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Beyond the Basic Research Paper

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Keywords: Research and Technology
Subject(s): Social Studies, Photography, Reading, Writing, Podcasting, Technology, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, History
Grade 8
School: Digital Wish, Manchester Center, VT
Planned By: Digital Wish Support
Original Author: Digital Wish Support, Sunderland
Immigration Research Project

1. Generate a topic of personal interest, formulate open-ended questions for research, and develop a plan for gathering information?
2. Use a variety of communication techniques to present information gathered?

Standard 4:
28. Adjust diction and enunciation to suit the purpose for speaking (ELA-4-M1)
29. Use standard English grammar, diction, syntax, and pronunciation when speaking (ELA 4 M1)
32. Adjust volume and inflection to suit the audience and purpose of presentations (ELA 4 M3)
37. Compare, contrast, and evaluate information found in a wide variety of text/electronic media, (e.g., microprint, public speeches, art form) (ELA 4 M5)
38. Participate in group and panel discussions, including:
b. applying agreed upon rules for formal and informal discussions
Standard 5:
39. Locate and select information using organizational features of grade appropriate resources, including:
a. complex reference sources (e.g., almanacs, atlases, newspapers, magazines, brochures, map legends, prefaces, appendices).
b. electronic storage devices (e.g., CD ROMs, diskettes, software, drives)
c. frequently accessed and bookmarked Web addresses
d. organizational features of electronic information (e.g., Web resources including online sources and remote sites) (ELA 5 M1)
40. Locate and integrate information from a variety of grade appropriate resources, including:
a. multiple printed texts (e.g., encyclopedias, atlases, library catalogs, specialized dictionaries, almanacs, technical encyclopedias)
b. electronic sources (e.g., Web sites, databases)
c. other media sources (e.g., audio and video tapes, films, documentaries, television, radio) (ELA 5 M2)
41. Explain the usefulness and accuracy of sources by determining their validity (e.g., authority, accuracy, objectivity, publication date, coverage) (ELA 5 M2)
44. Use word processing and/or other technology to draft, revise, and publish a variety of works, including documented research reports with bibliographies (ELA 5 M4)

Lesson Procedures:
Students will be grouped according to research topic. There will be no more than three students researching the same topic (i.e. French immigrants, Irish immigrants, etc.). These groupings will consist of one high, one medium, and one low achieving student. (Achievement levels will be based on test results from iLeap test results and Benchmark achievement tests.) These groups will be known as “expert groups”.

Creating the Project:
Using the IIM method of research students will first formulate guiding questions that will act as an aid for research. Students will also use the guiding questions worksheet to help gather information necessary for meeting all criteria for completing the project. (See attached.)

Expert groups will work together to collect and gather information from four resource sources (Encyclopedias, Magazines, Books and Online sources). Information will be kept on index cards with each card having the bibliography information recorded on the back of the card. Students will keep cards in contained area in the classroom.

After all information is gathered, expert groups will work cooperatively to create an original project/product that informs classmates about the immigration group. Groups will follow instructions contained in the Guidelines and Rubrics packet. (See attached.)

Grouping Worksheet
IIM research packet
Guiding Questions worksheet
Index Cards
Ziploc bags (for index cards)
Guidelines and Rubrics packet

Immigration Research Project
Guidelines and Rubrics

This packet contains the instructions your group will need to follow in order to complete your Immigration Research Project. You will choose the items you are responsible for. You will be graded on the work you complete. Any incomplete work will be given a “U”. Pay close attention to details and make sure you have someone from the group proofread your project for grammar and spelling errors. Your project/product will be due at the end of the research unit (approximately 4-5 weeks). You will have class time to work on the project as we will be utilizing technology to present the project, so use the time wisely.

Your project should contain the following elements in your presentation: PowerPoint Presentation, Interactive game, Video clip, and Bibliography Page for research sources. Listed below are the instructions for each item in the project.

