Chris Adcock
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Internet
  • Modernity
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Digital Immigrant Interviews

    Digital Immigrant Interviews


    In this lesson, you will share the perspective you gained by interviewing your Digital Immigrant. You'll also hear about the perspectives other students gained and workshop the introduction of your essay.

    In this lesson, students will share the perspective they gained by interviewing their Digital Immigrant. They'll also hear about the perspectives other students gained and workshop the introduction of their essay.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Review the lesson and decide how you'll form the workshop pairs.
    • Find the article “Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant? Which Are You?” by Thomas G. Plante on the Psychology Today website. Share it with your students. If you do not have Internet access in the classroom, you can print and distribute the article.

    Interview Partner Share

    • Students should work in groups of two or three. Because some of the material they generate based on their interviews may serve as the basis for a museum exhibit, they should work with other students from their museum exhibit teams.
    • Remind students to add information they might wish to use in their argument essay into the document they created in Lesson 3, Task 1.


    In pairs, share the responses you recorded from your interview with a Digital Immigrant.

    • Be sure to make a note of any part of your partner’s interview that might provide personal evidence for your argument paper.
    • You might want to integrate some parts of these interviews into your museum exhibits, so take careful notes.

    Open Notebook

    Museum Exhibit Teams

    • Encourage students to consider including some part of a Digital Immigrant interview in their exhibits. It's quite likely that at least one student in the group gained a significant insight by talking to an older relative or acquaintance, and a strong interview could make a good artifact for the team's exhibit.

    Work Time

    Back in your museum exhibit teams, share the most interesting things you learned in your conversations about the Digital Immigrant interviews.

    • Be sure to record any additional evidence you hear that might be useful for your argument paper.
    • Think about whether any of the material from the interviews might be interesting to integrate into your museum exhibit.
      • Would it be helpful to re-interview any of the Digital Immigrants to capture video for the exhibit?

    Open Notebook

    Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant

    • This task is optional. If some students haven't done their interviews or if their work is thin, you can use the article as a backup. Since the writer expresses his own perspective on how it feels to be a Digital Immigrant, the questions from the interviews students conducted can be applied.
      • SWD: This is a good time to gather students who have struggled with the interview process. You can have the group read together and then discuss the author's message. Have the students decide on the author’s likely answers to the interview questions and explain their evidence. This will prepare them for the upcoming portions of this unit.

    Work Time

    Read and annotate the article, “Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant? Which Are You?” by Thomas G. Plante.

    Take quotations from Plante’s article to answer the same questions you posed during your interviews:

    • What technology makes him the most uneasy? Why?
    • What is the most unfamiliar or disturbing thing he sees young Digital Natives do with their technology?
    • Does he wish he could go back to a time when people didn’t use technology to connect socially? Why or why not?
    • Why does he feel younger people have an advantage in adapting to new technology?

    Open Notebook

    Argument Essay Introductions

    • You can choose to have students work with pairs from within their museum exhibit teams in order to foster a sense of teamwork, or you can have students examine the sample introductions and then workshop their own introductions with students who aren't on their team in order to broaden the range of perspectives they're exposed to.
      • ELL: Allow ELLs to work together for this activity and suggest that ELLs who share the same primary language use that language when doing so. Encourage students to help one another with grammar or vocabulary, when appropriate.
    • You can also choose to model the process of applying the criteria for an introduction to the sample introductions if you feel your students need more structure at this point.
      • SWD: For students who need extra review, you can go over the criteria used to evaluate the introductions and encourage students to underline or highlight examples of key information they will need to include.

    Work Time

    Now it’s time to take your evolving perspective and return to the process of developing an excellent argument essay. In your workshop pair, read the two sample introductions provided and discuss how well they accomplish the purpose of an introduction.

    • Do they have a smooth introduction to the topic?
    • Do they begin with an interesting perspective and not a cheesy hook or a bland, general statement?
    • Do they have an appropriate level of formality?
    • Do they each have a thesis that is specific and challenging?

    Peer Feedback

    • Once the students are done examining the sample introductions, help them provide substantive, positive feedback to each other.
    • Decide how students will share their writing and comment on each other’s work. You may wish to display the questions on the board.
      • ELL: Offer some sentence frames to support ELLs as they give their feedback. Some examples are:

    ✓ I enjoyed your introduction. There are many things I liked about it. I am wondering, however, if you can explain why…

    ✓ There are a few questions/concerns I have about your introduction and I wonder if I can ask you about them…


    Now read your partner’s introduction while he or she reads yours. Then make notes and give positive feedback about the specific ways your partner’s writing is meeting the goals of an excellent introduction.

    • A smooth introduction to the topic—not a cheesy hook or a bland, general statement.
    • An appropriate level of formality.
    • A thesis that is specific, challenging, and based on evidence the paper will provide and analyze.

    Open Notebook

    Review the Unit Accomplishments in Lesson 3 if that helps you keep the purpose of the essay clear in your mind.

    Share your notes with your partner.

    Introduction Revision

    • Prompt students to thoughtfully consider the peer feedback they received in this lesson.


    • Revise your introduction based on the feedback you received today, and continue work on your body paragraphs.