Lesson Summary

Summary: Students will explore the impacts of innovations in a guided lesson and produce a 1-minute screen capture video (artifact) to summarize their findings.


  • Students will use the Internet to research a technology of the student’s choice and create an artifact to report on the research.


Session 1:

  1. Getting Started (5 min)
    1. A quick activity that requires an effective internet search
  2. Activity (40 min)
    1. Critical Reading Skills Activity [15 min]
    2. Brainstorming Activity [10 min]
    3. Practice Task Activity [15 min]
  3. Wrap-up (5 min)

Session 2:

  1. Getting Started (5 min)
  2. Guided Activity (40 min)
    • Work on project
  3. Wrap-up (5 min)

Learning Objectives

Math Common Core Practice:

  • MP1: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Common Core ELA:

  • RST 12.3 - Precisely follow a complex multistep procedure
  • RST 12.7 - Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media
  • WHST 12.6 - Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update writing products
  • WHST 12.7 - Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question

NGSS Practices:

  • 3. Planning and carrying out investigations

Key Concepts

  • Students will revisit concepts learned in Unit 1 to complete a teacher-guided research and exploration task.
  • The teacher will utilize different reading and writing strategies to assist the students in doing research and creating an artifact.
  • Students may need guidance in capturing screen video. This is a skill they will need to use for the Create Task so it will be good to gain some skills early on.

Essential Questions

  • How can a creative development process affect the creation of computational artifacts?
  • How can computing and the use of computational tools foster creative expression?
  • How can computing extend traditional forms of human expression and experience?
  • How does computing enhance human communication, interaction, and cognition?
  • How does computing enable innovation?
  • What are some potential beneficial and harmful effects of computing?
  • How do economic, social, and cultural contexts influence innovation and the use of computing?

Teacher Resources

Student computer usage for this lesson is: required

In the Lesson Resources folder:

  • Presentation with sample visual artifacts: artifact.pptx
  • Practice Performance Task Rubrics:
    • CS Matters version (uses 5-point scale): Unit 1 Practice Performance Task Rubric CSM.docx
    • College Board version (uses 3-point scale): Unit 1 Practice Performance Task Rubric CB.docx
  • Practice Performance Task:  
    • College Board version for both Investigate (no longer part of CS Principles), Explore (visual and written artifacts), and Create tasks (for teacher reference only): CS_Principles_Performance_Assessment2014-1-9.pdf 
    • Explore task only (useful for sharing with students): Explore Performance Task.pdf

For the Teacher:

Lesson Plan

Session 1

Getting Started (5 min)

A quick activity that requires an effective Internet search

  • Example: Count your clicks! In as few “clicks” as possible, locate a web site for a physical store within 50 miles of your school where you can purchase a blue laptop bag.

Activity (25 min)

Explore Project - Introduction

  • Use the provided presentation (artifact2.pptx) to give an overview of the requirements for the visual component of this task.  
  • Use a variety of pre-reading activities to assist students' understanding of the requirements of the task:
    • Read the section headers.

Activity (5 min)


  1. Students should refer to the topic they chose at the end of Lesson 3. They may either choose this topic to research, or pick another topic from the following choices:
    • Social media 
    • Online retail and banking and online businesses 
    • Cloud data storage 
    • Government surveillance 
  2. If they did not do so at the end of Lesson 3, each student should pick an innovation that connects to the topic chosen. They will research this innovation to create their screen capture. 

(Limiting the choices will allow students to compare and contrast their final artifacts, facilitate self-assessment, and make it possible to identify exemplars of each option.)


Activity (10 min)

Develop a Plan

Students should complete the planning sheet to determine what they will need to accomplish for the project in class on day 2.

Wrap-up (5 min)

Journal Entry

Give students a few minutes warning before the end of class. With 4 or 5 minutes remaining, have students reflect and write in their journal a verbal snapshot of the artifact they are creating.

Session 2

Getting Started (5 min)

  • Have students write a goal for the class period in their journal. "During this class, I will complete: ..."
  • Spend 2 or 3 minutes discussing difficulties encountered the previous day and possible solutions.
  • As students work, have them consider these questions that they will write hour answers to at the end.
    1. What novel combinations of artifacts, tools and techniques can you use to create your artifact?
    2. How does this artifact express your own creativity and interests?
    3. Consider a web page, poster, sound byte, video or picture as a way to communicate your information. If you were to expand on this project, which would you choose and why?
    4. What tools would you use if you had a week to create a larger project? Do you know how to use all of these tools: text editor, spreadsheet to create charts and graphs, web page design, app or computer program creation tool?

Activity (40 min)

Practice performance task

  • Students continue work on the practice task. Continue providing guidance. 
  • Note: This practice task may need more than two class periods to complete. It may be necessary to break the task into chunks and assign some portions for homework. It would also be beneficial to spend class time after completion to have students present their artifacts to the class, identify exemplars, and discuss lessons learned.

Wrap-Up (5 min)

Options for Differentiated Instruction

Some students will benefit from having a teacher-selected topic and a step-by-step plan for completing the task.

Evidence of Learning

Formative Assessment

While the students are completing the task, check for understanding by asking the students:

  • Does the technology you are researching have positive and negative impacts on society, economics, or culture?
  • Can you describe what demographics the technology you are researching impacts? Older or younger people? Individuals, governments or business? Rich or poor? Urban, suburban or rural? People from a particular social group or part of the world?
  • What is your plan for your 1 minute video screen capture?
  • Are you using credible resources?

Summative Assessment

The artifact (1-minute screen capture) from this task and a reflection on the creative process can be used as a summative assessment using the rubric in the Teacher Resources