Thursday, May 15, 2014

End of Year Research


We've completed our march through the regions of the US and will take a test on the 50 Nifty tomorrow (blank map, 2-letter abbreviations).

Now it's time to bring focus to our research. Make it meaningful.

I began by thinking about what kind of final product I want my students to create. They've worked lots in Keynote, so that wasn't an option. We don't have enough time to learn a new tool like Prezi or ThingLink.

BEGIN AT THE END.

I decided on the tri-fold brochure templates in Pages. Looking over the templates, I saw there would be room enough for information about People, Places, the Past, the Present, and a Spotlight on one unique thing about the state.

But I didn't want them to simply copy the information we'd already gathered into a new format.

That's when I realized, as I scanned the brochure templates, that brochures are created for so many different audiences.

AUDIENCE was the missing piece.

Today, each student chose a state AND chose the audience they would write for in their brochure. Some of the audiences are: tourism, history, come live here, and sports. Energy is high because not only did each student get to pick their state, but they have a real focus for their research. Several states have been chosen by more than one student, but it's not a problem because their audiences are different.

CHOICE -- always important.




2 comments:

  1. Hi Mary Lee,
    Your students might enjoy the "States Song/Rap" which we use. (Written by a local teacher) It is fun to say (ALL the kids here love it) and it also allows you to locate each state with ease. I can send if you want to share. It won't take long. It might even be on my blog...not a real one, just one with recorded poems. Let me know! They learn it quickly, love to say it over and over, and are impressed that I can name all 50 states in a little less than 30 seconds. Goes nicely with the 50 Nifty Song.
    Janet F.

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  2. Mary Lee,
    I like the idea of thinking more about audience. It helps them think about what kinds of information to include. For instance, we've just completed a learning unit on immigration. I can imagine a cool brochure from a different time period written for folks back home (there were ones like that!), or for some other audience/purpose. Which just made me think...I wonder if the kids could also think about purpose. Would the purpose be to warn the audience? Entice them? To inform of the positives/negatives? Hmmm....

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