1. PowerPoint Presentation –
The PowerPoint presentation should be the first item in the project. This presentation should introduce the researched group. It should contain information that answers guiding questions (both from worksheet and those generated by the group). Slides should include, but are not limited to the following:
• Title Slide (Group researched and Names of individuals in the group)
• Why and when the immigrant group came to the US
• Where the immigrants settled
• How US government policies and programs were affected immigration
• How were economic conditions impacted
• How cultural heritages affected
• What immigrant cultural traditions have impacted US

2. Interactive game –
The interactive game can be whatever the person responsible for creating it wants. It could contain vocabulary terms that are important to immigration; it could be an interactive Jeopardy, Hollywood Squares, or Who Wants to be a Millionaire game (see teacher for template). These games are to be designed to test the information being delivered to the class. This will be used as an informal assessment for the class on the information presented. The game should include questions that are related to the PowerPoint presentation as well as the Video Clip being shown as part of the project. The game should be the third part of the project.

3. Video Clip and Bibliography Page –
Video Clip -
The Video Clip should be the second part of the presentation. This video clip can be one already in existence (i.e. from United Streaming, Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc.) or can be an original creation (student made from programs such as Windows Movie Maker). The video clip should be approximately 5-7 minutes long and contain information relevant to the research of the immigrant group. For example, the clip can contain footage of Ellis Island and how the immigrants came to America, or could contain footage of cultural traditions that have played a major role in American traditions. If the movie is not an original creation, the student must cite the source as part of the bibliography page.
Bibliography Page –
The bibliography page should be typed and one copy provided to each student in the class as well as the teacher. Use the correct format to document each source from which research information was obtained. Students should use Bibliography Format sheet used weekly in class to find correct format.

**Remember, you are not allowed to copy any information directly from a source unless it is a quote. Use note card rules taught in class for obtaining information (5-7 words on an index card that captures the heart of the information being researched). You must do your own work. Do not plagiarize any material. Plagiarism is when you copy someone else’s work (word for word) and present it as being your own. This is stealing and it is illegal. If you are found plagiarizing, then you will receive an automatic “U”.

Group Assignment Sheet

Class Period _________

Group Members ___________________________________________________________
<br>GroupLeader: __________________________
Materials Manager: ________________________
Recorder: _______________________________

• Group Leader – responsible for creating timeline for project and keeping group on task
• Materials Manager – responsible for keeping up with all materials necessary to the project (note cards, group packet, bibliography format sheet, etc.)
• Recorder – responsible for recording all information for group (not including note fact cards – which all members are responsible for).

Project Item Student name and phone number
PowerPoint Presentation
Interactive Game
Video Clip and Bibliography page

One primary use of the equipment would be utilized in the Non-fiction/Research unit. Each year, eighth grade students conduct research according to the state curriculum on Immigration. I have students research different nationalities that have come to America for various reasons. Students write a paper that is seen by the teacher only. They are also required to create a product that is shared with classmates to demonstrate what they learned during the research unit. Last year I found that the students who researched a particular nationality generally presented the same information. Even though there may have only been four students in the class who reported on Irish immigrants, the students grew tired of hearing the same information regardless of the presentation medium (whether a game, PowerPoint, poster, etc.).

This year, I am changing up the product presentations by having “expert groups” present on their immigration group (I modeled this grouping after the Jigsaw method of grouping students). By having a digital camera lab, students could create the presentation mediums to include digital images of family members or interviewees, and a podcast to enhance the research project to engage the entire classroom in the learning process. Having expert groups teach and engage others in learning about the various immigration groups will promote longer retention of information.
Materials: Worksheets, Timeline, Slideshow, Podcasting, Word Processor, Batteries, Digital Voice Recorders, Point and Shoot, Mobile Labs
Other Items: 7 Pinnacle Studio Plus 10.5 Titanium Edition, $99.99 each, total of $699.93