We wanted to set up a system for students to monitor their own research along the way (during, instead of after, the research process).
As a result, I developed a checklist that students can use. It is embedded below and also publicly available here.
Our 8th grade students are conducting a research paper and are being asked to add statistics to their written paper. I am supporting their project, but it is difficult to visit a different building within the district. In order to instruct on this concept, I created a screencast. It is always nice to do a screencast because you can embed the lesson on the webpage that houses the resources that students need to access to complete their project.
Here is the screencast:
image courtesy of: http://pixabay.com/p-158529/?no_redirect
As a librarian, I consistently encourage my students to seek various perspectives while researching. While political, military, and religious perspectives are important, the most common perspective that they are likely to search is a differing cultural perspective. It is so important that we, as citizens of the world, understand how we endure common plights and display similar human reactions. It is also important that we understand that various regions are impacted uniquely, at times, as a result of culture, geography, faith, politics, etc.
So, I pushed up my sleeves and tried to help my students. It was at that point that I found just how difficult it was to keyword search cultural regions. I could find a newspaper for one country and search within, but it was hard to find a larger region to keyword search within. I ended up creating Google Custom Search Engines to perform this task. For each region, I am only allowed to identify 10 sites for the search engine to root through. I tried to pick the most popular news sources for each region and I tried to spread out the coverage (I hope that I did an acceptable job) of news sources.
My favorite search has been with the keyword homework – my own views on homework can oscillate broadly as a busy sports mom and a teacher. My second favorite search was with the keyword hunting. I was helping a struggling student find supportive sites for his research topics and I took him into the Google Custom Search Engine and found that, in Africa, the bushmen are fighting for their rights to hunt and survive. What an education it has been to search via these Google Custom Search Engines!
I hope that you and your students can use and enjoy the site. I hope that many students are inspired to research varied cultural perspectives and that it broadens their knowledge of the world we live in.