My Students Are Excited for their Research Project! (Part 2)

Three week Winter Break is a wonderful thing!  During that time I was able to come up with a lesson that my students will understand and be able to do.  I am having them write one paragraph answering a research question; however, they first need to create a glog that answers their question with a bibliography for all sites they use for their research.

First, I decided that I wanted to teach them about big ideas and focusing their research topic from there.  I therefore created this Research Report Topic Question PowerPoint presentation which leads the students from 4 large ideas to creating questions, to choosing a topic, and creating a topic question.

Then, I decided to teach students what are acceptable sites for research.  I don’t allow them to use the normal search sites that they are used to, nor do I allow any wikis.  We went over this and discussed why certain sites are acceptable and others are not.  Some of them of course resisted, but once I explained the reasoning behind these restrictions, they grudgingly agreed.   These are the websites I allowed and disallowed.

Digital Library:  the school district’s online research library
LAUSD Kids Search:  includes pre filtered and validated web searches
•.edu’s
•Official Websites
•NO GOOGLE!!! NO YAHOO!!! NO BING!!!  NO FACEBOOK!!!!  NO WIKI!!!!!!!!!!
Since they were all pouting and I did not want to lose their buy-in, I quickly switched to what they would be doing with a glog.  A glog is an online multi-media poster.  I created my own free teacher account at edu.glogster.com that gave me a teacher code.  Then, as my students created their free student accounts, they entered my account to link them to me.  However, I believe that this cool feature is only available to me for one month, so I also created a classroom blog where students will be able to post and display their glogs as well as the paragraphs and bibliographies that they will create for this project.  Check out our progress at varela6thgrade.wordpress.com.
Please feel free to use any of these ideas and let me know how they work out.
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