In learning about Snowflake Bentley, one thing my students have been amazed by is the amount of snow Vermont gets. Living in Columbus, Ohio, the students see maybe 4-6 inches of snow at a time. Columbus receives an annual snowfall of approximately 27 inches per year whereas Vermont receives 120 inches per year.
I decided to take their interest in the snow and give them a research/ presentation project. The students will use the Internet to find a place that receives more snow than Columbus, Ohio and report on it to their classmates.
When the students enter the classroom today, I explain our project and they are so excited because they love any chance they get to be on the computer. Our first job, though, is to create a rubric for the project and presentation. My students are experienced with this process so it doesn't take long to whip one up. I've included it in the resource section.
Once we create the rubric, it is time for the students to begin their research. I have taught my students to use Google so they all know how to navigate that. I still have some students who are not efficient at sifting through the hits they get from their search. It is with these students that I sit and give pointers to on how to navigate the many options they were given to look at.
Most of the students wanted to think of a place first and then search for its annual snowfall total. Some of them lucked out, but most were not and I finally had to tell some kiddos that it might be easier to search for places with snowfall over 27 inches. Once I made this option clear to the students, their research became much easier. I felt like it was OK to tell them this information because my students are not used to doing research as most of them don't have access to computers at home and using a trial and error method would have never allowed them enough time to complete their poster.
As the time nears for class to be over, I gather the students back together and we do a quick check in of sorts. I need to know how much time they will need to finish their research. According to the students they will need another day, so, we will pick up where we left off tomorrow.
I do collect the research papers so they don't get lost- just one of those things I like to do so nothing gets lost!!