In light of our discussion on the role of reference sources and the various research models (Big 6…), my gr. 7 students just submitted their project on a topic of their choice within the theme of Ancient Egypt. I was very impressed with the results. One created a power point presentation of mummies and then included a short video of himself “mummifying a fish”. He actually had footage of dissecting a fish and completing the mummy process (and brought in the “mummy” fish). His peers were super impressed and excited to watch the video. Another created a stop motion video (using cookies as the characters) to tell about her research. Others brought in models, an ancient ‘newspaper’, power points, game boards…
But, I was also impressed with their reflections of the research process. Here are a few thoughts:
“I learned that books actually have a lot of useful information since I always used the internet” (BTW, I insisted they had to start with 3 books)
“It was hard to think of a question that I really wanted to do…I learned that books are REALLY helpful”.
“Facts are not only on websites but there are a lot of facts in books!”
“I learned that you should be organized and know where you got those facts”.
“I learned that I shouldn’t rush through looking for facts but instead, I should look thoroughly and also keep track of where my information was from.”
“I learned that sometimes you have to look at multiple books and websites to find facts and also to verify facts.”
We spent one block sharing our projects in small groups. The shy students were so relieved that they didn’t need to present to the whole class but could sit with a group of 4-5 peers. It was so much fun to walk around and listen in to the conversations.
Yeah!!! They did learn something! I was getting a bit worried as to how much time we were devoting to projects. But, I am consoling myself that they are learning SKILLS and building COMPETENCIES rather than memorizing facts on Ancient Egypt.