Lesson Materials

All modern Gizmos have supporting curriculum documents that we call Lesson Materials. Some have just one document, an Exploration Guide. Others feature a set of four documents: a Teacher Guide, a Student Exploration Sheet, an Answer Key to the Exploration Sheet, and a Vocabulary Sheet.

Getting to the Lesson Info Tab

Links to Lesson Materials lie on the Lesson Info tab for each Gizmo. (The links are also available on the Gizmo tab.)

  1. If the Gizmo has been assigned to a class, find the Gizmo's entry (shown below) on the class tab. Alternatively, you can find a similar entry if you search or browse for the Gizmo you want.
    A Gizmo Listing is shown with the Lesson Info Link circled.
    Lesson Info Link
  2. Click the Lesson Info link. This takes you to the Lesson Info page, where you can find links to the Gizmo's lesson materials.

Student Exploration Packet

Many Gizmos come with a four-document set of curriculum materials: a Student Exploration Sheet (with separate Answer Key), a Teacher Guide, and a Vocabulary Sheet. Teachers have access to all 4 documents. Students only have access to the Student Exploration Sheet and the Vocabulary Sheet.

The Student Exploration Sheet is ExploreLearning's version of a student worksheet, with an emphasis on inquiry. Each Exploration Sheet has Prior Knowledge Questions and a Gizmo Warm-up activity on page 1, followed by two or three student activities, including Gizmo instructions and questions to answer. These activities are usually one page long (occasionally two). (You do NOT need to have your students do the entire Exploration Sheet. Doing page 1 along with one of the student activities should make for a nice, full lesson.) Also, a Student Exploration Sheet Answer Key is provided for teachers only.

Another document in the packet is the Teacher Guide (not available to students). Teacher Guides start by describing the learning objectives and vocabulary in the Student Exploration Sheet. Then they provide a suggested lesson plan, including the Student Exploration Sheet and also, usually, some non-Gizmo activities. The rest of the Teacher Guide provides in-depth background information for the topic, relevant web resources, and sometimes cross-curricular opportunities.

A Vocabulary Sheet listing the key terms students will encounter as they work through the Student Exploration is provided as well.

To access these materials, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Lesson Info page, you will see the documents available (usually 4 of them for teachers, just 2 for students) listed under LESSON MATERIALS, to the right of the screenshot. Each is available as either a Word document or as a PDF.
  2. Click on the name of a document to reveal the Word and PDF links.
  3. To launch a document in a separate window, click Word or PDF. (Choose the Word document if you want to edit it. You may want to select the PDF if you want slightly smaller filesize.)
    The Word Document link on the Lesson Info tab
    Word Document Link Appears After Clicking
  4. In addition, you can access these documents from the Gizmo page itself. To do so, click on the Lesson Materials link above the top left corner of the Gizmo. This will open a pop-up window containing links to all the documents.

Exploration Guide

Some Gizmos come with an Exploration Guide, an html document that provides students with an inquiry-based lesson (instructions and questions) using the Gizmo. The Exploration Guide is fully editable to fit your students' individual needs and time resources. Students should answer the questions on a separate piece of paper, or typed into a separate document.

  1. On the Lesson Info page, click the Exploration Guide link to the right of the screenshot.
    The Lesson Info Tab with Exploration Guide Link circled
    Exploration Guide Link
  2. This will launch an html popup window containing the Exploration Guide. You can print this out as-is by clicking Print Page if you want. To customize it in any way, just copy and paste the text into a word-processing document. (For example, you may just want to add spaces to the document for student answers.)
  3. You can also access the Exploration Guide from the Gizmo page. To do so, click the Exploration Guide link, just above the top left corner of the Gizmo.