park using Google Earth.
Class Two (Walking Tour) Students are engaged in evaluating the park (observation). Students are using and sharing the digital cameras to mark changes, improvements, and areas that need to be completed or changed. Students are using tracing paper and maps to mark changes.
Class Three (Evaluation) Students upload pictures from cameras to their desktops. Students write a reflection on the changes they observed in the park compared to the history they researched. Students add pictures and sketches from the park to their reflection papers, which are printed and displayed as well as saved to their portfolio.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students will take what they learned at Franklin Square to begin to evaluate their own neighborhood parks and recreation areas. As an extension, have students evaluate 3-5 areas/places/things that can be changed for the better in their neighborhood. Students will work collaboratively to decide on a project and action plan for an area near the school and by year's end will use design and technology to implement a positive change in our neighborhood to an area they and the community decide upon.

Teacher Reflection

Due to inclement weather, only the first class has been completed (research and Google Earth). The students were very successful in researching the history of the park and writing about what they learned. They were mostly successful using Google Earth, and had the most difficulty measuring distance from the other squares in Philadelphia to Franklin Square. Students that were more successful were willing to help their classmates by sharing their skill base. The students need more practice with the measuring tool in Google Earth. They also need more practice at quickly scanning information for pertinent details, and correctly typing search terms.

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