Putting the End in Mind: Final Project Overview and Planning

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Objective

SWBAT demonstrate their ability to work with a group to set rules for discussion and group work by creating a strategy and plan to complete their final project.

Big Idea

Today we will dive into the last big project of the year. Students will get a chance to strategize and think critically about concepts and topics for research.

SSR

10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will read with the students during this time. 

Final Project Overview

20 minutes

As we are in our last two weeks of school (WHAT?!?), my teaching partner and I will go over our final project, which is an joint project and seminar for both English and Social Studies.

Unless I'm required to give a district assessment, which rarely happens, I never give a paper and pencil test at the end of a term. I think it oversimplifies all that we have been working on and doesn't truly assess what students know or are able to do. To do this, a final has to take more than one day and have multiple levels of assessment.

This project is meant to be a culmination of many different skills that we have worked on this year, but will mainly assess student abilities to do the following: 

  • Integrate information from a variety of sources (SL.9-10.2)
  • Write a piece of informative/explanatory texts (W.9-10.2)
  • Present information clearly and concisely (SL.9-10.4)
  • Participate in whole class discussions (SL.9-10.1)
  • Draw on evidence from a wide variety of texts that students read independently this year (RL.9-10.1 and RL/I.9-10.10)

Additionally, given this is an integrated course, we want students to apply the skills they've been learning in English to the historical content that we've been studying as well. I love teaching at a school that sees the natural overlap between these two content areas and, what a real world application to have students see that the modern world requires them to think about ideas and concepts within a larger context.

The students will have multiple days over the last two weeks of school to work on this project, which will culminate in a scored discussion on our final day of class. We will read through each section of the assignment sheet and ask students to repeat or rephrase instructions in kid friendly language so that we can make sure they understand what they will be asked to do. 

 

Group Strategy Session

25 minutes

After we've gone over the requirements, we will ask student to form groups of four. We are allowing them to chose their groups because we feel like at this point in the year, it isn't fair to make students work with peers who might not pull their own weight. I will make sure that students hear from both me and my teaching partner that they need to chose wisely, specifically choosing people who will help them swim and not drown in the many tasks they need to accomplish. 

We will have them sign up for these groups with each of us then we will ask them to draw slips of paper from a hat to randomly assign them the regions of the world they will research.

Once they have their region to focus on, we will then allow them time to strategize how best to complete this project in the time that is allotted to them. Similar to their practice research project/presentation last week, I hope that during this time they will use this time to set rules for the collaborative process and delegate tasks as well as putting forth ideas about what will work well for all parts of the project (SL.9-10.1b).

As they work with their groups, my teaching partner and I will circulate the room to answer any questions and to offer ourselves as sounding boards for ideas or strategy plans. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

At the end of class, we will ask them to get their desks back in order and remind them to keep up with their reading of To Live