Monday, October 03, 2005

Curriculum Connection

Indiana 6th Grade Social Studies Standard 6.1.2

"Trace the major developments and achievements of the Roman Republic and the rise and expansion of the Roman Empire."

AASL Information Literacy Standards 1,2,3, and 8

1. "The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively."
2. "The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently."
3. "The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively."
8. "The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology."

For this project, I would brainstorm with the class a list of what they know about Ancient Rome. With their help, I would then group the list into broad categories such as Art & Architecture, Military & Wars, Government, Great Thinkers, Social Customs, etc. I would ask the students to brainstorm a few questions about Ancient Rome that they would like to have answered. Then each student would formulate his or her own question. It could be contained within one category or it could make connections between two or more categories. For example, if a student wanted to know how such huge buildings were built without the aid of modern machinery, he or she could research building techniques and architects of the period, as well as why the government commissioned large public buildings. A student who wanted to know what it was like to be a gladiator could research social attitudes toward bravery in battle, the public acceptance of grusome public executions, and laws concerning slavery.

The inquiry project itself would look much like the one I have just completed. I would ask for a journal of the process. I would use the worksheets for guiding the research process found in Stipling and Hughes-Hassell [1]. I would ask students to use graphical organizers such as those listed at eduscapes [2] to help focus the topic, and that they create an interesting final product that makes good use of the information. At the conclusion, I would have the students present their findings in a "Day at the Forum" fair for other students and parents.


Indiana Academic Standards for High School Social Studies - World History and Civilization WH 6.2

"Describe the main themes and achievements of the Renaissance, including its impact on science, technology, and the arts (Individuals, Society, and Culture)."

AASL Information Literacy Standards 1,2,3, and 8

1. "The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively."
2. "The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently."
3. "The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively."
8. "The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology."

It would be easy to transform the above inquiry project into one focusing on the Renaissance instead of Ancient Rome. I would also add a different twist to the project.

I would begin this project in a similar manner, by brainstorming with the class what they already know about the Renaissance. When we have a list, I would ask them to organize the ideas into broad categories. I think this would help them to see connections and make new ones. For example, if Galileo was named and then put into a category like Science, then it would be easier to see how Galileo relates to others in his own category and also see how Galileo might relate to other categories like Religion.

I would ask the students to come up with a question they would like to answer regarding the Renaissance and then pretend they were going to travel to Italy to investigate this topic firsthand. Where would they go? What would they do when they got there? What kind of background research should they do before they go? What resources would they use? I would provide mini-lessons on search strategies, using a variety of sources, evaluation of sources, and how to cite different sources.

Again, I would have the students keep a process journal, use the research process worksheets [1], and use graphical organizers [2]. The product could take many forms such as a travel brochure, a travelogue/trip slideshow in either PowerPoint or on the web, a pathfinder to resources, etc.

----Sources Cited----

[1] Stripling, Barbara K. and Hughes-Hassell, Sandra. (2003). Curriculum Connections Through the Library, p. 151-154.

[2] Lamb, Annette. Learning Resources: Graphical Organizers. [http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic73.htm]. Accessed on October 3, 2005.

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