H is for Honor- Research a New Term

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Objective

SWBAT to research an aspect of military life and write a paragraph about their findings.

Big Idea

It is important to be able to quickly and effectively find information about a topic.

Sound Off!! Sign in and Review

15 minutes

This lesson begins with the students entering the classroom to find a sign in on the Smartboard that looks just like their homework from the previous night.  The Smartboard sign in is to assess if any of my students know anyone who's ever been in the military.  Knowing this information will help determine the depth I must go into for the students to understand the aspects of military life plus it provides great, rich discussion as they begin to share stories.

Today's lesson involves students working with a partner while using the laptop carts to conduct a short research project on an aspect of military life that they find interesting or that they want to know more about.  I hand out white boards and dry erase markers before we review what each letter stands for.  I instruct the students that, as they hear the term they'd like to research, they record it on their whiteboard.  I tell the students to record at least three topics.

After we're done reviewing, I have the students hold up their whiteboards and they pair up with someone who also has their first choice.  If no one has their first choice then they look for someone with their second, and so on down the line until all partners are paired.

A note here- in many projects, I encourage students to work together, however, sometimes on a computer project they like to have the computer all to themselves so this time if they don't want to partner, I allow them to work independently.

 

Plan of Attack: Conducting the Research

45 minutes

After all students are paired or have determined they want to work independently, I pass out the rubric and go over it.  Each student needs to know ahead of time how to get the best grade possible.  Students will have some options of how to present their findings.

Once we've addressed any questions pertaining to the rubric, students are allowed to sign into their computers and begin their research.

Tactical Approach: Planning for the Presentation

10 minutes

After wrapping up the research, I hand out the planning sheet for the presentation of information.  I have found that wrapping up multiple day lessons with a planning sheet helps students focus their thoughts and efforts toward the next day's tasks and minimizes time off task when we begin the next lesson.  Nothing causes problems more than unfocused students without a plan in an less than structured "project environment!"  Using a planning sheet helps to avoid this.

The planning sheet in this lesson asks students to decide which in which format they would like to present their findings.  It also asks students what materials they need in order to successfully present their research.  I ask students to list the materials they need for their project and who is responsible for bringing those materials.  For instance, do they need a poster board, do they need glitter, do they need costumes, do they need a jump drive, etc.?  Assigning responsibility in writing also helps students understand that yes, indeed, this is your job and you need to follow through.  

The last section of the planning sheet has students listing what materials they need from me. I tell them that I won't bring anything that costs money, but if they need something crazy like string or popsicle sticks I can swing that.  And if I can't get it, I let them know so they can revamp their idea or assign that material to one of the group members.