The California School Library Association recently honored history teacher John McVay, English teacher Sharon Barker and teacher librarian Kathy Alexander with the Good Ideas! award for their collaborative research project on American Social Reform Movements for eighth graders at Hill Classical Middle School. The award is given for effective use of technology and print media in the learning process.
The collaborative project by McVay, Barker and Alexander guided students through the research process using an educational wiki as the repository for resource materials. A wiki is a website that allows creation and collaborative editing of interlinked web pages by multiple people.
The students first completed a graphic organizer, demonstrating their understanding of the topic after working in the library doing research with their English teacher and the teacher librarian. The organizer included development of a thesis statement, analysis to demonstrate rigor, an evaluation to demonstrate critical thinking, and personal reflection to touch upon relevance.
Students then chose a presentation tool (poster, PowerPoint, iMovie, Animoto, pamphlet, etc.) with the guidance of their English teacher as the first phase of their project to demonstrate learning. As the final phase of the project, students continued exploration of their topic in the history class, gaining more in-depth knowledge of their social movement and how it fit into the historical context. The project culminated with a research paper that included a thesis statement, supporting arguments, end-notes and a formal bibliography.
See the wiki and learn more about the project.