Third graders worked very hard on their biography Power Points. They read and took notes on their chosen person using information from two different sources, a book and a website. They were looking for important events in the person's life as well as character traits and challenges they had faced. (See the earlier post to see how this project began.)
The nuts and bolts of building a Power Point were new to third graders. They learned how to select images that were copyright friendly, store them in a folder and insert them into their project. On the final slide of their project, students cited the sources where they had found their information. Finally, they presented their projects to the class.
Students learned a lot from this project. Aside from the skills required to create a Power Point, they had to synthesize information from two different sources and decide which facts were important to include. They also had to consider keeping the design of each slide simple and appealing to viewers. Following student presentations, we had a class discussion about what they had learned. In many classes the conversations centered on the accomplishments and character traits of the people they had studied. One student commented, "I learned that if you work really hard at something you will probably do it." I thought that was a great take-away from a third grade inquiry project.
Click on the link below to see a few examples of the third graders' projects:
Grade 1 students have been finishing up an inquiry project that began with us reading one of Kate Messner's newest books, Over and Under the Pond. This book was inspired by the author's trip to a pond in upstate New York. The illustrator switched the viewpoint from a bird's eye view looking down on the pond to a view from the bottom of the pond looking up at the characters paddling around the pond on a row boat. There are glimpses of squirrels, herons, crayfish, mink, moose and many other animals that live in the vicinity of a pond. After reading the book we brainstormed animals that might live near a pond in the Connecticut woods. We created a list as a class. Then each student chose an animal to research.
They read a book and gathered information from PebbleGo, taking notes using an organizer. Then students used their notes to write about their animals. They described their animals special features and gave details about where its life cycle, where it lives, and what it eats. Students recorded their information using the Chatterpix app.
Click on the links below to see and hear some of the first graders' work: