When I was a kid, and dinosaurs roamed the earth, the project was: “500 words on your saber tooth tiger.” We had a set of encyclopedias at home; most of those reports were copied directly from there. Honestly, I always wondered why I didn't get caught for plagiarism.
When I was teaching I discovered the hamburger writing guide and variants. My students and I learned a bit about writing together.
Today with technology the possibilities have expanded even more.
- Research done online
- Skype/Hangout with animal expert or zoo
- Create movies or animations instead of written report
- Powerpoint, Prezi, or similar presentation
- Blog posts
- Collaborative wiki projects
- Collaborative writing in Google Docs or Etherpad
All of these choices still stem from the original idea, and meet concepts, or Standards in different ways.
Today the teachers choose, what is a good first step, into easing the students into 21st century work. A nice familiar paper outline, supplemented with the option to research online. The biggest and most exciting, difference I saw was the teachers embedding a quick lesson on digital literacy, reminding students to use quality sources during their research. “Remember, don’t just Google your animal. Start with a library Destiny search.”
|Students using a variety of tools to research animals|