The fifth grade students in Reed- Custer School District 255-U in Braidwood,Illinois study the Native Americans and their contributions to the development of the United States. In Social Studies the specific curriculum goal is: Describe how Native American cultures were shaped by their environment. Describe a Native American nation : include work, family, and civic responsibilities, customs,traditions, shelter, and values. Working with five fifth grade classroom teachers, the art teacher, the science teacher and the media center teacher, the students will work in learn alike groups to gather information about one tribe per group. Each group will decide how to present their information to the other students . Some of the choices are: creation of a web page, a computer slide show, an illustrated lecture using Claris Impact, a Hyperstudio presentation or a model or sculpture.
The project product is an important part of the project but the use of the electronic resources and first person interviews are very important. In fact a good project will have to show evidence of these pathways to learning.The students will strive to use a variety of materials and sources for information and evaluate the effectiveness of each.
During the first few sessions the teacher will guide the students to explore the possibilities of the research vehicles,set down the guidelines for group participation and lead the students to set up their rules for the project. The students in their groups will decide and sign up on a master chart for the tribe they want to study and the media they will use. The students will keep a group log of each class and the work they do. There is a tray to place help questions and another for great places for others.
At the start of each session student take turns reading the questions and the great places found by other groups or classes. The groups then get started on their work. The teacher now serves as a resource and facilitator. A group can ask for a consultation. Most questions are answered with a question that will edge them closer to their query.The student made rubric will guide the class groups as they proceed. Disputes among group members will be settled in the group.
Looking in at the scene you will see some students at the computers, others looking at reference materials,including videos, filmstrips and computer programs,others will be in the media center and even two on the phone contacting people who will serve as mentors or resources and other students learning the same material. Some groups will check for e-mail and send mail to students in other places, hopefully some Native American students.Two field trips are planned , one to The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago Illinois and another to The Isle La Cache in Plainfield , Illinois.
Progress will be checked every other day and achievements posted on wall charts for each class and group.The last few minutes of each class will be used to share and plan how we can be more productive tomorrow.
In the final week students will share their products. Web pages will be linked to our school web page, the media center will display the models and sculptures or art work and the groups will give their presentations. Copies of Hypercard stacks and print materials will be submitted to the media center for possible inclusion in those collections.
Finally in language classes the students will write thank you letters to those who have helped in the learning process.
Once a week the students will check the internet for e-mail and answer inquiries from others Each class will take a day of the week so the load will not be too much for any class.
Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NCRTEC) which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Author(s): Carolyn C. Dunmore e-mail dunmore@ aol.com School: Braidwood Elementary School, Braidwood,Illinois Created: October 18, 1997 - Updated: October 18, 1997 URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w98/projects/yourfolder/scenario.html