Monday, February 20, 2012

Who writes YOUR information? Getting students to quickly reflect on sources

In my library for the past two weeks we've been focusing on the mandatory 5th grade science fair, gearing up for our annual Japanese Internment history day where we invite members of our community to share their stories of the time of internment... and raising over 1,000 chum salmon in a tank.  I really love my job.

We've also been sneaking other research projects into the schedule whenever we can and this Jamestown themed information literacy idea grew out of my HUGE FRUSTRATION over trying to get students to spend time reflecting on who wrote their information.  They can talk the talk when I make suggestions about NOT using information written by other students but they actually don't walk the walk when they are out surfing the Web.

Now I don't want to make research more onerous but I would love to see students giving more attention to identifying the author behind their sources, without having to drag out a Web site evaluation rubric (OH! How I hate those!)

So here's my new thought.  It's an incentive chart.

I created a chart with markers that were themed for their Jamestown research project.  Before starting their research we quickly discussed the positives and drawbacks to certain types of information.  Students were then divided into teams.  Each team wrote their team's name next to one of the marker colors on the right.  As they researched their topics independently they identified the type of resource they used and dragged a marker over into the graph. 

At the end of the research session, we talked about which resources received the most users.
You can download my FREE SmartBoard Notebook slide that I used for Jamestown from my Teachers Pay Teachers store but I'm really trying to throw out the idea that we need to find quick and creative ways of giving students more of an incentive to reflect on who writes the information that they choose to use for a project.

Since I was uploading this Jamestown activity, I also uploaded the mini-novel study that I created a few years ago to help my teachers use three different Jamestown novels in their classroom. It focuses on the real historic character, Samuel Collier.  TWO authors used him as the basis for their historical fiction novels and their takes on his personality were very different.  This novel study is linked up at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

No comments:

Post a Comment